Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Benefits From Coconut Oil!


It's so funny how we get information about things and file it away and find out later that what we initially took as Gospel truth was totally wrong!  You'll see what I mean when you read this:

Tropical Traditions was very kind and sent me a 2 quart jar of their Virgin Coconut Oil.  I am a newbie with this oil, although I'd been hearing about its benefits for about 3 years, which I thought was interesting because isn't it considered a tropical oil? Aren't the tropical oils supposed to be really taboo and we're supposed to stay away from them?

Apparently, coconut oil had been getting an undeserved bad rap because it is technically in the saturated fat category and the American public had been told, beginning in the 1950's, that saturated fats, especially "tropical oils" were bad and the harmless oils were the partially hydrogenated oils, like soy, corn, cottonseed, and safflower.  This was probably the biggest lie in the history of American food!  We now know that these partially hydrogenated oils are highly unstable and they are loaded with trans fatty acids.  Of course, now everyone not buried under a rock knows that trans fats are horrible for you.  We now know that saturated fats have a purpose in the American diet, if used with moderation.  Some benefits of saturated fat include:

-Saturated fatty acids constitute at least 50 percent of cell membranes. They give our cells necessary firmness and integrity. 
-They play a vital role in the health of our bones. For example, at least 50 percent of our dietary fats need to be saturated for calcium to be effectively incorporated into the skeletal structure.
-They lower Lp(a), a substance in the blood that indicates proneness to heart disease.
-They protect the liver from the toxic effects of alcohol and certain drugs.

-Short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids have important antimicrobial properties. They protect us against harmful microorganisms in the digestive tract.
The big difference with coconut oil is that yes, while it is technically a saturated fat, it is a MEDIUM CHAIN fatty acid, which changes the picture, even more.  Medium chain fatty acids are, simply put, amazing for you.  They do not increase triglyceride levels at all because they are absorbed differently by the body.  Medium chain fatty acid foods promote the absorption of all other nutrients taken in by the body.  They promote digestive system healing and they are easily converted into energy, which will boost the metabolism and promote healthy weight! They don't break down when raised to high heats, keeping their nutritional integrity.
So we have been using our jar of coconut oil steadily and let me tell you, it is so amazing!  I wasn't using this oil in my home before this and it's my own loss.  Don't let it be yours. The first thing I tried was the recipes section found on the Tropical Tradition website!  They are amazing and delicious!  I made the Coconut Dishpan Cookies, the Roast chicken with Coconut Oil, I made my oatmeal with coconut oil, I fried my veggies in coconut oil and it was all delicious.  Another thing I will be trying when it gets warmer, is adding some coconut oil to my smoothies. There is no end to the things you can do with this oil in cooking.

Another amazing thing with coconut oil is that it is good for the skin and the hair.  I'm going to be saving so much money on skin and hair products b/c this is the best stuff ever!  It absorbs quickly, it works like no other skin product I've tried and it smells wonderful.  I am adding coconut oil to my jars of facial cream and it not only stretches the usage, but it works so much better!  I am putting coconut oil on my hair before I wash it and it makes it really soft and smooth!

Make sure that you purchase the Virgin Coconut oil because that is the one with all of the benefits.  Have I convinced you yet that you should at least try this stuff?  It's worth every penny, I promise!  I am a customer for life!  Thanks Tropical Traditions!

photo credit
Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. 
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