Coconut Oil: Friend or Foe?

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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 in case 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 saut?ing (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 saut?ing 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
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.

23 Responses

  1. GO TEAM!!
    What are the servings sizes for the OIL and the Flakes? as I am thinking this is for a FAT serving on LC days only. Do I measure it just like evoo? I would prefer to use coconut oil when I satue my meals with oil.
    Do I measure it just like EVOO for my salads? using one TBSP?
    I won’t be able to use the flour on HC days as a grain because it has fat in it right?, but I can use it for my treat day/item.
    I love coconut and also use the vinegar for my salads, with no added oils.
    This site is so helpful fro me on my journey. You gals/guys are awesome !!
    Thank you..

    1. These brownies would be a great option for a reward day/meal since they have both carbs and fats. 🙂

  2. I know this post is older BUT… I use coconut oil to remove my makeup, cook and as a mask. I love the heck out of coconut oil and recommend it for those uses to friends. I have tried baking with it nor have I quite figured out the ratio for a hair treatment but those brownies look amazing!

  3. 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?

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

    1. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!


  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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 .

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

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