Coconut oil: aka, “The Worlds Most Healthy Oil.“
There are 3 main fats that I use to cook with, Olive Oil, Grass-fed Butter, and Coconut Oil. By far coconut oil is my favorite! The health and nutritional benefits of coconut oil have been recognized in many parts of the world for centuries.
And this is why:
1. It Strengthens Your Immune System:
Coconut oil is one of the few foods on earth that contains the unique and powerful fatty acid called lauric acid. When lauric acid is ingested, the body will transform it into a substance called monolaurin, which has antimicrobial properties that will either kill completely or stop the growth of some of the most dangerous viruses and bacteria. In fact, lauric acid is so important that this fatty acid is also found in human breast milk which is needed to keep infants from getting viral, bacterial or protozoal infections! I have read many testimonials of families who give their young children coconut oil everyday and they claim they very rarely ever get sick, even during the worst of cold and flu season. Another promising aspect of coconut oil is being studied right now…. Many strains of bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, but Monolaurin, in particular, is being shown to be useful in the prevention and treatment of severe bacterial infections, especially those that have become resistant to antibiotics.
2. Anti-Carcinogenic Effects:
There has been 50 years of literature showing the anti-carcinogenic effects of coconut oil. For example, one study involved a group of rats that were chemically induced with colon cancer. Many different oils like corn, safflower, olive, and coconut oils were fed to the rats to determine their effect on their bodies. The results of study showed the rats that were fed with olive oil and coconut oil had the lowest incidence of cancerous tumors. The MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids) in the coconut oil has antimicrobial properties so it actually prevents the spread of cancer cells and strengthens the immune system. In another study, animals were chemically induced with breast cancer. The end result showed the animals that were given coconut oil did not develop tumors while the animals that were given other dietary oils did in fact develop tumors.
3. Weight Loss:
In the 1940′s many farmers started to try coconut oil to fatten their animals but instead they discovered that it made them lean and active! This is because coconut oil actually stimulates your metabolism. Many studies have been done and they have shown that when you replace LCFAs (“long chain fatty acids” found in vegetable and seed oils) with MCFAs (“medium chain fatty acids” found in coconut oils) you will experience a decreased body weight and reduced fat deposition. This is because the LCFAs nearly always go to fat storage, while the MCFAs are burned for energy. Also because coconut oil helps to stimulate your metabolism, you may burn more calories each day, helping to accelerate weight loss and increase activity level.
4. Natural Skin Care:
Coconut oil has also been labeled as one of natures most perfect moisturizers. Coconut oil’s ability to nourish, heal, and protect the skin has been known in the tropics for centuries. Tropical cultures such as the Filipinos are well-known for their youthful appearance and great skin even though they live in a climate that exposes them to the sun’s rays year round. Coconut oil is not only one of their main dietary oils, but it is also one of the main ingredients in their skin care products. When used as a moisturizer it goes on crystal clear and is loaded with antioxidants that help repair skin damage and strengthen skin tissues which will prevent wrinkles. As mentioned above, coconut oil is composed of MCFAs which are not easily oxidized and does not cause harmful free radical damage like the polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Many of the commercial skin care products we use today are made from polyunsaturated oils which oxidize and turn rancid very quickly causing free radical damage in the skin, so then extra damaging preservatives are added to these commercial products. Coconut oil is just one natural ingredient, chemical-free, and gentle enough for all skin types….. Once again…. Natures most perfect moisturizer!
Why The Media Says Coconut Oil Is Unhealthy:
In recent years everyone was trending towards the low fat diet. Coconut oil was claimed to be an artery-clogging unhealthy oil that people should stay away from. Although, they did not mention that the studies done on coconut oil back then were not done on the raw virgin coconut oil used for centuries, but rather on modern day hydrogenated coconut oil. The process of hydrogenated involves artificially adding a hydrogen molecule to oil in order to make it shelf-stable, and when this is done it makes and oil unhealthy and downright dangerous and is also linked with trans-fats and associated heart disease.
What Kind Of Coconut Oil To Buy And Where:
Now I love our country, but I will admit they have a great way of always taking something pure and healthy and ruining it by over processing it. So that being said, not all coconut is created equal. If you happen to find a bottle of coconut oil in a grocery store, chances are it has been refined, bleached, deodorized, had the chemical hexane added to it, heat processed, or made of genetically modified coconuts. Every health benefit will then be lost. I buy my coconut oil online or at health stores. I usually use Vitamin Shoppe or Vitacost. I buy Nutiva brand coconut oil which it is a 100% natural unrefined coconut oil. A super large 54 ounce tub is only around $20.
How To Use Coconut Oil:
Personally I dislike the taste of plain coconut oil, but many people will spread it on toast or on top of vegetables etc. My son will actually eat it straight up off a spoon, he loves it! I pretty much use coconut oil the same way as I would use butter or Olive Oil for baking, sautéing, frying, etc. That way I don’t actually taste it and it makes wonderful food! The only difference I have noticed is that baked goods like cookies tend to be slightly more crumbly than when I use butter. I also love popping popcorn on the stove using coconut oil.