Coconut oil… some of us will think of tropical breezes or maybe skin lotion products when we hear it. However, there are still many people who think negatively about this natural product especially in food. They consider coconut oil contains too much saturated fat, therefore it’s very unhealthy. This is a claim that started to occur since the 1960s when a group of health experts conducted a study on coconut oil and made a conclusion that it’s unhealthy.
Some media also reported a number of other studies with the same findings regarding tropical oils including coconut oil. So, is it true that coconut oil is really that bad? The answer is no. Something that was overlooked in those studies is the fact that they were not using the extra virgin coconut oil that has been used by many people who live in tropical countries for centuries. Instead, they were using hydrogenated coconut oil that generates a very different nutritional makeup.
Later studies showed that the hydrogenation process that’s meant to extend the expiry date of coconut oil products is actually the one that’s causing all those previous studies considered it unhealthy. Hydrogenated oils like soy, corn, and canola are processed with toxic hexane solvents and all contain the bad trans-fat. The hydrogenation process is only meant to improve the financial benefits, overlooking the unhealthy aspects caused by the process.
But even though those old studies had been proven inaccurate, they have actually taught us something useful.. extra virgin coconut oil is way better than hydrogenated oils that contain bad trans-fat and can be linked to heart diseases. Extra virgin coconut oil is rich in good fats, also known as medium-chain fats that are recommended by many health professionals. It’s also great to be used for healthy cooking as a perfect substitute for butter, besides giving extra flavor to the food it also add valuable nutrition.
About 50% part of extra virgin coconut oil is lauric acid, which is a unique medium-chain fatty acid commonly found in mother’s milk. A lot of researches have proved that lauric acid has anti bacterial, anti viral, and anti fungal properties. Many researchers also believe that lauric acid could even gain the same recognition as the Omega-3 in health circles.
Extra virgin coconut oil is not only good for cooking, it’s also great to be used for skin care, improving the strength of the bones, hair and teeth, preventing cancer and diabetes, maintaining normal blood pressure and metabolism, helping with proper digestion, maintaining a healthy heart rate, improving the immunity system, also maintaining cholesterol at normal levels.
In many tropical countries, coconut palms are also known as the tree of life due to the many health benefits they offer. The inhabitants of these tropical places, from babies to old have been using pure coconut oil to maintain their health for many centuries. You can also gain health benefits from this amazing natural ingredient, perhaps adding it to your diet and use it as a healthy alternative to butter could be a good start.
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