Contrary to the generally prevalent notion of coconut oil being harmful for health, this oil actually is the most significant source of medium chain fatty acid, which has an incredible positive influence on the human body.
This specific form of fat defends the body against heart disease, diabetes, cancers, liver and kidney diseases, osteoporosis, dental decay and skin infections, viruses, yeast and fungi.Coconut oil can be differentiated into two categories based on the type of coconuts used, and the extraction method employed. The first kind is the Virgin type. For the extraction of this form of oil, only fresh coconuts are utilized. Natural methods are used for extraction at low temperatures. This method of extraction helps the oil to sustain the original flavor, odor and taste of coconut. The second type of oil called RBD, or highly refined oil, is extracted from dried coconuts. This oil is colorless and is devoid of the peculiar taste and odor of coconut due to the usage of a chemical process for its extraction. In order to avoid the risks of poor hygiene and hydrogenation aspects during the chemical process, it is prudent to select RBD oil that has been produced by the ‘centrifugation extraction method’.
Coconut oil can be used in various food recipes to yield health benefits. Coconut oil can be used as salad dressing. However, since most salads are served chilled, it is best to mix coconut oil with some other oil such as olive oil to overcome its property of high melting point. Whether it is sauté, shallow frying or deep frying, coconut oil serves as the best oil as it can resist high temperatures without the emission of toxic compounds or free radicals. Another benefit of frying in coconut oil is that food deep fried in this oil absorbs lesser oil content in comparison to other vegetable oils. Coconut oil has its utility in baking as well. If used for baking instead of butter or any other vegetable oil, it adds certain sweetness to the baked food item.
Coconut oil can serve as a tasty and healthy spread in place of butter or margarine. Many enjoy the flavor of coconut oil in hot beverages such as tea, coffee, hot chocolate or hot soup. In fact, some people consume 1 or 2 tablespoons of organic extra virgin coconut oil directly as a food supplement. Owing to its numerable health benefits, this is the simplest and the best way to consume coconut oil.
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