Coconut is a popular food in the health community. Coconut is a saturated form of fat, but don’t that scare you off. It’s one of the healthiest forms of fats you could be eating, as you’ll soon learn. And, given that it tastes great used in so many different dishes, you can easily incorporate it into your day. While many people are using coconut few understand just how many benefits it really has. Keep reading to learn about all of the benefits.
Coconut for Heart Health
First, realize that despite the fact that coconut is a form of saturated fat, it’s a form of medium chain triglyceride, which is a very healthy form of saturated fat. Coconut is going to offer great heart health benefits, reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol levels. A study published in the Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations illustrated that coconut oil can help to reduce the back cholesterol levels in the body, improving heart health.
Next, coconut is also great for your metabolism. Unlike other fats that typically have a very low thermic effect of food, meaning if you eat them you’ll do very little to actually boost your metabolism, this form of fat has a 15% TEF value, meaning that if you consume 100 calories from coconut fat, you’ll only net around 85 of those calories because the rest are burned off due to digestion. Compare this to other fats that have a TEF value of around 2%, meaning if you eat 100 calories you net 98. Clearly you can see which one is going to best improve your chances of losing body fat.
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The next reason to start adding more coconut to your diet is for the immune boosting benefits it provides. Coconut contains fatty acids that will serve to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-protozoal benefits, helping you put any potential concerns of health impairing invaders to rest. Adding this fat to your diet plan can help to keep your body stronger and free from illness.
Finally, the last really nice thing about coconut that also sets it apart from the other fat sources out there is the fact that it can be used for a quick energy source. With most fat sources, you’ll need a much longer time to break these nutrients down and make the calories available for use as energy. This is not the case with coconut. This form of fat breaks down quickly, much more like that of glucose in your body, ensuring you get a fast energy release whenever you consume it. For those who are on lower carbohydrate diets and feeling the common dip in energy levels that accompany these plans, this is a very good reason to start eating more coconut. You can help, at least in part, regain your former energy levels back when they are added back into the picture.
Using It In Your Diet
So as you can see, coconut is not to be missed out on. But how can you use it in your diet protocol? Keep in mind that you can benefit from coconut fats in many forms – dried, unsweetened coconut flakes, coconut milk, or coconut oil. Here are some fast and easy serving suggestions to incorporate it into your diet plan.
- Sprinkle dried coconut on your morning bowl of oatmeal
- Add a tbsp. of coconut milk to your protein smoothie
- Bake with coconut oil rather than butter
- Use coconut oil for stir-fries instead of regular oil
- Add dried coconut flakes into muffins or other baked goods
- Use coconut milk as a base for any creamy sauces you’re preparing
So there you have the reasons that coconut is one of the healthiest fat sources you should be adding to your diet. No matter what your body weight goals or fitness objectives are, it deserves a place in your plan.