Back in the 1950’s the coconut and its oil was incorrectly identified as an artery-clogging fat by a researcher in Minnesota. Rats fed fully hydrogenated coconut oil experienced a dramatic rise in cholesterol levels. The notion that coconut oil is bad for our health began. Years later, Harvard scientists proved that it wasn’t the coconut oil that caused the rise in cholesterol, but the fact that the oil itself had been hydrogenated.
Any hydrogenated oil is less than ideal for our health and causes a rise in LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Coconut oil is one of the oldest food plants on earth that’s known for nourishing the body, increasing strength, and promoting beautiful hair and skin. Most interestingly, it decreases the fat stores in the body and increases metabolism.
This nutrient-rich oil provides an excellent source of antioxidants and helps us to absorb minerals. Also, it’s high in health promoting medium-chain fatty acids, over 50% of which comes from lauric acid. In the body, lauric acid becomes antiviral and antibacterial.
Recent studies found that that coconut oil protects against insulin resistance and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. It raises HDL (good) cholesterol, lowers the risk of heart disease and boosts thyroid function.
A study at the University of Oxford suggests that the consumption of coconut oil results in positive cognitive benefits observed in dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
It’s recommended to use an organic, cold-pressed, non-hydrogenated virgin coconut oil to ensure the maximum health benefits. It has a high smoke point, which is especially useful when cooking at higher temperature or baking as it won’t oxidize and create free radicals that may be harmful to our health.
Simple ways to incorporate coconut oil into your diet:
- Sauté or roast vegetables in 1-2 tablespoons
- Add a teaspoon or two to a favorite hot breakfast cereal or smoothie
- Spread on sprouted grain toast or whole grain pancakes
- Bake with it (use instead of butter)
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils to keep stocked in your kitchen. It’s versatile and delicious. Enjoy!