Coconut Oil vs. Olive Oil
Do you cook with coconut oil? If you don’t you should.
The health benefits of olive oil, which stem from its high Omega 3 levels, are too numerous to name.
Unfortunately though, olive oil is not best soothed for cooking or frying since it does not have a high smoke point meaning that it does not maintain its taste and integrity under high temperatures. Thus, olive oil is best soothed for use in salads or other raw dishes.
Coconut oil, on the other hand, is an ideal oil for cooking or frying since it has an extremely high smoke point.
Coconut Oil: A Medium Chain Fatty Acid
Because of its high saturated fat content coconut oil has earned itself an undeserved bad reputation. However, a series of scientific studies have recently begun to shed light on the numerous ways this oil can benefit the health of its consumers.
Though coconut oil does contain saturated fat, the saturated fat found in it is a medium-chain triglyceride or fatty acid (MCT), which our bodies digest more efficiently than other fats. Because of this the saturated fat in coconut oil is not stored in our bodies as fat. Instead the medium-chain fatty acids found in this oil are rapidly broken down and converted into energy, thus putting less strain on the liver, pancreas, and digestive system.
In fact, coconut oil is nature’s richest source of medium-chain triglycerides. The fact that coconut oil contains (MCT’s) is what makes this oil far more nutritious than corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, and even olive oil. A second reason why coconut oil is far healthier than other oils is because it contains no dangerous trans-fatty acids which can raise ‘bad’ cholesterol levels (LDL), and lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more.
Is Coconut Oil Really Healthy?
How Coconut Oil Promotes Weight Loss
Since coconut oil converts to energy instantly, it has the ability to boost our metabolisms and help us lose weight. In fact, coconut oil may triple the average person’s calorie burn. This is because the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) found in this oil are converted into energy so quickly that they raise the body’s overall calorie need. In fact, coconut oil is so effective at boosting the metabolism that the February 15, 2005 issue of Woman’s World magazine dubbed it the “underground high-metabolism secret.”
How To Choose The Best Coconut Oil
Recently coconut oil has gained tremendous popularity in the west and has become readily available in most supermarkets. However, not all brands of coconut oil are of the same quality. In order to make sure you are purchasing the best coconut oil look for the following factors:
- Certified organic
- Made from fresh coconuts, not dried
- No chemical additives (100% virgin coconut oil)
- None refined
- None hydrogenated
- No hybridized coconuts (crossbred)
Culinary Uses of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a staple oil in a wide variety of ethnic cuisines. In the Caribbean, it is most often used for frying fish and in West Indian cuisine it is used in stews and curries as well as for frying. Though coconut oil sounds like an exotic ingredient, the fact of the matter is that we can use this oil in the exact same way we use other oils. In the West, coconut oil is most commonly used for frying fish, making salad dressings and making shakes and smoothies.
A Nutritious Smoothie Recipe Featuring Virgin Coconut Oil