Why I love cooking with coconut oil

05.03.14 Eat, Learn Blog SumoSalad

I’m often questioned about what oils to use in cooking, and I always reply with, “that’s simple as I only use one (apart from lard, beef tallow and duck fat from ethically raised animals).Virgin Coconut Oil!”  Plus I of course use an organic, cold pressed, virgin olive oil for pouring after cooking to add flavour and also for very low temperature cooking!

Why do I use Virgin Coconut oil?

A) It is much more stable than most other oils, having a reasonably long shelf life and the ability to withstand typical cooking temperatures without degeneration.

B) Most importantly, it’s by far the best oil for your health.

Coconut oil is uniquely different from most other oils, therefore it’s used in an abundance of applications in food and medicine. What makes coconut oil different from other oils is the fatty acids that make up the oil. Coconut oil is composed predominately of a special group of fat molecules known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). The majority of fats in the diet are composed almost entirely of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs).  The primary difference between MCFAs and LCFAs is the size of the molecule, or more precisely, the length of the carbon chain that makes up the backbone of the fatty acid. As implied by the names, LCFAs are larger than MCFAs. This is important! The length of the carbon chain influences many of the oil’s physical and chemical properties. When consumed, the body processes and metabolises each fatty acid differently depending on the size of the carbon chain.  That’s as much detail as I’ll go into as far as the science side of things go, because at the end of the day I’m a chef, so don’t trust me, do your own research and empower yourself with knowledge.

One of the most important differences between coconut oil and other oils is its relatively high melting point. Above 24 C (76° F) coconut oil is a colourless liquid. Below this temperature, however, it solidifies into a white paste. You can use this oil for food preparation in both a solid or liquid form. When it’s solid, it melts rather quickly.  Coconut oil is very heat stable so it makes an excellent cooking and frying oil as it has a smoke point of about 182 C  (360° F). Due to its stability, coconut oil is slow to oxidise and therefore impervious to rancidity, with a storage life of about two years which is greatly longer than most other oils. Coconut oils stability means that it does not need to be refrigerated so you can easily store it in your kitchen pantry.

Now there are two main types of coconut oil, one being “virgin” coconut oil and the other is often referred to as “RBD” coconut oil, meaning refined, bleached, and deodorised. Virgin coconut oil is far superior as it has undergone minimal processing and retains a delicate coconut aroma and flavour. RBD oil has been subjected to more extensive processing which removes the flavour and aroma.  The easiest way to tell the difference between the oils is simply one will be named ‘virgin’ and the ‘RBD’ coconut oil, regardless of any other words used in the labelling will not.

OK, now for some super good news. Because coconut oil produces energy, it stimulates the metabolism. This thermogenic (metabolic stimulating) effect causes the body to burn more calories, which means that fewer calories are left to be converted into body fat.  Just make sure that you’re not consuming it with sugar and/or too many starchy carbs, because they change the whole ball game as far as how much fat your body chooses to store.  Coconut oil also helps to slow down the absorption of food in the digestive tract, which basically allows us to feel fuller for longer, which means less hunger pangs, less snacking and reduced over eating.  For this reasons, coconut oil has been recommended as a tool for the treatment of obesity and as an aid to help overweight people manage their weight. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil

But that’s not all. I’ve got even more astonishingly good news… Reputable scientific studies have shown that including expeller pressed virgin coconut oil into the diet can be useful in preventing and in many cases significantly reversing a wide number of brain disorders including: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke, epilepsy, to name a few. And regularly eating coconut oil can provide you with protection against these devastating conditions also.

Unlike antibiotics which are only effective against bacteria, MCFAs can kill bacteria as well as viruses, fungi, and protozoa, which makes coconut oil a potentially useful aid in preventing and fighting infections. Research has shown that MCFAs in coconut oil are effective in killing disease-causing microorganisms that cause sinus infections, ear infections, throat infections, gum disease, pneumonia, and gonorrhoea; they kill yeast and fungi that cause athlete’s foot, ringworm, nail fungus, thrush, and canadensis; and they kill viruses that cause influenza, measles, herpes, mononucleosis, hepatitis C, and many others.

So what’s the bottom line?  Chuck out your extremely toxic seed and vegetable oils; invest in a virgin coconut oil for cooking and pleasurable consumption and a cold pressed olive oil for pouring and you’re well on your way to a healthier you!

Legendary natropath Bruce Fife is my coconut oil guru so I highly recommend you visit his site www.coconutresearchcentre.org for more enlightening information about one of natures near perfect foods.

Cook with love, laughter and Virgin Coconut Oil!

Pete 🙂

POSTED BY: Pete Evans

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