Coconut oil was once very popular cooking oil in America, but the Japanese occupation of the Philippines stopped the export of this oil.
Companies began the push to hydrogenate the oils we had here in America, to make them more shelf stable, but unfortunately, that also made them less and less healthy.
But new research and new processing options have given coconut oil a new life, and a new place in a healthy American diet.
Research has shown that there is unique form of saturated fat called medium chain fatty acids that is found in coconut oil. These are very different than the long chain fatty acids that are in most processed fats in the American diet.
These medium chain fatty acids, like lauric acid which is a major fat in coconut oil, are used quickly by the body and don’t really have time to become stored as fat.
Current research ties most of the unhealthy actions of fats to trans-fats, which is the chemical process used to make solid and shelf-stable fats out of what are usually otherwise healthy fats.
Research is under way to provide clinical evidence of the benefits of coconut oil. Anecdotal evidence is available that coconut oil can help you lose weight, is anti-viral and anti-bacterial, and can help reduce inflammation.
To gain the benefits of coconut oil, you can begin to cook with it, but a simpler way is to take about 3 or 4 tablespoons a day. Try mixing it into a fruit smoothie. But do get only virgin coconut oil for maximum flavor and healthy.