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Benefits of Coconut vs. Other Plant-based products

by Charles Weller August 27, 2014

Benefits of Coconut vs. Other Plant-based products

Coconut is really trendy right now. Just when you think foodies are tired of it, the market introduces another coconut product backed by research touting its benefits. We thought we’d do a comparison of the nutritional benefits of coconut compared to the other trendy products out there to see if we should stick with coconut or make a switch.

Coconut Oil vs. Olive Oil

Fat in Olive Oil and Coconut Oil

Cooking oil contains Saturated Fats, Monounsaturated Fats and Polyunsaturated fats. Let’s take a look at coconut oil and olive oil to see how much and what type of fat is in each.

Type of Oil % Saturated Fat % Monounsaturated Fat % Polyunsaturated Fat
Coconut Oil 91.9 6.2 1.9
Olive Oil 13.8 75.9 10.3

If you just glance at the chart above, you might be shocked at how high the percentage of saturated fat is in coconut oil. Until the last ten years, researchers thought that all saturated fats were bad for you. But coconut oil helps you burn fat.

Fatty acid chains can be long, medium or short. The shorter they are, the less likely they will be stored as fat. In the case of coconut oil, over two-thirds of the fatty acids it contains are made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). That means that instead of being stored as fat in your cells, these fats get taken into your liver where they are stored as energy; increasing your metabolism and helping you burn fat.

The high amount of monounsaturated fats in olive oil can reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering your levels of low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol. Olive oil is heart healthy. It is also an excellent way to lose weight if you substitute it for butter or fatty dressings. But in and of itself, it will not boost your metabolism and help you lose weight.

Nutrients in Olive Oil and Coconut Oil

Olive Oil contains oleic acid and oleocanthal, two anti-inflammatories that work in the body like ibuprofen. The heart is a muscle. If the arterial wall of your heart becomes inflamed, it can thicken. This swelling can dislodge plaque and cause a heart attack. The oleic acid and oleocanthal contained in olive oil is another reason why olive oil helps prevent heart disease.

Preliminary studies in mice are showing that the antioxidants in olive oil may help reduce risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
Coconut oil contains lauric acid, and when digested makes monolaurin. Both kill viruses, pathogens, bacteria and fungi in our bodies.
Coconut is also administered to pediatric epileptic patients as part of a low-carb high fat diet, as it produces ketones in the liver, which stave off seizures.
Studies have also shown that coconut oil reduces LDL and raises HDL in the body. So it, too, can help decrease risk of heart disease.

Conclusion

Coconut oil can do everything olive oil can do, better. While both are inarguably a healthy source of fat, coconut oil outshines olive oil in terms of weight loss benefits and other important nutritional benefits. Always use a high-quality, extra virgin, cold pressed oil to maintain the integrity of the oil and put only the purest coconut into your body.

Enjoy a Blueberry Coconut Water Smoothie.

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Charles Weller
Charles Weller

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