Joyous Blog

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil & Why You Need to Get Some!

Jan 26, 2011 BY Joy McCarthy

Coconut oil is a staple in my kitchen and after reading this post, I hope it's in your kitch too. The coconut has been valued for thousands of years, rightly so! Scriptures of Hinduism dating back to 1500 B.C.E. said it nourishes the body, increases strength and promotes beautiful hair and skin. In Ayurveda medicine, it has been used for over 4,000 years as an effective treatment for skin diseases. It's also a good lube (yes, I did just say that). Why put chemicals anywhere near your lady-parts or your man's man-parts I say! Coco oil smells delicious too. And that just barely scratches the surface.

In the Phillipines, the coco plant is called the "tree of life". Interestingly, a country where coconut oil appears in virtually every single dish, also has the LOWEST cancer rates of the 50 countries surveyed by the National Cancer Institute. Now let's get right down to the nitty gritty of why coconuts make me so dang joyous!

First I want to set the record straight about coconut oil and heart disease.

Due to one study, it was mistakenly accused of contributing to heart disease due to its saturated fat content. Harvard researchers have later reviewed that initial study and concluded it was not accurate because the oil used in the study that raised cholesterol levels in rats was "hydrogenated" which altered it to the point of being devoid of ANY essential fatty acids. Despite this misinformation, coco oil continues to be demonized even though the latest research shows that coco oil not only causes an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol, but it does NOT increase LDL (bad) cholesterol. And this is just one of many health benefits, please share this knowledge to set the record straight!

Health benefits:

Promotes weight loss


Studies have shown that when coco oil has been part of one's diet, white fat stores have been reduced. Due to the medium chain (MCTs) being so well absorbed and used an energy source, their burning actually increases metabolic rate. A diet high in MCTs showed in a study over a 6-day period to increase thermogenesis by 50% - that's huge, talk about fat burning potential just by adding it to your smoothie!

Beautifying


You can literally slather your body in coco oil after a shower or a bath and use it as a hair moisturizer and not have to worry about any toxic chemicals being absorbed into your blood stream through your skin. Wonderful for dry, flaky and dull-looking skin or dry scalp. It can also been used for psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections.

Immune-enhancing


Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in the coconut is in the form of medium-chain (12-carbon) saturated fat called "lauric acid". The only other abundant source of this healing fat is in breast milk. Your body converts this to a a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an anti-viral, antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms. H. Pylori, yeast, fungi, protozoa and a number of species of ringworm are all destroyed by lauric acid.

Anti-viral for sexually transmitted disease


Another fat in coconut is called capric acid which when converted in the body to monocaprin has been shown to have antiviral effects for many sexually transmitted diseases including chlamydia, herpes and HIV. In fact, these antiviral compounds are currently being heavily researched in treatment for AIDS patients. Initial studies are showing that coco oil reduces the viral load in people with AIDS.

Safest oil for cooking


Due to the fact it's a saturated fat, it is very stable and can withstand high heat without turning rancid making it ideal for cooking, sauteing and roasting food. Plus it tastes absolutely deeeelish!

Now that you have the health benefits, I hope you are excited to pick up a bottle at your local health food store! Next week I will write a post for you that includes my favourite brands, recipes, how to use it, but in the meantime if you are already excited to get going with it, then just add 1 tbsp to your morning smoothie.

Have a joyous day!

Joy

Jan 26, 2011 BY Joy McCarthy
56 Comments
Lee   •   January 26, 2011

Hi Joy, Where do you buy your coconut oil. I haven't seen this brand at regular supermarkets and I don't believe I've seen it at my health food store either. Thanks!

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Joy McCarthy   •   January 27, 2011

I bought this brand from Whole Foods, but you can get it from any health food store. In fact, most regular grocery stores will have organic coco oil in the health foods section.

P.V.Chidambaram   •   November 28, 2012

Hi Lee, We will be able to provide EXTRA VIRGIN COCONUT OIL regulerly from our agent in N.J USA. Please lets know your requirements Regards P.V.Chidambaram

P.V.Chidambaram   •   November 28, 2012

Further to my earlier E.Mail please reply to me britishcat2000@yahoo.com

Theresa   •   August 28, 2013

I found it at Krogers in the organic dept...

Richard   •   December 11, 2013

Costco sells it in big tubs. Its also the cheapest price I have ever seen anywhere.


Tweets that mention Health Benefits of Coconut Oil & Why You Need to Get Some! | joyoushealth.ca -- Topsy.com   •   January 27, 2011

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joy McCarthy, Leesie and healthymodel, Sarah Mickeler. Sarah Mickeler said: Plus you get to smell like a macaroon! Yum! RT @joyoushealth: Health benefits of coco oil: http://ow.ly/3L17E For skin and heart and hair! [...]

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Jeffron   •   January 27, 2011

I can't believe the timing of this post!!! Just this morning, my husband, who has been suffering from VERY itchy eczema the last few days, said that he was going to call his doctor and get a cortisone shot. Being of the more holistic approach I told him that I would prefer he didn't, but people need to do what they want to do. Then, voila! I get into work, open up my email and there is your article about coconut oil and it's many, many benefits including that coconut oil can be put directly on the skin and will help, among other things, eczema!!!!! I phoned my husband right away and he has agreed to hold off on the cortisone shot and on my way home from work today, I'll be stopping at the health food store and picking up a bottle of coconut oil!!!!

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Richard   •   December 11, 2013

I'd like to know how it worked for him. I have noticed a change already in my dry scalp. I applied it to my hair and scalp, and slept with it in, overnight.The next day I washed my hair with shampoo. What a difference!! Silky smooth hair and scalp is not as dry.I will use it all the time now. Organic coconut oil....nothing better!


Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble)   •   January 27, 2011

I love coconut oil, for all the reasons you mentioned above, but most of all how tasty it is!! xo

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Joy McCarthy   •   January 27, 2011

Agreed 100% I am eating some right now!


Heidi   •   January 27, 2011

What awesome timing you have! I just ordered some off amazon.com(it's on sale at the moment, btw) because the price at my health food store is totally ridiculous. Or maybe that's just the regular price, I don't know, either way I could never justify buying it. Anyways, I am so incredibly excited to try it finally! Thank you for making me even more excited :D How can I not be, knowing how good it is for me :D

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Joy McCarthy   •   January 27, 2011

Great! BTW, you should be able to get a decent sized bottle for under 20 bux. Make sure it's organic of course.


VeggieGirl   •   January 27, 2011

LOVE coconut oil :)

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CG   •   January 27, 2011

How do you consume coconut oil? I tried putting it in my smoothies and it got hard and chunky, and I don't cook much, eat mostly raw, vegan meals.

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Joy McCarthy   •   January 28, 2011

Stay tuned, will post next week :)


Ashley   •   January 28, 2011

I freaking love coconut oil. I keep a small jar in my bathroom and every night before bed I take a dab, liquify it between my palms, and rub it gently through my hair. It makes it so incredibly soft and it smells wonderful. Additionally, I recently started taking organic coconut oil softgels (purchased on iherb.com) everyday and I have noticed how they seem to keep me from being so ravenously hungry throughout the day. I can't wait for you to share how you use it next week, Joy! I enjoy it in smoothies too, but have noticed that it clumps up, so any tips you have on keeping that from happening are very appreciated!

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   January 28, 2011

I hear ya about the clumping... you can always warm it slightly before you toss it in your smoothie. If your smoothie is ice cold though, it will always clump. Mine is usually almost liquid or at least very soft because I keep it in a warm place in my kitchen. I freakin' love it too! Love your comment, thanks for writing :)


Lisa   •   January 30, 2011

I LOVE coconut oil! I like to use it on my popcorn, add a touch of sea salt and it's movie time. Since I started using coconut oil I barley use any olive oil. Thanks for the great article, Lisa

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Lisa   •   January 30, 2011

I get mine at Fred Meyer in their health food section. I have not been able to find it at Safeway or Winco.

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Jennifer   •   February 1, 2011

Funny enough I've had a jar of sitting in my cupboard for a few months now. Does it have a shelf life? After 3 months is it safe to use? A friend gave it to me but I didn't know all it's uses! After reading your post, I'm inspired to crack it open! Jenn

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Joy McCarthy   •   February 2, 2011

Oh yes! It should be good, so long as it's not past the expiry date and it's never been opened. Enjoy!


Organic Coconut Oil: What to Do with it? | joyoushealth.ca   •   February 2, 2011

[...] you read all about my post on the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil last week. And if you didn’t, give it a gander before you read on. I want you to be joyous [...]

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Dani   •   February 7, 2011

Hi Joy...what do you recommend as a good facial moisturizer?

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Joy McCarthy   •   February 9, 2011

If coco oil isn't too rich, I reco that. Otherwise I love all of Pure + Simple products. http://www.pureandsimple.ca/


Eve   •   February 8, 2011

You mention that the study used to condemn coconut oil in connection with heart disease was hydrogenated. It would appear from that statement that not all the oils are equal. What should we be looking on the label.... 100% organic extra-virgin ... expeller pressed? Also I wanted to mention that the expeller pressed oil I purchased has absolutely no coconut flavour ( my husband prefers that) and the extra-virgin has a strong flavour which I like. Is this difference a reflection on the quality of the oil?

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Bonita   •   August 22, 2012

Just found this site, but I recently found out that Refined coconut oil will not have a coconut taste or smell. If you want the coconut taste be sure to get some that isn't refined. Refined coconut oil still retains all the nutrients but doesn't have the smell and taste.


michelle   •   March 19, 2011

i have heard that a company called 'green pastures' has good coconut oil. i have a question about coconut milk-- does it have the health benefits of coconut oil?

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   March 20, 2011

It depends how pure it is.. ie pasteurized or from fresh?


andrea   •   March 24, 2011

i just bought a jar. i initially bought it to make a yummy chocolate sauce but now that i see all of its other uses, like for your hair and skin, i'm super excited to try it out! during the winter my skin is so dry, i'm having to put lotion on several times during the day. i can't wait to use it. and my sister has eczema, i'll be sure to recommend it to her to try. it's way better than the creams that her doc's been prescribing, with steroids and all, yuck.

Reply

Trish   •   June 22, 2011

Great post! I love coconut oil...it's my go to for all cooking! Question for you - how much should you be consuming on a daily basis to get the full health benefits?

Reply
Joy McCarthy   •   June 22, 2011

1-2 tbsp is sufficient. :)


Raquel   •   August 16, 2011

Sometimes when I have coconut oil it gives me the runs, why do you think that happens?

Reply

Why you need to add this superfood to your dinner plate! | Blog 889   •   August 25, 2011

[...] clock. While there are certainly foods from far away with incredible benefits (examples such a coconut oil and chia seeds) it is still important to remember what is growing in Ontario. I love local food and [...]

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Lentil Quinoa Loaf Recipe, Gluten-free, High in Protein & Fibre! | joyoushealth.ca   •   August 29, 2011

[...] quinoa 1 small onion, chopped 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/2 red pepper finely chopped 2 tbsp organic coconut oil 1/2 cup pecans or almonds, roughly chopped 2 eggs slightly beaten 3/4 cup rolled oats 3/4 cup [...]

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Nicky Casale   •   November 22, 2011

Thanks for the great article, Joy! I kept walking past the coconut oil in the health food store, and I wanted to buy it, but had no idea how and when to use it. This definitely helps! :)

Reply

A Question of Oils « Better Bulk Danforth   •   January 24, 2012

[...] Joy McCarthy of joyoushealth.ca on Health Benefits of Coconut Oil [...]

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Linda Mathews   •   February 13, 2012

WOW. . I watched your presentation on "the Morning Show" and then researched you on the net in an effort to find out more about Coconut Oil. I'm so pleased that I was rewarded just be signing up to 'Read all about You and your Good Gracious, Good News'. Thanks so very much.

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Maija   •   February 15, 2012

Thank you for this awesome information. I've been buying that brand at the Bulk Barn. For the 860ml jar I think it was a little less than $10. It's an awesome replacement for chap stick too. (if you can quit licking it off!) I've even spread it on toast in place of butter. YUM!

Reply

Why eat coconut oil? | THE HEARTY HEART   •   May 26, 2012

[...] Physical application encouraged: Apply directly to the skin for an instant, deep moisturizer, and can also be used as a lube! Check out the post on Joyous Health. [...]

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Loco for Coco | Cassidydevin   •   August 14, 2012

[...] http://www.joyoushealth.ca/2011/01/26/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil-why-you-need-to-get-some/ [...]

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Cheyenne   •   September 14, 2012

Wow, I just love your website. I'm hooked!

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Joy McCarthy   •   September 16, 2012

Thanks so much!


Pumpkin Pie Custard | joyoushealth.ca   •   October 22, 2012

[...] The good fat in the coconut milk is chock-full of fat-busting nutrients. These good fats especially MCTs are particularly beneficial in that they don’t require bile acids for digestion, and they’re directly shunted to the liver via the portal vein. In fact, you can read my post on why coconut products are so good for you. [...]

Reply

Inner & Outer Beauty Tips | joyoushealth.ca   •   October 27, 2012

[...] will be talking about one of my favourite beautifying tips — Coconut Oil. I’ve written several posts and done many YouTube videos on this deliciously healthy fat. [...]

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Coconut Flour Banana Pancakes: Gluten-free Recipe | joyoushealth.ca   •   November 15, 2012

[...] *For all you coconut product virgins There is a significant difference between the “coconut butter” and the oil. The butter is the coco flesh plus the oil. The actual butter is incredibly sweet and melts in your mouth. It contains vitamins, minerals and protein — it’s truly unadulterated. You must add the butter to you kitchen pantry! I have included the link of the brand I like and schlop on top of pancakes. However, use the coconut oil for a non-stick surface when cooking anything as it’s very heat stable. It’s LOADED with health benefits: http://www.joyoushealth.ca/2011/01/26/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil-why-you-need-to-get-some/ [...]

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Coconut Chocolate Bark « The Healthy Hipster   •   November 18, 2012

[...] to all the benefits of coconut oil (which my nutritionist pal Joy has summarized beautifully in this post), it is also known to be a very healthful choice for people with gallbladder disease…which I [...]

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3 Treats For Your Sweets! | joyoushealth.ca   •   February 12, 2013

[...] Curious what makes coconut oil so super? http://www.joyoushealth.ca/2011/01/26/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil-why-you-need-to-get-some/ [...]

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alex   •   March 12, 2013

" Studies have shown that when coco oil has been part of one’s diet"- Is there a link/reference to those studies?

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The Benefits of Coconut Oil | The Iliana Project | Coconut Oil Health   •   June 24, 2013

[...] http://www.joyoushealth.ca/2011/01/26/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil-why-you-need-to-get-some/ [...]

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Kristyn   •   December 21, 2013

Coconut oil is also a staple in our house and I was wondering if coconut oil is safe to use on newborns?

Reply

coconut oil hair mask | Write About It   •   January 22, 2014

[…] it “nourishes the body, increases strength and promotes beautiful hair and skin” (Source). However, and perhaps rightly so, there are skeptics to coconut oil’s slew of possible […]

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Joyous Health   •   January 30, 2014

[…] might have noticed, I have created hundreds of recipes over the years using coconut oil, shared the health benefits and the many uses for coconut oil and other coconut products. I even have a chapter in my book […]

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Carolyn   •   March 25, 2014

So I'm confused! Exactly what kind of coconut oil should I look for? Organic, non-hydrogenated, non-refined...? And I have a jar that I opened 1 1/2 years ago. The expiration date is still good. Is it still good?

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Joy McCarthy   •   March 26, 2014

If it smells good then it's good. When an oil goes rancid you can tell. Coconut oil is shelf stable for quite a long time however your nose will guide you! Hope that helps.


Kaila   •   February 10, 2016

Hi Joy and team! I loved this article and love coconut oil! My boyfriend is a skeptic though and is very science-based...is there anyway you could cite the journal/study you got this info from? :) he wants the cold hard facts!

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