Shimmy Shimmy Coconut

For several decades, coconut oil suffered a bad reputation as a contributor to high cholesterol. Turns out, the coconut was falsely accused. In fact, virgin (unrefined) coconut oil has some fabulous health benefits.

First, coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is the main fat in human milk. It promotes healthy digestion by destroying pathogens and encouraging the growth of friendly bacteria. Second, over half of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain fatty acids, which are not stored as fat. Instead of going to your thighs, these fatty acids head straight to your liver where they are burned for energy.

And just as a bonus, coconut oil is lower in calories than most fats and oils. You can substitute coconut oil for in baked goods for butter or shortening, simply reduce the amount called for by 25%. It's also delicious in stir-fries. Just remember to buy unrefined or virgin coconut, it's less processed and therefore contains more of the healthy benefits. What are you waiting for? Go shimmy your coconut!

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Vicki said...

This might be a silly question but does coconut oil taste real coconutty? Because you've convinced me to try start substituting it in my recipes, except I don't really like the taste of coconut!

Leslie said...

Definitely try and let me know what you think. It doesn't taste like coconut, but I'm having trouble describing the flavor. If you've tried walnut oil, it's very mild like that, but more buttery. And while I wouldn't call it sweet, it has this almost-sweet hint that makes pair well with sweet sauces like teriyaki or a citrus glaze.

lindsay said...

i think coconut oil has a mildly sweet flavor. i have used it before and i prefer to use it only when i bake or when making sweet(er) things. i definitely don't use it in salty dishes because it does have that sweet, coconut-y flavor and i've ruined dishes.

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