Sunday, March 23, 2008

Coo Coo for Coconut Oil

Happy Easter! I hope everyone had a great day. Today's blog will be about Coconut oil and oils in general. Our personal preference is Coconut oil. In the past, coconut oil (and other tropical oils) got a bad rap for saturated fats. However, this was based on studies with hydrodgenated coconut oil. I am talking about pure, organic coconut oils here. The benefits of coconut oils are rich and varied, just google it for your own edification. Coconuts in general are extremely healthy, in remote areas coconut water has even been used as blood plasma in cases of emergency, what other item from nature can tout that? In short, it is a healthier alternative that even helps fight yeast, for those people who have that as a concern (which is about 90% of the American population, many don't even know they have a yeast problem!). But what about Soy and Canola? Aren't those great alternatives? Well, the government would have you believe that, and they are so cheap! That is actually one of the main reasons, they are cheaper to produce. I have already covered soy and why I am against that, and that goes for soybean oil too. Canola oil is another story. The latest hype is on hydrogenation, with many fast food chains and snack foods touting "NO TRANS FATS" because that is what hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils are, trans fats. Why are they bad? Well, they basically clog up your neuro transmitters. And, when you do take in the good fats (like avocados, nuts, etc) your body will ignore those in favor of the yucky trans fats that you may have consumed. And we won't even go into the problems with trans fats and your heart/cholesterol. Lets get back to Canola oil. They toot their own horn as having no trans fats. However, what is a canola? Do you know what plant/animal this oil comes from? No? Me either. It is derived from the rapeseed plant, which who wants rapeseed oil? That doesn't sound so great. It is a product of Canada so Canada + oil = Canola. Anyways, most oils are already oils and then they are hydrogenated = the labeling of trans fats. But, to be edible/safe, the rapeseed oil goes through a process of hydrogenation and then viola, Canola oil. But because the hydrogenation is done pre-production so to speak and not after it becomes Canola oil, it can carry the label "Trans Fat Free". But, it is hydrogenated. Now more than ever you will find this little gem on packaging, it is cheap and they can get away with the "Trans Fat Free" label by using this. Your best bet? Olive oil, coconut oil or good 'ole butter. You want things to harden when it gets cold, melt when it gets hot, not stay the same no matter what temp it is! That is just weird. I know you are probably thinking, BUTTER? Yes, butter, you know the stuff that comes from COWS? Not margerine (again, what kind of plant/animal is a margerine??). Oil is oil, it is supposed to be used in moderation. We can't have our cake and eat it too. A fat is a fat. Use the real deal, just don't go crazy. But, if you are interested in trying a new oil, one that tastes great (we use it to pop popcorn and it tastes buttery, not at ALL like coconuts) I would highly suggest coconut oil. We bake with it, cook with it, even fry with it on those rare occassions where we fry. It does not convert to transfats upon high heat like other oils do. So, yes you are still eating fried foods but at least some of the ick factor is gone. Try it, I bet you'll like it!

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