Coconut oil has surged to the cooking forefront of healthy eating aficionados. Everywhere you turn, people seem to be singing it’s praises as the newest, healthiest fat. While many people have gone whole hog with their love of coconut oil, I suspect there’s quite a few out there who are scratching their heads and wondering, Wait…What? Isn’t that stuff supposed to be bad for you? Here are some coconut oil facts to answer some of your burning questions.
8 Coconut Oil Facts
1. Virgin coconut oil is composed of medium-chain-length fatty acids which are shown to have many health benefits including raising the body’s metabolism, and acting as an antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial agent.
2. It contains saturated fats. Yes it does….about 12 grams per tablespoon, in fact. Even though coconut oil’s saturated fat seems to be less harmful than previously thought, you should talk to your doctor if you are supposed to be watching your saturated fat intake.
3. It’s a source of lauric acid. The majority of those saturated fats in coconut oil are in the form of lauric acid, which is why many consider it to be a healthier choice. There are studies that show that lauric acid can increase your HDL – or good cholesterol – and lower your LDL – or bad cholesterol.
4. Buy virgin organic coconut oil. Coconut oil got its bad reputation, in part, because of its use when hydrogenated. Hydrogenated oils and the trans fats that they produce are especially bad for you. They raise your levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol) and lower your levels of HDL – the good cholesterol that we keep talking about.
5. Coconut oil can serve various purposes that have nothing to do with eating it. Many people are using it for cosmetic purposes and to improve the health and appearance of their skin and hair. Some say it can even be used as a natural sunscreen. Try it as a massage oil. Or, visit this post (Oil Pulling: How To) on oil pulling.
6. Perfect for kids! Coconut oil is the perfect all-natural, gentle and non toxic, good- -for-what -ails-you children’s skin treatment! Works wonders on diaper rash and eczema.
7. It’s a great cooking fat for vegans. Since coconut oil is solid at room temperature it can replace butter or less healthful margarines in all kinds of vegan cooking and baking. Who doesn’t love that?!
8. And finally….Its delicious. Imagine sautéing a pan full of aromatics like garlic and ginger in warm and toasty coconut oil. Mmmm…smells yummy!