Tuesday, April 19, 2016

France - True or false ? Myths about coconut oil benefits

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Coconut oil nourishes the hair, reduce overweight, but its saturated fat damage health ... Update on the virtues and the alleged dangers of this vegetable oil with our experts.

Coconut oil is good for cooking

True. In addition to bringing an exotic touch to the dish, extra virgin coconut oil supports high temperatures. "Unlike other vegetable oils such as rapeseed oil or walnut oil, coconut oil does not deteriorate under the heat, it does not lose its benefits and does not become toxic," says nutritionist Corinne Chicheportiche-Ayache.

"To cook, it is better than olive oil, for example," adds nutritionist and eating behavior specialist Maia Baudelaire. However, nutritional intake is low. No protein, no vitamins apart from Vitamin E (antioxidant) present in very small quantities and no mineral.

Aside from its good resistance to cooking, its only interest is its content of antibacterial agents "that help fight against intestinal infections," explained to us in February 2015 Florence Foucaut dietician.

The advice: to ensure maximum quality, choose it organic and cold pressed.

Rich in saturated fatty acids, it is bad for health

False. Unlike the good fatty acids, saturated fatty acids have always had a bad press, "while it is not them that are toxic, but the excessive consumption of some, says Professor Philippe Legrand, an expert at the National Health Security Agency Food, environment and Labour (Anses) and Director of the laboratory of human nutrition Agrocampus INRA in Rennes.

In addition, since twelve years, scientific studies have shown that there are several types of saturated fatty acids, including "medium chain" present in coconut oil.

Better assimilated by the body, they are not stored. The results then showed that there was no link between saturated fatty acids of coconut oil and cardiovascular disease "concludes the professor.

Beware though: at present, the research does not say either that it protects these pathologies.

The advice: like all saturated fatty acids, it is dangerous for health to consume in excess. One formally recommended not to consume more than 10% of energy intake of saturated fatty acids daily.

It limits overweight

True. Beware though shortcuts. If consumed in moderate amounts, coconut oil is not fattening, but it is not a slimming ally either. It remains to be oil. "We say it does not contribute to weight gain due to the presence of saturated fatty acids which being quickly burned, are not found in adipose tissue," said Professor Philippe Legrand.

Coconut oil nourishes the skin

True and false. Like all vegetable oil of good quality, "coconut oil softens and restores good cohesion between cells.

The epidermis does not let the water evaporate, maintains hydration and does not let germs go through. It is interesting for dry skin, says dermatologist Nina Roos. But it is not the best in its field. Better to use the argan oil, avocado orseed prickly pears, more interesting. "

The advices: it is applied two to three times a week. If used rarely, it is kept in the refrigerator, exiting  in the minimum 30 minutes before the application. One buys organic, one promotes artisanal work and favors a small opaque packaging to prevent it rancid.

Warning: on the face, it is not suitable for acneic skin, mixed, and oily, solely for normal to dry skin.

Coconut oil nourishes hair

True. Coconut oil restores the cohesion between the scales of the hair. "There is a sheathing effect, it restructures the outside of the hair fiber," says the dermatologist.

The advice: apply a mask once a week and leave for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse and shampoo.

Ophélie Ostermann

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