Goodness of Coconut Oil

Posted by Lachmi Deb Roy on Tue, Nov 29, 2011  
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There are several traditional oils, treasured for centuries for their health benefits that have completely faded away from households these days because of the current trends in food choices. Healthy oils like sesame, coconut, desi ghee and mustard oil have gone out of fashion as a result of food fads.

 

It is true that coconut oil is dominated by saturated fat (the kind of fat that solidifies at room temperature) but whether or not this fat is harmful for health is altogether another question.

 

Coconut oil is the richest source of lauric acid that is a proven antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal agent which is found in abundance in mother’s milk. Lauric acid in the diet is important for the formation of antimicrobial lipid monolaurin that helps to defend against viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, and strengthens our immune system.

 

Monolaurin also inhibits different viruses by preventing their attachment to susceptible host cell walls, a reason for initial formation of plaques and re-clogging of arteries after angioplasty. In addition, coconut oil triggers a powerful mechanism of satiation and has a fairly good thermogenic effect, (heat producing effect of calories consumed from food that increases metabolism), so it is beneficial for weight watchers. But most commercial coconut oils are hydrogenated and contains large amount of harmful trans fatty acids. It is always better to go for virgin coconut oil that is produced locally using traditional methods and minimal processing.

 

Coconut oil is taken as a part of the other healthy fats such as MUFA and Omega-3, which is good for health.  Go you can generously use good coconut oil for your cooking and have coconut chutney with your idlis, vadas and dosas.

 

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