Coconut Oil Healthy or Hype?

Coconut oil was not popular for cooking in the western world, as it is one of the richest sources of saturated fat one can find, with almost 90% of calories as saturated fat! This is way more than olive oil and even butter!

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Then all of a sudden it gained popularity and coconut oil was seen in smoothies, salad dressings and very other healthy recipe out there.

So here are some facts about coconut oil!

1. About 50% of the saturated fat found in virgin coconut oil is lauric acid. This is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) that turns out to have a number of health-promoting properties, including the ability to improve the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

2. But, not all coconut oils sold in the market are the same and most of the commercial brands are refined, bleached and deodorized. This process takes away a lot of the beneficial nutrients. The best coconut oil comes from fresh coconuts and is cold-pressed or expeller pressed! During cold pressing, the oil from the coconut meat is mechanically pressed at temperatures not exceeding 120 F. This preserves its healthful benefits, while leaving out harmful additives and solvents. The expeller pressing uses slightly higher temperatures but it is still nowhere as high as refined coconut oil. The healthy coconut oil that in popular today is cold-pressed or expeller pressed virgin coconut oil!

3. That being said, coconut oil is still very high in saturated fat, even in its purest form and should not be used for cooking every single day. Using coconut oil for occasional baking or cooking for its flavor is great, but ingesting tablespoons of it for health benefits is not recommended! Here are good brands of coconut oil you can find on amazon.com!

– “Natures Way” Raw Coconut Oil
– “Nutiva” Coconut Oil
– “Spectrum” Organic Coconut Oil

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The most important thing to remember about fats in general is that they are essential for the functionality of our body, just like proteins and carbohydrates. Fats are a part of every cell membrane in our body and are essential components of hormones and biochemical in our system. Fats also act as shock absorbers that protect our organs in case of a fall or injury and are a source of stored energy in our body.

The biggest thing is to choose the right fats and eat them in the right quantity.

Here are some foods that are loaded in monosaturated and polysaturated fats instead of trans and saturated fats and I highly recommend including them in your diet.

– Walnuts/Almonds
– Olive Oil
– Natural Peanut Butter
– Avocado
– Fatty Fish like Salmon and Tuna