Recently when a Harvard University professor labelled coconut oil as poison, it alarmed people who swear by its many benefits. While the western world discovered coconut oil fairly recently, Indian homes have always stocked up coconut oil in their pantries. A nice, relaxing ‘champi’ (massage) on a Sunday morning is a must-do ritual in many Indian homes. In Southern India, coconut oil is used not only for its skin and hair benefits but also in cooking.
So, what’s the verdict? Is it really an artery clogging poison that we should now stay away from? There is very little research to claim whether it is good or bad for our heart health. However, everything in moderation is the only rule of thumb you must follow.
Generally, fats have fatty acids that turn solid at room temperature. According to the American Heart Association, an average person should only consume about 11-13 grams of saturated fat per day.
Unsaturated fats, like the one present in olive oil, should be eaten in moderation. However, they do help improve blood cholesterol. Despite coconut oil being peddled as the latest health fad, last year, the American Heart Association urged people to avoid consuming coconut oil.
So, here’s everything you need to know about cold pressed coconut oil:
Coconut oil is a great skin softener and helps you get rid of dry and hard skin conditions. For instance, you can use coconut oil along with salt and sugar as an exfoliating method. It helps get rid of dead skin cells and clear out your pores. Don’t want to invest in expensive makeup removers? Try coconut oil instead.
Cooking with coconut oil
“Coconut oil is best used for medium-heat cooking and excellent for baking,” says Swasti Aggarwal, food strategist, Foodhall. According to some studies, coconut oil is known to increase fat burning. Owing to this quality, coconut oil enjoys popularity among people who follow keto or paleo diet. “Coconut oil can increase the good HDL cholesterol in our body. If you don’t wish to consume it, you can use it for skin care or for dental hygiene. You can use it like a mouthwash in a process called oil pulling, which can kill some of the harmful bacteria in the mouth,” says Aggarwal.
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First Published: Sep 11, 2018 09:20 IST
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