So what is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is liquid that has been extracted from the meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm tree.
It has a very high level of saturated fat and can therefore last up to two years without spoiling. This makes it a very popular choice in the marketplace as it is effective as both a medicine and a food source.
Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional content of coconut oil. (source)
- Serving size: 1 cup (218g)
- Calories (from fat): 1879
- Total fat: 218g
- Saturated fat 189g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
- Sodium: 0mg
- Total carbohydrate: 0mg
- Dietary fiber: 0mg
- Sugars: 0mg
- Protein: 0mg
As you can see, most of the fat in coconut oil is saturated fat. Because of this people gave it a wide berth due to the popular myth that saturated fat was harmful to the body. There is now evidence to dispel this myth Saturated fats are not as harmful as people once thought. And coconut oil actually contains a completely different type of saturated fat to that which is found in other foods. Coconuts contain medium chain triglycerides which are metabolized more quickly and become a great source of energy for the body.
Benefits and Uses of Coconut Oil
There are many different ways that people use coconut oil, each with their own purpose and benefits. Some of these uses include:
There are some great ways to get the benefits of coconut oil by using it in food preparation on a daily basis. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Cook with coconut oil. Due to the high content of saturated fat the molecular structure will not be altered by high temperatures.
- Pop your popcorn in coconut oil. It offers a sweeter taste, which you might enjoy.
- Spread it on your toast instead of butter. This is becoming a very popular breakfast choice and many people are enjoying the flavor it adds.
- Fry your eggs in coconut oil as it not only provides a non-stick surface but also adds to the flavor.
- Mix a tablespoon of coconut oil to half a tablespoon of chia seeds and enjoy on its own or mixed into a salad. The coconut oil helps us digest and metabolize the chia seeds, which in turn help to boost performance and energy levels.
- Use it when you bake. It can be used for both greasing as well as for the baking itself to replace butter or other oils.
- Add a spoonful to your tea or smoothie.
- Use it as a salad dressing.
Benefits of coconut oil in food:
Coconut oil has, for good reason, been classified as a Superfood. It is much easier to metabolize than traditional fats and provides us with many health benefits. Our bodies turn the fatty acids in coconut oil into sources of energy which in turn, help to speed up the metabolism and encourage weight loss. It has also been shown to have a positive effect on several brain disorders.
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