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coconut oil

 

Coconut oil has been all the rage in recent years, not only as a 'superfood' but also as a moisturising lotion, hair treatment, and smoothie supplement.

Health gurus previously believed that the fatty acids in the oil had numerous benefits, including weight loss and improved brain function.

However, it has recently come to light that the oil may not have any of these positive effects at all.

In fact, the so-called ‘superfood’ could actually be harming your health.

A video recently went viral showing a Harvard professor discuss recent discoveries made about coconut oil’s chemical makeup and its effect on the human body.

Dr Karin Michels is also director of the Institute for Prevention and Tumor Epidemiology at the University of Freiburg and is considered an expert on the matter of health.

In her speech titled “Coconut Oil and other Nutritional Errors”, she discredited the pros of eating superfoods, saying that we get enough nutrition from everyday foods like fruits and vegetables.

Karin went on to debunk the ‘healthy coconut oil’ myth, explaining that its saturated fats are like 'pure poison'.

Large amounts of fatty acids are evident in the oil’s solid state at room temperature, and the esteemed professor warned the public that it is 'one of the worst foods you can eat'.

According to the British Heart Foundation, coconut oil is almost 86% saturated fat, which is even higher than butter (52%).

Diets high in saturated fats can potentially lead to various health issues including high cholesterol, heart disease, and stroke.

Karin’s findings have reopened the discussion of coconut oil’s impact on our health and revealed its true identity as a potential health hazard.

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We've all been slathering ourselves in the stuff for months, but it turns out that coconut oil may not be as healthy as we thought. 

When the versatile oil picked up in popularity, we thought we'd been sent a saving grace.

We've been using it for cooking, moisturising, hair conditioning and even teeth whitening. 

 

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However, new research has found that the oil may not be as healthy as we once thought. 

The American Heart Association recently released a report advising against the use of coconut oil. 

The organisation released a study in which they rank fatty oils and cooking aids in relation to cardiovascular health. 

Coconut oil fared rather badly over all, with the AHA stating that 82 per cent of the fat in coconut oil is saturated. 

'Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of cardiovascular disease, and has no known offsetting favourable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil,' the AHA said in the advisory.

Before you dump your jars of the stuff, bear in mind that like everything, moderation is key. 

'Have some coconut oil, have some olive oil, some butter, some grapeseed oil,' dietician Abby Langar told Global News Canada

'Don’t obsess over oils and limit yourself to only one.'

We don't need to be told twice!

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In recent years coconut oil has been hailed as a one-stop wonder pot for pretty much everything.

Moisturise your skin, conditioner your hair, whiten your teeth – is there anything this stuff can't do?

Many of us have also taken to using it while cooking as a 'healthier' alternative to some of the other cooking oils on the market.

However, a new health advisory published in the US suggests that there are no significant studies to support the claim that it is better for us.

According to The American Heart Association (AHA), coconut oil is made up of 82 per cent saturated fat, which is known to increase bad cholesterol levels.

Lead author of the advisory and professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, Frank Sacks say the media is to blame for shaping “public perception about saturated fats.”

He adds, “One of the real problems in transmitting health information is that generally people who are writing about it don’t look into what’s come before.”

“The media also don’t pay much attention to new studies that support or extend current dietary recommendations.”

“The overall effect has misled the public on the science of dietary fats.”

Maintaining a high ratio of good to bad cholesterol is key when consuming saturated fats, and according to scientists, coconut oil simply doesn't fit the bill.

Frank continued, “I just don’t know who is pushing it, but it’s not scientists."

“It may be driven by manufacturers looking to profit, or some countries’ economic dependence on coconut oil.”

However, if you are looking for a healthier oil to use when cooking, Frank recommends canola oil which contains relatively low amounts of saturated fats (7 per cent).

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We have long be hearing beauty gurus sing the praises of the coconut as the ultimate product.

Whether you’re cooking with it or rubbing it all over yourself in attempts to soothe any dry knees and elbows, it is considered something of a wonder product.

coconut_oil_makeup_remover.jpg

 

As it turns out, coconut oil is not just an excellent homemade conditioner, it also works as a makeup remover.

"Coconut oil solubilizes or breaks up water-resistant substances used in eye shadow and mascara, releasing them from the skin and lashes," says cosmetic chemist Joseph Cincotta. And unlike a lot of other eye-makeup removers, it'll even leave your skin softer. 

Just be careful to avoid actually getting it in your eyes, as with any other products.

Considering it is incredibly irritating any time you find yourself without these beauty staples, when we found this video we had to share it.

All you need is four ingredients and you make your own make up removing wipes. Also, you know exactly what has gone into these so anyone with sensitive skin can rest a little bit easier. 

Four-Ingredient Makeup Remover Wipes

Posted by Top Knot on Thursday, 8 October 2015

 

No more panda eyes! Now all we really need is a very trendy mason jar to store these in and we are sorted. 

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There really is no way of getting around this one. 

Make-up artists drill us about cleaning our make-up brushes – but it's such a daunting task.

Many of us ignore the expert advice but it's something we really need to do. 

Not only are they gathering product-based dirt; but oil, barteria and even dead skin (ew) cluster on our brushes. 

And if that doesn't have you running for your cleanser, we don't know what will!

Those who do bother to clean, often use regular shampoo or hand soap. But with many products containing ingredients we can't even pronounce, is it really safe to let that near our faces? 

Instead, you should try these natural products to give your brushes a good, thorough cleaning. 

Coconut oil

Ah, the wonder product! Not only can we cook with it and moisturise with it, we can clean your make-up brushes with it too! We love the new Vita Coco coconit oil, which is extra virgin. That means it contains no nasty chemicals, it's organic, raw and 100 percent natural. Score! 

 

Tea tree cleanser

Tea tree cleanser totally refreshes and cleans your face and it's also a great natural way of cleaning your brushes. Our pick is The Body Shop's Tea Tree Foaming Cleanser. The tea tree oil comes from the foothills of Mount Kenya. Fancy!

The leaves are picked from the plant by hand and then steam-distilled to release the oil. It's a popular product for leaving your face blemish free, so only good can come of using this on your brushes!

 

Natural hand soap

Soap can just about wash any part of your body – so it stands to reason that it's sensitive enough for your brushes. We chose The Handmade Soap Co's Lavender, Rosemary and Mint Hand Wash, to leave your brushes smelling beautiful.

It will clean them right to the core, so no worries of anything getting left behind. The soap is also free from synthetic foaming agents, thickeners and dyes, so it's completely safe to use!

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In the past year, the beauty world has gone c-r-a-z-y for coconut oil – largely because it promises so many glorious things. 

Not only can you cook food with it, you can use it as a beauty product too – in fact, it is the wonder product of 2015, we reckon. 

That's why we got so excited to learn that one of our favourite coconut water companies, Vita Coco, is about to release an all-new coconut oil. Yipee!

The new oil is organic, 100 percent raw, extra-virgin and cold pressed, which means you will get the very best out of its ingredients. 

As the ultimate cooking ingredient, it can be used to make the healthiest of meals and, what's more, is that you only need a drop of it – so it lasts for ages. 

On the beauty side of the deal, it is the biggest secret in town, helping you to take care of everything from your skin to your hair and nails.

And ANOTHER benefit? It's the best natural energy supplements out there. If you feel sluggish throughout the day, mix a bit into your coffee or spread a bit on your toast and you will be just as active as a kid in a sweet shop – but without the nasty crash later in the day.

Oh, and it's thought to boost the immune system too.

To get your hands on the beauty wonder head to Tesco or Boots. Yay! 

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We all love summer and any bit of sun we get, but on the downside, it can leave your hair feeling a little bit worse for wear.

We went on the hunt for some easy DIY hair masks, and found some that contain ingredients that you definitely have lying around the house.

1. Coconut oil

This mask is literally what it says on the tin. Covering your hair in coconut oil is a great way to get it’s moisture back. You can get coconut oil in any health food shop or opt for a cheaper option from Tesco.

Wear an old t-shirt or pjs and warm up the coconut oil between your hands Apply to damp hair and leave for about half an hour – or an hour if your hair is seriously dry!

2. Olive oil & honey

Olive oil is rich in antioxidants which will give your hair a gorgeous shine and it can be found in almost every household. Honey is great for sealing in moisture and will give your hair mask a much nicer scent.

Mix 60ml of olive oil and 40ml of honey together and apply to your hair. Pop on a shower cap and let the mixture soak in for about 20 minutes.

3. Avocado, olive oil & honey

This one is especially good for extremely dry hair. Mash up one avocado, one tablespoon of honey and two of olive oil. Massage into your hair and cover with a plastic bad or cling film, leave for an hour to get the full effects.

4. Strawberry

This is one that will smell great and give your hair lots of shine. This strawberry mask is great for oily hair as strawberries are good at regulating oil production on the scalp. A handful of strawberries mashed up will do the trick, but it you suffer from dry ends be sure to pop some conditioner on them to your hair doesn’t dry out too much.

5. Beer Mask

This one is for adding some body to limp lifeless hair. All you need is half a cup of flat beer, 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil and 1 raw egg mixed together. This one just needs to be left in for about 20 minutes before washing out with cold water. 

 

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Apparently alternative health bloggers have been telling people to swap shop bought sunscreen, for coconut oil and beeswax to avoid putting ‘toxic ingredients’ into their skin. They’ve also claimed that things like carrot seed oil and red raspberry seed oil, has a sun protecting SPF of 50. However, experts have slammed this as ‘absolute nonsense’.

Dr David Fenton warned: “We have no idea how safe these products are if they are produced in the kitchen sink.

“Obviously anyone who tries to mix their own sun protection is really putting themselves are risk.

“Anyone who relies on something like this is putting themselves at real risk of a melanoma.”

Well, you have been warned!

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Coconut oil is famed for its beauty benefits like getting rid of chapped lips, conditioning your hair and even moisturising your skin but it seems there is a new oil in town – almond oil.

Don’t believe us? Here are 10 beauty benefits that will convince you:

  1. It’s high in vitamins that will give your skin much need hydration.
  2. When you apply it directly to your skin, it makes it smooth and supple.
  3. Just like coconut oil, almond oil works great in your hair. Simply rub it in after washing, leave for ten minutes and wash out. The result – your hair will have an incredible shine.
  4. Gets rid of dark under eye circles.
  5. With its ability to hydrate the skin it helps to plump it up minimising the effects of wrinkles.
  6. If you have dry itching skin, rub a little almond oil onto the affected area and watch the changes.
  7. Helps with dry, chapped lips. Simply rub a little on for smooth, kissable lips.
  8. It is absorbed into the skin pretty quickly making it great for moisturising your hands and feet.
  9. As it is not too greasy, it is great as a makeup remover as it helps to open pores and ensure your face is properly cleansed.
  10. As it is high in magnesium, rubbing it onto your scalp can help stop your hair from falling out.
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Coconut oil doesn’t just smell delicious – it also makes a pretty great beauty product for ladies everywhere.

Hair conditioning
Coconut oil will leave your hair lovely and soft making it perfect for dry, damaged hair. Simply rub a little on your hands and run it through your tresses, avoiding the root area. Wash it off in the shower and you will notice a huge difference.

Make-up remover
Coconut oil is great for taking off your eye make-up and contains antibacterial products that helps to keep your face lovely and clean.

Moisturiser
Rub a little coconut oil on your face before bed to help lock in moisture. However, this is not a good idea if you have oily and spot prone skin as it can be a little greasy.

Lip balm
If you have dry, chapped lips, rubbing a little coconut oil on them works wonders. It also taste good too.

You can pick up some coconut oil in your local health food store.

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Instead of spending a painful amount on products that are supposed to whiten your teeth, how about trying out a few home remedies to help you get those pearly whites?

Here are three budget friendly ways to get a beaming smile:

Baking soda and lemon juice

  • Mix a tbsp of baking powder with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Brush your teeth with the paste and then leave it on for no more than a minute.
  • Baking soda is quite abrasive so don’t leave it on for too long. Since it’s very alkaline (the opposite of acidic), it reduces the acidity in the lemon juice.

Banana peel

  • Get a ripe banana and peel it as you normally would.
  • Take a piece of the inside of the peel and rub it on your teeth for two minutes.
  • The potassium, magnesium in the peel absorb into your teeth and whiten them.

Oil pull

  • Put about a tbsp of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around your mouth for about 10-20 minutes. Spit it out and then brush your teeth as normal.
  • This will give you fresh breath as well as shiny teeth.
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Did you know that a wrinkle takes 15 years to manifest itself? That means, those tiny crow’s feet you get a 40 begin to develop at the age of……we’re pretty sure you can do the maths here. Scary isn’t it?

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to delay this inevitable skin problem.

Eat good fats

It’s not obvious, but eating healthy fats is probably one of the best ways to keep your skin wrinkle-free. Good fats are needed to produce collagen, the protein responsible for keeping your skin plump.

Don’t be fooled by big brands

Rather than spending an arm and a leg on one beauty product alone, spend a reasonable price on natural products with multiple uses. For instance, coconut oil makes for a good eye make-up remover and body lotion.

Manage stress levels

Easier said than done – we know! But stress actually breaks down the production of collagen in the skin. So before you drive yourself to have a nervous breakdown, just relax with some friends – let your hair down.

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