Coconut oil is composed of 92.1% from saturated fat , 6.2% from monounsaturated fat and only 1.6% from polyunsaturated fats . E ‘practically solid at room temperature. It is therefore a stable oil for cooking dishes. Has a consistency similar to butter and can be used for the preparation of vegetables, in addition to milkshakes, tea, coffee, biscuits paleo , or for meat and fish. It ‘also valid for the care of the skin and scalp.
Its main content is derived from lauric fatty acids (found in breast milk ), a medium chain fatty acid, which is considered to be the fatty acid more tolerated, does not require the production of bile acids to be digested. Coconut oil also has anti-microbial and anti-fungal.
The majority of the saturated fatty acids are able to produrceli alone. The main fatty acid that our body produces is palmitic acid (saturated), from which then the other fatty acids such as stearic acid are produced. Conversely, other fatty acids can not be produced by our body and have to be assumed by the diet. One in particular can be synthesized only by the mammary gland. This is precisely the lauric acid. The body requires lauric acid monoglycerides to produce anti-microbial used to combat viruses and pathogenic bacteria. That is why the lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid essential. With the exception of human milk and cow’s milk (small traces), the main source of lauric acid in coconut oil actually lies or palm oil.
Foods that contain lauric acid.
Additionally, lauric acid is a key substance against some diseases. E ‘was found to be useful in fighting viruses such as HIV, influenza and herpes.
Historical notes on the oil coconut
The products derived from coconut generally represent a milestone in the countries of Southeast Asia, in the tropical regions of Latin America and East Africa. Marco Polo reported the coconut as a “nut Indian”. Vasco de Gama used the word “coquos” in his Roteiro (logbook of the first voyage to the Indies from 1497 to 1499) while Pigafetta, the chronicler of Magellan’s board during the expedition to the Philippines, described the coconuts as a “wonder of nature “around 1522.
Some data on the countries that consume coconut oil
We had already spoken here, but as you know, repetita iuvant.
- Among the countries that have reliable data, Sri Lanka has the highest consumption of coconut oil and the lowest rate of heart disease.
- In the population of the island of Kitava (New Guinea), which consumes about 20% of calories just from coconut oil, heart attack and stroke are totally absent.
- The inhabitants of the island of Tokelau (New Zealand), who obtained 50% of calories from coconut oil are also immune to heart disease.
The benefits of coconut oil
Here are some of the benefits from regular intake of coconut oil:
- helps normalize blood fats
- protects the liver from alcohol and other toxins
- can play a key role in the prevention of kidney disease and bladder
- is associated with better control of blood sugar and insulin, and therefore in preventing diabetes
- has anti-viral, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
- it is believed that promotes the absorption of minerals (especially calcium and magnesium), important fact for the health of teeth and bones
- can help improve the appearance of the scalp and hair and increases the elasticity of the skin when ingested or applied externally
- supports heart health and thyroid
- strengthens the immune system
- helps in the treatment of Candida fungal infections and
- is rich in saturated fats and therefore very stable during cooking without the risk of becoming rancid. When the fat is oxidized or rancid become partially hydrogenated becoming one of the worst food and exposing us to the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- has very little fat polyunsaturated
- has a thermogenic effect, so consume coconut oil food (helps you lose weight) tends to increase the power consumption (burn fat) so higher if compared to the same caloric intake of other fats
Extraction process and choice of oil to buy
After the coconut is opened, the pulp is left to dry. To extract the oil, the dried pulp is heated to a low temperature until the moisture is completely evaporated, in favor of the oil residue. This is what should happen always.
In many cases, however, is to accelerate the drying step that heating, most of the producers of coconut oil using chemical agents. To overcome this problem, it is imperative to purchase only virgin oil (or extra-virgin) and organic, so that the product has not been refined, deodorized, hydrogenated and decolorizzato during the pressing process and that the coconuts were not grown with pesticides and fertilizers.
According to reports from Mark Sisson, the term “virgin” for coconut oil is the best existing formula and the use of the word “extra-virgin” does not add anything more except a commercial boost from the point of view of marketing .
Problems and contraindications associated with the consumption of coconut oil
Generally coconut oil, has no contraindications unless there are no allergies. However, in rare cases, can reigstrarsi symptoms of nausea, diarrhea or gastritis. Other times, it can cause dryness of the throat, for those who take coconut oil by the spoonful. If mixed with other foods, the feeling disappears. But we must add that in most cases it is the quality of the product that makes the difference, and that many of the symptoms disappear simply by changing coconut oil.
And ‘finally useful to know that unlike other sources of fat from animal sources, coconut oil LIST IS practically micronutrients (or if the quantities actually minimal) as vitamin B12, K2, cholesterol , conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega 3. All substances that we can still take through the consumption of other foods by following paleo cookbook.
For the rest, all that remains is to try and see how it goes;-).