Is Coconut Oil the Nutritious Goldmine We Think it is?

Coconut Oil: the canary in (and healthily flying back out of) the goldmine.

These days of fast-talking chefs, cooking gurus judging cooking contests, and surgeons-turned-nutritionists, it’s easy to feel bombarded by the blitzkrieg of latest culinary fads, facts, and falsities being promoted, hyped, and discouraged. With so much contradictory information floating around about oils and fats, how are you supposed to know what to use and what to avoid? 

Unfortunately, most of the information you hear is attached to some sort of advertising campaign for a product or company – making it even harder to know what to believe. In fact, in reality there are tens of thousands of companies who sell millions of products and are promoting their particular products any way they can, as much as they can. Through commercials, product placement in television and movies, celebrity spokespersons, internet ads, texts and emails from your favorite companies, they’re all vying for your attention and your dollar. 

 “Sprinkle this on your food and you’ll lose weight.” 

“Don’t eat eggs they have too much cholesterol.” 

“Eat eggs they are a great source of protein and vitamin D.”

“Coconut oil is bad for you because it’s high in saturated fat.” 

Hear these ads over and over and after a while, you begin to believe what you hear. It is no wonder Americans are so confused about healthy foods. 

Have you ever seen a commercial for broccoli? How about a Pandora ad for asparagus? Do you follow Brussels sprouts on Twitter? Like spinach on Facebook? (You’ve probably heard an ad saying it has more vitamin C than broccoli, haven’t you?) When a product is exclusive to one company, they will advertise it and put out information on the internet about it, but what’s the use of advertising spinach if you’re not the only company out there selling spinach? Now, what if you had a product that could compete with spinach, but you’d need to do some negative advertising against spinach in order to increase your sales, would you do it? That’s what’s happening every day – even regarding oils. And unless you’re nutrition tech savvy and can do the research yourself online or can consult a certified nutrition expert it’s hard to know what’s true and what’s not.

Is coconut oil nutritious?

Although the facts are a little bit harder to believe after all the years of being told the contrary, the answer is yes. Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat (hence the years of bad hype for this oil). You’re told to stay away from saturated fat all the time from commercials to doctors. It’s a cardinal sin to eat saturated fat, isn’t it? 

Actually, there are a couple of kinds of saturated fats. One type turns into sugar during the digestion process which helps to pack on the fat and the pounds. The other type turns into lauric acid (a substance only found elsewhere in the body in breast milk) during the digestion process which increases immunity to colds and diseases. It’s this second type with lauric acid that is in coconut oil.

Coconut oil regulates the thyroid, which is wonderful news for those of you struggling with weight gain due to thyroid problems. Some of the latest research presented findings that coconut oil is a natural treatment for Alzheimer’s. For those of you looking to lose weight, coconut oil use has been linked in multiple studies to weight loss. 

What to look for in a high quality coconut oil

When looking for coconut oil, keep in mind that it is going to cost more than the inexpensive soybean oil sold as vegetable oil in grocery stores across the United States. Look for coconut oil that is USDA certified organic and made without any GMO (genetically modified) types. High-quality choices are those that are not bleached, not heat processed, not refined, have no chemicals added, and are made from fresh coconut meat.       

What’s not to love about nutritious coconut oil – except maybe that you aren’t on an island while eating or cooking with it?

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