Coconut oil comes from Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa and Central America: where coconut grows naturally. A coconut tree produces 50 to 150 fruits a year and it takes 11 to 12 months for the fruit to mature.
How do we get it?
The oil comes from the mechanical pressure of the coconut fresh flesh, which explains why it has a small subtle taste that perfumes dishes when used. It is said that it is virgin coconut oil. It should not be confused with copra-which is made from the dried flesh of the nut and undergoes a very different treatment: it is bleached through carbon filters, refined-for eliminate bacteria and molds that have formed during drying in places where it is wet and hot- and finally deodorized. As this oil is mostly hydrogenated, its Trans fatty acid content makes it less favorable for the body and the process of refining makes it lose its nutrients. It is used by the food industry for industrial pastries, confectionery and fried foods.
What is surprising with coconut oil is precisely that its benefits are due to what is blamed for. Recommendations for healthy eating had previously tended to blame saturated fatty acids for being responsible for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Coconut oil, despite its high content of saturated fatty acids, would instead have a protective effect on the arteries and heart, particularly through its metabolism process:
The body immediately uses the fat reserves, without storing them. No risk of deposits that could ultimately clog the arteries. Finally, the traditional use of this oil in many countries – such as in India – since the coconut oil antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Lauric acid in particular, present at 48% in coconut oil, would be effective on outbreaks of the herpes virus.
Used in Kitchen and Nutrition
It can be cooked at high temperature without denaturing (unlike polyunsaturated oils, such as linseed oil or nuts, which are very fragile and should not be used for cooking) and therefore rehabilitates the frying, which is a rather enjoyable news. Its ease of absorption by the intestines and then used by the liver makes it a product of choice for people wishing to set up a ketogenic diet. The latter aims to allow the body to produce its own energy without depending on external contributions of glucose. A metabolic mechanism that occurs naturally during a fast. Able to produce the same effects, without stopping to eat: it is another paradox that makes the success of this oil. Coconut oil is also a real asset for vegetarian and vegan people (diet without products and animal by-products) because it substitutes perfectly for butter: it is thus possible to make pastries or pasta pies too easily using butter.
Coconut Oil Diet
In the case of a balanced diet, without excessive calories, coconut oil is said to have the capacity to increase the activity of the cells – hence the expenditure of energy – to assimilate the food. This principle is called thermogenesis. Each food induces a different one. Thus, the proteins increase it, which explains among other things that meat often occupies a place of choice during a diet. Coconut oil seems to burn more calories than any other source of fat. However, few studies confirm that it helps slim down. Only one Canadian study in 2003 reported a loss of 500 grams after one month of consumption, with a stabilization of thermogenesis after 28 days. In summary, if coconut oil increases the caloric expenditure of the body, its effect lasts only one month, beyond which time the body becomes accustomed and stops losing weight.
Coconut oil as a Beauty Cream and Moisturizer
Like avocado oil, coconut oil can migrate from the kitchen cupboard to the bathroom cupboard. Practical when the pot of moisturizing cream is empty, this one has more at hand as a makeup remover (even for waterproof mascara), it is also convenient when someone wants to take care of their hair and moisturize their nails. Coconut oil smells good and nourishes the skin. True aficionados even use it to make toothpaste or mouthwashes because it has the reputation of maintaining a beautiful dentition and whitening teeth.
A reasonable daily intake (one to three tablespoons) does not pose a health risk when the oil is virgin, ie not hydrogenated, and contains no preservatives. People allergic to nuts do not have to worry because the name is misleading: coconut is not a nut. It is possible, however, that allergies are triggered as with any other food.
Overview of the production of coconut oil
The cultivation of coconut does not require the use of fertilizers and pesticides. The main disease of the coconut tree – the fatal yellowing – is fought by an antibiotic that acts as a preventive, but its use is absolutely not generalized: only plantations in Florida benefit from it. Only the mode of extraction is likely to modify the quality: it is preferable a coconut oil extracted by cold pressure which keeps the fat in good quality. The coconut production method seems sustainable, unlike its palm oil cousin, which is the cause of massive deforestation. The environmental cost is however not neutral, since, produced in the islands, it is necessary to transport the coconut oil to the non-tropical regions.
As a matter of fact, the cultivation of coconut does not harm the environment but there is however a cost since it has to be transported from tropical to non-tropical areas. Despite all of this though as researched so far has proved, the latter can prove to be a valuable asset to have at home. Although can be used from diet to applying on burns. It is also used in cooking since it fries the meat better and is not absorbed as much. Finally it is one of the best things there is for vegans this it is not an animal by product meaning they can use it with their everyday dishes as substitute for oil or butter.