Benefits of Coconut Oil

Personal Trainer Lorne Opler

It's been drilled into us for years. Saturated fats are bad for you. But truth is, not all are.  Coconut oil is a good example. Indeed, if exercise and healthy eating are part of your daily routine, coconut oil should be part of it too.   

While coconut oil is almost entirely made up of saturated fats (approx 90 percent), the saturated fat in coconut oil is of a special type called medium chain triglycerides or MCT's (triglycerides being the term for fat molecules). Medium chain triglycerides are rapidly absorbed from the intestine and sent to the liver where they are (burned).   What does this mean?  MCT's are much less likely to be stored as fat as the longer chain triglycerides which we are typically found in the foods we should be avoiding (high fat foods, commercial baked goods, snack foods, etc).  In other words, the MCT's found in coconut oil can actually help conserve lean body mass.

How do you use coconut oil?   

It’s great for frying, because it not only has a high smoking point, but it won’t lose any of its nutritive values in the sauté pan either.  I also like to mix a tablespoon of it into my protein shakes, pour it over my salads, or yes, even spoon it out of the jar if I need a quick source of healthy fats with my meal. 

Coconut oil can be found in your local health food store.  Look for the unrefined organic extra virgin type, as it has undergone the least amount of processing and should provide you with the most benefits.

About the Author:

Lorne is a Vintage Fitness personal trainer.  He works in mid-town, North and Downtown Toronto.  Lorne has a masters degree in health promotion and teaches at various colleges in the Toronto area.  He is an expert Nordic Pole walker and used to run an exercise program at a hospital for people suffering from arthritis.  Lorne's passion for healthy eating shows in the blog he wrote this week about coconut oil.


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