Favorite Find Wednesday: Coconut Oil!

by Kristine on December 22, 2010

in Blog, Favorite Finds

If you haven’t heard about all the great benefits of Coconut Oil lately, here’s your chance!  I used to be so fat-phobic and avoided fat altogether.  That was until I learned how important it is in the diet and actually aids in fat LOSS!

coconut.jpgHere is more information about Coconut Oil! (source)

Medical research is in agreement that at least 20-30% of our daily nutritional intake should be made up of fats or oil. However, the structures of different oils are as diverse as nature itself and even a basic knowledge of what defines the different classification of fats will help us understand why this classification is so important when choosing oil to augment and support a healthy lifestyle for our children, families and ourselves.

Research shows that replacing other cooking oils with virgin coconut oil generally creates a more favorable HDL/LDL ratio.  This oil has antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal properties and, like all whole foods, contains nutrients for a healthy body.

Saturated Fat
Over many decades coconut oil received bad publicity due to its saturated fat content, but research has shown that not all saturated fats are alike and coconut oil is unique in its structural make-up.  It is not only the highest source of saturated fats (92%) but included in this is the highest source of saturated medium chain triglycerides (62%) of any naturally occurring vegan food source. Furthermore around 50% of these MCT’s are made up of lauric acid, the most important essential fatty acid in building and maintaining the body’s immune system.

Apart from coconut oil, the only other source of lauric acid found in such high concentrations is in mother’s milk.  Tropical oils and mother’s milk are by far the richest food sources of medium chain fatty acids available. The closest other source of these vital building blocks for our immune system would be milk fat and butter, comprising around 3% of its content. Any other vegetable oil is completely deficient in these medium chain fatty acids.

It should also be remembered that the negative research done on coconut oil in the past was the result of one study conducted four decades ago, using hydrogenated oil (which has been processed and altered from its original form), not on virgin coconut oil.  Research shows that some saturated fat is in fact necessary for human health and modern research shows that the medium chain fatty acids help to increase metabolism and are more easily digested than fats found in other oils.  This is because they are processed directly in the liver and immediately converted into energy.  There is therefore less strain on the liver, pancreas and digestive system and these MCFA provide the body with a wonderful, quick source of energy.

Which Brand?

I’ve tried a couple of brands of coconut oil.  More recently, I was sent a sample of the Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil.

 

gold_label_virgin_coconut_oil_32oz.jpgBut I was under no obligation to write a positive review, if any.  I liked the Tropical Traditions,   although, I don’t find there is a big difference between brands (taste wise).  If you’ve never tried coconut oil, its really yummy! It has a LIGHT coconut flavor, not overpowering at all. What I like about Tropical Traditions, is they provide a lot of support and information to their customers, plus they have a HUGE database of recipes (which you know I LOVE!). You can get those here: http://www.freecoconutrecipes.com  You can only buy through Tropical Traditions online, so if that’s not your preference, then get some at your local health food store or Whole Foods etc.

Hope you decide to give it a try, and if you have a chance, try the No Bake Chocolate Coconut PB Cookies I posted today!!!! SO GOOD!  I also use coconut oil in my Guilt Free Fudge, and Guilt Free Chocolate PB Popcorn.  You can also use coconut oil for high temperature cooking. Will have more recipes with it coming soon!

xo Kristine

Kristine
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Kristine

I'm Kristine Fretwell, busy mom of 2 little girls, author, blogger, and former pro fitness competitor. I love almost any kind of cookie, anything coconut or pumpkin flavored, and Thai food. A perfect day for me is enjoying my family, getting to the gym, and whipping up a new healthy recipe. I've got a collection of over 300 healthy recipes, and other tidbits like fitness and health tips. My recipes have been featured on websites such as Huffington Post, Savvy Mom, Shape and Skinny Scoop.
Kristine
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