Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Cooking With Coconut Oil
As we continue our series about heart health, we will also focus on specific foods that are good for your heart and overall health. One of those specific foods is coconut oil. Coconut oil has long been blacklisted as a bad fat. Now it's making a comeback as more and more research has revealed its many health benefits.
Don't let the 90 percent saturated fat scare you away. Coconut oil is a non-hydrogenated, naturally saturated fat that contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). What does all of that mean? Non-hydrogenated simply means that the oil has not been altered through a chemical process so the natural saturated fats remain consistent without any chemical invasions to the bonding of the specific elements. Medium-chain fatty acids, MCFAs are converted into energy instead of being stored as fat. As a result, MCFAs can help with:
*weight loss and weight control
*increased energy levels
*stimulating your metabolism.
Coconut oil is healthy! Coconut oil can be called the healthiest oil due to the fact that it has a chemical structure which includes unique type of saturated fat called medium chain fatty acids. Coconut oil is also called coconut miracle oil. It can help with many health issues. Because coconut oil is abundant in lauric acid * as described by Mary Enig, Ph.D, coconut oil has immune boosting nutrients. The only other place you would find this much lauric acid would be in mother's breast milk. This fatty acid is disease fighting and contains anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial qualities.
Additionally, coconut oil has antioxidant properties, which MAY help protect your body from free radical damage. Free radicals areIt has been known to reduce the health risks associated with diabetes as well by improving insulin secretion.
Coconut oil also can be used as a lotion, helping to soothe and moisturize dry or damaged skin.
According to Mary Enig, Ph.D, "Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid."
So start with some coconut oil when baking or cooking. The benefits of coconut oil are far too great to be ignored! Enjoy!
Here is a recipe using coconut oil.
Better Breakfast Smoothie
Add coconut oil to a breakfast drink for a healthy start to your day. The proportions can be varied to suit your own taste. Use any type of fruit or juice you would like to add.
Start with 1 of the following:
Add 1 cup of one of the following: (can be fresh or frozen)
1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil (at room temperature)
8-12 oz of fruit or vegetable juice (or a combination), orange, pineapple, cranberry, carrot, vege
1 teaspoon of fiber powder (ground psyllium husks)
1 scoop of protein powder or concentrate
If you like a very cold drink, you can add ice after everything else is blended.