Saturated fats have long been vilified. But not anymore! Research into coconut oil, which is a rich source of saturated fat, is turning our understanding of fats upside down. Studies suggest that coconut oil may be a powerful superfood, worthy of a spot in both our pantries and bathrooms.
Coconut oil is comprised of medium chain triglycerides, which means it’s made up of fatty acids of medium length. Why is this so special? Aren’t all fatty acids the same? Far from it. Medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are metabolized differently. It’s believed that coconut oils superpowers arise from the unique way in which its MCFAs are processed in the liver.
Coconut Oil's Superpowers
Health Benefits: It’s believed that coconut oil may…
– Mitigate the effects of aging and stress thanks to its antioxidant properties (1)
– Although the studies are still in their infancy, researchers are also investigating coconut oil’s effect on thyroid function, cholesterol, and its potential use in the treatment of seizure disorders in conjunction with a keto diet (1, 2)
Coconut Oil’s Beauty Benefits and Uses: Coconut oil is a beauty supertool too. You can use it as a:
– Pre-shampoo moisturizer hair mask
– Leave-in anti-frizz treatment
– Leave in conditioner
– Clean and effective moisturizer
– Makeup remover
– Shaving cream
– A breath freshener and teeth whitener
– Body scrub (when mixed with coffee, salt, or sugar)
– Cuticle oil
– Stretch mark preventative during pregnancy
– To make natural deodorant
– Massage oil
– A an all-natural, hypoallergenic lube alternative
Besides toting a plethora health benefits, coconut oil is also a superb cooking oil. Unlike many other oils, it has a relatively high smoking point and high oxidative stabilty, which makes it ideal for frying and sauteing foods. Other oils break down at high temperatures and release potentially toxic byproducts (that have been linked to neurodegnerative diseases and cancers). Coconut oil does not break down as easily, making it a safe alternative to other cooking fats.
What Coconut Oil Should You Use?
Some studies suggest that unrefined virgin varieties, which are less processed than their RBD (refined, bleached, deodorized) counterparts, are the best- although this is still up for debate, since some researchers argue that both types theoretically contain the same chemical composition (1). Until the research is more definitive, it’s best to purchase the virgin variety.
Our brand of choice for cooking is Nutiva’s Extra Virgin Organic, Non-GMO Coconut Oil because of its quality and great price.
We also love Nutiva’s Coconut Butter, which makes a great spread and is perfect for making bullet coffee.
You can find Nutiva’s products in our Paleo Perfected Store.