6 reasons to include coconut oil in your diet!

Posted on 14 June 2013

6 reasons to include coconut oil in your diet!
By Vie Activist, Katrina Loop

Coconut oil has previously been given a bad rap in the world of nutrition due to it being a saturated fat. It has been branded as being bad for your health along with other fats in this category. But lately there has been a lot of interest in coconut oil, as evidence for its dietary (and many other) benefits has started to be uncovered. There are still sceptics, yes. And coconut oil remains a subject of controversy in health circles. But a bank of research is beginning to form, and many people have experienced its benefits (including me!).

Here are just six (of the many) reasons include coconut oil in your diet:

  1. Brain-Boosting: A famous 2006 study found that the administration of medium chain triglycerides (there are lots in coconut oil) was associated with improve cognition.
  2. Controls weight: A 2009 study of women found an association between consumption of coconut oil and reduced abdominal obesity.
  3. Helps manage type 2 diabetes: The Garvan Institute of Medical Researc found that coconut oil helps protect against insulin resistance, in turn reducing type 2 diabetes risk.
  4. Eases tummy bloating and digestion: Coconut oil can help with irritable bowel syndrome and some tummy bugs thanks to its microbial properties.
  5. Can boost metabolism: Participants who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil burned more than those consuming less in a study in the Journal of Nutrition.
  6. It is safe to cook with: It has a high smoke point. This means it is safer than many other oils that have lower smoke points and create free radicals when they reach a high temperature (such as olive oil).

So you now know some of the benefits of including coconut oil in your diet. Now here are some ideas on how to use it in your diet!

  1. Use it as your oil of choice for cooking at high heat, such as for stir-fries
  2. Include a spoonful in Smoothies to increase energy
  3. Eat it simply by the spoonful in the morning (I would recommend one only)
  4. Substituting butter and vegetable oil for coconut oil in baking gives a MUCH nicer flavour!
  5. To pop popcorn or instead of butter as a popcorn topping
  6. To Fry eggs
  7. To make oven baked sweet potato crisps (see recipe below)
  8. Add a spoonful of coconut oil to coffee or tea. Just allow some time for oil to melt, or pre-melt it.
  9. Coconut oil homemade granola.  For a lovely recipe, head to http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/coconut-granola/
  10. In salad dressings. Just add some vinegar, honey. You may need to thin it by melting a little.

    Now for the best part! Here are a couple of recipes that use coconut oil, and are EASY to make!

    Oven Baked Sweet Potato Crisps

    What you’ll need:

    1. Sweet potato
    2. Coconut oil
    3. Sea salt

    What to do:

    Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Thinly slice sweet potatoes (crisp thickness).  Place slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly with coconut oil. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until chips are starting to turn golden.  Add salt to taste, and eat them plain or serve with salsa or dip.

    Dairy free coconut balls

    What you’ll need:

    1. 1-2 teaspoons of Coconut Oil
    2. 1 cup of walnuts, almonds or other nut of choice
    3. 1 cup of organic dates
    4. 3-4 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder
    5. shredded coconut

    What to do:

    Place all ingredients (except for shredded coconut) into a food processor. Roll into small bite size balls and roll into shredded coconut. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to set. 

    Ed's Note: We love Mama Chia's Nuigini Organic Coconut Oil. The 1L jar has pride of place on our benchtop and gets re-used to store home made muesli when its finished!

    For more health, nutrition and yoga tips and tricks, head to Katrina's site. http://honeyhny.com/

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