Coconut Oil: The Truth
If you ask Leif what is the one flavor I’m obsessed with he will tell you coconut. I’m not sure if it’s my Malaysian island heritage but I love the sweet vanilla-like scent and nutty flavor of coconut. Which is probably what led to my obsession with coconut oil. If you’re like me, coconut oil is a panacea, used for everything from cooking eggs to shaving my legs. I’ve been riding the coconut oil bandwagon for three sweet years now but I am curious if it is truly a food cure-all. Is it really an antidote for everything from poor immune function, thyroid disease, heart disease, to obesity, cancer, and even HIV?
With my Google PhD I proceeded to search.. Every other article I read can convince me in either direction. I honestly can’t tell you whether it will help you loose 14.6 lbs, improve your mental focus, or whether you should swish it in your mouth, or rub it between your toes. I’m no expert. You can decide for yourself- just make sure you look for credible sources if you do your own research.
Yes, 92% of its fat is saturated -a bad fat that increases overall cholesterol levels and especially bad cholesterol. Here comes the big… BUT what makes coconut oil unique is that the main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid which are easier to digest than the long-chain fatty acids in most fats, like butter. There are even some studies that show it is beneficial on our cholesterol level. (source)
In a coconutshell, coconut oil is not some kind of miracle cure panacea or a green light to go overboard. While there seem to be some promising research, just hold off on taking it by the spoonful or adding a ton to your smoothies. The key is m-o-d-e-r-a-t-i-o-n. It is better for you than butter but not better than olive oil.
What about using it as a beauty product?
I didn’t find studies on the effectiveness of coconut oil. Although I will continue to use it as my multifunctional beauty product. I can testify that the fatty acids have done wonders for my hair and skin. It’s such a cheap and efficient way to keep your beauty regiment on point. I gave up most of store-bought beauty products filled with unknown ingredients and replaced it with coconut oil.
Amazon carries a gargantuan container of cold-pressed, USDA organic extra-virgin coconut oil for only $26-something. I transfer the oil into separate mason jars and place them throughout my home- in my kitchen, by my night stand, in my bathroom, and even have enough to share the love with my girlfriends.
11 Ways I use Coconut Oil:
I can’t use it as a face moisturizer or hair de-frizzer for daytime use. It is too oily for my skin-hair type.
1. Makeup Remover: put some on cotton pad & wipe away
2. Massage Oil: warm coconut oil in the microwave and add a few drops of essential oil like vanilla, lavender, or peppermint for a soothing massage mix
3. Moisturizer before bed & out of the shower (head to toe -except my face- I find it a little too oily for day time use)
4. Dry Feet Treatment – I mix with Epsom salt to form a foot scrub.
5. Oil pulling: a new one for me-(not sure if it really does what it’s suppose to- but it’s not harmful)
6. Overnight Leave-in Hair Moisturizer: I’ve actually done this since I was 5 years old. My sweet grandma would use to wrap my hair with olive or coconut oil.
7. Body scrub
8. Cooking at High Heat: has high smoke point (better for cooking than olive oil)
9. Baking: to replace Butter
10. Shaving Cream: how to
11. Tanning Oil: natural SPF5
12. Makeup Brush Cleaner: we are suppose to clean our brushes atleast once a month.
Which reminds me…
Are you just as loco for coco? How do you use coconut oil?