Coconut oil has been very popular since time immemorial. It has gained reputation due to its multifaceted uses and benefits to skin and hair. Although it used to be treated as an unhealthy product for consumption due to its high saturated fat content, recent reports from health experts prove that virgin coconut oil is a healthy fat that can be consumed and should be added in everyday diet to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The best and the purest cold-pressed coconut oil is 100% natural and unrefined. It is extracted from the pulp of fresh coconuts without any kind of heat application. There is no involvement of any sort of chemical processing and is free from added preservatives and additives.
Contrarily, ordinary vegetable oils are a product of genetically modified crops that have been extensively treated with chemicals and pesticides. These oils are not solid by nature and therefore have to undergo a chemical process called hydrogenation to make it into margarine or shortening. During this entire process, a substance called trans fat is created which is severely harmful for the body.
Following are the reasons as to why virgin coconut oil is a better choice to make:
Virgin coconut oil (VCO) is 100% natural and cold-pressed with a high smoke point. It can withstand a large amount of heat which ensures that the composition of the oil remains intact and the nutrients do not get affected while cooking. This is one of the reasons why it is considered to be one of the best coconut oils for cooking.
Alternatively, vegetable oils are not cold-pressed and undergo the process of heat extraction. Their chemical composition is susceptible to heat damage which in turn destroys all the nutrients present in the oil.
VCO consists of 50% lauric acid (found in mother’s milk). Once lauric acid is digested in the body, it forms a substance called Monolaurin which consists of antibacterial, antifungal and antiprotozoal properties which destroys any kind of germs and viruses present in the body.
Vegetable oils are devoid of any of the essential nutrients that are present in coconut oil as well as lauric acid and do not in any way help in enhancing the immunity or metabolism of the body.
VCO is made up of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) and Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs). These are small in structure and easily broken down by the body. Hence, these fatty acids are never stored in the body but converted into energy when digested and therefore help in controlling weight.
Vegetable oils consists of Long Chain Triglycerides or LCT’s which are made up of a complex chemical structure and are difficult to breakdown by the body. It behaves as a toxic burden to the body adding to health issues.
Due to the above mentioned reasons, pure and virgin coconut oil for cooking is a healthy choice for maintaining better health. It is one of the best alternatives for vegetable oils for frying, cooking, marinating, baking or even mixing it in coffee or a smoothie. Instead of choosing vegetable oils, opt for virgin coconut oil for cooking purposes. It is undoubtedly nutritious and beneficial for health and also acts as a taste enhancer and complements any dish.