The other day someone in my life told me that they overheard someone else saying that “coconut oil is REALLY bad for you”…. talk about heresay! My first thought was “Where did you read this? What proof do you have?”
I have to admit I have a slight bias in favor of coconut oil…. there is an overwhelming amount of information in the blog-sphere about the benefits: the fatty acids have anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties; it is highly heat stable making it an ideal cooking oil; it is a medium chain triglyceride and is processed by the body differently than long chain triglycerides, and much more.
Like many others, I was truly skeptical that an oil of any kind (other than olive oil) could be good. We have been trained to believe that “saturated fat is bad” and “unsaturated fat is good”, and since coconut oil is a saturated fat it must be bad, right?
Wrong. There are a number of articles that write about the negatives of processed and hydrogenated coconut oil; I think most of us would wholeheartedly agree that there is no place in our diet for hydrogenated oils and trans-fats. What I do know about coconut oil is that the evidence is not conclusive about ALL of the proposed benefits, but there have been studies shown that there are SOME benefits to eating organic cold-pressed virgin coconut oil; enough to make me think twice about reaching for the margarine or safflower oil.
Personally, if I have to choose between an oil that has been processed within and inch of its life and one that has been touched only enough to get it into a container, I would choose the latter. I think it is common sense that real food is going to be better for you than processed food.
That ALL being said, I am not a nutrition expert by any stretch of the imagination…. just a regular person who likes to research and think about what she is putting in to her body. And until I hear overwhelming evidence against using virgin coconut oil I will continue to slip and slide on the bandwagon.