Understanding Two Properties That Make Coconut Oil Great

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Understanding Two Properties That Make Coconut Oil Great


Do you follow the media hype about coconut oil, or are you one of the “smart” people who really knows?

I’d like to tell you about two outstanding properties coconut oil provides for your body. But before I do, let me share a story about two young entrepreneurs who did pretty well for themselves…

…maybe not so well for the health of our nation.

Once Upon A Time…

In the mid 1800’s, two lovely sisters married two clever artisans, a candlestick maker named William Procter who had come to America after a fire destroyed his candle-making business in London, and James Gamble who became a soap-maker after fleeing Ireland during the potato famine.

With some encouragement from their father-in-law, the two young brothers-in-laws joined together as Procter and Gamble, producers of soap and candles.

At the time, lard was big business. Without the aid of refrigerated box cars, it didn’t make sense to butcher and distribute almost an entire ton of fresh meat from a steer. Pork was practical. It’s fatty, so it could be salt cured without sacrificing flavor, eliminating the need for refrigeration. The fat it produced supplied lard to soap houses, candle makers, and to family kitchens all around America.

When Edison’s light bulb first began to illuminate the cities of America, Procter and Gamble could see that the demand for candles was on the decline and turned their focus to soap.

During the mid and late 1800’s, soap was still cut from blocks and weighed out at the general store. Procter and Gamble decided to attempt a new venture, mass-producing the first ever individually wrapped bars of soap in America. To pull this off, they needed to radically decrease the cost of their raw materials. The meat industry controlled the price of lard, so Procter and Gamble would have to find a replacement for this expensive ingredient.

Their first attempt used a mixture of palm and coconut oil and produced the first soap that floated in water – a handy innovation for women who washed clothes and dishes in big tubs of sudsy water.

But these tropical oils were also expensive, so ultimately, they settled on a cheap waste product of the cotton industry – cottonseed oil.

They even formed a secondary company, the Buckeye Cotton Oil Co. to ensure a good supply of the oil for their soap.

Before processing, cottonseed oil is red, and it’s toxic to most animals, causing dangerous spikes in the body’s potassium levels, organ damage, and paralysis. It’s bitter because of a naturally occurring chemical called gossypol. Incidentally, a 1929 investigation in Jiangxi showed correlation between low fertility in males and use of crude cottonseed oil for cooking. The compound causing the contraceptive effect was determined to be gossypol. It is now used as male birth control in China. (source)

Cottonseed oil is comprised of over 50% omega-6 fatty acids, highly inflammatory acids that we Americans are guilty of consuming in excess. They damage cells and lead to weight-gain and a host of diseases throughout the entire body.

But at that time Procter and Gamble were not making anything edible with it – just soap.

Can of CriscoIn 1907 however, a German chemist, E.C. Kayser, arrived at Procter & Gamble headquarters in Cincinnati with a marvelous invention. It was a ball of fat. It looked like lard. It cooked like lard. But there was no pig involved. It was hydrogenated cottonseed oil. (source)

Procter and Gamble immediately contracted for the rights to use this new method of hydrogenation in the U.S. Their intention was to use it as an ingredient in their soap, but they soon realized it could be sold as a profitable cooking fat that required no refrigeration, and was considerably less expensive. They called the product Crisco.

We might say that “the rest of the story” can be seen today as partially hydrogenated oils have invaded the ingredient lists of thousands of popular foods. The general decline in health since our culture has gotten away from eating traditional fats, and the increase in cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, and brain disorders has gotten the attention of many folks like you and me.

I’m glad to be able to write a different story for the health of my family by regaining an understanding of natural fats and implementing what I learn.

Consider two very key qualities coconut oil has to offer.

1. It’s quite high in lauric acid.

2. It’s a healthy, saturated fat.


Coconut Oil


Lauric Acid: Why You Need It

Coconut oil is made up of about 52% lauric acid, a higher concentration of lauric acid than what’s found in any other food on earth. Palm kernel oil (not to be confused with palm oil), mother’s milk, and butterfat all contain lauric acid in varying amounts, but other than these three, you won’t find lauric acid in any other food.

Virus-Protection: God saw fit to imbue our very first food, mother’s milk, with a rich supply of lauric acid. Babies’ bodies are vulnerable, and lauric acid helps protect them from viral and bacterial infections. A daily dose of coconut oil can do the same for children and adults.

Anti-Fungal: Lauric acid attacks fungi such as candida within the body

Anti-Microbial: Lauric acid protects against harmful microbes in the digestive tract. It also helps to heal the lining of the gut.

Just remember that the benefits of lauric acid are “additive.” In other words, the more you eat, the more it will help you. Many sources recommend about 3 tablespoons every day. I personally noticed a big difference when I increased my daily intake to between 5 and 7 tablespoons a day. I was much more immune to viruses, my acne cleared up, arthritis I was dealing with from an injury simply went away, and my skin became beautifully moisturized.

Whatever amount you decide on, start slow and allow your body a few days to get used to the higher amounts. Coconut oil is very cleansing, and at first, you may notice an upset stomach, cold-like symptoms, or a general feeling of malaise as your body reacts to the cleansing process.

Coconut Oil is a Saturated Fat

Our cell membranes are made up of at least 50% saturated fat. The percentage is much higher in our lungs, and saturated fats make up almost 100% of the cell membranes in our brains.

Most of us have eaten hydrogenated fats at some point in our lives. It would be almost impossible not to! The big thing you need to realize is that hydrogenated fats are “sufficiently similar to natural fats that the body readily incorporates them into the cell; once there their altered chemical structure creates havoc with thousands of necessary chemical reactions.” (source)

It takes years for the body to get rid of the trans fats in our cells and replace them with natural, healthy saturated fats, and that can only happen if we’re eating natural, healthy, saturated fats. Butter, coconut oil, and fats from pastured animals are all excellent sources.

Saturated fats benefit your brain.

Saturated fats keep skin and joints youthful through lubrication.

Saturated fats protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins.

Calcium Absorption: For calcium to be properly absorbed into the bones and teeth, at least 50% of your fat intake should be saturated fat.

Omega 3 Retention: Omega 3 fatty acids are retained in the tissues best when our diets are rich in saturated fats.

Saturated Fats Are Stable: Most polyunsaturated fats are UNstable, meaning they easily become rancid when they’re heated or exposed to oxygen. When we eat these rancid fats, they become free radicals in our bodies and require antioxidants to stop their damage, they irritate the artery walls, and initiate cancer.

Saturated fats are stable, meaning they do not become rancid easily.


Quick Tip: Cooking with coconut oil is a fantastic way to reach your daily dose. Even expeller pressed coconut oil, which is tasteless and great for cooking things that shouldn’t taste like coconut – is rich in the saturated fats and lauric acid that coconut oil is known for.


Three Types Of Coconut Oil

Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil: Basically tasteless, excellent for cooking and baking, especially for things like frying tortillas that shouldn’t taste like coconut at all. (Order here for local pick up or here to have your order shipped.) 

Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil: Wet milled the old fashioned way. Distinct coconut flavor. (Order here for local pick up or here to have your order shipped.)

Green Label Virgin Coconut Oil: Pressed from dried coconut. Distinct coconut flavor. (Order here for local pick up or here to have your order shipped.)


Picture credits: www.old-picture.com, en.wikipedia.org/crisco