Coconut Oil

A few days ago P2 and I were waiting in line to check out at Whole Foods in Chelsea and we saw a jar of Coconut Oil. It looked like a jar of shortening. We picked it up because my brother Barry had told it it is really healthy, but it didn't seem like it at all. It's LOADED with saturated fat. Loaded with all kinds of fat. We were very confused as to why this would be a viable alternative to butter or other oils.
My brother who told us this was healthy is a strict follower of The Paleo Diet. This diet basically adheres to the way a caveman would eat. All natural of course with lots of meat and veg. Very low carb, no beans, or legumes, and no wheat. That's just a basic outline. The diet seems to be a bit on the fatty side, and I never understood it.  Most fat is bad right? And we all know saturated fat is the devil, right?
One of the most common ingredient in this diet is Coconut Oil. It replaces things like butter an other oils to cook with. He showed it to me once but I dismissed it. Nothing could replace my Olive oil!!!
So P2 and I were reading the side of this jar of Coconut Oil and were stunned at how bad it seemed for us. We quickly put it down and headed out.
This morning I was thinking about how I wish I had some coconut milk at work for my coffee. My mom had turned me onto that as an alternative to soy. I don't like to drink cow's milk, so I have used soy for years. Little did we know it was not all it was cracked up to be. So before I started to get any ill effects from the soy I switched. I never thought to check to see what health benefits, if any, that Coconut Milk had. After looking at that jar of oil I thought I might wanna stop drinking the milk.
What I found out has blown my mind. Really! Why doesn't the whole world know how amazing a Coconut is??? (Actually I know the reason, and it is sad. The world does know, it's only in the US that we are just getting this info.)
First off the saturated fat found in Coconut oil is called a "short chain fat". That means that the fat is absorbed quickly into the liver and is made ready, very quickly, for the body to convert into energy. That means your body does not store it in your love handles!
The most impressive nutrient seems to be the Lauric Acid, along with it's side kick the Capric Acid, keep you young, healthy, and lower your stress.
Lauric Acid "converts to the fatty acid monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin has adverse effects on a variety of microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses. It destroys the lipid membrane of such enveloped viruses as HIV, measles, Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), influenza and cytomegalovirus (CMV). The usefulness of monolaurin in treating AIDS is currently under investigation. Lauric acid is a main component of human breast milk and helps protect children from illness during infancy."
Oddly enough my mother was just telling us the other day that a mother's breast milk will actually stop a baby from getting sick, and was wishing there was a  way to get the nutrients as an adult! Now we know there is!
The quote above and a lot more information was taken from http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/features/cocgood.html.
I would check out that site. Or if you Google "coconut oil", you will find a whole bunch of sites loaded with great information! I would do the research for yourself to see all the great info I left out!
By the way, you can also use coconut oil on your hair and skin! It's not just for cooking!

I wonder if they have it at Trader Joes??

Here's to your health in 2011!!
XO
P

Comments

Sarah Angelastro said…
Interesting! Now please cook something with it and report back. I'm really interested but can't imagine substituting something coconut-ty flavored in recipes where I'd use olive oil or butter. You experiment and let us know!
Barry said…
Coconut is not a replacement for olive oil just an alternative. EVOO is also a great fat source and I drizzle it on almost everything. Trader Joes has all things coconut including cans of fantastic coconut milk. Are you ready to go paleo now? Check out Robb Wolf if you are, he is the man.
Tara said…
Trader Joes does not have coconut oil. There are only a few brands that are awesome, Spectrum is pretty good, but Omega Nutrition is the bomb. We use it exclusively at Bloodroot for our vegan baking. But one of the BEST ways to use it is on corn on the cob. Add some pink salt and you will go to heaven.

It also does not add a coconut flavor to your baking or cooking. I just used it today to make a vegan chickpea cumin pie crust for a curried vegetable pot pie, orgasm commence!
Annah Syta said…
Great post Paul! Thanks for the nutritional background, I had always been somewhat hesitant to use it myself... Looks like I might start playing around with some recipes! xx
Hey Annah. I made a whole dinner the other night with only coconut oil as the fat. It was really good, and light! I'll be blogging about it soon. I have also taken to frying my eggs in the morning with coconut oil. Next stop is biscuits. I'll let you know how they came out! BTW I started to follow your blog today! Well put together!
Thanks again for your comment!
jessie riley said…
They have yet to carry it at trader Joe's, but my mom orders it online from Swanson and it's much less costly...I use it in all of my baked goods. Just be careful once the thermostat starts to climb, coconut oil becomes a complete liquid in the summer. Try coconut oil fried tofu. It's out of this world!
Thanks Jessie!
We have been using it like crazy!
I love the stuff. Thanks for the tip on getting it cheaper. It is a little in the pricey side! :)
canewbie said…
You might want to chedk out http://www.freecoconutrecipes.com/coconut_oil_recipes.htm
There's a ton of info on all things coconut, including recipes.
IdahoanAshley said…
I've been using coconut oil now for almost a month but have used it strictly on my skin and hair. My pores have shrunk, and my skin is less oily....ironic since I've been putting straight oil on it. I heard all the benefits and was a little nervous to try but am so glad I did. Its my nightly moisturizer and has replaced all my expensive brand name creams. I found it at walmart, and winco. Only ten dollars for a jar. A little goes a long way....
IdahoanAshley said…
I've been using coconut oil now for almost a month but have used it strictly on my skin and hair. My pores have shrunk, and my skin is less oily....ironic since I've been putting straight oil on it. I heard all the benefits and was a little nervous to try but am so glad I did. Its my nightly moisturizer and has replaced all my expensive brand name creams. I found it at walmart, and winco. Only ten dollars for a jar. A little goes a long way....
Anonymous said…
Trader Joes does carry it in CT. I love to cook with coconut oil! Also when you buy coconut oil make sure it is not hydrogenated! My Mom said that Walmart sells coconut oil now. I make a one egg mashed banana and peanut butter pancake in coconut oil and it is delish!

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