Most of us know all too well that our mouths water for fatty foods. What many people don’t realize is that our bodies actually need and benefit from certain types of fat we crave. And, when used properly, they can be helpful in a diet program. What is it that makes good fats good for us? They provide energy, help absorb vitamins and minerals and contribute to successful blood clotting, cell synthesis and muscle movement.
So, is coconut oil good for you? Like many sources of fat, coconut oil is an example of an in-between fat. Too much of it, as with any fat, can have a negative effect on cardiovascular health. However, if you incorporate it into your diet program appropriately—one to three tablespoons per day—you can reap many of the nutritional benefits that healthy fats provide.
Here are some simple uses for coconut oil and ways to incorporate it into your diet:
1. Use it to butter toast
This is an easy swap that can make your breakfast more nutritious and high-energy. Plus, it’s the perfect butter substitute for anyone on the Paleo diet.
2. Put it in your coffee
Adding cream and sweeteners to coffee is an easy way to rack up empty calories. Stir in coconut oil instead and give your cup of joe a delicious, strategic energy boost.
3. Try cooking and baking with coconut oil
Coconut oil has a high smoke point (350-450 degrees °F) and can be used to bake and to pan-fry vegetables and meats. One thing to be aware of is that there are two types of coconut oil: virgin coconut oil and refined coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil has a lower smoke point and has the distinctive taste of coconut, which may not lend itself well to all foods. Refined coconut oil has been deodorized and has a higher smoke point, making it ideal for foods and cooking that require high temperatures and no coconut flavors.
4. Use it in salad dressing
Using coconut oil instead of olive oil can help add a nutritious sweetness that may make it more appealing to get your daily dose of greens.
5. Use it as a substitute for mayonnaise
If creamy mayo is one of your diet saboteurs, or if you are on the Paleo diet, try using coconut oil in its place.