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Coconut Oil; What are the Health Benefits?

By Wendy RN., BA
10/11/2013 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

More good reasons to use Coconut Oil.

Today's blog shares more of the wonderful healthy attributes of coconut oil.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Rise Above Health Blog) - As reported in Shape magazine, Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet says:

"Yes, coconut oil is almost 90 percent saturated fat, but not all sat fats are created equal. The saturated fat in coconut oil is mostly lauric acid, a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that appears to have a more neutral effect on heart health when compared to longer-chain saturated fats found in meats and dairy products. This makes sense considering citizens of nations that consume prodigious amounts of coconut products, such as Sri Lanka, have lower rates of heart disease than Americans. Some research even suggests that coconut oil can paradoxically improve cholesterol numbers by revving up enzymes in the body that breakdown fats. Up to 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day, can be a healthy and tasty addition to your diet when replacing other less-healthy calories."

Coconut oil has many healthy benefits


There are different types of coconut oil. Organic virgin or extra virgin coconut oil is extracted from coconut meat using a delicate method such as cold pressing. This type of oil will have more antioxidants as well as a stronger coconut flavor and aroma, great for eating and baking.

Expeller-pressed coconut oil is further processed with friction heat and has a mild neutral nutty flavor. Not as high in antioxidants, but still healthy and is great for frying.

Raw coconut butter is made just like any other nut butters. The coconut meat is ground to a paste.  Store at room temperature for a delicious spread.

In recipes, coconut oil can be substituted 1:1 for butter, margarine, shortening or lard. I did read that if you are substituting a butter recipe with coconut oil, to add a dash more to compensate for the extra moisture that butter gives. I do not know exactly what a dash is so a little experimentation may be necessary.

I suggest that when you incorporate coconut oil into your diet, you replace the current fat in your diet with coconut oil, not adding it on top of other fats.

Now for the yummy part, here are a couple of my favorite ways to use coconut oil.

Rosemary roasted vegetables


1.  Rosemary Roasted Vegetables

With winter approaching, roasting is one of my favorite ways to prepare root vegetables.

I do not follow a recipe, I slightly warm 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil (it melts at 76 degrees), I add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper to taste.  I toss my vegetables of choice (cut into bite sized pieces), I like carrots, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnip, onions, beans, or use any vegetable you like, and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Sometimes I substitute basil and garlic for the rosemary, or I add garlic to the rosemary. In fact, you could use any herb flavor combination you prefer.

Granola; Healthy Food


2.  Apricot Maple Granola

2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup pumpkin puree, or canned pumpkin pie filling
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/2 cup pure Maple Syrup (I am from Canada)
3 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil (warmed slightly)
1/2 cup apricots
1/2 cup dried figs, raisins, dates, or any dried fruit of your choice (cranberries or cherries will need to be added after baking as they dry out too much)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp sea salt

Mix all ingredients
Spread over a coconut oil coated, aluminum foil lined baking sheet (I just use my fingers with a small amount of coconut oil)

Bake in a preheated oven 325 degrees F. or 165 degrees C. for 15 min. Stir mixture with spatula and continue to bake another 15 min. until crisp and golden brown.

Once cooled, you can add dried cranberries or cherries if desired.

I hope you enjoy the recipes, more to come in future blogs.

My tip for the day:  Don't skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast increases your insulin resistance leading to a higher risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Until next time, I believe that Faith can move mountains!

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!

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