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Model Miranda Kerr Sparks Latest Beauty Fad; Is It Healthy?

By , August 24th, 2011

 

Supermodel Miranda Kerr, who is known for her sexy Victoria’s Secret lingerie and bikini photos, has touched off the latest craze among beauty products. She’s been taking daily doses of coconut oil since she was 14.

Kerr, 27, who sprang back to her bikini body shape just a month after giving birth, says she takes up to four tablespoons of coconut oil a day to keep her skin clear and her hair and nails lustrous.

Now, health food stores in Great Britain are reporting a boom in sales of the fatty substance, according to London’s Daily Mail.

Typically, Kerr says she adds the coconut oil to green tea or drizzles it over a salad.

“I’ve been drinking it since I was 14 and it’s the one thing I can’t live without,” said the Australian-born actress who is married to actor Orlando Bloom.

But it must be virgin coconut oil made from fresh coconut meat called non-copra, as opposed to copra, which is the dry meat used to make refined coconut oil.

Virgin coconut oil is a source of fatty acids, of which 95 percent are saturated fats. Because of that, it is still considered to be harmful.

The US Food and Drug Administration tells consumers to avoid coconut oil, because it is a saturated fat. The American Medical Association agrees that saturated fats should be limited in our diets.

Saturated fatty acids tend to raise levels of LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) in the blood.

But coconut saturated fats are used for energy and are easily absorbed by the body, unlike saturated fats that come from meat, according to medical references.

Virgin coconut oil is a medium-chain triacylglycerol oil, which can help the body lose weight, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Virgin coconut oil also helps digestion because of its antiviral and antibacterial properties.

But be wary. Avoid any coconut oil labeled hydrogenated because it contains trans-fats that raise serum cholesterol levels, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Health advisers say virgin coconut oil should be used in moderation.

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