Is it me or is coconut oil really terrible for you? I think they add it to things like engergy bars and cookies to prolong their shelf life. I've been looking into more raw recepies lately and I'm surprised at how many of them contain coconut oil. I've always thought that if I'm going to add it to a recipie, I might as well just have it inject straight into my arteries. That's where it ends up any way!
Whoever has the most lobbyists and sponsors the most studies wins. The canola (rapeseed) and corn oil industries are infamous for this.
Although coconut oil is high in saturated fats, they're medium-chain fatty acids. These types of fats go to the liver to be converted to energy rather than to be stored as adipose (butter, cheese, etc. has long-chain fatty acids -- the bad kind)
Also, because of the extra saturated fat, coconut oil has a very high smoke point and undergoes much fewer chemical changes (like creation of trans fats) during high-temperature cooking. If you're going to be frying or exposing the oil to high temperatures, use virgin coconut or virgin palm oil. In a pinch and for cost savings, an alternative would be peanut oil because it also has a high smoke point and is mostly medium-chain fatty acids (good kind of saturated fats). If you are not frying or doing high-temp cooking, use extra virgin olive oil. Great for dressings, pasta salads, etc.
Since I must eat lunch at work everyday, I end up with a sandwich every day. I use coconut oil in place of fake butter/mayo spreads. Since it remains solid at temperatures below 75 degrees or so, it is very easy to spread it on bread. Makes the most delicious sandwiches...far better than any fake butter/mayo and far better than what I remember what the real butter/mayo tasted like.
I bought a big bucket of it from Tropical Traditions last time I was in the States and lugged it back here in one of my suitcases. One of my smarter purchases.
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