Coco-crazy – A Look at the Latest Cooking Craze

On social media, adverts, newspapers alike, it seems that Coconut Oil can cure all kinds of ailments and solve a number of problems. So what’s the truth behind this wonder product and how can it help us lead a healthier diet?

Sold as a food supplement for various kinds of cooking oils, including vegetable oil, sunflower oil and butter, in health superstores and in supermarkets, this new and exciting product claims to be “perfectly pure” containing nothing but coconut oil within its formula and providing essential fatty acids; lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid.

But what are these and what do they do?

In our normal everyday diets we obtain the fat we need for our body to synthesise, however, some essential fatty acids can only be obtained by food, and not having these can lead to many physical and even mental problems such as dry skin, internal liver problems and even depression…yikes.

In cooking terms the fatty acids in coconut oil are made for frying with around 90% of it made up of saturated fat, which means reduced oxidation when taken to high temperatures, creating less smoke and its molecular construct stays intact, whereas other oils break down.

Coconut oil provides a great source of energy as the fatty acids go to the liver and are turned into ketone bodies…something that cant be said for normal greasy oils!

Because of all these reasons, it is said to have significant effects on cholesterol and heart diseases – making it really appear as a miracle mystery discovery.

However, coconut oil has been criticized for its high volume of saturated fats that was thought to be a cause of heart problems and weight gain in the past. Yet, since those first worries, it has been seen that there is no link between the saturated fat in the refined product and the health problems it may cause. In-fact, more benefits have been found – such as moisturising skin, whitening teeth and improving shine in hair!

Coconut oil doesn’t have to be used just to fry food in either, it can be added to desserts, used in smoothies and added as garnish to food like ice cream.

The only question we’re left with is; why haven’t we been using it sooner?

Lydia Eccleston

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