Coconut oil is a form of good saturated fats – medium chain triglycerides. I know a lot of people freak out when they hear the work FAT but if you are eating a plant based good fats like coconut oil, avocado, and nuts you are not going to get fat. You need good fats in your diet it is as simple as that. Medium chain triglycerides are absorbed more like carbohydrates than traditional fats, they are absorbed into the blood stream and converted to energy quicker than traditional fats and not stored in the body. Unlike animal fats, coconut oil does not lead to the accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries.
I use coconut oil in my energy ball brownies and cakes and it is also safe for sautéing as it has a high smoking point. Oils with a low smoking point become rancid when they are heated past their smoking point which produces free radicals which = premature aging. Not fun.
Coconut oil has SO many great benefits, in fact, coconuts, in general, have so many great health benefits..but I might leave that to another post.
Some of the benefits of coconut oil
Aids digestion – The anti-microbial properties in coconut oil help kill parasites, bacteria, and fungi that promote ingestion and can cause to irritable bowel syndrome
Speeds up the metabolism – who wouldn’t want that?
Good for the liver – Substances with medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids are easily converted to energy which reduces the workload on the liver.
Boosts the immune system – lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid are all in coconut oil which has antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial properties that claim to help fight off viruses
I also add coconut oil to my baths – it makes your skin and hair really soft.
What Coconut Oil should you buy?
Whatever you do don’t buy refined, bleached and deodorized (RBD) coconut oil. This type of coconut oil comes from copra (dried coconut meat) and it is often not kept in clean conditions. All the nutrients are sucked out of the coconut oil and the saturated fats in RBD coconut oil can turn partly hydrogenated. Hydrogenation, in turn, produces trans fatty acids which we definitely don’t want to be consuming! How do you know if the coconut oil is RBD? If you are paying $3 for a big bottle then it is definitely is, RBD oil is CHEAP!
The difference between extra virgin or “first pressed” and virgin oil is this that extra virgin or first pressed oil is the oil that is first extracted first from the coconut meat (yes they call it coconut meat – random I know). There is no industry that monitors this, so I encourage you to be wary and try both extra and virgin coconut oil from different brands and see which one tastes the best.
We currently buy Spiral Foods Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and Aclara Health organic cold pressed, extra virgin coconut oil. Do you use coconut oil? How do you find it?