Spend more than 10 minutes online and you’re bound to come across something about coconut oil. People use the sweet-smelling goop to style their hair, moisturize their skin, and remove makeup, along with about a billion other things. But it also happens to great for something else: food.
“Coconut oil contains saturated fat, but a different type than you’ll find in food sources like red meat,” says Brooke Alpert, R.D., founder of B-Nutritious Dietetics and Nutrition and author of The Sugar Detox. Its medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are metabolized differently and used more rapidly for energy than the long-chain fatty acids found in red meat. This makes MCTs more satiating and less likely to lead to weight gain, according to a review published in The Journal of Nutrition.
Plus, coconut oil has a higher smoking point than many other cooking fats, making it super-versatile in the kitchen, Alpert says.
Feel free to keep rubbing the stuff all over your face (we do it every day!), but add these eight delish ways to eat coconut oil to your kitchen arsenal, too.