why i get excited about coconut oil (plus coconut sweet potato!)
Coconut oil is getting a lot of very good press lately…much of it from me! I thought I’d clear up WHY it’s good and WHAT I do with the stuff. This first post will tick off the former.
So, know this:
It doesn’t make you fat
Coconut oil is a short-medium chain saturated fat. But saturated fat is bad, right? No. Not the naturally occurring saturated fats, like coconut oil. It’s the artificially adjusted trans fats you want to avoid, like vegetable oils and seed oils. I’ll be posting on this next week, if you’re not quite convinced! Also, when I mention coconut oil, I’m talking virgin coconut oil, not the hydrogenated version (which is bad).
In fact, it helps you LOSE weight
How so? Coconut oil is mostly made up of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids produce a whole host of health benefits:
- MCFAs are smaller. They permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body.
- MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system.
- MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
- MCFAs actually help stimulate your body’s metabolism, and increases the activity of the thyroid,
leading to weight loss.
It stops sugar cravings and energy slumps
Your body sends medium-chain fatty acids straight to your liver to use as energy. This means that coconut oil is a source of instant energy to your body, much like when you eat simple carbohydrates. But although they both deliver quick energy to your body, unlike the carbohydrates, coconut oil does not produce an insulin spike in your bloodstream. This saves you from a slump, and is good news for anyone struggling with insulin issues. Like me. And most of us with AI issues.
It’s the only oil we should be cooking with
Coconut oil is the only oil that is stable enough to resist mild heat-induced damage, while still helping to promote heart health, support weight loss and thyroid function. Use coconut oil instead of butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, margarine, or any other type of oil called for in recipes.
It’s anti-viral and anti-fungal
50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. Lauric acid is considered a “miracle” ingredient because of its unique health promoting properties. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. Coconut oil is also great for candida.
There are many advantages to boosting your metabolic rate: your healing process accelerates, cell regeneration increases to replace old cells, and your immune system functions better overall. When your immune system is functioning well, your body will be less inflamed.
It’s REALLY good for anyone with thyroid issues
Coconut oil can also raise basal body temperatures while increasing metabolism. This is good news for people who suffer with low thyroid function.
It’s sooo good on your skin
Coconut oil is ideal for skin care. It helps protect your skin from aging effects, and can help improve the appearance of skin with its anti-aging benefits. Coconut oil is absorbed into your skin and connective tissues, where it helps keep your connective tissues supple and strong, which helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines. Coconut oil on your skin also acts as an exfoliator for the outer layer of dead skin cells. This will make your skin smoother too. Another bonus!
And, as promised…the recipe…these are amazing. I’ve also done the same with pumpkin!
Coconut oil roasted sweet potatoes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- About 800g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Heat oven to 190/350 degrees. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat.
In a large bowl, toss together potatoes, coconut oil, sugar, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Spread the potatoes in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until soft and caramelized, about 1 hour.
Also try some of my other coconut recipes:
Do you use coconut oil? Have you noticed any of these benefits yourself?
Stay tuned for my post on what I do with coconut oil…