Coconut oil has been all the rage for some time. Endorsed by a number of celebrities as a superfood, this tropical-smelling fat — often liberally applied to our skin and scalps — is a favorite of many. But the question remains: is it healthful or not?
Fat suffered a bad reputation for a long time and we were told to opt for low-fat options instead. But the tides turned eventually, prompting us to see fats in a new light.
Our lives became simpler. We learned how to avoid bad (saturated and hydrogenated) fats and eat good (unsaturated) ones to keep our tickers and arteries healthy.
Then the humble coconut came along in 2003, and the waters were once again muddied. Seen by some as a superfood but recently labeled by the American Heart Association (AHA) as part of the pool of unhealthful fats, the controversy goes on.
So, what are the scientific facts behind the coconut oil hype, and what are the latest developments?
Secret ingredient: ‘Medium-chain’ fatty acids
Many of the purported health claims surrounding coconut oil stem from research published in 2003 by Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D. — a professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University in New York City, NY. Continue reading
Here are some good examples of the kind of fuel we should be using to get through the day. Regular readers know I am a total believer in the health benefits of coconut oil. I start everyday with a spoon full of peanut butter dipped in coconut oil. Wonderful fast energy source. Check out my Page – Coconut oil – Why you should include it in your diet for lots more information on its value.
Last, but not least, don’t forget that the organic machine that you live in – your body – needs exercise every day. Not just good fuel.
It is just less than a year ago since I wrote Why Should I Try Coconut Oil?
Today I was shopping in Costco and came upon this huge display of their own Kirkland Brand coconut oil. I guess that means that the product sold well enough for Costco to find a company to produce it under for the Kirkland brand. That is very good news to me.
I shot this at Costco today
If you have been on the fence about trying coconut oil, please check out my Page – Why You Should Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet.
There are at least a dozen good reasons including that coconut oil is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It is second only to mother’s milk in its amount of lauric acid. What could be more nutritious than that?
Its medium chain fatty acids are easy on the digestive system. “It travels immediately to the liver to be converted into energy. It doesn’t circulate in the body and end up being stored as fat. So for a quick energy boost, eat a spoonful of coconut oil or add it to your food,” I wrote in that post.
One difference between the new Kirkland brand and the previous brand at Costco was that the previous brand said “Extra Virgin” coconut oil whereas the new Kirkland brand simply has “Virgin” coconut oil. What is the difference? Good question. The best answer I could find was ‘marketing.’ While there is a major difference between virgin and extra virgin olive oil, no such distinction exists in the coconut oil world.
Regarding product size: the old brand was a big fat 54 ounce jar. The new one is 42.3 ounces, but you have to buy two jars. So, you end up with more coconut oil in the slightly more manageable form of two containers.
Check it out for yourself. Costco knows a valuable product when they sell one. You should, too.
“Virgin coconut oil is high in lauric acid, a saturated fat that’s classified as a medium-chain fatty acid; it can raise both “bad” and “good” cholesterol levels. And there’s some evidence — including both animal and human studies — suggesting that coconut oil intake may be associated with a neutral, if not beneficial, effect on cholesterol levels.”
Regular readers know that I am a big fan of coconut oil. Here are previous posts on the subject:
Why should I try coconut oil?
Coconut oil: What is it all about?
Significant health benefits of coconut oil
Why coconut oil is so darn good for you
Coconut oil: Alzheimer’s Treatment
You should try oil-pulling
What to look for in a cholesterol report
Cooking with Kathy Man
Jackie Newgent, a registered dietitian wrote in Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ……
Extra-virgin olive oil consistently tops the list in popularity when it comes to culinary oils. But these days coconut oil seems to be stealing the spotlight. Health claims abound around this tropical oil, but so does controversy. So what is it all about? Here are some facts about coconut oil.
Where Does Coconut Oil Come From?
There are two main types of coconut oil that you can use in cooking and baking: Virgin and refined.
“Virgin” coconut oil is extracted from the fruit of fresh mature coconuts without using high temperatures or chemicals; it’s considered unrefined.
“Refined” coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat that’s often chemically bleached and deodorized.
Some food manufacturers may use yet another form of coconut oil that’s further processed: partially hydrogenated coconut oil.
Nutritional Properties of Coconut Oil
The coconut oil…
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I have been a James Cameron fan ever since his epic creation The Terminator appeared in 1984. Cameron directed as well as co-wrote it. I enjoyed the subsequent offerings in the franchise and when Cameron co-created the Dark Angel TV series in 2000 I was there from the beginning. It broke my heart when they didn’t renew after only two years. Gorgeous 19 year old Jessica Alba played the title role of Max who was a bike messenger. As a daily bike rider, this hit me where I live.
Cut to the present. I read in the Costco magazine recently that foxy Jessica Alba, now a 31-year old mom, has started The Honest Company that makes healthy household products. Max has managed to move the bar code from the back of her neck to the back of her shampoo bottle.
Lo and behold, going through Costco this morning, I ran across a combination shampoo and body wash from … The Honest Company.
The shampoo is made from jojoba and quinoa proteins, organic coconut oil and moisturizers, “perfectly ph balanced to remove dirt without stripping natural oils.”
Clearly using quinoa and coconut oil makes it very attractive to a guy who has blogged about both.
I had to buy it and try it. Having done so, I can attest to its very clean ‘sweet orange vanilla’ scent. It produced only a fair lather which was disappointing, but I felt clean after using it. I will take their word that none of my natural oils were stripped away in the shower.
Personally, as a fan of the benefits of a market economy, I don’t appreciate her calling her firm The Honest Company as if all her competition is not honest. I suppose that is typical Left Coast Hollywood thinking about big business. I believe that the firms that sell Old Spice and Irish Spring, and have been around significantly longer than Jessica’s company, are equally honest and produce worthwhile products. I know, I use them, too.
So, even if you weren’t a Dark Angel fan, you might like to try her shampoo-body wash or other products.
Filed under Costco, shampoo