What is the deal with coconut oil? Doctors told us for years to avoid it like the plague. Now everyone & their grandmother seems to be using it in good health. What gives? What gives is that coconut oils bad rep stems from research done with Hydrogenated Coconut Oil. Hydrogenation is the process of blasting oils with hydrogen to produce a shelf stable product. The problem is, they contribute to cardio vascular problems, obesity, & hindrance of cellular function.
The bummer part is that because of one piece of research, now doctors far and wide instruct their patients not to eat the stuff. Coconut products are ingested by the Polynesian people and have been for centuries with very low instance of cardiovascular disease, so there is no earthly reason why we should not partake in this wonderful healthful oil.
Coconut Oil is a Saturated Fat; YES, a saturated fat that is GOOD for you. Sounds like an oxymoron but if you think about it it makes perfect sense. What did the good country folk of American eat a 120 years ago. Butter, Lard and another fat called Tallo. We didn't see cardiovascular disease really start to rise until the 1930's and it really picked up steam in the 1940's and 1950's. This is coincidently when all these processed oils and margarine became all the rage. Since then we have consistently eaten LESS of the saturated fats (that humans have been eating since we started milking cows) and MORE of the highly processed vegetable oils like canola, margarine and of course crisco. I wont even dignify crisco with a capitol C!
So why is this saturated fat so good for us? It feeds our BRAINS! Our brains are made up of fat! This is why our grand parents forced our parents to take cod liver oil back in the day. It encourages learning, memory, and smarts in general. Secondly we need fat to lubricate every cell of the body, so that our skin is soft and eyes moist. We need that lubrication! Digestion needs fats to eliminate properly, cells need lubrication to receive nourishment and release wastes. We live and die on a cellular level so the sooner we start giving the cells what they need, the sooner we start to see improvement in health.
Lastly for baking and cooking at high heat (150º-400º), all saturated fats are more stable. This means that when you cook with them they don't degrade into harmful substances. This happens when olive oil is heated above 150º for example. Olive oil is not a saturated fat so it is more susceptible to damage, this damage creates free radicals, free radicals give way to carcinogens and carcinogens as we all know are Cancer Creating Substances.
Baking and cooking with coconut oil is perfect because it can withstand high heat. Also the type of fat that it is makes it very easy on the liver (contrary to most saturated fats). Coconut oil is converted by the liver directly to energy to be used by the body, rather than being stored as fat like other saturated fats. You can take 1-3tsp of coconut oil a day for a nice burst of energy:)
What else...Coconut is strongly anti-viral, which means that it not only lasts forever in the jar (without hydrogenation), but it helps our bodies to stay strong, an added defense against viral invaders. Coconut oil can be used with success to make anything from scrambled eggs( a little in the pan before cooking), enchilada, baked goods of every kind, popcorn on the stove, stir fry, and much much more. Any thing that you would use olive oil, canola, crisco, butter or margarine for; You can use coconut oil instead.
I even got one of those olive oil spray bottles and put coconut oil in it instead so that I can spray down my pan before cooking. You have to get the bottle warmed up in a cup of hot water first, so that the coconut oil is liquefied. That's also an interesting thing about coconut oil is it is solid at room temperature but at 76ºF, it begins to liquefy. Mine will be liquefied most of the summer in fact. Submerge your jar in hot water for 15 minutes before using it to bake so it makes pouring it easy for measurement.
Bottom line is if your going to cook or bake, coconut oil is an excellent choice next to straight up butter. It's easy for the body to digest, easy on the liver, doesn't degrade into harmful substances when heated and it tastes delicious.
Some say you have to eat fat to loose fat and I have to say that I agree with them whole heartedly. The body and especially the brain (which is made up of fat), NEED fat to function properly. Give your brain and body something it's been craving- a nice stick of butter or tbsp of coconut oil today~ enjoy!