The Good Coconut

Lets talk fats! Your body needs fats to survive. Its just that simple. Just like it needs protein and carbohydrates. Im not talking about the fat that comes with your french fries though… Sorry… Im talking about the “Good Fats”. ( Although, I too on a day with hangover, feel like french fries is the fat my body craves!.. Hey, its ok to live a little:-)..)

You have probably heard something about coconut oil. You have might even used it. But just to make you understand it a little better, here’s whats up.

When its used in moderation and in its virgin, unprocessed form, the health benefits of coconut oil are many. Virgin coconut oil is beneficial to skin care, helps the body maintain proper cholesterol levels, contributes to good hair care, assists in weight loss, boosts the immune system, speeds along digestion, lower blood pressure and increases the efficiency of the metabolism. So all in all, its pretty amazing!

The downfall about virgin coconut oil is that it tastes like… well…. coconut!:-) I mean, I love coconut, but sometimes the flavor can be a bit distracting in cakes for example. Thats why I only use it in some recipes, and choose canola or grape seed oil for others. 

The poor coconut oil has had a bad reputation through time… It used to be really bad for you, because it use to be hydrogenated. Hydrogenated oil is made by forcing hydrogen gas into the oil at high pressure, to prolong shelf life and to keep the oil more stable. When coconut oil is hydrogenated it becomes filled with trans fat, and trans fats are bad news…! But these days, you can get amazing “Virgin Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil”. Expeller pressing is a chemical-free mechanical process that extracts oil from seeds and nuts, in a heat-controlled environment to keep temperatures below 120 degrees F. That way the fat in the coconut, does not turn into trans fats!

Hang in there, it gets a bit more scientific….:-) Another reason people believe coconut oil must be bad for you, is because of its high content of saturated fat. And its believed that “saturated fats are bad for you.” Dietary guidelines inevitably fail to distinguish between different kinds of saturated fats and insist that saturated fats (meaning all saturated fats) are harmful. This is misleading… Just as there is good cholesterol, there are also good saturated fats.

Try to understand…. I know its not easy. Fats are classified as short-, medium- or long-chain based on the number of carbon molecules they contain. Nearly two-thirds of the saturated fat in coconut oil consists of medium-chain fatty acids.

When we eat long-chain fatty acids, they must be emulsified by bile salts in the small intestine before they can be absorbed into our body. Short- and medium-chain fatty acids, such as those in coconut milk, are absorbed directly through the portal vein to the liver, where they are immediately available to the body.

In other words, most of the saturated fat in coconut oil is easily digestible and converted into quick energy. And these types of fatty acids are less likely to cause obesity because they are immediately used by the body and have no opportunity to be stored….

So! Go ahead and try it!. Hey, if you dont like it, you can always use it as lotion… Seriously, its great for that too! I use Nutiva Coconut Oil which I buy on Amazon. And I buy in big buckets as you can see….:-)


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3 thoughts on “The Good Coconut

  1. Line February 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm Reply

    Hi Donna, I really enjoy reading and testing your recipes 🙂 Hurra!
    I see that you use Canola oil, which I didn’t know what was. I have looked into it and really wonder why you don’t use rape seed oil? Maybe you wrote it somewhere and I missed it.
    Thanks for the inspiration
    Line 🙂

    • mytreatlife March 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm Reply

      Hi Line.

      Thanks for liking my blog:-) Its nice to hear that people out there are trying out my recipes!

      I use canola oil because I think it gives a good product. Canola actually comes from the rapeseed plant, but it has a lower level of erucic acid than rapeseed oil. I know theres a lot of discussion about canola oil and its health benefits. Some people thinks its good and some bad. But I think its that way with everything! There will always be people for and against ALL ingredients. Its the same with coconut oil… I like using canola oil, but I would have no problem using rapeseed oil instead. So if you prefer to substitute the canola in a recipe with rapeseed, go right ahead:-)

      I also found this on the internet, and it kinda describes it well:

      “Canola oil comes from a hybrid plant developed in Canada during the late 1960s – 1970s using traditional pedigree hybrid propagation techniques (not genetically modified) involving black mustard, leaf mustard, and turnip rapeseed. The original rapeseed plant was high in erucic acid, which is an unpalatable fatty acid having negative health effects in high concentrations. Canola oil contains less than 1 percent erucic acid. Actually, another name for canola oil is LEAR (Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed) oil.

      It is called Canola because you can’t exactly call it “Rapeseed oil””

      • Line March 2, 2012 at 1:34 am

        Thank you, really good to know. 😀

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