For many years now coconut oil has been criticized as unhealthy because it is classified as a saturated fat. Saturated fats are also fats that are of animal origin that definitely play a role in cardiovascular disease. So, it was lumped into this saturated fat category by doctors and nutritionist, and we were told to avoid these fats. In coconut producing and eating regions of the world people were told to stop eating it, because it caused heart disease. Many of these people began eating margarine and vegetable oils and after a few years heart diseases rates tripled. Now researchers have reversed course and are recommending coconut oil again. I think there is much evidence that coconut oil is very “heart healthy”.
As time went by and the means to analyzing fats role in the body have vastly improved it has been found that even though coconut oil is saturated fat it is a different type of saturated fat than that which is derived from animals. The bulk of the fat content of it is made up of what are called medium chain triglycerides and the rest is made up of short chain triglycerides. The animal fats that are also saturated are comprised mainly of long chain triglycerides. The shorter nature of the fat chains means the body uses these fats in a completely different way.
The majority of fats that we eat, if not used for energy immediately are stored very easily as fat deposits on the body. The medium chain fats in coconut oil are easily broken down and used by the body as an energy source, almost like a carbohydrate. This means that the fats seldom end up as body fat or as deposits in our arteries. Meaning that this oils structure is unlike almost any other oil or fat you could consume. Many people are now calling it the “skinny fat”.
There is growing research that medium chain triglycerides have very strong anti-bacterial qualities. Can you imagine oil that actually can kill bacteria? One of the most effective treatments for reoccurring candida yeast infections is caprylic acid, which is a medium chain triglyceride derived from coconut oil. Polynesian women who eat lots of coconuts rarely if ever get yeast infections. Only in cooler climate where processed vegetable oils are widely used are yeast infections so prevalent. The medicinal properties are vast and only now beginning to be appreciated.
The beauty oil uses of coconut oil are legendary. Polynesian women are famed for there beautiful hair and skin even though they live their lives in the hot tropical sun. It can be used as a moisturizing lotion and as a hair conditioner in the natural state. For this reason it has been used and appreciated for many centuries.
For these reasons and more coconut oil is a truly miracle oil. It is inexpensive, great to cook with, and readily available at most stores. I use it for cooking almost all of my oil needing foods and it taste great. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.