HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >

Discussion

Coconut oil - Good or Bad?

I've always perceived cocnut oil as bad, but now it's being portrayed as healthy, or at least not evil, and very tasty. Before I run out an buy a bottle of this and shorten my life yet another few months, what do the more knowledgeable readers here say about it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/02/din...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. There was also a period when domestic oil producers (soy, cotton, corn, etc) were claiming their products were better than tropical oils (coconut, palm). Ads like that, and product labels ('no xxxx') have a strong influence on our perception of xxxx, even if we don't know the issues. But European baked goods (imported cookies for example) have been using these oils for a longer time.

    1. I love it! I would highly recommend you do your own research. The book "Nourishing Traditions" is often sited on CH and I really value that book as a starting point for good nutrition and to get interested in food and health..

      It is great in pie crust...I mean really great!

      1. My Mom has been using it for a while and lost a lot of weight, but she also followed the diet in the book The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife. There are many books out there. It tastes good, has long shelf life, doesn't have to be stored in the fridge and is easy to work with. It becomes liquid in temps over 72 degrees and can also be used on the skin as a moisturizer. Although she found that just by consuming it, her skin wasn't as dry. It has many benefits, just a little research will show. Shop around for good price, it seems expensive to me.

        1. After reading the article, I am more than a little annoyed that it seems that the public was, once again, sold a bill of goods about the evils of product "x" which had many people running around like Chicken Little screaming about how coconut oil was the devil incarnate and was going to kill us all, when those conclusions were apparently made based on questionable science at best.

          I'm 45 and have already seen this same scenario played out so many times with different products that I have reached a place where I have extreme skepticism about all such claims, even while watching a whole lot of supposedly sane and educated people nod their heads knowingly and in unison every time the latest fad du jour hits the news stands and airwaves. I'm sick of it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: flourgirl

            I have learned in my years on the planet that as long as something is pretty close to natural, and is derived from fruits and/or veggies, it is probably okay in moderation. Avoiding highly processed junk food and too much meat and refined carbs seems to be the way to go, which makes sense b/c our bodies weren't really made to eat that garbage.

            I can't wait to try using coconut oil!

              1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                I always had a fear of Twinkies-with cream filling and that shelf life? Lunch meat also! You have the right idea processing adds chemicals!
                pure non hydrogenated coconut oil has even lessened Alzheimer symptoms.

            1. get thee to the store. coconut oil is NOT evil, and it's a terrific ingredient for cooking and baking.

              3 Replies
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I agree. I have coconut oil in my bathroom and in my kitchen. I buy Lou-Ana at the grocery store. I use it for a moisturizing rub after showering. I tend to have dry skin and it is very helpful. It is also anti-fungal. I cook with it. I am seasoning a carbon steel crepe pan by Matfer with it. It is relatively inexpensive, has a good flavor, I softened tortillas in it for enchiladas a couple of weeks ago and the tortillas were very good (lard is a good frying fat for tortillas too).

                If I had a good source for Macadamia nut oil I'd be using that. It is delicious, has the highest flash point of any other cooking fat, low in mono-saturated fat and the only draw back is the price and it is expensive, very expensive.

                1. re: Candy

                  If I had a good source for Macadamia nut oil I'd be using that. It is delicious, has the highest flash point of any other cooking fat,
                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  i assume you're talking about smoke point & not flash point which is *much* higher. at any rate, your information is incorrect - macadamia nut oil actually has a lower smoke (and flash) point than many other cooking oils; in fact, it's slightly lower than olive oil. the veg oils with the highest smoke point in descending order are avocado (520° F), refined safflower (510° F), and rice bran (490 F). macadamia is 413° F.

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    ghg is so right about the smoke point; furthermore, macadamia nut oil is surprisingly flavorless, in my experience (it was a very expensive gift from a friend).