Coconut oil is on everyone’s mind these days, and so it will come as no surprise to you that I am also absolutely in love with it. You will definitely see quite a few recipes here on the blog. Coconut oil reminds me of summer, lazy days at the beach, and sunshine filling me with a good mood.
Coconut oil is a healthy source of saturated fats. What, aren’t saturated fats the bad kind? Saturated fats have long been linked to heart disease and raising cholesterol, when that is in fact not the case.
As I explain in my health coaching sessions, it is not the saturated fats we have to fear, but the processed oils that have no health benefits whatsoever. Processed oils are cooking and frying oils, mostly soy, corn, vegetable, and sunflower oil. The good nutrients like Omega 3 fats and Vitamin E are extracted, the oil has been heated to get rid of any impurities, and often it has been bleached, deodorized, and filtered in order to make it extremely heat stable. Yes, that means that you can deep fry nicely in these processed oils. However, this also means that you arteries get clogged up with the oils, starting to build up plaque on the artery walls. With this build up, regular flow of blood gets more difficult. This means you heart has to worker harder to pump blood through your body, as well as vital nutrients not reaching their destination so easily. In the worst case, you may suffer from a heart attack or stroke.
Now, with all this doom and gloom, there is some great news! Coconut oil doesn’t just contain any old saturated fats but MCTs (that makes medium chain triglycerides sound so much fancier). They have been linked to raising your metabolism and suppressing your appetite. Bad cholesterol (LDL) gets lowered and good one (HDL) gets raised by coconut oil.
Like with any oil, you want to look for the good cold-pressed kind; with coconut oil that means virgin coconut oil and nothing less.
There are so many versatile ways to use it that extend beyond the kitchen! Of course I love baking and stir frying with coconut oil, making smoothies creamy with it, as well as adding it pretty much to all my raw desserts and chocolates.
It also is a huge part of my beauty routine. I use it as a moisturizer for my super dry hair (hello, washing it about 3 times a day due to too much sweat from exercising and Shanghai summers does not help!!!) and to soothe my dry skin (also from too much showering). I make my own body scrubs, face scrubs, and tooth paste out of it. I use coconut oil for oil pulling in the mornings. I take off my make up with coconut oil in the evenings and then use it as an anti-aging superpower moisturizer on my face. It heals my scars, old and new, and one day, when I am pregnant, I intend to lie in coconut oil all day long to avoid stretch marks! 😜
I hope you will feel inspired to give coconut oil a try yourself. Check out some recipes here on the blog for inspiration.