By Betty Murray
Do you use olive oil to cool? Did you know that while extra virgin olive oil the best monounsaturated fat out there, it shouldn’t be used for cooking? At high temperatures, olive oil can experience oxidative damage. So what’s the healthy alternative to olive oil for cooking?
Coconut oil is a saturated fat, but it is good for you. That’s because the saturated fat in coconut oil is naturally occurring, compared to the man-made process that artificially creates vegetable and seed oil by adding hydrogen while heating the oil — a process that has no health benefits whatsoever.
Coconut oil has been used by centuries by people living in tropical regions, such as the South Pacific Islands, and though it is a saturated fat, studies have shown that heart disease is virtually non-existent in these parts of the world. Because the saturated fat in coconut oil is natural.
Benefits of coconut oil
There are health numerous benefits of coconut oil, including:
- Reduced risk of heart disease.
- Improved thyroid function.
- Increased metabolism.
- Promoting weight loss and health body composition.
- Boosting immune system health and response.
- Anti-aging, regenerative effects on the skin.
- Improved cognitive function and memory.
What makes coconut oil healthy?
Coconut oil is the richest source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) available. In comparison to the long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) or long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) found in vegetable or seed oils, the body can easily break down and process MCTs.
This is because MCTs are much smaller and therefore easily digested. The liver immediately burns them up as energy, whereas LCTs are much larger and more difficult for the body to breakdown. Instead, the body will store LCTs as fat.
Vegetable oils are almost always genetically modified and produce toxic chemicals when used for cooking. Coconut oil is the only oil that can withstand heat when cooking and provides health benefits no other oil can.
So while extra virgin olive oil is a healthy alternative in salad dressings, it is not healthy if used for cooking. Instead, use organic coconut oil found at Whole Foods, Sprouts and in the organic section of most grocery stores.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.