In an ongoing quest to better health I have been learning more and more about coconut oil over the last year. It is truly amazing to me how fast health professionals have changed their tune on the health benefits. Something that was once thought to cause heart disease is now a healthy fat that that can help resolve cholesterol problems?? Another dazzling example of how little we know.........
The reason for the concern about coconut oil was that it is 90% saturated fat and saturated fat had been given a bad name. We now know that to be false. It isn't in fact all saturated fat that is the heart disease causing fat but hydrogenated fats or trans-fats. Coconut oil is 50% a medium bond fatty acid (MCFA) called lauric acid--which is converted in the body into something called monolaurin which is a disease fighting, immune system strengthening substance that is also found in breast milk!!
What researchers found was that this medium-chain fatty acid derivative actually disrupts the lipid (or fatty) membranes of the offending organisms. In other words it can destroy lipid coated viruses. Some examples of lipid coated viruses are
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Herpes simplex virus
Human lymphotropic virus (Type 1)
Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)
Hepatitis C virus
Along with all these benefits it also promotes thyroid health and function and encourages healthy weight loss by stimulating your metabolism.
It is recommended that all cooking, where the oil is heated should be done with coconut oil because it is one of the only fats that doesn't become a hydrogenated fat when heated, in fact it keeps all its health benefits!
I now keep only 3 fats in the house.
1. extra-virgin olive oil, is the best monounsaturated fat. It works great as a salad dressing but it is NOT the best oil to cook with. Due to its chemical structure, cooking makes it susceptible to oxidation damage.
2. coconut oil. I have two different kinds at home. One tastes of coconut and is wonderful for stirfrys, desserts, Thai food, and on your skin (yes I coat myself inside and out in the stuff) and there are brands that have no flavour at all. I use this for ALL my other cooking.
3. Butter, real butter!
The switch to this for of fat for your cooking is easy and you will never notice the difference other than in your health.