Last week I discussed the coconut oil diet which has been shown to benefit people with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neuropathies. Some of you may be thinking “I remember hearing that coconut oil is a saturated fat which will clog my arteries”. So, how healthy and safe is coconut oil?
There are important differences between virgin coconut oil and other saturated fats. Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride, much healthier than: the long chain saturated fatty acids found in lard; the hydrogenated vegetable oils in shortening and hard margarines; and even the highly-refined poly-unsaturated oils found on grocery store shelves. The “virgin” form is important because commercially produced coconut oil may be hydrogenated, creating trans fatty acids. It was hydrogenated coconut oil used by researchers to raise cholesterol levels in rabbits that started coconut oil’s bad reputation back in the 1990s.
Studies have now shown that coconut oil helps prevent heart disease, lowers triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and helps with fat loss. Here are some other beneficial uses of coconut oil:
• stable at medium heat, it’s perfect for sautéing and stir-frying
• eaten by breastfeeding moms, it increases the lauric acid and capric acid levels of her milk, protecting the baby from virus and bacterial infections
• MCT oil, derived from coconut oil, has been used by athletes to help reduce fat and build muscle
• applied topically on burns, cuts and bruises, it speeds healing and protects from infection.
A good way to use coconut oil is in a blend with flax oil as an alternative to butter or margarine. A delicious recipe was created by Johanna Budwig, the German scientist who did much of the early nutritional research on fats and oils. Go to eyeopener-magazine.com, click on Volume 9 and scroll down to page 5. The Eye-Opener magazine, published by Siegfried Gursche, is a good source of information on coconut oil. Stop in to my store for a free copy or read them online.
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.