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Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil: Information

Coconut oil is enjoying an explosion in newfound popularity as more and more people learn about its versatility, great taste and healthful properties. Coconut oil is a terrific, cholesterol-free alternative to butter, shortening and other types of cooking fats. Coconut oil is also a great moisturizer for the whole body.

There has been confusion about coconut oil in the past. The confusion arose as a result of the high concentration of saturated fat in coconut oil. Consuming high levels of saturated fats has been thought to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, the saturated fat in coconut oil is different than the saturated fat in butter and red meats. Coconut oil's saturated fat consists mostly of medium chain triglycerides MCTs), which are a healthy kind of saturated fat. They are readily used for energy and don't raise cholesterol levels or cardiovascular disease risks.1 In fact, endurance athletes often use MCT supplements precisely for their energizing effects.

Coconut Oil's Health Benefits

Coconut oil is a great addition to any healthy kitchen. Coconut oil is very stable and requires no refrigeration (although that's preferable), and is easily used in liquid, solid, or semisolid form since it liquefies at room temperature (76º F). Use it just as you would shortening, butter, cooking oil or margarine, for baking, sautéing or mixed with herbs and spices as a rub to flavor meats and fish. You'll love it's light delicate taste, aroma and guilt-free nutritional profile.

You'll want to pick up a second jar of coconut oil for the bathroom, since it's a superb moisturizer for skin, lips and hair. Coconut oil also makes a great shaving lubricant and its natural antimicrobial properties also make it an effective all-natural deodorant too. Just rub a small amount between your hands to soften and liquefy it before applying to the body. In fact, the potent antifungal properties of fatty acids in coconut oil has been explored as a possible treatment for candida skin infections.2 Coconut oil may also protect against the most common type of prostate enlargement as well as saw palmetto.3

Choosing a Coconut Oil Product

Choose an organic, unrefined, extra-virgin (OUEV) coconut oil product for best results. There is no significant difference, nutritional or otherwise, between the OUEV coconut oils we carry, so you give nothing up by choosing the least expensive brand. Be aware that coconut oil brands sold in supermarkets and superstores are often non-organic and highly refined, undermining some their healthful properties.

Side-effects and Cautions:

None noted. Do not use if you are allergic to coconut.

References:
1. Ceylon Med J. 2006 Jun;51(2):47-51.
2. J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2):384-7.
3. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2007 Jul;59(7):995-9.

 

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