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Coconut oil is one of my favorites when it comes to healthy fats. It’s also one of the most versatile oils out there, perfect to condition your skin and hair, good in coffee, and perfect for sautéing vegetables or cooking eggs. You can even use it to clean your teeth, make your own lip balm, and polish your furniture. Talk about a maverick ingredient.
What makes coconut oil so unique is the fact that it’s made up of medium-chain fatty acids that are extremely heart healthy and easy to absorb into cells due to their small size. It’s also what gives coconut oil its ability to form a solid at room temperature, but melt when it hits your mouth or your skin.
Coconut oil benefits
While coconut oil has all sorts of different health benefits from lowering cholesterol and protecting your heart, to improving digestion, reducing inflammation and even improving brain function, it’s also a wonderful weight loss aid. Who would have thought that eating pure fat in the form of coconut oil, can help speed up body fat loss? It seems to be particularly helpful in melting away the dangerous belly fat.
Coconut oil is a strong appetite suppressant. Eating a little throughout the day will help you feel full and satisfied sooner. This makes it much easier to avoid giving in to cravings or over eating. That alone will help you lose those extra pounds, but it gets even better.
Those medium-chain fatty acids I told you about earlier, help the body use energy reserves more easily and even helps speed up the process of breaking down said body fat. In other words, eating coconut oil will make it easier for your body to burn its own fat.
To prime the body for fat loss, you want to consume some coconut oil as early in the day as possible. Try adding a teaspoon of it to your first cup of coffee in the morning. It will melt right in and help you start to your day off right. From there, add a little here and there while you’re cooking food. You can sauté food in coconut oil, or use it like a finish oil similar to using butter or olive oil.
How to buy coconut oil
Coconut oil comes refined and unrefined. It is important to look for a reliable source for your coconut oil. I love the products from both Wildly Organic (Wilderness Family Naturals) and Tropical Traditions.
Unrefined Coconut Oil
“Centrifuged coconut oil is made by first pressing the fresh, white meat of the coconut to obtain a coconut cream. This cream is approximately 40% oil. The pressing should be done on a special machine where both the pressing plate and the sleeve are cooled by chilled water. Using a centrifuge, the cream is then concentrated to yield a higher and higher percentage of oil while the proteins and water soluble substances are separated out. In the end, this coconut oil has a very light, coconut flavor and most people would consider it to be very mild and smooth. It is typically considered one of the highest quality coconut oils, but is also one of the most expensive to produce.” (Source)
“Cold pressed coconut oil is made through a process that contains more variables than centrifuged oil, even though the methodology is simple. First, the fresh coconut meat is grated and then dried. This drying process is important to the taste and quality of the oil. Different companies do this in different ways. This dried coconut is then pressed at varying degrees of pressure and temperature. This pressing yields oil with proteins which are fine enough to leak out of the press cake while under pressure. These proteins are then either filtered out or allowed to “settle” in settling tanks so the oil can be decanted. The amount of heat that is generated during the processing and the details of the process can vary significantly. This is most likely the reason there is great variation in quality and taste among cold pressed oils. They can have a toasted coconut taste (the result of high heat used on standard desiccated coconut with very low moisture) or a mild, raw coconut flavor (which results from careful, low-temperature processing) or burnt and/or rancid flavors (the result of poor drying).” (source)
Refined Coconut Oil
“The vast majority of coconut oil produced in the world is expeller-pressed or refined. During production, there is little concern about heat, how the coconut meat is dried, or many other aspects of coconut oil manufacture. The coconut meat is dried by a wide variety of methods, usually using the sun or smoke. Once dried, the coconut meat is pressed in large expeller presses that generate heat and pressure. This yields a crude coconut oil that is brown and must be “cleaned”. In the end, the free fatty acids (a breakdown product from the oil), any remaining moisture, any bad flavor or smell, etc is minimized by filtering, washing, and refining. Expeller pressed oil is typically the least expensive of all coconut oils. It is sometimes called RBD coconut oil (which stands for refined, bleached and deodorized), but it is generally the same product as expeller pressed coconut oil.” Wildly Organic does sell this kind but without using any solvents or chemicals of any kind. (source)
I do use refined coconut oil because I use it for personal care products as well as for cooking and baking and I don’t want a coconut smell in my deodorant or my hand cream. But I prefer the coconut oil from Wildly Organic because they do not use the solvents or chemicals to refine it. When I order from anywhere else I order the raw or unrefined coconut oil.
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Do you use coconut oil? How have you seen it benefit you? Please comment below.