Have you made the switch to coconut oil?

When I was attending Oregon College of Oriental Medicine one of my instructors compared common cooking oils. She explained how coconut oil is stable at high heat levels, compared to other oils that are damaged at high heat levels and can become oxidized (like olive oil). This information sparked my interest and I began researching coconut oil to use at home.

Grace Helping Mom Cook © 2013 Christina Lambert

My husband has high cholesterol so finding the best oils was important to me. Per tablespoon coconut oil has 14 grams of fat, 12 of those being saturated. This, compared to corn oil, which also has 14 grams of fat per tablespoon but only 1.8 being saturated. Just a reminder here- not all saturated fat is created equal. The naturally occurring saturated fat in coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid. Medium chain fatty acids are not stored away in the body or circulate in your blood stream. Instead they are carried more directly to your liver and are a preferred source of energy.

I’ve noticed after eating a meal cooked in coconut oil, I feel fuller longer and have less sugar cravings. At home I only use 2 oils in my kitchen: olive oil and coconut. We primarily use olive oil as an option for salad dressing.  Using virgin organic coconut oil is your best option for quality coconut oil, and I personally like the hint of coconut taste in my eggs and stir fries. If you want to buy “flavorless” coconut oil look for a quality refined coconut oil that hasn’t been hydrogenated or chemically processed.

Here’s another fun thing! Did you know that coconut oil has many other uses outside of cooking? It’s a great topical option due to its moisturizing, antibacterial and antiviral properties.  I personally use it as a lip balm and on my hands, especially during these cold months. I’ve also tried using it as a deep conditioner on my hair and as a eye cream.

Have you made the switch to coconut oil? Any tips to share on how you use it?