A new wave of studies are looking at the health benefits of previously ignored plant-based trigycerides. In fact for many years researchers were saying that the fats found in foods like chocolate and coconut were bad for us.
In one study comparing fat metabolism and insulin resistance in two groups of mice, they one fed one group of mice a coconut oil based diet and the second a lard based diets. The laboratory study concluded that medium chain fatty acids found in coconut oil can prevent storage of fat and protect against insulin resistance.
Thus, a diet rich in coconut oil actually protects against insulin resistance (the inability of the body to regulate sugar levels) in muscle and fat. The coconut oil diet was more effective at increasing the oxidative capacity of muscle, which leads to the creation of lean muscle mass, than an animal fat diet. This led to less fat storage in muscle and better insulin action.
A fast food diet which includes an unhealthy amount of processed fats and animal fats force our bodies to store the fats we eat rather than convert them to energy.
The verdict in the long debate on good fats vs. bad fats? We should be avoiding hydrogenated fats and saturated fats, i.e processed foods and animal fats, and consuming more unsaturated fats, polysaturated fats and the medium chain fatty acids such as coconut oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds.