If you grew up in the 80's and 90's like me you might have the opinion that coconut oil is terrible for you, as I did. We were told it is a saturated fat and therefore would clog our arteries and stop our heart. Coconut oil was promptly pulled from baked goods and I always had a twinge of guilt eating any coconut treat.
Like so much of what we hear about our health that information was at best misleading, at worst it was outright coconut slander. The poor abused coconut, however, has made a comeback in recent years. People have recently been proclaiming the glory of the coconut and its miraculous ability to cure a world of ills. I roll my eyes when I hear wild health claims, so I have skipped over all the coconut raving.
Then I was given the chance from a company called Tropical Traditions, to actually try coconut oil and read some literature on it. I figured it couldn't hurt to look into it.
Here is some of the research backed information I found-
- A study of 40 women concluded that coconut oil does not result in more fats in the blood and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity ( Lipids. 2009 May 13. [Epub ahead of print]). This study affirms what previous studies have stated- consumption of coconut oil does not cause high cholesterol or heart disease.
- Virgin coconut oil has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties that are useful in the treatment of dermatitis (Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15)and acne (Dermatol.2009 Apr 23 [Epub ahead of print]).
- Animal studies indicate that consumption of coconut oil may actually lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood (Clin Biochem. 2004 Sep; 37(9):830-5).
- Human research shows that consuming oils such as coconut oil can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (Metabolism. 2003 Jun; 52(6):771-7).
- A wide variety of peer-reviewed research on the chemical components of coconut oil have hinted that coconut oil may help in reducing weight, slowing tumor growth, preventing obesity and combating a host of other human ailments.
I have actually read the research I am quoting. I never believe what I read (especially on the internet) unless I see the data myself. I spent a few too many years the pharmaceutical and scientific research industries to believe anything 2nd hand. I have included links to the research so you can read for yourself if that is your thing.
All this reading about coconut oil has convinced me it is something I should have in my diet more often. A 1998 article in the Journal of the Indian Medical Association sums up what we now know about consuming only oils we were told were 'healthier' like sunflower oil or safflower oil, stating,
there are numerous research data now available to indicate that the sole use or excess intake of these newer vegetable oils are actually detrimental to health and switching to a combination of different types of fats including the traditional cooking fats like ghee, coconut oil and mustard oil would actually reduce the risk of dyslipidaemias, AHD and Type-2 DM [diabetes] (J Indian Med Assoc. 1998 Oct; 96(10):304-7).
More and more the evidence seems to show that cutting out natural foods completely from our diet does more harm than good. I have come to the conclusion that diversity in diet is the answer, with all things in moderation. I never did understand how plant based oil could be so 'bad', just like I never thought avocados or almonds were 'bad' even though they are high in fat. Well lookie-there, research is now showing that items we were told to avoid are actually beneficial.
While research is amazing and fantastic and gives me warm fuzzies it often fails to take into consideration real life situations such as how people consume foods, how the food is prepared etc, so I never make a big change and eliminate any whole food based on some rat study. Nature knows best, I believe, so if it grows in the ground, tastes good and people have been eating it for thousands of years then it is good enough for me.
I won't be switching to using only coconut oil I have found that it is a great oil to cook with- clean tasting (no coconut taste at all), versatile and easy to measure. Plus Tropical Traditions coconut oil is certified as USDA organic, which gives it an advantage over 98% of oils on the shelf in stores.
Interested in trying coconut oil for yourself? Or perhaps you are already a fan of coconut oil and have a thing or two to teach me. In either case you will want to enter this giveaway for a quart of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. Also, if you are interested in reading more about the potential benefits of coconut oil be sure to check out this book, chocked full of great information, personal stories and a bit of history on the coconut oil revolution.
How to Enter
Visit the Tropical Traditions website and tell me what product you are most interested in trying. Or if you already have tried coconut oil tell me a little about your experience with the product. This entry must be completed in order to gain any extra entries.
- Follow Tropical Traditions on twitter (1 entry, leave your user id)
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- Follow me on blogger, subscribe via rss reader or subscribe via email (links to the left, 1 entry for each )
- Follow me on twitter and tweet this giveaway (1 tweet per day, link to your tweet please)
- Blog about this giveaway and leave a link to your post (2 entries)
The giveaway is open to both U.S. and Canadian residents. Entries will be accepted until June 13th 11:59 PM CST when a winner will be selected randomly. Winner will be notified via e-mail.