3 Clever Uses for Coconut Oil

3 Clever Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is incredibly popular — and for good reason.

It offers many health benefits, has a delicate taste, and is widely available.

It’s also an extremely versatile oil with a number of uses you may not be aware of.

Here are 29 clever uses for coconut oil.

1. Protect Your Skin From UV Rays
When applied to your skin, coconut oil may protect it from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which raise your risk of skin cancer and cause wrinkling and brown spots.

In fact, one study found that coconut oil blocks about 20% of the sun’s UV rays (1Trusted Source).

However, keep in mind that it doesn’t provide the same protection as conventional sunscreen, which blocks about 90% of UV rays.

Another study estimated that coconut oil has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 7, which is still lower than the minimum recommendation in some countries (2Trusted Source).

2. Increase Your Metabolism
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These are fatty acids that are quickly absorbed and can increase the number of calories you burn (3Trusted Source).

Controlled studies have shown that MCTs can significantly boost your metabolic rate — at least temporarily (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).

One study found that 15–30 grams of MCTs increased the number of calories burned by an average of 120 over a 24-hour period (6Trusted Source).

3. Cook Safely at High Temperatures
Coconut oil has a very high saturated fat content. In fact, about 87% of its fat is saturated (7).

This feature makes it one of the best fats for high-heat cooking, including frying.

Saturated fats retain their structure when heated to high temperatures, unlike the polyunsaturated fatty acids found in vegetable oils.

Oils such as corn and safflower are converted into toxic compounds when heated. These may have harmful effects on health (8).

Therefore, coconut oil is a safer alternative for cooking at high temperatures.

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