Coconut oil is the best oil to use for cooking, since it is resistant to oxidation at high heat. Other oils are not stable enough to resist chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, running the risk of causing your body harm by converting your good cholesterol into bad cholesterol.
Olive oil has long been considered the healthiest oil, but this title does not extend to cooking. By heating virgin olive oil to over 200 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, you are running the risk of creating oxidized oil that can do your body more harm than good. Olive oil is primarily a monounsaturated fat, which means it has one double bond in its fatty acid structure. It is a smart fat to include in your diet in a non-heated form, such as in a salad dressing or drizzled over an avocado.
Those still using conventional polyunsaturated vegetable oils including corn, soy and canola should strongly consider making an immediate switch to coconut oil. When these oils are heated and mixed with oxygen, they go rancid. Rancid oil is oxidized oil and should not be consumed. Additionally, because nearly 100% of the corn, soy and canola crops in the United States are GMO’s and are heavily processed, consuming them in any form should be avoided as well. It’s important to read the ingredients of any prepackaged, processed food, as these oils are present in up to 80% of them.
The coconut is considered to be a super food that is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, making it a vital nutritional building block in many cultures. The oil from the coconut is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts and is one of the richest sources of saturated fat you can find, with around 90% of calories coming from saturated fat. Unlike most other saturated fats, coconut oil is built primarily of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fats metabolize much differently than long-chain triglycerides because they are transported directly to the liver where they are turned into ketone bodies that provide a quick source of energy and are not stored as fat in the human body.
Coconut oil has a myriad of popular uses and health benefits outside of cooking. Full of antioxidant vitamin E, coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that can offer natural protection from harmful UV radiation, help to heal damaged or dry skin, reduce stretch marks or signs of aging, and can sooth eczema. Additionally, the oil can be used as toothpaste or like mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, improve dental health, naturally whiten teeth and reduce bad breath.
When choosing coconut oil for your home, make sure yours is certified organic, which means it’s free of bleaching, deodorizing, refining, or hydrogenation. Keep in mind that coconut oil is versatile and depending on the temperature in your home it may go from a solid to liquid and back again. This doesn’t harm the oil and you can continue to use it. Pick up a jar of organic coconut oil at your local grocery store and see where it fits into your lifestyle.