Another essential ingredient in raw cakes is coconut oil and that is why I decided that it’s time to make a post on the health benefits of coconut oil.
Coconut oil has been a pretty controversial product for at least the past 50 years, all because of the unfair demonization of saturated fats and in case you are into conspiracy theories, you can google this one on your own, but this post is not about that.
Anyways, up until 2015, saturated fats were pronounced the evil nutrient. And everyone was going on low-fat diets, which lead to some pretty devastating consequences. But luckily this myth has been contradicted and the dietary cholesterol fear craze has stopped and the reputation of coconut oil restored.
Of course not all fats are equal, there are still the “good” and the “bad” ones. The “bad” ones are now associated with highly processed fats and extra virgin coconut oil has nothing to do with it.
How to choose the right coconut oil?
Usually you can find two options on the shelves, refined coconut copra oil and extra virgin coconut oil. The first obvious difference between the two is taste, however the main difference is in nutrient density: there is less Vitamin E in refined coconut oil. Additionally the process of making the two is very different.
Extra virgin coconut oil is cold pressed oil from a fresh coconuts; it is simple as that
While refined coconut oil is made from dry copra, but here is the interesting part: how is the oil being refined? The best case scenario is just steam refined, no chemicals used. The worst case scenario - who knows what was used to bleach it. I was once seduced by the very low price of a coconut oil jar, it said “100% coconut”; guys... it smelled like pure petrol!
Therefore my key advice is, the less processed the oil the better. Do not economize on your health and choose extra virgin coconut oil. Simply because it is safer for consumption as no additives are used to produce it. Though if you know a brand to be a responsible producer and they manufacture good quality refined coconut oil - then that is another story.
How to cook using coconut oil?
Coconut oil is the essence of raw cuisine, starting with ch**secakes to ice cream. Additionally, it is the best plant based oil for frying because of the saturated fats content. Saturated fats start breaking down at much higher temperature than, for example, olive oil.
Besides, coconut oil can be a great addition to your smoothie or salad.
Now, let's talk about what makes coconut oil healthy. Coconut oil doesn’t have any miraculous super powers but it does have some pretty great proven benefits that should be mentioned:
Shocking information for some, but yet true; healthy fat consumption helps with weigh lose. By consuming fats, we feel more full and for a longer period of time, and therefore we eat less. Also, the medium chain called the triglycerides in coconut oil has shown to increase the burning of calories.
Healthy skin, hair and teeth:
I used to use coconut oil as body butter and so I can tell you – it is great moisturizer. Besides, in many cultures coconut oil is used as a hair mask to prevent damage due to protein loss during grooming processes and ultraviolet (UV) exposure. It is also used as a mouthwash and toothpaste; I have a friend with most beautiful teeth and she opened her secret saying, “it’s just coconut oil + baking soda”.
Fights bad microorganisms:
Lauric fatty acid in coconut oil can help our body fight harmful pathogens like virus, bacteria and fungi. A healthy gut flora is simply the essence of a healthy body and happy mind
Medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil can raise your HDL (the “good”) cholesterol levels, which associates with lowering risk of heart diseases. This one is still controversial because many institutions still hold on to the idea that saturated fats raise the "bad" LDL cholesterol. So I guess I will be waiting for more studies on this matter.
And that would be it for now. As I love doubting and questioning things, so cannot promise you that it's the last edition of this post