These days people are moving away from traditional oils such as canola, soy and corn due high chances of these oils being GMO and possibly toxic.
The majority of people when asked what they use for a healthy alternative will immediately say olive oil. Olive oil is indeed a healthy option since it doesn’t contain trans fat or cholesterol.
But what about coconut oil?
Coconut oil is still new to many people but it is important to emphasize that it is very much in the same league as olive oil. Coconut oil has the same amount of calories as olive oil and is also without trans fat and cholesterol.
The difference between the two is that coconut oil is a source of saturated fat such as lauric acid whereas olive oil is not. Saturated fat used to be a big no-no in the health world but now with proper scientific research the myth has finally been broken, showing that plant-based saturated fats such as coconut oil are safe and even beneficial to health.
Lauric acid is found in breast milk and is rich in antioxidants, and like other medium-chained triglycerides, can help the body absorb minerals and nutrients. Coconut oil is even used as a weight loss supplement since it has the ability to make us feel fuller for longer. Additionally, due to the oil’s ability to produce ketones taking coconut oil regularly can help restore brain activity and help the mentally-ill.
So it is clear to see that coconut oil is nutritionally beneficial to our health and is highly preferable to other refined oils, in particular those that are GMO. But coconut oil has other practical uses too.
Coconut has a higher smoke point than olive oil and many other oils, making it the ideal choice when frying foods or cooking at high temperatures. Once an oil reaches its smoke point its molecular structure is changed, and so it’s best to use an oil you know has a higher smoking point. Olive oil is a very poor choice for frying but it’s great for cold dishes and in particular salads.
The interesting thing about coconut oil is that its state is changed very easily. Above 76 degrees Fahrenheit the oil is in liquid form and below it turns into a solid state.
Coconut oil is more commonly used in baking, frying, stir frying or even in place of butter or margarine. If you don’t want to use margarine or butter or you’re looking for a non-dairy, healthy option, coconut oil can be used in exactly the same way. Many people spread coconut oil on their toast, mix it into their potatoes to create mash potatoes or use it instead of shortening or the fat in any recipe.