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Coconut oil: The Real Story

Coconut oil’s amazing nutritional qualities and why it was demonized.

Since the 1960s, coconut oil has been unfairly labeled as “unhealthy.” The media reported studies of how tropical coconut oils were laden with artery-clogging fats. What wasn’t reported was the fact that the coconut oil used in the studies was hydrogenated – not the virgin oil used for centuries as a staple food. We now know it’s hydrogenation – artificially adding a hydrogen molecule to oils in order to make them shelf-stable – that’s the problem, not coconut oil. Hydrogenated soy, corn, and canola oils – loaded with dangerous trans-fats and processed with toxic hexane solvents – are routinely added to packaged foods. Hydrogenation fattened corporate profits and American waistlines, and is now linked with diseases.

Why is it that baby formulas often include coconut oil as an ingredient? Because coconut is one of the most health super foods in the world. Coconut oil is cholesterol – and trans fat-free, contains only 1% Omega-6 and is rich in medium-chain “good fats” that doctors recommend.

One of the good fats that comprises about 50% of coconut oil, is lauric acid. Lauric acid is a rare medium-chain fatty acid found in mother’s milk that supports healthy metabolism and is now being studied for its anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial health-protecting properties. Some researchers predict that lauric acid will become as well known in health circles as Omega-3 is today. In fact, the Monsanto company has already developed a GMO canola oil variety that attempts to mimic coconut oil’s high percentage of lauric acid. As we learn about the downsides of consuming too many Omega-6 vegetable oils, coconut oil is making a comeback. We suggest 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil a day.

Hydrogenated Trans Fat or Healing Coconut Oil

The FDA will begin requiring the labeling of “trans fats” in 2006, and as a result the entire fat category is undergoing a review of its traditions and assumptions. Nutiva is well positioned to deliver the nourishing “good fats” in its hemp and coconut oil products, which can play a vital role in our health. Outdated “corporate-speak” assumptions including “zero fat is good,” “tropical fats are bad,” and “lots of vegetable oils are beneficial” are being increasingly questioned by millions of Americans.

The traditional Pacific Islander diet included large quantities of coconut, and those who still follow this diet have a low incidence of heart disease or overweight. When a Western-style diet including vegetable oils replaces their traditional diet, all of the fat-related diseases common in the United States begin to appear.

Besides its nutritional value, Nutiva Coconut Oil makes a luscious and soothing massage and body oil for dry and or damaged skin. Discover delicious recipes, and consider reading The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil by Bruce Fife, N.D.

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