Findings from one of the world’s leading authorities on fats and oils,

Dr. Mary Enig, a Ph.D. nutritionist/biochemist has undertaken much of the coconut oil research in more recent years. Dr. Enig has classified coconuts as a "functional food," which provides health benefits above and beyond the basic nutrients. She has specifically identified lauric acid as a key ingredient in coconut products.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Truth About Saturated Fats and Coconut Oil

"Clearly, a lot of confusion and contradictory evidence exists on the subject of saturated fats, even among health care professionals."
The reason? All saturated fats are NOT created equally.

Unsaturated fats such as vegetable and seed oils are artificially manipulated and transformed into saturated (trans) fats through a process called hydrogenation. The hydrogenation process damages the molecular structure of the unsaturated fats by adding hydrogen atoms during the heating process which produces a rancid, thickened oil. There is no controversy regarding the health dangers of artificially created saturated fats.

However, we generally assume that if one form of saturated fat is bad for you, then all saturated fat must be bad. Right? WRONG! Nothing could be further from the truth!

Consider the Pacific islanders who receive 30-60% of their total caloric intake from naturally occurring, fully saturated fat in coconut oil. Multiple studies on these tropical cultures have shown that ANY kind of harmful effect including the rate of cardiovascular disease is nearly non-existent!
"Back in the 1930's, a dentist named Dr. Weston Price traveled throughout the South Pacific, examining traditional diets and their effect on dental and overall health. He found that those eating diets high in coconut products were healthy and trim, despite the high fat concentration in their diet, and that heart disease was virtually non-existent.

Similarly, in 1981, researchers studied populations of two Polynesian atolls. Coconut was the chief source of caloric energy in both groups. The results, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, demonstrated that both populations exhibited positive vascular health."
Besides being a naturally occurring and undamaged saturated fat, almost 50% of the fat content in coconut oil is a health promoting fat ingredient rarely found in nature called lauric acid. Our body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which destroy lipid coated viruses, various pathogenic bacteria and protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

For frying, use coconut oil since it has the highest heat threshold compared to all other oils and is stable enough to resist mild heat-induced damage.

Coconut oil is more than 50% medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system. Your body sends MCFAs directly to your liver to be converted into energy which actually help stimulate your body's metabolism and promote weight loss.

Coconut oil is considered so nutritious and easily digestible that you will find it being used in baby formulas.

Full Article Posted By Dr. Mercola

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Tempura-Style Coconut Shrimp

10-12 large fresh or frozen shrimp (if frozen, thaw quickly in a bowl of tepid water)
1/2 cup regular white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (to make your shrimp spicy)
1 egg
1/3 cup ice water
1/2 cup dry shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup coconut oil

Remove shells from shrimp, but leave tails on for easier cooking and eating. Set aside.
Make the batter by first mixing the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper (if using).
Crack the egg into the flour mixture, then add the ice water, stirring to break the yolk and form a fairly smooth batter (don't worry if there are a few small lumps).
Deep fry shrimps at about 375 F, until they are brown.

Serves 4 as an appetizer, tapas plate, or party food.
Excellent eaten on its own, or served with a dip. ENJOY!

Coconut Bar

What's Up? 15th Annual Coconut Festival 2011 - Kapaa, Hawaii - October 1 & 2