Hi everyone! Today I have a super exciting post for you! The second installment of Inside the Pantry of a Natural Foods Chef and Health Coach! : So, what’s all the fuss about coconut oil? The benefits of coconut oil revealed.
In my first post, you saw that I had a huge tub of coconut oil, and used many different forms of coconut in my cooking. Well, it’s because coconut oil is my all time favorite health supportive oil, and coconut in general is one of my favorite health supportive foods.
Coconut oil got a bad rep. back in the day, due to what else but bogus studies and the low-fat, no-fat “health” trend. If you’re still one of those people who’s afraid of fat, here is my response to you: as a Chef, fat equals (or carries) flavor, and as a Certified Health Coach, fat does not equal fat on the body. Plain and simple. Fat does not make you fat, and consuming it actually makes your dining experience more pleasurable! It can even help reduce body fat! Are you over it yet? Please, please say yes… if you are not convinced please email me, or fill out the contact form on this blog, and I will personally respond with all the reasons that the above statement is true.
Now, back to coconut oil.. the most beneficial oil of them all:
- Coconut oil: Is a medium chain fatty acid, or saturated fat, an extremely health beneficial form of fat because…
- Coconut oil: Increases levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol. High-density lipoproteins act as cholesterol “scavengers”, picking up excess cholesterol in your blood and taking it back to your liver where it’s broken down. The higher your HDL level, the less “bad” cholesterol you’ll have in your blood. Say bye-bye to prescription drugs such as Crestor!
- Coconut oil: Protects against heart disease, promotes weight loss, and can even increase the body’s metabolic rate.
- Coconut oil: Contains 50% lauric acid – a health promoting fat that in nature only exists in such high concentrations as coconut oil, in human breast milk! Lauric acid turns into monolaurin: an antiviral (kills viruses such as the Flu, Bird Flu, Swine Flu), antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride that destroys a wide variety of disease-causing organisms. It helps kill, or inactivate, yeast, funghi, and protozoa, including several species of ringworm, and candida!!! It is also proven to be the only known fighter to antibiotic resistant H.pylori (Helicobacter pylori) a common cause of peptic ulcers… the infection is present in about half the people in the world, many without even knowing it!
- Coconut oil: Contains a fat called capric acid, which is converted in the body into monocaprin, which has been shown to have an antiviral effect against a wide variety of sexually transmitted diseases, and is currently even being studied in regards to the treatment of AIDS patients!
- Coconut oil: Contains vitamin K, vitamin E, and essential nutrient Choline.
- Some studies suggest that coconut oil helps with:
- Alzheimer’s disease.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Thyroid conditions.
- Cooking and baking: Coconut oil is one of the only natural high heat cooking oils.. meaning that you can bake, fry, saute, and expose it to other high heat cooking methods without risking it going rancid.. aka spoiling, which means that an oil has become extremely unhealthy for consumption due to the release of free radicals. This is a good place to note that the oils you see in processed foods (safflower, soy, and sunflower) are used to make the food shelf stable, but they are not good oils to consume let alone use in highly processed foods partly because they are easily affected by high heats… aka spoil easily (see above).. and processed foods are exposed to high heats! One that you don’t see often but should avoid at all costs is cottonseed oil.. I’ll quickly mention that it is referred to as the “male birth control pill” due to the relationship between the oil and infertility in men. YIKES! (see below for more information about processed oils).
- Oil pulling: Commonly described as capable of both improving oral health and treating systemic disease. Before a meal, take 1 tbps. coconut oil and spoon it right into your mouth, swished around like mouth wash for at least 15-20 minutes, and spit. Make sure to spit it out in the trash, and not down your sink!
- Moisturizer, hair conditioner, and many other beauty uses… PS I have a great chlorophyll rich salt scrub containing coconut oil for anyone that is interested, email me directly for pricing info!
How to store and buy coconut oil:
- As with all oils, avoid any coconut oil that has been hydrogenated, and store in a cool dark place.
- Use within one month of opening.
- Look for labeling that says: “raw” (cold pressed), unrefined, organic, and “pure”.
- High quality coconut oil is odorless and tasteless.
- Coconut oil is a white semi-solid in cool weather, and a creamy-colored liquid in warm weather.
Why avoid processed and hyrdogenated oils?:
- As usual, it is really all about the processing! Here’s why: During oil processing, a chemical solvent is added to separate the oil from the grain, or meal, and then is exposed to high heat to evaporate the solvent (to the best of its ability.. not fully though). It is then exposed to processes to de-gum, bleach, and deodorizing (to name a few). Which then removes nutrients such as vitamin E, lecithin, chlorophyll, carotenes, aromatic oils, and frees fatty acids for evaporation…which are some of the main reasons to consume oils for health benefit in the first place. To top it all off, because they have been stripped of their natural protection against damage, synthetic antioxidants such as BHT (which is a cancer feeder) are added.. sold on why it is so important to avoid processed and refined oils? Okay great!
As with any of my posts, please feel free to comment with any questions you may have, or anything you would like me to talk about in the future!!
** PS. I also wanted to make a point about how great coconut of all forms is for you (minus the sweetened processed kind, of course!) so I have a fun little game here.. how many times do you see coconut of some form in the below picture of my pantry?
Here’s the answer:
10 products in my pantry! And I know the yellow canister is a cheater because how would you have known, but it’s there!