In 52 Healthy Changes, Food, Newsletter

f I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times…your body needs fat for survival, vitality and health!

Can we all agree that the low-fat diet craze started in the 70’s and 80’s needs to cease? Is it still programmed into your brain to buy skim milk, low-fat cream cheese and fat-free yogurt and sour cream? If you still think to lose weight and drop fat you should stop consuming fat then you’ve been misinformed.

Repeat after me…fat is our friend!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t clarify that the type of fat is key. If you’re talking about hydrogenated fats, processed with high heat, extracted from chemical-laden GMO crops then yes, please stop eating these fats! Remember, butter and coconut oil and many other quality cooking oils have so many health benefits…we want these in our lives!

So, eating adequate amounts of quality, healthy saturated fat will not make you fat. In fact, it could be the key to unlocking your weight loss struggles! Healthy fats stabilize your blood sugar, reduce or eliminate sugar cravings and strengthen every cell wall in your body!

You know the saying, “You are what you eat”? Well, you literally are what you eat! Our food is broken down to be used as energy, stored fuel or building blocks for our cells. Saturated fats are supposed to be what our cells are composed of, but if you’re consuming unhealthy, hydrogenated or polyunsaturated vegetable and canola oils on a regular basis, then your cells will be made up of this unhealthy fat instead. When these unhealthy fats make up the cell wall, inter-cellular communication breaks down weakening our cells, which in turn causes other minor and major health issues.

Furthermore, these highly processed and damaged oils lack the vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants their healthy counterparts have in spades! So by consuming these healthy fats, not only are you curbing sugar cravings (including junky carbohydrates), stabilizing your blood sugar and aiding in weight loss, you’re also fueling and strengthening your body at a cellular level!

Talk about some powerful food! It’s these effects that are why I believe Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

Because it can be difficult to re-train our minds that eating fat is healthy, we’ll focus this month on adding in one type of fat on a regular basis. In my research of healthy fats and oils, I have discovered that coconut oil has countless benefits, so this is where we’ll start.

Oh coconut oil, how do I love thee…let me count the ways!”

  • Coconut oil is loaded with medium chain fatty acids, or MCFAs (91% of the fat!). These MCFAs are smaller in size than long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) which makes them easier to permeate our cells allowing our body to utilize them for immediate energy. Avoid jitters or insulin crashes after a sugary afternoon latte and whip up this coconut latte instead!
  • Suffer from hypothyroidism? Because coconut oil stimulates the thyroid gland, the addition of this healthy fat can help regulate thyroid function.
  • Coconut oil is fantastic for improving memory and cognitive function. Mental conditions such as depression, Alzheimer’s, anxiety and dementia can be reduced by consuming coconut oil. The MCFAs in the oil can actually help prevent these mental conditions from developing.
  • Lauric acid is a very important medium chain saturated fatty acid. It’s found in abundance in coconut oil. Lauric acid is highly antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. This is why coconut oil is so healing, this is the same lauric acid found in breastmilk!
  • Candida sufferers of any degree should be regularly consuming coconut oil in their diet due to Lauric acids “anti bad bug” components.
  • If you have dandruff, try rubbing coconut oil into the scalp and then shampooing it out. Dandruff is a fungal infection of the skin and coconut oil is naturally antifungal.
  • Using coconut oil instead of chemical filled lotions is a great alternative. You’ll also be getting some of these benefits simply by absorbing coconut oil through your skin and into your bloodstream.
  • Coconut oil is made up primarily of MCFAs and therefore is not stored as fat. Because coconut oil curbs cravings for sweets and empty carbohydrates it can significantly aid in weight loss.
  • Coconut oil (unrefined is best) can be a great fat to consume if you suffer from gallbladder issues or have had your gallbladder removed. Because of the MCFAs, coconut oil does not require bile salts for digestion. Remember, gallbladders dislike unhealthy fats but still need fats…if you starve your gallbladder of fat it’s just as bad as consuming unhealthy fats.

Ya’ll, I could go on and on about coconut oil all day long! About how it reduces inflammation and arthritis, prevents heart disease and high blood pressure, can cure UTI and kidney infections, improves skin issues like eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis*…but this post has to end at some point!

If you haven’t already realized the amazing health benefits of coconut oil, then now is the time to start. Healthy Change #10 is to start adding coconut oil into your daily routine. Start small! Aim to get a tablespoon throughout the day for the first few days. See how your body feels adding in this healthy fat. Then, after a few days, slowly increase your amounts until you’re consuming 3-4 tablespoons per day. Watch your cravings diminish, your blood sugars stabilize, your need for constant snacking eliminated, and then come back and tell us all about it!

Wondering how to get all this coconut oil into your day? Cook your morning eggs in it, add a teaspoon of it to your coffee and whiz it in the blender, add a teaspoon to your morning smoothie (just be sure it’s blended really well!), cook up your veggies in it at dinner. Adding coconut oil throughout the day is simple, but it does require intention and thought.

*None of these health claims can be made when combining coconut oil to an unhealthy, processed food lifestyle full of refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils and sugar/chemical laden foods. The benefits of coconut oil are in combination with a healthy diet. So if you haven’t already begun making the changes to a healthy diet, then start there! Remember, I am not a doctor, and what I share here is information I have found while doing my own research. Take control of your health!

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    Love me some coconut oil! I use it for ALL THE THINGS!
    And yes, I too grew up on the nonfat/low-fat prescription of dietary approach– my grandmother even participated in a decades long study which eventually disproved the purported health benefits of such a diet.

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen

      Coconut oil has SO MANY USES! I wonder why I’m still surprised when I hear a new one! What was this study your grandmother participated in? I sure hope her health didn’t suffer! :/

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