Superfood Spotlight: Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is a hot topic at the moment in the medical and health literature. Due to the media as a result of the obesity epidemic, we’ve been primed to think that all saturated fats are bad for us. And for this reason, coconut oil was formerly categorized as an oil to be avoided, however, many people are now using coconut oil in a multitude of wellness ways, and some even consider it to be a superfood because of it’s unique characteristics.
Our bodies actually need about 10% of saturated fats a day. What makes something healthy or unhealthy is the source, and animal saturated fats in meats and dairy products are the unhealthy kind and are over consumed— humans are meant to have a mainly plant based diet.
In countries that eat mainly vegan such as in Sri Lanka and parts of India where the incidence of heart disease is low, coconut oil is oftentimes the source for saturated fats. What’s also unique about the composition of coconut oil is that it has medium-chained fatty acids which are theorized to be beneficial in preventing against heart disease, decreasing inflammation, and maintaining a healthy weight. Many studies on animals, and anecdotal evidence in humans exist; however, more studies are needed to convince the American Heart Associate.
Personally, because I eat mainly vegan and coconut is a healthy source of saturated fats like avocado, for example, I use coconut oil in my diet. I don’t necessarily use it every day though I probably could and I always sure to use it in moderation (a spoonful max)! I add some to my morning smoothie, to my vegetable sauté, or in lieu of butter over potatoes. It also doubles as a great body moisturizer!