Coconut oil is a saturated type of fat. Below 76F it is solid and above this temperature it is liquid. The family of saturated fats also include real butter, lard and palm oil. Saturated fats have been wrongly accused of being responsible for atherosclerosis, heart attacks and cardiovascular disease in general. The confusion started when a great deal of misleading information came out by the media and was amplified beyond control. At the same time, artificial refined vegetable oils (made from mixtures of soya, cotton, rapeseed oils etc) and margarines became popular as a healthy alternative to the “mean” and unhealthy saturated fats.
The fact is that when butter and lard were used, up to 1930, heart attacks were responsible for less than 3,000 deaths per year in USA. In 1950 when margarine and vegetable oils had taken over the world, myocardial infarction was already claiming 500,000 lives every year. Also native populations in Asia follow a diet heavily based on coconut products, overall extremely high in saturated fats but are free from cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
So, coconut oil is healthy. The fact that it is saturated makes it an excellent choice for cooking with it. Saturated fats are very stable at high temperatures. This has to do with their chemistry and how they react with other molecules. Heat cannot cause any chemical or structural changes to natural saturated fats. Except for this important fact, coconut oil has been found to have significant antimicrobial and antiviral properties. This makes a big difference during digestion, when the contents of our stomach proceed to the gut. The gut and the digestive tract in general is the barrier between the internal part of the body and the external environment.
The food we consume is full of bacteria, dust and many other potential pathogens that go undetected. It is massively important for our body to prevent all these dangerous agents from being absorbed along with the valuable nutrients. So, if the very oil we cook our food into is antimicrobial, imagine how much this helps in cleansing the food from harmful pathogens and how much this alleviates our body’s defence systems! Coconut oil consists at least 40% of a fatty acid called Lauric acid. This fat is found in breast milk and research since the 60s has shown that this very substance is responsible for the antiviral and antimicrobial protection babies receive from their mother’s milk. Further research showed that the human body uses Lauric acid to produce a chemical derivative, which subsequently attacks and dissolves the membrane many viruses are covered with in order to be able to infect healthy cells.
Finally ladies, you will be happy to know that coconut oil has anti-aging and incredible weight loss properties. In the 40s, farmers tried coconut oil to fatten their animals, which instead became lean and slim! Coconut oil has the ability to stimulate thyroid function. Active thyroid means elevated metabolic rates and more efficient fat loss even while you sleep! In the presence of adequate thyroid hormone, cholesterol is converted in extremely important hormones (anti-aging steroids, progesterone, pregnenolone etc) that fight off heart disease, obesity, cancer and other degenerative diseases.
The farmers of the story were obviously very disappointed to see their animals lean and fit so when it became known that coconut oil stimulates the thyroid function, tried to feed the animals anti – thyroid drugs to shut their thyroid gland down and make them fat. While this happened, they also developed cancer in higher rates. Then, they realized that they could have the fattening result without the cancer if they just fed their livestock with soy bean and corn! So now you have the full story about coconut oils and vegetable oils coming from soya, corn, cotton, rapeseed etc.