Dr. Oz and Mother Earth Living (motherearthliving.com) both extol benefits of cocoanut oil? Do you agree? What is your experience with this oil?
I can agree that since Dr. Oz started extolling the benefits of coconut oil, those experiencing its greatest benefits have been those trading copra in the Commodities Market.
Here is a link that might be useful: Copra Prices
Grainlady recommended a coconut oil, Carrington Farms Coconut Cooking Oil, which remains liquid at room temperature. I have used it when I prepare food on the griddle. A little goes a looong way and the high smoke point and absence of coconut flavor are very nice and convenient. So, I consider those factors beneficial. As to the health benefits, I have linked before to Andrew Weil's opinion that, at least as of May, 2013, studies had yet to substantiate the claimed health benefits of coconut oil. I do not necessarily seek out his view; it just popped up when I read did a search for coconut oil and health benefits.
Here is a link that might be useful: One view
I agree with ruthanna
Anything "Dr." Oz recommends makes me very suspicious.
That man belongs in the carnival side show.
A study some years back got some attention. Sri Lanka, I think; some Western doctors went to Sri Lanka and found that the local diet was full of coconut oil, and they said 'Hey, that's bad--gotta switch you to vegetable oil'. They did so, and the rate of heart disease went UP. Now I don't know whether they introduced other Western habits, like smoking Marlboros and watching Baywatch, but the data was pretty sound.
Coconut oil is a fairly saturated fat, but it's a middle sized fat as opposed to the longer chain fats you find in olive oil. Arguably the body handles it differently. A lot of the bad data on coconut oil comes from taking coconut oil and fully saturating it (you'll read the label as 'partially hydrogenated coconut oil' or something similar). Snack food makers like to use heavily saturated fats because that increases the shelf life of the product. The badness seems to be in the artificial saturation of the fat; creates trans fats and other bad stuff.
Coconut oil by itself is probably not magic, but probably benign in small portions. You wouldn't want to use it for stir fries (low smoke point). I've used it to 'butter' potatoes, and they were great. Like any fat, it's highly caloric.
I started using coconut oil long before Oprah discovered Dr. Oz. BTW, I have never watched Oprah or Dr. Oz.
Coconut oil, like so many other things we use - is a choice - not a panacea, but my experience has been a positive one.
I quit using trans fats found in vegetable oil and shortening about 30-years ago, and have been using coconut oil for at least 20+ years. I first had to order it from The Salt & Grain Society, and eventually it found it's way to store shelves, even here in the middle of nowhere.
Today, it's part of our home food storage due to the long shelf-life of coconut oil, and all the things it works so well in (cooking and baking) and is good for (skin, hair, digestion, and a long list of things).
The only fats I use now (and all fats are used in moderation) are butter, ghee, coconut oil (for solid and liquid fats) and MCT coconut oil (which remains liquid and I use it in salad dressings instead of olive oil), and occasionally lard or rendered chicken fat.
This spring, both hubby and I had a lot of allergies ("have sneeze, will blow" was our motto). I read somewhere to coat the inside of your nostrils with coconut oil and it would alleviate allergies and reduce sneezing, so we tried it. It wasn't perfect, and you needed to reapply it if you were going to mow or spend a lot of time outdoors, but we greatly reduced our sneezing and suffering without having to take any allergy meds, increase the stockpile of boxes of tissue, or having to resort to turning the air conditioner on.
We use a lot of coconut oil here. I didn't start using it until I came across oil pulling and it kind of snowballed from there. As far as oil pulling goes, I love it. It is such a great whitener for teeth. Nothing has removed stains as well as this practice. There are supposed to be other health benefits but I can't say I've noticed any but the improvement to my oral care has been outstanding and have been a fan of it for the past three years.
The new popularity of coconut oil scares me. Coconut allergies are very common, unlike others of the common vegetables oils. The more exposure I have to coconut, the worse the reaction. Thank-you Dr. Oz for making me carry an epipen.
I've tried it, had access to it for about 15 years (my ex and I owned a health food store), and am not overwhelmed.
It's OK, but it's still fat, and highly caloric. Of course, when I found out about cholesterol about 20 years ago, the first thing they said was "no coconut oil", which was what they used to pop movie theater popcorn with. I used to walk into the theater lobby just to buy popcorn and then leave without buy a movie ticket, LOL. Now it's not as good.
As for Dr. Oz and Oprah, I've never watched either of them and I seldom watch television at all, I'd prefer to do my own research and make my own conclusions. As has been mentioned, there does not appear to be sufficient testing on the stuff to sell me on any of the alleged benefits. I do have a jar in my pantry, and it's been there for a couple of years, so it's clearly not my fat of choice.
One of my daughters has an allergy to all things dairy. We have found that coconut oil is a good substitute for butter in most recipes.
I've been using it since Grainlady introduced me to it. I find I can cut the amount of oil called for in baking, and I use it for high heat sauteing. I also use olive oil, home rendered lard from locally raised pigs, and a little rendered chicken fat. I use butter too. I do not use any vegetable oils--soy, corn, canola, etc-- anymore.
It's interesting that in areas where they use a lot of coconut oil, people do live very long and healthy life, then in areas where they don't use any coconut oil, they too live long and healthy life.
It is also interesting that in those areas, they eat lots of soy, gluten and wheat, few are obese and few are on any kind of diet.
Anyone saw the last CBS "60 Minutes" on a study of people in their 90s in the US?
One interesting fact they found, it makes no difference in health whether people take vitamin pills or not, they all have the same health. Which shows me that in general, we get plenty of vitamins in our diet. It's all the other stuff, lacking or too much that is killing us.
Coconut oil isn't a "new" thing. It was commonly used in commercial baked goods prior to the late 1960's because the shelved goods stayed fresh longer and resisted mold without the need for chemicals they use now for preservatives. If you want homemade enriched breads to keep fresh longer than a couple days, use coconut oil in the recipe. It will also help prevent mold.
Movie theaters and sports stadiums used coconut oil for making popcorn because they could make large quantities of it several days in advance and store it in large plastic tubs or bags; and the popcorn would remain fresh due to the coconut oil.
You will find North America and European cookbooks from the late 19th century often included coconut oil (or Copha) in recipes. Copha (a solidified coconut oil) in Australia is used like we use Crisco in the U.S., and Copha is a common ingredient in Australian recipes.
Coconut oil went out of favor due to erroneous "scientific" information and political propaganda by the American Soybean Association and the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
OT comment to dcarch's OT comment:
People in their 90's grew up in a day and time where agriculture was more "natural", the soil still contained nutrients and micro-organisms that are long gone today. We have seen the ash content (the minerals) in wheat drop as farmers went from traditional farming methods to the modern "chemical warfare" it is today where it's all about larger yields. For their formative years, food the 90's something folks ate actually was nutritious, locally-grown, and was enjoyed in-season.
The majority of these 90-something people were raised in more rural than urban areas where they grew much of their own food in gardens and got it from local sources in-season (orchards, truck farms, etc.). Even I can remember my complete surprise the first time I saw "fresh" strawberries and watermelon in the stores in the middle of winter.
Farmers let ground lay fallow every few years to rest and restore the nutrients (or grew "green" crops that would add nutrients), rather than the double-cropping they do now (winter wheat is harvested in late June and row crops are planted soon thereafter and harvested in the fall, when winter wheat is once again planted.
Ground and crops were dressed with "natural" fertilizers (manure) containing important microbes as well as nutrients, and now are they are fertilized with large injections of chemicals - and then only a few "select" things are added back to the soil.
I tried 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 butter in biscotti yesterday. With unbleached flour and almond extract I got a faint pleasant flavor of coconut. I don't know if most people would detect it.
Thanks Grainlady for pointing out the oft unmentioned facts of food quality back in the 1920's+. Not to mention air and water.
I was confused about conflicting info above on the smoke point. According to wikipedia virgin is 350 F. and refined with stabilizers is 450 F.
Here is a link that might be useful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point
Grainlady - I had some coconut oil that I hadn't opened (I still have a psychological block with the saturated fat, in spite of what I've read about medium chain, etc., etc.). and after reading your post, I just had to try in on popcorn. We have a local farmer who sells organic microwave popcorn that contains only popcorn and salt. I drizzled a little melted coconut over a bowl and thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Brought me back to theater popcorn back in the day. I had no idea that's what was used then.
goldgirl, I'm with you, I wish they'd go back to the coconut oil for popcorn, it was just better. Of course it also had copious amounts of salt, but I'd still buy the popcorn and pass up the movie tickets.
Grainlady, I agree, we've depleted the soil of most of its valuable minerals and nutrients, with constant tilling and plowing and spreading of fertilizer, but adding little or nothing back. My Dad was one of the generation of "better living through chemistry" farmers. Everything was sprayed and we stopped spreading manure because he bought chemical fertilizers, even for the garden.
It's taken me a decade to get my garden soil back to the rich black dirt it once was, my garden is in the spot that was a barnyard for 50 years. Three years ago my son in law, whose Dad is also a "chemical" farmer, offered to get some fertilizer from his Dad for the garden. I told him I had plenty and pointed to the big pile of composted manure which I spread on the garden by tractor buckets full. He didn't think "it would be enough", but when the pumpkin vines were past his waist and the sweet corn above his head, he was sold.
This year he bought a used manure spreader for the garden. (grin) I think I have him convinced, but his father will never agree that I'm right, he just thinks I'm one of those "organic tree-hugging hippies", although I'm "pleasant". I've been called worse, LOL.
At any rate, I believe that my garden produces the most nutritious and safe food that I can grow, and isn't filled with stuff that's supposed to kill things. And, although I'm not sold on the benefits of coconut oil without a lot more research, I do wish they'd bring it back for movie theater popcorn, which was never a health food but it sure was good.
[... he just thinks I'm one of those "organic tree-hugging hippies", although I'm "pleasant". I've been called worse, LOL.]. Me too... and I love it!
I'm just beginning to learn to use Coconut Oil. DD has an allergy to all dairy, so none of my favorite butter. I rediscovered theater pop corn when making popcorn she could eat.
I bought some Oil that doesn't thicken, but didn't realize what I paid for until I got home. Good thing I was near a chair because I had to sit down fast.
If you've missed the flavor of theater popcorn, try "Popcorn Oil" from Wilderness Family Naturals" (linked below). It is a mix of coconut oil and red palm oil. You can use it in a popper made for adding oil, or you can melt it and top your air-popped or microwave-popped corn with it.
This post was edited by grainlady on Sun, May 18, 14 at 8:45
The Carrington Farms CCO lists a smoke point of 350. The solid form lists a smoke point of 270. The one that is liquid at room temp is fine for my purposes when I use my griddle.