We’ve all heard the buzz, but does coconut oil really do everything they say it does? Let me break it down and help make sense of all the hype!
It’s important to keep in mind that many health and wellness trends are not evidence-based on high-quality data. The recommendations also don’t always come from credentialed sources. Instead, trends often have to do with great marketing! Health and wellness “gurus,” tend to superficially interpret data and studies which can lead to misinterpretation and erroneous information.
Today, let’s go through some of the most common coconut oil trends.
Coconut oils as a healthy substitute for oils in cooking
Coconut oil has around 90% saturated fat, compare that to 14% in olive oil. This can lead to an elevation of low density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is typically known as the “bad” cholesterol as high levels have been known to leave a buildup of cholesterol in our important arteries. This buildup can then cause less blood and oxygen to flow to your heart, creating problems like chest pains and even a heart attack if the flow is completely restricted. Though it is known to also increase high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good cholesterol,” the American Heart Association recommends limitig the use of oils high in saturated fats (like coconut oil) due to the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Coconut oil pulling
Oil pulling is a technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth on an empty stomach. This popular new trend is said to help cleanse your mouth and body. This has been proven to decrease bacteria in the mouth, much in the same way as regular mouthwash does. However, there has been no evidence that oil pulling helps with “detoxing” the body.
Coconut oil for hair growth
Coconut oil has been shown to decrease protein loss in hair. This can be helpful for those of us that often straighten, curl, or comb our hair. In addition, massaging the scalp (with or without oil) can help improve blood circulation for improved scalp health. However, there is a lack of real proof that coconut oil helps with increasing actual hair growth or with male pattern baldness.
Have you heard of any coconut oil trends? I’m a big fan of the taste, so I personally occasionally use it in some of my cooking. I also like to use it as a hair mask every so often. It smells great and makes my hair shiny!
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