COCONUT OIL – MISUNDERSTOOD AND UNDERRATED.
Here are the different types of FATS:
* Monounsaturated Fat (good)
* Polyunsaturated Fat (good)
* Saturated Fat (bad)
* Trans Fat (ugly)
The attached chart of Comparison of Dietary Fats gives you a visual of the amount of good and bad fats in common oils. One would assume that canola is the best of the best and coconut is the worst of the worst. After all canola has very little saturated fat and a relatively high amount of omega-3, whereas coconut has no omega 3 and is extremely high in that nasty old saturated fat.
BUT.....this chart doesn’t tell you that the saturated fat in coconut oil is different from the saturated fat in other oils. The difference is in the fat molecule. Fatty acids are classified in two ways:
* Level of saturation (the first three shown in Paragraph 1)
* Molecular size or length of the carbon chain of each fatty acid (explained below)
At this point I have to get just a little technical about carbon chains to explain why coconut oil is good despite its high level of saturated fat. Fatty acids consist of long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. You have short-chain, medium-chain and long-chain fatty acids. The size of the fatty acid is important because our bodies metabolize each acid differently, depending on its size. Ninety-eight to 100% of all fatty acids we consume are long-chain. Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA), AKA medium-chain triglycerides:
* DO NOT have a negative effect on cholesterol
* Help protect against heart disease
* Help lower risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease
It is primarily due to the MCFA that coconut oil is so special and beneficial. It is now known that the fat in coconut oil is unique and different from most other fats and possesses many health giving properties. It is gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food.
In addition to confirmed medical health benefits, coconut oil is great for popping corn because:
v Smells GREAT when heated during popping
v High burn point keeps kettle cleaner than other oils
v Naturally high melt point eliminates “waxy” feel when eating popped corn
v Keeps popcorn crispy
v Provides for a long shelf life