Almost 2 years ago, I was introduced to the many benefits of coconut oil. One of my best friends and her holistic nutritionist mom (click here for her blog) sold me on it...and then my nutritionist mama confirmed their findings.
Coconut oil is made up of almost all saturated fat but I think you should consume a couple teaspoons, at least a couple times a week.
Why? Coconut oil is full of lauric acid (which is both anti-bacterial and anti-viral). Lauric acid is a medium chained fat (one of 3 types of saturated fats) and is very similar to the fat found in breast milk. It oxidizes at a very high temp (198degreesC)-so very healthy to cook with. According to research, these medium chained fats do not contribute in heightening cholestorol like their long chained friends (lard/butter/etc).
Coconut oil makes a great face mask if you have dry skin like me. It is a wonderul substitute for a moisturizing hair treatment, or lotion. I use it instead of lotion because I love the smell...and the antioxidants (http://www.coconut-connections.com/skin_care.htm)
I don't use it a ton in the kitchen--I want to more. Sometimes, I just eat a teaspoon. Mostly I add it to smoothies or baked goods. I will def. be adding it into my homemade baby food.
If you want to try it, buy some at Whole Foods...or your local natural foods co-op. It costs me about 6.00 for a good sized jar of unrefined oil. You can buy it refined or unrefined...depending on if you want that coconut taste. I love the taste/smell of coconut so I buy unrefined.
2 Quick & Easy Resources on Virgin Coconut Oil
A deeper/more scientific analysis by Dr. John J. Kabara. I like to see researched facts behind these nutritional theories because there is so much "all-natural" junk out there with no backbone behind it. This is the real deal, written by a Spartan no less.