Did you know that 30 % of our daily nutritional intake should be made up of fats or oil? Many of you probably know the benefits of olive oil; however, you should not really cook with it. So, along comes coconut oil. After receiving such a bad rap for years, it is now proving to be one of the healthiest oils you can consume and a very good one to cook with. It is such a great oil to cook with because of it's high burning properties.
A while back I wrote about liking my butter; but it is high in saturated fat. Coconut oil is also high in saturated fat. Saturated fat is bad for you, right? Yes and no. Current research has shown that not all saturated fats are alike. Saturated fat is a vital ingredient for a healthy body. The saturated fat in coconut oil is good for your health; while the saturated fat in butter is not good for you and should be avoided or at the very least used in moderation. What makes the difference? Coconut oil is unique in its structural make-up. It is not only the highest source of saturated fats (92%); but, included in this,is the highest source of saturated Medium Chain Triglycerides 62%) of any naturally occurring vegan food source. Furthermore around 50% of these MCT’s are made up of lauric acid, the most important essential fatty acid in building and maintaining the body’s immune system.
Research shows that cooking with coconut oil generally creates a more favorable HDL/LDL ratio. This oil has antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal properties and, like all whole foods, contains nutrients for a healthy body. Apart from coconut oil, the only other source of lauric acid found in such high concentrations is in mother’s milk. Tropical oils and mother’s milk are by far the richest food sources of medium chain fatty acids. The closest other source of these vital building blocks for our immune system would be milk fat and coconut-butter comprising around 3% of its content. Any other vegetable oil is completely deficient in these medium chain fatty acids. It should also be remembered that the negative research done on coconut oil in the past was the result of one study conducted four decades ago, using hydrogenated oil (which has been processed and altered from its original form), not on virgin coconut oil. Research shows that some saturated fat is in fact necessary for human health and modern research shows that the medium chain fatty acids help to increase metabolism and are more easily digested than fats found in other oils. This is because they are processed directly in the liver and immediately converted into energy. There is therefore less strain on the liver, pancreas and digestive system and these MCFA provide the body with a wonderful, quick source of energy. This wonder oil is truly the healthiest oil you can consume. Being rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, coconut oil is also classified as “functional food” because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Some of its uses are for cosmetics and skin treatment. Virgin coconut oil is a natural healing oil and doesn’t remain in the blood stream as other fats do‚ instead, it goes directly to the liver where it is converted into energy. It also enhances the boy's absorption of calcium and magnesium, elements that are crucial to healthy bones.
It has no trans-fat that it helps to promote normal platelet function and is very much recommended for those who have heart disease. To keep our bones healthy and strong, we must ensure adequate nutrients are absorbed within our bodies. Medium chain fatty acids assist the body with this process. Virgin coconut oil contains fat, but has fewer calories than other fats and does not cause the related weight gain that others do. The potential for weight gain from the consumption of virgin coconut oil is equivalent to that of protein‚ something we consume regularly with no repercussions. Virgin coconut oil is a natural healing oil and doesn’t remain in the blood stream as other fats do‚ instead, it goes directly to the liver where it is converted into energy.
In fact, I have a jar in my bathroom as well as in my kitchen. Why do I keep some in my bathroom? Well, it is a wonderfully rich skin care oil that is readily absorbed into the skin. It helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Coconut oil will aid in exfoliating the outer layer of dead skin cells, making the skin smoother. Let me say from experience that you should use just a small amount. A little goes a long way; besides if I put on too much, Chloe will lick it off. She loves the stuff and actually, it's good for her too!
Now, coconut oil does add a different flavour to foods. In my opinion it is very good for cooking pancakes. It is also delicious dribbled over popcorn and adding cinnamon. Yum! I have to admit Wynn doesn't like it, although my daughter, Tricia, does. So give it a try; you might just like it. :)
I hope this post has not been too wordy for you. I found it fascinating when I read about it.
By the way, you can buy unflavoured coconut oil.