When you begin to question the fad diets that profess hate for fat, you begin to realize that everything is not black and white, that there are nuances, that living without fat is not advisable and that not all fats are the same. In the early 90’s coconut oil was considered a danger to health. Years after that the health of the population, in general, has not improved and some seriously question whether the insistence on “prescribing ” fat-free diets is a matter of not wanting to see realities and continue to support a theory that makes water by everywhere.
Fortunately, there are already voices that tired of not seeing results are rethinking the rules and the coconut oil is returning to be an advisable food.
Why was coconut oil devilized?
The bad reputation of coconut oil comes from the fact the type used for scientific studies was not natural but partially hydrogenated and whose trans fats raise cholesterol and other markers of animals used in these experiments.
The hydrogenation not only creates trans fats but also destroys some of the fatty acids, antioxidants and other components that are present in virgin coconut oil. And the natural saturated fats of coconut oil are not the devil’s way of thinking because the evidence against them is virtually nil.
And as we already know, not all fats are the same, the saturated fat present in the highest proportion in coconut oil is lauric acid (medium-chain fatty acid), which increases HDL levels by converting your cholesterol (regardless of how much you have) in protector of your cardiovascular system. This fat is not stored, the body uses it as energy and therefore can help you in weight loss.
The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin and use it to cope with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like herpes and influenza.
Composition of coconut oil
In more than 90% are saturated fats, triglycerides of medium chain that are perfectly assimilable by the human body, with some unsaturated fatty acids.
Lauric acid is the main one, more than 40%, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic acid. Also present linoleic acid (polyunsaturated), oleic acid (monounsaturated) and polyphenols in the form of phenolic acid responsible for the fragrance and taste of coconut oil. It also gives us vitamin E and vitamin K and minerals like iron.
How coconut oil is made
First, we need mature coconuts from which we extract the meat and dry it to get copra that when subjected to pressure coconut oil is obtained. So easy that we should watch when consuming coconut oil is that the raw material is coconut without additives or other fats and is not refined, which will look like a transparent liquid. With these precautions, your coconut oil is a whitish paste that will become more liquid when warmed. To cook you should use it as you would with the butter.
It is ideal for sautéing vegetables that will get their taste soften, helpful if you have children who are reluctant to take vegetables because they taste bitter.