Part of what makes coconut oil such a healthful oil for cooking is that 50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid. This is also one of the features that distinguishes coconut oil from other saturated fats.
Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.
In addition, coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs. These types of fatty acids also produce a host of health benefits.
Best of all, coconut oil is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage, which you cannot say for other oils. In fact, it’s so stable you can even use if for frying (although I don’t recommend frying your food for a number of health reasons).
I recommend using coconut oil in lieu of every other oil, whether your recipe calls for butter, olive oil, vegetable oil or margarine.
Important, New Information about Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil is a good monounsaturated fat that is also well-known for its health benefits. It’s a staple in healthful diets such as Mediterranean-style diets.
However, it’s important to realize it is NOT good for cooking. It should really only be used cold, typically drizzled on salads and other food.
Due to its chemical structure and a large amount of unsaturated fats, cooking makes extra-virgin olive oil very susceptible to oxidative damage. However, during this interview I learned that extra-virgin olive oil has a significant draw-back even when used cold – it’s still extremely perishable!
As it turns out, extra-virgin olive oil contains chlorophyll that accelerates decomposition and makes the oil go rancid rather quickly.
In fact, Dr. Moerck actually prefers using almost tasteless, semi-refined olive oil rather than extra-virgin olive oil for this reason.
If you’re like most people, you’re probably leaving your bottle of olive oil right on the counter, opening and closing it multiple times a week. Remember, any time the oil is exposed to air and/or light, it oxidizes, and as it turns out, the chlorophyll in extra virgin olive oil accelerates the oxidation of the unsaturated fats.