3 health benefits from coconut oil and 3 unique ways to incorporate it in your diet

Welcome to another episode of the "Inflamed in the Brain" podcast, hosted by registered dietitian Krissy Carbo. In this episode, Krissy dives deep into coconut oil, a food that's often misunderstood despite its potential health benefits. While some people avoid coconut oil due to its high saturated fat content, Krissy explains why it's not the heart disease risk many believe it to be. She also discusses three unique ways to incorporate coconut oil into your diet.

Addressing Misconceptions About Coconut Oil:

The episode begins by addressing a common misconception: that saturated fat automatically leads to heart disease. Krissy explains that while coconut oil can raise LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol levels, it tends to raise the larger, fluffier LDL particles, which are less likely to cause heart disease. The smaller, denser LDL particles are the ones that penetrate artery walls, leading to plaque buildup and inflammation. The larger particles, on the other hand, have a lower risk of causing such damage. Furthermore, coconut oil can also increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, which helps remove excess LDL from the bloodstream.

Key Health Benefits of Coconut Oil:

Krissy highlights three health benefits of coconut oil:

  1. Increased Energy: Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are rapidly absorbed and transported to the liver. Once there, MCTs are converted into ketones, providing a quick energy source for both the body and brain. This makes coconut oil an excellent addition to your diet if you need a quick energy boost.
  2. Promotes Regular Bowel Movements: The MCTs in coconut oil can help stimulate bowel movements, promoting regularity and reducing constipation. This quick movement through the digestive system can help people who struggle with irregularity, providing a gentle laxative effect.
  3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Coconut oil's MCTs and lauric acid offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Ketones from MCTs have been shown to reduce brain inflammation, which is crucial for those dealing with neurological disorders. Lauric acid has antibacterial and antiviral properties, further reducing inflammation in the body.

Unique Ways to Incorporate Coconut Oil Into Your Diet:

Krissy offers three creative ways to include coconut oil in your meals:

  1. Coconut Oil in Coffee: Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to your morning coffee for a creamy texture and energy boost. This is a popular method among those who follow a low-carb diet and may also help with regularity.
  2. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries: Use coconut oil to make chocolate-covered strawberries. The oil's high saturated fat content helps the chocolate set quickly when cooled, allowing you to create a sweet treat without a long wait time. It adds a subtle coconut flavor to the chocolate and holds its texture well.
  3. Smoothies With Coconut Oil: Adding a spoonful of coconut oil to your smoothies provides a creamy texture and a hint of coconut flavor. It can be used in place of other fats for a healthier, energy-boosting smoothie.


Krissy wraps up the episode by discussing the versatility of coconut oil and its potential to support a healthy lifestyle. She encourages listeners to experiment with coconut oil in their cooking and offers a bonus tip: replace dairy milk or cream with coconut milk or coconut cream in soups, stews, and curries for a dairy-free option.

Krissy also cautions against excessive use of MCT oil due to its concentrated nature and potential laxative effects. For those who want the full range of benefits, coconut oil's lauric acid and MCT content offer a balanced solution. Despite diet culture's influence on food perception, Krissy emphasizes that no food is inherently "bad" and encourages listeners to enjoy coconut oil in a way that works for them.

Hungry For More!? Catch Up on these Episodes Next! 

Ep 16: Cholesterol Chronicles: Cracking the Myth of Egg Fear

Ep. 21: Top 4 Reasons You're Always Tired and the Solutions You Need

Ep 4: Are you Struggling to Heal Your Gut? Make sure you get Enough of this one Nutrient

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