Compared to all the other oils that you can use for cooking, the one that keeps coming out on top is Coconut oil. There are a number of benefits including it’s the perfect cooking oil.
In a Nutshell – What’s Good with Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil has many benefits including (but not limited to) the following:
- It helps to promote weight loss
- Supports the immune system
- Good for a healthy heart
- Immediate energy source
- Healthy and younger looking skin
- Provides support for a good metabolism
- Positive impact for a healthy thyroid
- Tastes great and ads a wonderful flavour to foods.
Already discussed in this post are the different oils and what’s best for cooking. In short, olive oil is a wonderful monounsaturated fat and because it is so light and flavourful is perfect for salad oils or something unheated.
Other more commonly used oils like sunflower, canola, corn, and soy are heavily damaged when used to cook at high heat and can become toxic.
Coconut oil is best for cooking at higher temperatures.
What’s Different with This Fat?
Here is some good news – not all fats are equal! Coconut fat is actually rather unique. It is made of medium-chain fatty acids also called medium-chain triglycerides. The other oils are predominantly long-chain.
The thing that makes this most interesting to people wanting to lose weight is the BIG difference in how the fat is used.
MCFA are able to easily permeate cell membranes without needing lipoproteins – LCFA needs enzymes, lipoproteins or other proteins for metabolizing. This results in the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) being sent to the liver where they are IMMEDIATELY converted to energy. On the other hand the long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) are primarily stored as fat first.
Because the MCFA’s unique properties allow them to be immediately burned off instead of being stored as fuel for later (on the hips, belly, or butt) AND helps to rev-up the metabolism, it’s possible to burn more calories. The energy property can also have the effect of stimulating activity levels and improved overall vitality.
Here is a book that will give you wonderful coconut cooking recipes and expand more on the healthy aspects of coconut oil.
Coconut Oil Increases Metabolism
Increasing your metabolism has the grand effect of increasing the number of calories you burn while at rest.
Although we generally think of all calorie sources being the same, not all calories have been created equally. Because different foods have different compositions and macronutrients that are actually metabolized through different metabolic pathways.
Some more efficient that others.
Different foods have different effects on our hormones and on the overall metabolic health. Some foods require more calories to actually digest the food itself.
Coconut oil is “thermogenic”. This means that eating it increases energy expenditure. DIT is Diet-Induced Thermogenesis which is the energy required to digest and metabolize where some of the calories ingested is converted to heat rather them being stored as fat.
By simply replacing the fats and oils usually used in ones diet with coconut oil, daily energy expenditure can increase and result in fat loss from the increase in metabolism and calories burned.
Why Coconut Oil isn’t as Commonplace
As a society we often assume that because something is commonplace or popular, then that is what is best. For years our kitchens have been stocked with corn and canola oils and the ideal of using coconut oil in their place doesn’t even occur to us. Aside from the fact that corn is a heavily subsidized product – making it cheap – it is locally grown and easy to access.
Coconut oil is a little more difficult to attain.
Coconut oil was once readily available from sources in the Pacific islands but WWII caused an interruption in the trade to North America.
I have an old war time cook book called “The Victory Cook Book” that was printed in 1938. There are several pages devoted to explaining to the new wife (it’s a fun read) how to render fats, store, re-use etc. The mention of coconut oil is only a passing comment on how it may show up in a margarine form called “nut margarine”
It was during this time that polyunsaturated oils gained in popularity. Then with the rise in popular medical accusations that saturated fats were bad for you and the cause of all your cholesterol problems – tubs of margarine took over the dining table and corn and canola oils took their places in the kitchen cupboards.
Now with entire industries making [big] money on this new oil occupation – money and marketing made sure you were AWARE of the new “heart healthy” oils on the market and they also said how BAD saturated oil really was.
And yet, we kept hearing about these places in the world with it’s heart healthy citizens who were out-living us. Study after study began to reveal that saturated fats weren’t as bad as they once told us and in fact coconut oil was good.
Coconut Oil For the Skin
Using coconut oil as an ingredient in skin care products is quite commonplace. It is used as a bragging tool when marketing body and tanning oils. For good reason too.
Coconut oil used in lotions have been shown to help retard aging skin and visually improve the look of the skin. But you don’t need to buy a special or expensive lotion to get the wonderful benefits of coconut oil for your skin. You can just use the oil itself bypassing the expense and the additional chemicals added to many skin-care products.
The Coconut Diet
One of the first things to learn is how to add this new food into your diet and snacking habits. This can be quite an adjustment and fortunately there is a guide book to help out the serious coconut connoisseur.
There are different type of drinks you can make that have a cleansing effect. High in fibre and nutrition that will help to clean out the old stuff that you have stored in your colon by using healthy fibre sources and coconut.
After the cleansing you begin to add fresh and healthy foods that will also use coconut as an ingredient. Find out more about adopting a healthy Coconut Diet.