Since early 2017 coconut oil started to show up on the supermarket shelves in various forms -extra virgin, cooking sprays, organic jarred, etc. It seemed as though many started to use it in their daily cooking. I personally think coconut oil enhances the flavor of some South Indian and Thai dishes and definitely makes baked desserts taste scrumptious! However, I still tell my clients to use coconut oil sparingly. And suggest returning to use vegetable oils like, olive oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil for day to day cooking.
Coconut oil is almost 90% saturated fat. Saturated fat in the diet is known to increase LDL cholesterol levels which increases the risk of heart disease. The strange thing about coconut oil, is that it also raises HDL cholesterol levels. HDL cholesterol is often referred to as our good cholesterol which decreases the risk of heart disease. But do the benefits of coconut oil outweigh the negatives? There is not enough research at this time to support consuming coconut oil to decrease risk of heart disease. Something to take note of is that vegetable oils are mainly unsaturated fats, therefore lowering LDL and increasing HDL to help decrease the risk of heart disease.
Have a half empty bottle of expensive organic virgin coconut oil in your pantry and no longer want to cook with it? Great, below are some of my favorite alternate uses:
- Use it as a body moisturizer! Before bed, rub some coconut oil on your feet and heels, cover with socks. Before you know it, your feet will be so soft and smooth! Rub the coconut oil into your hands, elbows or any rough spots… the skin will soften! Coconut oil is a great moisturizer.
- Use it to take off make up. Put a small amount of coconut oil onto a wash cloth, soften the coconut oil (if solid) into the wash cloth, then apply the oiled side of wash cloth to face. With gentle strokes remove make up. Personally, I think it works best to remove stubborn eye makeup.
- It makes the perfect hair mask. Melt coconut oil, massage it into the scalp and hair. Pull hair into a ponytail or bun. Allow the coconut oil to sit for 15-30 minutes at least and then shampoo out.
Now, go take some time to nourish your skin and hair! Cheers to nourishing the whole you!