A Nutritionist's Take on the Coconut Oil Debate

A Nutritionist's Take on the Coconut Oil Debate

 

Today's blog post is from Pure Beauty Contributor, Raquel Redmond. Raquel is a registered dietitian and food blogger based in Philadelphia, PA with a passion for helping her clients achieve a balanced lifestyle of carefree nutrition.  She offers nutrition tips, mouth-watering recipes and encouragement for the journey on her site, Sincerely Nourished. We love her positive, no-pressure approach to health and wellness!

As our resident nutrition expert, we asked Raquel to weigh in with her take on the great coconut oil debate that's been going on in the health and wellness world lately. Read on for her tips to help you decide how to best use (or not use) coconut oil in your own health journey - and to find out some great uses for this oil that we can all agree on!

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Over the past couple years, coconut oil has been repeatedly highlighted in nutrition and health newsCoconut oil first became popular after the paleo diet was all the rave for crossfitters and fad diet lovers. Soon, it started to become a pantry staple for the health-conscious, with promises of cancer prevention and weight loss in addition to prevention against heart disease and diabetes and a boost in brain function in Alzheimer’s. However, nutrition research published in peer-reviewed journals doesn’t necessarily back these claims up like one would hope.

From a nutritional standpoint, coconut oil is loaded with saturated fat. In most cases, saturated fat is known as the “bad” fat, and unsaturated fat is referred to as the “good” fat. The saturated fat found in coconut oil is mainly lauric acid, which is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT). This type of fat is metabolized more easily into energy in the liver compared to long chain triglycerides. However, research shows that coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol. So it’s up to you to decide if you want coconut oil to be included in your diet based on your personal health goals, preferences, and predispositions. Not the simple yes-or-no answer you were looking for, right?

I absolutely keep coconut oil in my pantry - but I also have olive oil, avocado oil, ghee and a few other options as well. I always recommend that we eat high fat foods in moderation. If you do choose to use coconut oil, then be sure to buy organic, virgin coconut oil that is not refined.

The best part about coconut oil is that it actually has quite a few other uses besides being part of your diet. You can use that jar of coconut oil for your hair and skin with wonderful nourishing and moisturizing benefits, without worrying about all analyzing all the latest nutrition news. Coconut oil can be used as a moisturizer applied like a conditioner for your hair or as a moisturizer for your skin. 

This Coconut & Cocoa Whipped Body Butter makes your skin so soft! This product smells so good and keeps my skin moisturized all day. 

 

You could also try this Coco Rose Lip Conditioner to moisturize your lips. It’s asmall product that you can throw in your bag or pocket for whenever you need. 

If you want to get a little creative, you can try making a body scrub with coconut oil and sugar, or even add some essential oils to fractionated coconut oil to use as a natural signature perfume!

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Now it's your turn to weigh in - what is your favorite use for coconut oil? Let us know in the comments below!