this article was posted by one of my favorite bloggers at sparkpeople.com, and i wanted to share it with everyone. it sounds pretty interesting. although i don’t cook very often with oil (will usually omit it or use unsweetened apple sauce instead), my favorite oil is extra virgin olive oil. i may give coconut oil a try, though. the health benefits are pretty astounding.
What’s so great about coconut oil as a food?
Coconut oil is 64% medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which burn as energy quickly rather storing in the body as fat (especially belly fat) like the long-chains. MCFAs are quite rare in foods and have massive positive implications for your health, although the processed vegetable oil industry tried to malign the tropical oils years ago and many consumers have no idea what great nutrition they are missing out on. Coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasite, and anti-fungal. It prevents heart disease, linked by recent research to lingering infections in the blood and tissues that coconut oil kills. It has been documented to inhibit carcinogenic agents that cause colon cancer and breast tumors in animals. Coconut oil is highly alkaline and purifies the blood—never clogging arteries since it’s liquid above 76 degrees. It is used in hospitals around the world: it’s ideal for people with digestion problems because the medium-chain triglycerides don’t require pancreatic enzymes or bile to digest. It’s perfect for diabetics because it helps regulate blood sugar and supplies energy to cells without affecting blood sugar or insulin levels. It’s been shown to improve insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
How does it compare to other oils?
Coconut oil is very stable and doesn’t go rancid for 2-3 years or more, even when stored at room temperature. Refined oils are rancid already when you buy them, heated above 400 degrees and often bombarded with hydrogen atoms to make them fake foods, trans fatty acids that damage or destroy every cell they touch.
It’s the only oil that doesn’t create trans fats even when heated to high temps, as in sauteeing—so it’s perfect for cooking and even better raw. It tastes SO good—my kids eat it plain by the spoonful. You want virgin, unprocessed oil for coconutty flavor and maximized nutrition. If it has no flavor, you’ve bought a poor product missing some of the benefits.
Another rare feature of coconut oil is that its main component is lauric acid, the powerful antimicrobial, immune-function compound in mother’s breast milk. That’s why baby formula companies use it for fatty acids in formula—it’s the closest they can get to mother’s milk. (Unfortunately, they use an inexpensive processed version of the oil.)
Much has been written about EFAs—essential fatty acids with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that your body cannot manufacture itself and therefore must receive from food. I put a tablespoon of fresh flax oil in my green smoothie to get these compounds. Although coconut oil isn’t a significant source of EFAs, it can increase the efficiency of EFAs by as much as 100%!
Coconut oil health benefits include combating viral infections including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and AIDS; helping with gallbladder disease, osteoporosis, Crohn’s Disease, and hypoglycemia; and nourishing premature, low-birth-weight babies. Many people say coconut oil helps them control sugar cravings.
Change your health dramatically by making a very simple change today: throw out any vegetable oil (and margarine and shortening) in your pantry, never buy it again, and replace it with a superior alternative. Discover amazing coconut oil health benefits for yourself!
Why should I get virgin, organic cold pressed coconut oil?
First of all, organic is more than just avoiding chemicals on your food. You can’t just wash it off your vegetables and fruits, let alone coconut oil. The nutrient value of organic foods is often many times the value of those same “conventional” foods. That’s because in the absence of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, no enzyme- and nutrient-absorption inhibitors cause breakdowns in plant growth and development.
Fortunately, organic status is rather easy to find in coconut products, since coconuts grow in tropical climates where chemical processes are not as pervasive as in the U.S. The Phillipines has excellent sources of good coconut oil, as does the pristine island of Fiji where I get my group-buy coconut oil for GreenSmoothieGirl’s Wasatch Front group buyers.
“Virgin” refers to the first pressing of a nut, seed, or vegetable, when the highest nutrient content is available.
You also want to look for cold-pressed coconut oil, since temperatures in cold processing are kept below the 116 degrees necessary to preserve all enzyme, vitamin, and mineral content, and avoid oxidation that accelerates breakdown of the fatty acids and robs your body of antioxidants.
You will know if you’re eating organic cold pressed coconut oil because the oil will taste coconutty. If you don’t taste coconut, you are likely eating a processed, deodorized oil that is missing many of the health benefits you hope to achieve with this amazing food.