Since the 1960s, coconut oil has been unfairly labeled as “unhealthy.” The media reported studies of how tropical coconut oils were laden with artery-clogging fats. What was left out of these reports was the fact that the coconut oil used in the studies was not the virgin oil used for centuries but hydrogenated. We have since learned it’s the hydrogenation – artificially adding a hydrogen molecule to oils in order to make them shelf-stable – that’s the problem, not the coconut oil itself. Hydrogenated soy, corn, and canola oils – loaded with dangerous trans-fats and processed with toxic hexane solvents – are routinely added to packaged foods. Hydrogenation fattened corporate profits and American waistlines, and is now linked with trans-fats and associated heart disease.
Baby formulas often include coconut oil as an ingredient because coconut is such a healthy super food. Virgin coconut oil is rich in the “good fats” that doctors recommend and is cholesterol – and trans fat-free.
Health Properties of Lauric Acid
One of the “good fats” that makes up about 50% of coconut oil, is lauric acid. Lauric acid is a rare medium-chain fatty acid found in mother’s milk that is now being shown to have anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial health-protecting properties. Some researchers predict that lauric acid will become as well known in health circles as Omega-3 is today.
As studies reveal the downsides of consuming too many Omega-6 vegetable oils, coconut oil is making a comeback. We suggest consuming 3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil a day.
Hydrogenated Trans Fat or Healing Coconut Oil?
The FDA started requiring the labeling of “trans fats” in 2006, and as a result the entire fat category is undergoing a review of its traditions and assumptions. Hemp and coconut oil products deliver the nourishing “good fats, which can play a vital role in our health. Millions of Americans are questioning the outmoded assumptions regarding “zero fat is good”, “tropical fats are bad,” and “lots of vegetable oils are beneficial”.
The traditional Pacific Islander diet included large quantities of coconut, and those who still follow this diet have a low incidence of heart disease or weight issues. When a Western-style diet including vegetable oils replaces their traditional diet, all of the fat-related diseases common in the developed nations begin to appear.
Besides its nutritional value, Coconut Oil also makes a luscious and soothing massage and body oil for dry and or damaged skin.