Coconut oil (coconut oil) is a particularly highly heatable vegetable oil that is extracted from the nutritive tissue of coconut (copra). At room temperature, coconut oil has a solid state of aggregation and a whitish color - in this form it is called coconut fat. Coconut oil is mainly used in the kitchen for frying and baking, but it is also used in cosmetics. Here, coconut oil is especially popular for hair care.
Coconut oil - healthy or unhealthy?
Since coconut oil and coconut oil have a particularly high content of saturated fatty acids - which is about 90 percent - they were considered unhealthy for years. Because possibly the many saturated fatty acids should lead to an increase in the cholesterol level. Today it is often assumed that high-quality coconut oil only increases the level of HDL cholesterol - this is the "good" cholesterol that protects us, for example, against cardiovascular diseases.
Coconut oil is becoming increasingly popular due to its supposed health-promoting properties. Today, coconut oil covers about eight percent of the world's vegetable oil needs. In addition to its effect on cholesterol, coconut oil is also used as it is well digestible and easily digestible is. This is probably due to the fact that coconut oil - in contrast to, for example, butter - mainly contains medium-chain fatty acids.
Oil quality especially crucial
With coconut oil and coconut oil, it is particularly important to pay attention to the quality of the product, because many commercially available coconut fats are hardened industrially. In this process, the natural fatty acids give rise to trans fatty acids, which can have damaging effects on your health.
Although the trans fatty acids in coconut oil have the same composition, but a different structure than the natural fatty acids. Because when hardening the coconut fat, the curvature of the natural fatty acids is lost and these are thus no longer after bending in curved, but in a straight form.
The straight trans fatty acids can be processed by our body, however, only poorly. In addition, they increase the body's "bad" LDL cholesterol while lowering the level of "good" HDL cholesterol. This can significantly increase the risk of heart attack or other cardiovascular diseases. Likewise, the risk of diabetes and obesity is to be significantly increased by eating foods with trans fatty acids.
If you want to benefit from the health benefits of coconut oil, you should definitely on a high quality oil or a uncured fat To fall back on. Such products are available, for example, in health food stores.
Health promoting effect of coconut oil
The saturated fatty acids of coconut oil include lauric acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid. In addition, coconut oil contains unsaturated oil acids and small amounts of minerals such as calcium, iron, copper and potassium as well as vitamin E.
Above all, the lauric acid, which is found in coconut oil and coconut oil in particularly large quantities, are said to have health-promoting effects. That is how she should be antimicrobially act and thus support the body in the fight against bacteria, yeasts, fungi and certain viruses. In the case of viruses, the mechanism of lauric acid is particularly effective - it simply dissolves the fat components of the sheath and thereby inactivates the virus - at least in animal and laboratory experiments.
Due to its antimicrobial effect, coconut oil should also be able to help with colds and sore throats. To alleviate the symptoms, simply add a little coconut oil to a warm tea.
Creams containing coconut oil, should also the Promote wound healing process and protect the skin from infections. In addition, coconut oil is often used for oil pulling.
Positive effect in Alzheimer's
Whether coconut oil has a positive effect on Alzheimer's disease is still controversial. Proponents cite the case of an American whose Alzheimer's disease was not cured by daily intake of coconut oil, but reportedly improved significantly. However, scientific studies on the effectiveness of coconut oil in Alzheimer's disease are still lacking.
Allegedly, the positive effect of coconut oil on the many medium chain fatty acids contained in the oil to be due. They are converted into ketones in the liver and then transported via the bloodstream to the brain. There they can be used as an alternative source of energy to glucose. Because certain areas of the brain are no longer able to absorb glucose in Alzheimer's, the ketones are said to improve the energy supply to the brain.
Coconut oil for weight loss?
Incidentally, it is these medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs) that make coconut oil sometimes a means of weight loss. Because the ketone bodies formed during the metabolism of these MCTs signal a feeling of satiety.
Long-lasting weight loss effects of coconut oil could not be confirmed in studies. One possible reason for this is that coconut oil consists of only about 14 percent of such medium-chain fatty acids and therefore is not comparable in its effect on satiety with pure MCT fats.
How is coconut oil extracted?
For the extraction of the coconut oil, first of all the pulp of the coconut - the so-called copra - must be crushed and dried. As a result of drying, the coconut's water content drops to around five percent, while the fat content increases to 60 to 70 percent. After drying, the pulp is squeezed out and thus the fat is extracted.
Use of coconut oil and coconut oil
Since coconut oil has many saturated fatty acids, it is highly heatable and thus for Cooking, baking and frying suitable - ideally, it should only be heated at low temperatures.
To to buy Coconut oil is usually in the form of a solid block, because coconut oil has a solid state of aggregation at room temperature. At 22 to 25 degrees, however, the fat begins to melt and turns into oil.
When melted, coconut oil can absorb a great deal of melt, thereby ensuring a cooling effect. This effect of coconut fat makes use of the confectionery industry, for example in the production of ice cream confectionery. In addition to ice confectionery, coconut oil is also used for the production of other sweets such as ice cream and waffle fillings. It also plays a central role in margarine production and as an ingredient in ready meals.
Coconut oil: good for skin and hair
In addition to the kitchen, coconut oil is also used in cosmetics and is used there, among other things, in hair shampoos, sunscreen cream, massage oil and various creams and soaps. Coconut oil has a cooling effect and has a moisturizing effect, but the oil hardly penetrates the skin.
Coconut oil is said to have a positive effect on hair, as it provides dry and damaged hair with moisture. Simply massage in a little coconut oil into damp hair and leave on for at least one hour. Alternatively, the oil can also act overnight. After working, wash out the coconut oil thoroughly.
Due to its moisturizing effect, coconut oil is not only used for the hair, but also in the skin care - especially for the care of dry skin. In addition, a drop of the oil, which is massaged in the evening under the eyes, to prevent dark circles the next morning. But beware: Like other oils, coconut oil can also cause blackheads.