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Old 01-20-2008, 02:01 PM   #1
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Coconut Oil

I bought some organic coconut oil when I was home last and have been using it as a weekly deep conditioner on my hair.

I've been reading loads about the benefits of coconut oil, not just hair & skin but cooking with it as well. Just curious, do you use it? If so, how do you use it and do you find it better than other oils or butter?

Thanks!

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Old 01-20-2008, 02:16 PM   #2
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I read that coconut oil is something like 90% saturated fat and as such is probably not so wonderful to consume. I'm not an expert but I think I would use something else in my cooking and save that for my hair.
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:18 PM   #3
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I use coconut oil quite a bit.

It's high in fat, but it's not hydrogenated so I really don't care. I'm not one of these people who is real anal about depriving myself of this or that on the guise that "it's not good for you". It tastes good, it infuses good flavor into foods, so I use it.

The only thing I'm not real big on with it is the fact that it has a relatively low smoke point.
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Poppinfresh View Post
I use coconut oil quite a bit.

It's high in fat, but it's not hydrogenated so I really don't care. I'm not one of these people who is real anal about depriving myself of this or that on the guise that "it's not good for you". It tastes good, it infuses good flavor into foods, so I use it.

The only thing I'm not real big on with it is the fact that it has a relatively low smoke point.
All oils are 100% fat, but there's a big difference between saturated and unsaturated fats. I don't deprive myself, either, but there are alternatives to coconut oil that taste perfectly good and are much healthier: olive, canola and peanut oils lower the bad fat and increase the good fat in your blood, while coconut oil increases both: Fats & Cholesterol: Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health

If anyone has cholesterol issues, they should avoid coconut oil. HTH.
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:36 PM   #5
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All oils are 100% fat, but there's a big difference between saturated and unsaturated fats. I don't deprive myself, either, but there are alternatives to coconut oil that taste perfectly good and are much healthier: olive, canola and peanut oils lower the bad fat and increase the good fat in your blood, while coconut oil increases both: Fats & Cholesterol: Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health

If anyone has cholesterol issues, they should avoid coconut oil. HTH.
Olive oil, canola and peanut oil don't taste like coconut oil, and don't provide the same flavor. Coconut oil does. I like olive oil for a lot of things, I use it for a lot of things. But to say it's the same thing (or even similar) is a huge misnomer. Canola oil imo is only good when I'm doing a recipe that requires a large amount of oil (cost/benefit issue at that point), and I don't use peanut oil for anything.

Again, I just don't care. I'm not a health nut, and I learned long ago what science says is good for you today, science will say will kill you tomorrow. I go by genetics. My grandparents lived to their 80's, my great grandfather lived to 83, my father will probably do the same, and I'll probably follow suit, regardless of what I eat. ****, my great grandmother, that old battleaxe, is at (EDIT: Typoed the age in the first draft) 104 and still going strong. She smokes half a pack of cigarettes a day, cooks with nothing but back fat, drinks cognac like it's going out of style.

I just think people get too obsessed with turning into health nut. Me? Well, I know a number of health nuts--and hey, a small portion of them even look healthy! They can do their thing, I'll do mine.
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:13 PM   #6
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rk, I would not use it to cook with. Coconut oil is 92% saturated fat. Olive oil is 14% saturated fat.
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Poppinfresh View Post
Olive oil, canola and peanut oil don't taste like coconut oil, and don't provide the same flavor. Coconut oil does. I like olive oil for a lot of things, I use it for a lot of things. But to say it's the same thing (or even similar) is a huge misnomer.
I didn't say they provide the same or similar flavor; I said there are alternatives that taste good that are healthier.

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Canola oil imo is only good when I'm doing a recipe that requires a large amount of oil (cost/benefit issue at that point), and I don't use peanut oil for anything.
IMO, canola oil is good for all kinds of things where one doesn't want the flavor of the oil to dominate, since it has so little flavor of its own. I use peanut oil for Asian cooking as I believe it tastes more authentic. YMMV, of course.

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Again, I just don't care. I'm not a health nut, and I learned long ago what science says is good for you today, science will say will kill you tomorrow. I go by genetics. My grandparents lived to their 80's, my great grandfather lived to 83, my father will probably do the same, and I'll probably follow suit, regardless of what I eat. ****, my great grandmother, that old battleaxe, is at (EDIT: Typoed the age in the first draft) 104 and still going strong. She smokes half a pack of cigarettes a day, cooks with nothing but back fat, drinks cognac like it's going out of style.

I just think people get too obsessed with turning into health nut. Me? Well, I know a number of health nuts--and hey, a small portion of them even look healthy! They can do their thing, I'll do mine.
No need to take it so personally - I was speaking to the group, not just you
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:50 PM   #8
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Not taking it personally, just hypocrisy (and I'm not saying you specifically; I don't know you--this is a general statement) is one of my pet peeves.

Certain foods and items get villified. One of them is coconut oil, in spite of it being the most flavorful thing out there. What bothers me about *most* people who go touting the health benefits of olive oil or against using this or that foodstuff.....these are the same people who, at least once a week without fail, you see going through the drive-thru of your local McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, etc. ordering a supersized double quarter pounder with cheese combo (with a Diet Coke, of course--gotta watch that figure).

Personally? I don't eat fast food. At all. And I can guaran-god-dang-tee you that if I cooked with coconut oil every meal of every day for the rest of my entire life, I would still end up ahead of the curve ("nutritionally" speaking) from the canola loyalist who scarfs down a Big Mac at least once a week. I just get rather tired of hearing people go "zomg high in saturated fats! Bad, bad!" without really knowing what's going on.

I mean heck, even if you just wanted to go strictly off nutritional value as opposed to flavor, coconut oil helps your thyroid gland function properly, keeps your skin looking good, gives you immediate energy, and provides immune system support.

Even going off some of your alternatives...things like canola are polyunsaturated fats. I'll take a saturated fat over a polyunsaturated any day of the week (again, so long as it doesn't cross a cost/benefit line).

Which again, doesn't really matter--the healthy stuff will be proven to kill us tomorrow, and then killer stuff today will then be healthy. For a while at any rate until it reverses again (EX: Coconut oil was big up until WWII)
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:58 PM   #9
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The wife and I got onto this Thai food kick for awhile, mostly the coconut based curries, and wow did my cholesterol shoot up! So, I applied to this what I try to apply to most things in life: Moderation!

I have heard some people lately extoling the virtues of Cottonseed oil for cooking, not only as fairly healthy as oils go but also in that it allows the flavor of the food to come thru better.

Anybody had any experience with this?
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:54 PM   #10
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We always have come coconut oil on hand but only use it to pop corn in. Just like the movies...in the old days before the "food police" made it a bad thing. Buck and I don't worry about the health issues associated with coconut oil because we don't eat that much popcorn. It's not like we eat it three times a day every day.
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Old 01-21-2008, 03:53 AM   #11
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Thank you everyone for the replies! I pretty much stick to olive oil when cooking and use butter for baking only.

I think I'll stick to using the coconut oil for my hair, which btw works wonderfully for conditioning!!!

Edited to add... After reading the bottle I bought, Coconut Oil is 100% free of cholesterol, trans and hydrogenated fat. So not all saturated fat is bad!
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:13 PM   #12
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Redkitty, I think trans fats are found in UNsaturated fat. And I believe that only animal fats can contain cholesterol. So, having said that, your bottle's label is completely right, but only tells part of the story. LOL. I'm glad you decided not to use it in cooking. No sense putting more saturated fat into yourself than necessary.
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:20 PM   #13
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...Edited to add... After reading the bottle I bought, Coconut Oil is 100% free of cholesterol, trans and hydrogenated fat. So not all saturated fat is bad!

It's tricky labeling to tell you a vegetable product is cholesterol free. Only animal products contain cholesterol (for all practical purposes). It's like labeling a jar of jam cholesterol free. It makes the consumer think it's healthier than other jams.

If you were to hydrogenate coconut oil, it would then contain trans fats. One normally finds trans fats in hydrogenated oils such as vegetable shortening.

All saturated fat is worse for you than unsaturated fats.

That kind of label on a container of coconut oil is INTENTIONALLY misleading to direct you away from the inherent negative health aspects of the product.
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:27 PM   #14
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Thanks Andy & Alix... no worries as I won't be cooking with it! But I'm glad others can read this thread if they had the same concerns I did.

Just to mention again, wonderful for conditioning the hair!!!!!
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Old 01-21-2008, 02:42 PM   #15
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Cholesterol: Can only come from something that has a liver. It's a basic rule since the liver is what creates cholesterol.

As it pertains to coconut oil: The nature of coconut oil is as such to where it WILL, in fact, raise your LDL cholesterol in spite of it containing none (LDL is the "bad" cholesterol...at least this year). The thing is, though...it raises your HDL (the "good" cholesterol....this year) as well. You actually want your HDL to be as high as possible (over 120, so say the doctors...this year). Ultimately it ends up being a wash.

The thing about coconut oil that makes it nice is that it's already saturated though. Meaning producers can't hydrogenate it (which even I agree is just asking for a heart attack)
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Old 01-21-2008, 03:05 PM   #16
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Cholesterol: Can only come from something that has a liver. It's a basic rule since the liver is what creates cholesterol.
Not totally true. Cholesterol IS found in plants too, but in negligible amounts. Therefore you don't need a liver to create it...sure helps though!
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Old 01-22-2008, 05:07 PM   #17
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My dad called last night to see how we are faring financially and otherwise. Halfway through the conversation he started telling me that he was reading that a couple tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil twice a day is supposed to be good for all kinds of ailments. The more things something is supposed to cure/help the more red flags I normally see, but I figured I should check it out since he brought it up. So far all I have found are websites promoting it, but I am hoping to find some unsolicited comments on it, so I will keep checking it out. What exactly is the difference (the process, nutritional value, etc.) between organic virgin coconut oil and other coconut oils?

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Old 01-22-2008, 07:16 PM   #18
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Well I won't go into the "virgin vs. not" coconut oil topic, since I'm not aware that coconut oil even goes through more than one pressing.

I will mention the organic vs. not thing though: That's complete bung (like most things touting the "benefit" of organic). The only thing an organic label would accomplish would be a higher sticker price. Seeing as how most coconut oil is produced in regions where they lack the resources to even do something other than organic (and the hardiness of the trees and fruit), I would imagine most of it is "organic" anyways.
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Old 01-22-2008, 07:48 PM   #19
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I was wondering about that Poppinfresh. Thanks! I know that a lot of foods that are listed as organic are grown without pesticides, etc., and that a lot aren't. Technically organic just means it is/was alive, so it is in iffy term if you are looking for something specific.

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Old 02-01-2008, 11:35 AM   #20
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I don't use coconut oil, but I consumed it in significant quantity while working in Northeast Brazil (Salvador).
My Dr. was worried I was going there for a while (6 months) since my Cholesterol was a bit over 200, but after coming back we checked and it dropped to 140.
Please note that I was running almost daily and playing soccer twice a week while there.
Since I also run and play soccer here in USA, my Dr. couldn't figure the reason for the drop, my explanation is that I did not consume processed food while there, it was all cooked from scratch.
That was one of the reasons I started to cook myself, oh and I also switch to another Dr. LOL

According to Dr. Marcola (a dude that is into healthier foods, etc.) coconut oil is the thing to use for cooking.
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