Fat and fatty foods, especially those containing saturated fat, often get a bad rap. The truth is you need fat to survive and maintain good health. There are two important rules to remember when it comes to eating fat:

1. You must monitor your intake and not go overboard, even when with healthy fat
2. You must choose the healthiest fats that offer the most benefits and fewest risks

One of the best fats you can add to your diet is coconut oil. It has long been a part of the diet of those native to South Asia and the Pacific Islands. Not only is coconut oil a great addition to your diet, it also provides a number of topical health benefits and makes a great addition to your medicine cabinet or hygiene routine.

Eating Coconut Oil

Coconut oil provides a number of dietary benefits, especially for people trying to lose weight. Studies have shown coconut oil boosts metabolism, helping your body burn calories more efficiently. Researchers believe this is because of the medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut oil. A 2002 study showed that after eating coconut oil people burned nearly 50% more calories. The rate was even higher for severely overweight individuals.

Since coconut oil boosts metabolism, it is less likely than other oils to be stored as fat. The medium-chain triglycerides are processed differently by the body and instead holding onto the fat once it enters the body, it uses it as energy.

The medium-chain triglycerides found in coconut oil offer other dieting benefits, too. Research shows they help you feel full longer, making it possible to cut calories without feeling deprived. One study showed dieters comfortably reduced their intake of calories by more than 250 per day, just by including coconut oil in their diet.

Other Heath Benefits

In addition to aiding with weight loss, coconut oil is believed to balance cholesterol levels and boost immunity. A 2009 study showed that women consuming 30 ml of coconut oil daily saw a significant drop in bad cholesterol, as well as a boost in good cholesterol.

Coconut oil also contains lauric acid. This substance is believed to boost the bodys defense against bacteria and viral infections. There are numerous studies citing the ability of coconut oil to limit or halt the growth of diseases in the body.

Beauty and Hygiene

Finally, coconut oil is a great addition to your personal care routine. In addition to all of the health benefits you gain from eating coconut oil, it can also be used topically to improve heath. It is an excellent moisturizer for the skin. It is gentle and natural, so you get the moisture boost of a lotion or cream, but you do not need to worry about the chemicals added to many store-bought products.

Coconut oil is also excellent for removing eye makeup or conditioning hair. Many people have found a single jar of coconut oil is enough to replace multiple products in their medicine cabinets and showers. Not only is it less expensive than many other products on the market, it is pure, healthy, and safe for just about everyone to use.