Coconut oil has been in my life for a few years and is a pretty big part of my skin care regime. I love the way it smells and my skin seems to love it too.
Soon I will be making whipped body butter with my giant tub of coconut oil (check out Costco for the best prices) for Christmas gifts but in the meantime, I wanted to try cooking with coconut oil for the first time.
I made these “Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins” which were quite good and I was so proud of myself for baking without oil or butter.
I tried frying in some of the oil and it was pretty successful – another win!
Then I started reading further about consuming coconut oil…
Let’s look at a comparison of coconut oil with butter and other oils from Eating Well
“Nutrition breakdown (per 1 tablespoon)
•Coconut oil: 117 calories, 14 grams total fat, 12 grams saturated fat
•Unsalted butter: 102 calories, 12 grams total fat, 7 grams saturated fat
Based on the numbers, butter seems to be the better choice: it’s lower in calories, total fat and saturated fat. Plus, the percentage of fat from saturated fat is lower: 58 percent versus 86 percent.”
What about this whole “good saturated fat/ good cholesterol” argument?
“Yes, studies of people on traditional Polynesian diets have found that they have relatively low rates from heart disease despite high LDL cholesterol levels, but other aspects of their native lifestyle are very healthful, and probably help counteract the cholesterol-raising effect of the coconut fat. Their traditional diet, for example, is very high in dietary fiber and heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids from fish, and very low in sodium. Historically, native Polynesians also tended to be nonsmokers, and were physically very active. All these factors would certainly promote heart health.”
So, after all this I sit here with my batch of “extra healthy muffins” and shake my head. Next time I will be saving my coconut oil to use on my skin (and maybe trying some oil pulling as I think the taste would be better than other oils) rather than in my baking.
So, the verdict ? Coconut oil…. still mostly just for skincare.