Yes, coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat, but not all sat fats are created equal. “The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that appears to have a more neutral effect on heart health when compared to longer-chain saturated fats found in meats and dairy products,” says Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet.
Some research even suggests that coconut oil can paradoxically improve cholesterol numbers by revving up enzymes in the body that breakdown fats.
Bazilian adds that medium-chain fats are metabolized more easily into energy in the liver, meaning they may be less likely to be stored as extra padding on your thighs if you keep your overall calories in check. “Up to 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day, depending on individual calorie needs, can be a healthy and tasty addition to your diet when replacing other less-healthy calories,” Bazilian says. “But don’t believe the hype that simply adding coconut oil to your diet can help you shed a bunch of body fat.”
More proof that coconut oil is a worthwhile addition to your pantry: Lauric acid appears to have antibacterial properties, and studies show that the tropical oil (particularly the virgin varieties) contains a bounty of antioxidants that may help knock out those pesky cell-damaging free radicals that are thought to accelerate aging and disease. Topically, coconut oil is also a great skin moisturizer.
With all that in mind, I'll just say that I like using coconut oil. Dr Agnes suggested to me yesterday that I start to replace my Coffeemate with a tsp of coconut oil and a dollop of whole milk. The first gulp was shocking.. a very mild coconut flavor, but not a bad thing. Half way through the cup, I decided I could do this every morning for a while, but my 2nd cup would be with my favorite creamer. We shall see how that goes. I'm going to try it in my tea later.
If that's what it takes to warn off alzheimers, I'm for it.