The thought of coconut oil brings me back to summers on the beach as a kid and the smell of suntan oil, now all people want to do is eat it. Coconut oil really is all the rage in the healthy eating world. I am writing a series of blogs on oils because I feel there are so many options out there and I’m not entirely sure when or how I should be using them. The most confusion I have experienced seems to lie around coconut oil. The first thing you need to know is that until finishing this post, I have rarely used coconut oil and I’ve never really liked coconut in general, unless of course it was in a great Pina Colada on holiday! So, why is coconut oil so trendy? is it really the wonder oil that all food and beauty bloggers are making it out to be?
Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of saturated fat.
Huh? Isn’t this what we have been told to limit our intake of since we started caring (being conscious of) about what we eat? Here’s the skinny; coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids (MFAs) like caprylic acid, lauric acid and capric acid. All of which are the healthy saturated fats. (citation)The body processes medium chain fatty acids differently than other known saturated fats, you digest them easily and it does not get readily stored as fat but used willingly for energy. Here’s the kicker, 91% of the fat in coconut oil is of the healthy type! (1)
Coconut oil can help you manage your cholesterol.
Healthy fats found in coconut oil can help you raise the good cholesterol (HDL) and help to convert the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) into a better version of itself. All of which will help you to normalize your cholesterol. Clearly this aids in heart health and rounds out why the health enthusiasts are promoting you to eat your coconut! (2) I have now been adding it to every smoothie made in my house and no one has noticed!
Coconut oil has anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties.
Love this benefit! Coconut oil can work as a natural antibiotic by disrupting the lipid coating on bacteria and killing them! (3) I would take a spoonful of coconut oil everyday just for this! This can be so important for our immunity and fighting off the harmful bacteria that we encounter everyday with our families. Of course, this doesn’t mean you can replace an antibiotic with coconut oil but if taken regularly it will help in prevention.
Coconut oil has a high smoking point.
I’ve been working with coconut oil over the last few weeks to write this post, I must say I have quite enjoyed baking with it! It’s a great replacement to butter but I’m not as eager to cook my vegetables with it. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! If you don’t mind that hint of coconut with your vegetables then it’s a great oil for using in the frying pan as it’s smoking point is 350 degrees F! Of course, you can always try a flavourless coconut oil if the hint of coconut is too much for you! My favourite use is to replace the butter in a recipe with coconut oil, just use a 1:1 ratio.
Coconut oil is so versatile out of the kitchen.
Guess what? There are so many lifestyle uses for coconut oil! My personal favourite is to use coconut oil as my eye make up remover it is so gentle on your eyes (no stinging) and guess what it’s a great moisturizer! Here are a few more fun uses you may have not thought about: diaper cream, toothpaste/oil letting (fights those bacteria), hair mask to treat split ends, use with lemongrass to make homemade bug repellant (10 parts coconut oil : 1 part lemongrass oil), great nipple cream for all you breast feeding Moms and you can use it to make yummy lip gloss with your kids!
After my research and learning, coconut oil will now be a staple in my house. If you haven’t tried it yet, it may be worth the purchase.