Elaine Rosales, Guest Writer
Many people think that cooking oils like corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola are good for their health just because they’re made from vegetables or plants. But nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, these oils are probably the worst oils you can use for cooking.
One reason is that they are loaded with omega-6 fats or polyunsaturated fats. What’s more, when these oils are heated, their antioxidants become damaged and oxidized, adding more toxic burden to your body.
Instead of these unhealthy cooking oils, opt for a wiser and safer choice like virgin coconut oil.
Virgin Coconut Oil Offers Better Benefits Than Other Cooking Oils
Virgin coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts. For many years, it was vilified and accused of causing heart disease and other health problems. But now, many health experts are recommending this oil, claiming it to be one of the most healthful found on Earth.
It is even better than extra-virgin olive oil, which is great when used as a salad dressing or mixed in cold dips but can be a problem when heated. This is because olive oil’s chemical structure also makes it susceptible to oxidative damage.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are smaller and more easily digested by your body, so they do not get stored as fat.
Meanwhile, vegetable cooking oils contain long-chain fatty acids or long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). LCTs are larger and are difficult to break down, adding to your body’s toxic burden.
Almost 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is also made of lauric acid, a compound with unique health promoting properties. Lauric acid is converted in your body to monolaurin, which has antibacterial, antiviral, and antiprotozoal properties.
So, the next time you’re planning to use vegetable oil for your meals, reach for virgin coconut oil instead. Not only is it better, nutritionally-speaking, but it also boasts a richer, sweeter flavor that will certainly complement any dish.
Choosing a High-Quality Virgin Coconut Oil
However, not all coconut oil brands sold today are created equal. Some commercial coconut oils are made from the dried-up meat called copra, which is cheaper, production-wise. However, this copra-grade coconut oil may not be sanitary and may not be fit for human consumption.
What’s more, these inferior, mass-produced coconut oil brands are refined, bleached, and deodorized. The process they undergo removes the beneficial nutrients in the oil, and also adds in unhealthy bleaching agents and chemical solvents.
Therefore, make sure you know where the coconut oil you buy comes from and how it is processed. The best coconut oils are made from fresh coconuts and are cold-processed. This process leaves the oil’s nutrients intact while leaving out harmful additives and solvents.
Other Must-Try Coconut Products
The coconut is called “the tree of life” because every part of it can be used. The coconut fruit itself gives you not only coconut oil, but also a wide array of healthy products, such as:
- Coconut water – Also called coconut juice, this sweet fluid is known for its high electrolyte content. It also contains a wide array of beneficial minerals, making it a perfect alternative to sports drinks.
- Coconut meat – This is the solid but sometimes jelly-like part of the coconut. It is sweet and filled with beneficial nutrients. Coconut meat is used in various recipes, especially for pastries and desserts. However, it can also be eaten on its own.
- Coconut milk – Coconut milk, also called coconut cream, is made when shredded coconut milk is simmered with water and then strained through cheesecloth. The fluid is then squeezed out of the pulp, resulting in a creamy liquid. It is a popular ingredient of many Asian dishes, such as curries and soups.
Virgin coconut oil and the other coconut products mentioned above should be part of your holistic diet. Try them today and enjoy their many unique benefits.
A Note from ATH Supervising Editor, Sherri Carter: Coconut oil is so versatile and good for you. It’s great for the kitchen and has many personal healthcare uses, such as moisturizing dry, winter skin. It’s the go to oil in our home!
About the Author
Elaine Rosales writes for Mercola.com. She is currently doing research on coconut products, specifically coconut oil and its nutritional benefits. She loves using it for cooking, due to the sweet flavor and aroma it adds to her dishes.
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