I have been a fan of mercola.com and coconut oil so here is the best information on this great fat. From a highly respected doctor.
All fats are not equal.
And just so we're clear, the terms "fats" and "oils" are often used interchangeably, but fat is more correctly considered solid at room temperature, while oils are liquid. But what's really important is the structure.
The unique health benefits of coconut oil are directly related to its chemical structure, or more precisely, the length of its fatty acid chains.
Coconut oil is comprised of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs.
Coconut oil is nature's richest source of these healthy MCFAs.
By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs.
There are several reasons to explain why these long-chain fatty acids are not as healthy for you as the MCFAs in coconut oil:
- LCFAs are difficult for the body to break down — they must be packaged with lipoproteins or carrier proteins and require special enzymes for digestion.
- LCFAs put more strain on the pancreas, the liver and the entire digestive system.
- LCFAs are predominantly stored in the body as fat. (That's why most people buy into the myth that fats are automatically "fattening".)
- LCFAs can be deposited within arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.
On the other hand, however, the MCFAs in coconut oil are more health-promoting, because:
- MCFAs are smaller. They permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require lipoproteins or special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body.
- MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system. This is especially important for those of you with digestive or metabolic concerns.
- MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
- MCFAs in coconut oil can actually help stimulate your body's metabolism, leading to weight loss.