Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Are You Ready For An Oil Change?

Recently, there has been a lot of chatter in the media on the health benefits of Coconut Oil.  How can this be when Coconut Oil is considered a saturated fat?  Fats and oils are classified into three categories:  saturated, monosaturated and polyunsaturated.  They can also be classified as short-chain, medium chain or long chain fatty acids.  When three fatty acids are combined they make a triglyceride.  Most of the dietary fats and oils that we eat are from animals and plants which are made up of long-chain triglycerides.  Can you believe almost 100% of the fats we eat are LCT? 

Coconut oil, however, is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT) that is easy to digest and absorb.  Without going into much more detail below are some of the benefits that Dr. Fife, CN, ND mentions in his book The Coconut Oil Miracle.  This is an excellent book and I purchased it on Amazon.com for a reasonable price.  

Benefits of Coconut Oil - lose weight - prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes, arthritis and many other degenerative diseases - strengthen the immune system - beautify skin and hair - improve digestion.  

According to Dr. Fife, the recommended daily dose of MCT for an adult is 3 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil but that many have seen great results with as little as 1 to 2 tablespoons a day.  You can easily incorporate this amount into your diet by replacing cooking oils with coconut oil, adding to rice or pasta dishes, adding it to beverages, applied directly to the skin or ingesting by the spoonful.  I have been adding this to steamed vegetables for extra flavor, it is delicious!  

Here is a recipe from Dr. Fife's book for Coconut Cookies that was excellent.  Give it a try!

Coconut Cookies

3 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
1 1/2 cups grated or shredded coconut
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups coconut oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar (I replaced 1/2 with Agave)
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract (or vanilla)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.   Mix together flour, coconut, baking powder and salt and set aside.  Blend coconut oil, eggs, sugar and almond extract.  Mix wet and dry ingredients together.  Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Flatten balls to about 1/2 inch thickness.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until pale tan.  Transfer to wire racks to cool.  Each cookie contains 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil.  Makes 36 to 40 cookies.

I purchase Spectrum's unrefined Virgin Olive Oil which is manufactured in low temperatures and uses no chemicals.   This is not an inexpensive product (about $8.00 for 14 fl. oz) so I purchase large amounts when it goes on sale.  

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