Coconut Oil: Friend or Foe?

Coconut oil for alternative therapy

So many of you seem to be asking me my thoughts on coconut oil. While some may know I applied this oil religiously to my growing belly during my 2 most recent pregnancies (and thereafter, just incase it could help the loose skin!), I  haven’t done too much talking and sharing on the other aspects of this deliciously-scented oil.

Coconut oil is one of the hot new trends these days. So is it all a bunch of hype, or is there some truth to all the coconut oil claims? Let me see if I can shed some light on the coconut oil dilemma.

Virgin (unrefined) coconut oil (VCO) is a bit different from other oils:

  • It is 92% saturated fat, compared to the saturated fat in other products: olive and soybean oils (about 15%), butter (63%), and palm kernel oil (82%). For further comparison, the fat in beef is about 50% saturated fat. Now don’t start freaking out thinking coconut is already a foe. Just wait…
  • It contains a high percentage of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), whereas other oils are made up of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). Without getting too deep into the science end of things, here’s why one researcher says this is important: “MCTs are transported directly from the intestinal tract to the liver, where they’re likely to be directly burned off as fuel and raise the metabolic rate slightly.”

After some research, here are some interesting things I’ve discovered about VCO:

Besides including VCO in your diet, it also has some other uses:

If you decide to cook with coconut oil, it’s important to know which form (virgin or refined) is best. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, VCO is best for baking or medium-heat sautéing (up to 350*), if you’re looking for a bit of a tropical flavor, as a substitute for shortening (VCO has no trans fats), or as a vegan replacement for butter. Refined coconut oil can be used for medium-high heat sautéing or stir-frying (up to 425*). VCO is also often used by candy makers because it doesn’t go rancid quickly. New to baking with coconut oil? Try these yummy—and Powell approved—Sweet Potato Brownies created by my sweet friend, Lynn Manning aka Fit2Fat2FitWife.

So…coconut oil: friend or foe?

Friend to me, but you be the judge! In the meantime, go pick up some coconut oil, and give Lynn’s amazing Sweet Potatoe Brownies a try!

Sweet Potato Brownie - Learn more at http://HeidiPowell.net/3259

Sweet Potato Brownie From Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit.
Copyright (c) Lynn Manning

Sweet Potato Brownies
Serves 9

What you’ll need:

Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 cup Truvia
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
3 eggs, whisked
1 medium sweet potato

How to make it:

1.  Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Use a knife or a fork to puncture the sweet potato before baking it for 25-30 minutes.
3.  Once your sweet potato is cooked all the way through, peel the skin and mash it up in a bowl.
4.  Turn your oven down to 350 degrees.
5.  Add in the Truvia, vanilla, whisked eggs, and coconut oil. Mix together.
6.  Add in the coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix together.
7.  Grease an 8×8 glass baking dish with coconut oil and pour in the mixture.
8.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until you can poke a toothpick in the middle and have it come out clean.
9.  Let it cool and enjoy.

What’s in it:

Each serving has: 102 calories, 3 g protein, 8 g fat, 113 mg sodium, and 15 g carbs.


20 Comments

  1. Lori Goudzwaard - September 28, 2014

    So I just made these and while they are *delicious* they do not look anywhere near as fluffy or dark as the one pictured? Is it just the food artist’s or is there a secret I missed?

    • Team Powell - September 28, 2014

      It could depend on different factors, but as long as they’re delicious, that’s the important thing! :)

  2. vicki - May 29, 2014

    I use it as a diaper cream for my infant- works fabulously- never had a diaper rash

  3. CJ Brewer - April 28, 2014

    I wasn’t sure if this was the right forum to write my comment, but here goes. I never miss the show and think you are both terrific but at the end of each show where Chris introduces them with their wonderful weight loss….THEY arrive all dressed up and in a limo and are greeted by Chris looking like he just walked in from the track. I think HE should throw on a blazer and button down to make it seem like the special moment it is for these people. That’s all. Thanks, CJBrewer

  4. Nicole - April 24, 2014

    How do you consume it on a daily basis if you don’t cook with it? Just by a spoonful? Does it taste good enough? New to the idea of using it and just trying to figure out the best way.

    • Cori - August 15, 2014

      Yes, you can consume it by the teaspoon. I sometimes do. I also use it for oil pulling which clears all the bacteria and leaves you with a fresh mouth

  5. kari - April 23, 2014

    Thoughts on everyday with coffee and how would that work on high carb Days?

  6. Jeanne - April 22, 2014

    We have found coconut oil helps greatly with a sunburn.

  7. Heidi Mischler - April 22, 2014

    Hi Heidi
    I just started cooking with VCO and I love it! Over the last month I’ve been steadily decreasing butter and exchanging with VCO. I can honestly say I don’t miss the butter:). I just revieved an awesome Oatmeal cookie recipe that uses CVO. I also believe that CVO has helped to increase my HDL by 10 points in about 6 months! My health care provider said she had never seen that big of an increase in that time frame. I am absolutely sold on the benefits of CVO. PS I also used Coconut oils and butter on my growing belly back in the 90′s and I never got ONE stretch mark. :) Have a blessed day.

  8. Beryl - April 22, 2014

    Another great use for coconut oil
    Can be use as a lubricant making sexual intercourse more comfortable
    Also helps prevent vaginal infections and is good tasting and non toxic if you get my point
    Have fun

  9. Brittany - April 21, 2014

    I use a tbsp blended in my coffee every morning is that amount ok

  10. Linda - April 21, 2014

    Newbie here and got a question, if I may? These brownies look AMAZING and I would love to make them but not knowing when I can eat them I’m wondering if this is a LC day recipe or a HC day recipe?

    Thanks for the info!

    Linda

    • admin - April 21, 2014

      Perfect for a reward day. Allows you to enjoy some sweetness without totally blowing your week.

  11. Sandy Simmons - April 21, 2014

    Do you think it would be OK to use Honey in the place of trivia?

  12. Kimberly - April 21, 2014

    I use coconut oil for everything! I give it to my Great Danes as well for their dry skin and it works wonders. Conditioner for our hair and and even repels Mosquitos if you add a touch of peppermint oil. I cook with it and I even use it instead of lotion. It’s our go to! Love this post Heidi!

  13. Jazzmin Medina - April 21, 2014

    Hi!

    Thanks for the recipe! I just had a quick question can you substitute trivia for a more natural raw sweetener like honey for instance; or if you had any other suggestions I could use that would be awesome!

  14. Krystal Kucharski - April 21, 2014

    How many grams of fiber in these brownies?

  15. Connie - April 21, 2014

    I use coconut oil on a daily basis. Put it on my salad with apple cider vinegar. Great skin moisturizer for the skin & hair. It is a friend to me. Going to try the Brownies. Keep up the great work you do to help inspire us to be healthy .

  16. Angel - April 21, 2014

    Coconut oil can also be used for oral health and teeth whitening by oil pulling! Check out one article here. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-7857/why-you-should-start-oil-pulling-today.html

  17. Blaire Hanson - April 21, 2014

    Thank you for your thoughts on coconut oil. What spray oil do you recommend for cooking foods like eggs or light sautéing? I have concerns over the quality of the run of the mill canola oils. Thanks!

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