Why did coconut oil get such a bad rap in the 1980s? All of sudden it was forbidden to use in our kitchens, restaurants, and in movie theater popcorn. Some say it was a carefully thought-out smear campaign by the vegetable oil manufacturers to defeat their competition. Regardless of why we all ran around shouting, “Coconut oil is bad!” research is now showing its benefits are numerous! This is great news for us real food eaters. Now I can say with it confidence. Not only does coconut oil taste good, it’s good for you!
The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has a number of healthful uses and not just for cooking. I hope this partial list will prompt you to add coconut oil to your diet and lifestyle.
- Coconut oil is stable saturated fat composed of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that can be more readily absorbed. This is good new for people with uclers, IBS, Chron’s or any digestive disorder. MCTs may also have theraputic effects for brain conditions such as Alzheimers.
- Coconut oil has a high smoke point, and is therefore good for all kinds of cooking and baking.
- Coconut oil has fat burning properties. Yes, this once demonized fat has shown to help some people burn belly fat.
- Coconut oil has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal characteristics.
- Coconut oil may lower your risk of heart disease.
- Coconut oil can help heal dental cavities.
- Coconut oil can be soothing to dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, and has demonstrated to be more effective than OTC skin lotions and creams.
- Coconut oil can revitalize dry hair.
- Coconut oil can be used for cleaning wounds and getting rid of head lice.
- Coconut oil can even protect skin from harmful UV rays when used as a sunscreen.
What About Cooking with Vegetable Oils?
There are several reasons why coconut oil is superior to ANY vegetable oil, both because of the health advantages of coconut oil I’ve already mentioned and the health-damaging properties of vegetable oils.
- Vegetable oils, like corn, soybean, and canola are genetically modified. The seeds from these oils are engineered to resistant pests and tolerate heavy insecticide use. GMOs could be responsible for rising rates in allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, and more.
- Vegetable oils are highly susceptible to oxidation during processing. When manufactured into convenience foods, they are chemically changed into trans-fats or partially-hydrogenated fats. Research shows that trans fats cause heart disease and chronic inflammation.
- Vegetable oils are high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which are over consumed in the Standard American Diet of processed foods.
- Vegetable oils require the use of chemical solvents in processing! Check out this 3-minute video about how canola oil is made. Are you sure you want to consume it after it has been through this “purifying” process?
- The fatty acids in olive oil are easily damaged in sunlight and do not tolerate high heat when cooked. So olive oil is most healthful when stored in dark bottles and used cold on salads.
Where To Buy Quality Coconut Oil
I recommend selecting organic, extra virgin (unrefined) coconut oil. Nutiva is organic, unrefined, less expensive, and available at Costco. Artisana and Dr. Bronner’s are both unrefined, organic, and flavorful. Tropical Traditions offers bulk quantities and has a rich history of importing quality coconut oil. Amazon.com is a good source for all of these brands, as well. Our current economical favorite is Tropical Traditions in a 5 gallon bucket! But we have purchased and enjoyed Nutiva too.
If my post is not enough to convince you of the benefits of using coconut oil daily, then check out Wellness Mama’s 101 Uses for Coconut Oil. Or watch this 7 minute video below with Dr. Bruce Fife, the author of The Coconut Oil Miracle. Eat it, cook with it, lather it on your skin, rub it into your hair. Discover your own uses for coconut oil and enjoy its health-giving properties! Coconut oil has a bad rap no more!