Any fat that is solid at room temperature, like butter and coconut oil, is a saturated fat. Four decades ago a negative campaign launched about saturated fat, including coconut oil, changed the way America cooked. Coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees and was a favorite in the baking industry. Most abandoned the oil and substituted hydrogenated polyunsaturated oils which contain trans fatty acids.
Coconut’s bad rap was sealed in a faulty study using hydrogenated coconut oil. Whenever you see the word “hydrogenated” that product is a trans fat (TFA). Trans fats are toxic substances, which impede the function of cells. They raise blood cholesterol. TFAs are not present in virgin coconut oil, which is NOT hydrogenated.
No kidding? Tristan was shocked when he first found out the benefits of coconut oil for babies!
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Studies continue to lump all saturated fats into one category. We now know there is good cholesterol and good saturated fats. Coconut oil is said to help maintain good cholesterol levels, boost immunity, it’s good for hair and skin, and aids in digestion and protects against fungal infections. The saturated fat in coconut oil is unlike the fat found in meat or other vegetable fats. It’s identical to a special group of fats found in human breast milk. These fats, derived from coconut oil, are now routinely used in hospital IV formulations and commercial baby formulas. They’re also used in sports drinks to boost energy and enhance athletic performance.
Nearly 50 percent of the fatty acid in natural coconut oil is lauric acid, which converts to the fatty acid monolaurin in the body. Lauric acid envelopes viruses, including the flu. It’s a main component of human breast milk and helps to protect children from illness during infancy.
Cooking with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is perfect for use in cooking and baking, without becoming toxic at higher temperatures, as liquid oils do. Use it to grease pans, make pie crusts, sautéing, and coconut oil makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches.
Coconut oil is beneficial for lactating mothers. A study published in 1998 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that lactating mothers who eat coconut oil and other coconut products, have significantly increased levels of lauric and capric acid in their breast milk, which gives further proteion to the infant.
Use coconut oil as a balm for sore nipples from nursing and for baby’s diaper rash. Use it as a baby lotion. Rub some coconut oil into a baby’s head to relieve cradle cap.
Some claim that coconut oil helps with weight loss. Couldn’t hurt if you have a few pounds to lose after having a baby and it’s good for baby, too!
Add coconut oil to smoothies, especially for a picky eater.
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