For years people have avoided coconut oil thinking it to be a “harmful” saturated fat. Moreover, many people avoid fats all together thinking they are going to make them fat. In fact, our bodies need fats to properly function, especially good fats such as coconut oil. The culprits that are making us fat are processed carbohydrates and excessive sugars, as well as the polyunsaturated fats or processed vegetable oils and trans fats found abundantly in many people’s diet. Eating an abundance of processed vegetable oils can wreak havoc on the immune system and proper functioning of the body. These oils have high Omega 6 content and create an imbalance of Omega 6's to Omega 3's in the body.
Coconut oil itself is a very healthy fat and is becoming more mainstream as part of a healthy diet. Coconut oil is great for cooking and baking, as well as for its ability to help with thyroid, hormonal, and weight issues. Coconut oil is also known for its lauric acid content and its immune enhancing properties. Lauric acid has been shown in various scientific studies to contain bacterial and anti-viral properties. A form of lauric acid is found naturally in human milk and helps to keep infants from being infected by viruses and bacteria. My favorite coconut oil actually has the highest lauric acid I have found on the market - you can buy it here!
Coconut oil is different then most fats in that it is made up of mostly medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFA’s are quite stable and are not prone to oxidation making coconut oil a great oil to cook with because it can withstand heat and also it does not need refrigeration. MCFA’s are also digested and utilized differently then other fats in the body. They are used immediately to make energy in the body and are great for weight loss! Yes, I did say weight loss. For more information please refer to Eat Fat, Lose Fat, by Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon, President of The Weston A. Price Foundation.
Ideas for implementation of coconut oil in your diet:
- Use as replacement for all processed oils (soy, corn, canola, etc.), shortening, margarine, etc.
- Use for baking of cookies, cakes, muffins and brownies!
- Use in light frying of foods or to sauté vegetables, eggs, etc.
- Use on popcorn along with some Celtic sea salt for a great snack!
- Spread on bread (try ½ butter and ½ coconut oil mixed together).
- Take supplementally – 1-2 Tbsp in warm water before meals, especially great for weight loss or anti-candida effects.
Try these delicious Coconut Green Beans excerpted from The Guide to Healthy Eating by David Brownstein, M.D. and Sheryl Shenefelt, C.N.
Coconut Green Beans
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound green beans, ends removed
1½ cups tomato, diced
¾ cup coconut milk
½ teaspoon sea salt
Servings: 4-6 Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 20 minutes
Sauté onion in coconut oil for 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat. Add water, garlic, and green beans. Stir fry for 8-10 minutes until desired texture. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, and sea salt and heat through.
Find more resources and healthy eating tips in The Guide to Healthy Eating, co-authored with Dr. David Brownstein, MD. Click here for more on Coconut oil and to purchase.