Have you seen the jars of white coconut oil on the shelves of your local grocery store, but were unsure if it were something you wanted to try? Would you be more likely to give it a try if you knew that coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats that you can consume?
Although coconut oil has popped up as if it were brand new, coconut oil has been cooked with for centuries by people who live in tropical climates. Now, because of scientific research, we know that coconut oil just might be the answer to a long and healthy life.
Coconut oil is made of over 90% saturated fats, which sounds like it would be bad for your heart, (or your waistline) but in fact, because the saturated fats found in coconut oil are mainly medium chain triglycerides, coconut oil has actually been found to prevent heart disease and may even help people lose weight instead of gain. Coconut oil has large amounts of lauric acid which turns into monolaurin in the body. In addition to preventing conditions such as high LDL cholesterol which can lead to heart disease, monolaurin has also been found to be toxic to viruses, funguses and bacteria, which make it good for warding off illnesses like candida, herpes, influenza, HIV, measles, and hepatitis, while also killing off the bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhea and attacking the fungi and yeast that cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and diaper rash. You would never have to visit the drugstore again!
In addition to helping prevent a myriad of viruses and infections, some studies have suggested that coconut oil may help prevent or even alleviate the symptoms of complications from old age, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. It has been theorized that coconut oil may provide the right kind of fat to help heal the parts of the brain that have been damaged by Alzheimer’s and dementia. (1)
So how can you incorporate coconut oil into your diet?
In addition to simply spreading coconut oil on top of toast or stirred into oatmeal, coconut oil can be used to replace any fats you might use while cooking. Simply replace your butter or vegetable oil following a 1:1 ratio. Also, you can use coconut oil to sauté or stir fry, and it can even be used to deep fry (2) in a way that is much healthier than traditional methods. Coconut oil is also a great addition to any smoothie recipe. Try this recipe for a raspberries and cream smoothie, using coconut oil. (3) And don’t forget that coconut oil is great for baking and try these blackberry streusel muffins. (4)
Next time you are at the store pick up some coconut oil, and find out what it can do for you.