By Marina Foursevitch
Recently, coconut oil has been the center of attention for it’s health and beauty benefits and uses. People have grown fond of this “super food”.
Coconut oil is pressed from aged coconut meat, and melts at 76 degrees. This oil has a high heat resistance, therefore it is great for sauteing.
There are different versions of coconut oil such as the refined, unrefined, cold-pressed, and expeller-pressed.
The unrefined version of coconut oil (also known as extra-virgin coconut oil) is known to be the healthiest version because there are not any chemicals added. In addition to the health benefits of the unrefined version of coconut oil, it also has a slight coconut flavor and scent.
Sixty-two percent of the oil is healthy fatty acids and ninety-one percent of the fat is healthy saturated fat. Coconut oil also consists MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids) which are easy to digest, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and does not store as a fat. It goes straight to the liver where it is converted to energy immediately. This oil also has the ability to kill harmful pathogens and prevent infections.
Many people use coconut oil as a substitute for other cooking oils due to the health benefits that coconut oil provides. Also, one of coconut oil’s modern popular uses are hair masks. Coconut oil helps hair re-grow and regain moisture that has been lost due to factors such as heat damage.
Other uses of coconut oil are oil pulling (teeth whitening), a breath freshener, body lotion, and weight loss. Since coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat, many people like to use it as substitute for butter and other oils.
“It’s good for the skin,” stated health teacher, Mr. Dennish. “And as far as cooking, it’s a healthier alternative to some of the saturated fatty oils such as canola oil.”
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