May 6, 2010

Go Nuts for Coconuts!

This article was originally posted on 360mainstreet.com.

In the 1930s, a dentist by the name of Weston Price traveled the world and found that when cultures followed traditional diets, their overall health was significantly better than those that followed the diet of modern civilization. While traveling throughout the South Pacific, Dr. Price found that people eating diets high in coconut were extremely healthy, with virtually no cases of high cholesterol or heart disease, despite the high concentration of saturated fat.

Natural saturated fats like those found in coconuts, real unpasteurized butter or free range eggs have unfortunately been given a bad name due to the low-fat diet craze. Healthy fats are crucial as they are used to make our cells, hormones, vitamins, energy for our brain and other crucial components of the body—given they are the correct types of fats. Eliminating fats from our diets can have a devastating effect on our health. Just be sure to differentiate saturated fats found in fried fast foods from saturated fats in their natural unprocessed forms which are found in nature.

Coconut oil is also the best oil to use when cooking at high temperatures. All oils have a "smoke point," which is the point when a good oil can turn into a bad oil. High temperatures can cause oils to become rancid and lose their health benefits. Luckily, coconut oil has a much higher smoke point than other oils, so it is one of the healthiest options to use in the kitchen because it can stand the heat.

Not only is coconut oil a phenomenal source of fats, but it's one of the best lotions to use. Keep in mind the advice if you can't eat it, then don't put it on your skin, as your skin absorbs chemicals from lotions. An all-natural alternative to skin lotion, coconut oil has been shown to help protect skin from the damaging effects of free radicals. With its anti-aging benefits, coconut oil also helps improve the appearance of skin. Even more, coconut oil is a nourishing conditioner for your scalp and hair, and it can be a natural remedy for dandruff.

When buying coconuts, make sure to look for organic ones, and when purchasing coconut oil, look for organic extra virgin and cold pressed. When you smell the coconut oil, it should smell just like fresh coconuts. Coconut oil can be found at most grocery stores or health food stores.

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