Let’s talk about fat, shall we? Always a hot button topic, fat has been getting a bum rap since the early 50’s. This was around the same time that the anti-saturated fat craze began, which happened to coincide with a rise in processed food, and a surge in the production of sugary soft drinks, refined grains, hydrogenated oils, and chemical-laden, nutritionally-void fillers. Heart disease was on the rise, but no one was pointing a finger at the processed food industry. Instead, we all assumed that fat was bad–especially saturated fat–and should be avoided at all costs. Fast forward to 2016, where heart disease is the #1 killer in America, and a good chunk of our population suffers from obesity, diabetes, and other diet-induced inflictions we will discuss further down the page.
I, for one, grew up believing that saturated fat was very bad for you, especially when it came from foods like coconut oil. I was a victim of the fat-free craze that was sweeping the nation at the time, and was reading labels for the sole purpose of making sure there wasn’t any trace of fat in my food. Naively, I believed that coconut oil was one of the worst offenders. Silly me. I was toting around my little boxes of fat-free cookies thinking I had it all figured out: avoid fat and you will lose weight and be healthy. Little did I know that I was doing great harm to my body during this time. All the fake cheese, zero-calorie snacks, and frozen “lite” entrees I was consuming had very little–if any–nutritional value, and I was getting sicker by the day. It wasn’t until I ended up in the hospital at age 21 that I started realizing something was very wrong, and it was a few more years before I really started to get my health back on track.
Back in the early aughts, I learned that trans fats were quite bad for you (just 1 molecule away from being plastic, y’all), and how many of them I had been consuming unknowingly. I immediately removed every trace of trans fats from my diet, but didn’t yet make the connection as to how my body was actually starving for fat. It wasn’t until I moved to Portland in 2007 that I started educating myself on what kinds of fat are actually good for you, and discovered that your body needs fat for fuel, joint lubrication, and building healthy brain cells, among others. Through my research, I read about the benefits of coconut oil, and started experimenting with it here and there. I was elated by how much better my body felt with the addition of healthy fat. I had energy! My skin had a healthy glow! Yahoo!! These days it is one of my staples, and I consume it almost daily. Let me tell you a little more about why I love it so much…
Scientifically speaking, the body has the ability to heal itself as long as it receives quality nutrition, a safe & non-toxic environment, fresh air, and clean water. The body naturally tends toward healing and balance through a process called homeostasis. Once that balance has been established, health naturally prevails. Coconut oil is a functional food that assists the body in its attempts to achieve and maintain homeostasis. It provides the body with the tools it needs to eliminate viral, bacterial, and fungal invaders, simultaneously providing unique, high-quality nourishment. Often referred to as the “Tree of Life” in ancient cultures, it contains medium-chain triglycerides (lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid) that kill viruses, bacteria and parasites, therefore making it antifungal and antibacterial. It also helps the body to establish a healthy balance of hormones, unlike estrogenic soy oils, and free-radical-producing refined vegetable oils. The lauric acid in coconut oil also prevents the saturated oil content from raising LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad stuff), therefore reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Better still, the saturated fat in coconut oil actually contains microbial properties to help rid the body of parasites, bacteria or fungi that may cause digestive issues, and helps it absorb amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Consuming coconut oil on a regular basis has been proven to help prevent the following maladies:
- Candida (yeast overgrowth in stomach)
- Liver disease
- Kidney stones
- Bone disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Viral infections associated with HIV
- ALS, MS, and other degenerative neurological conditions
Coconut oil will not clog arteries, as it is highly alkaline, and liquid above 76 degrees. It contains 64% MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids) which burn quickly as energy, making it difficult for the body to store it as fat. MCFAs have massive positive implications, and their rarity in food make coconut oil the best (and most delicious) choice. You can check the Ingredients section of our website to learn more.
There are several types of coconut oil on the market, so you need to be sure you are choosing the one that is right for your purposes.
- Virgin coconut oil is made from fresh coconut, and isn’t chemically treated or heated. It is by far the best choice for consumption, and is safe for cooking at temperatures up to 350 degrees. Some brands label their coconut oil extra-virgin, but unlike olive oil, there is no variation between virgin and extra-virgin. Ours comes from Hummingbird Wholesale, and it tastes divine. We use it in every single one of our bars!
- Coconut oil can also be refined, which removes the flavor and scent, and makes it safer for cooking with high heat. It is made from dried coconut, and must be processed by steam (good) or chemicals (bad). Coconut oil that is expeller-pressed is the only type that is considered food grade, and still retains all the vital MCFAs. Other types of refined coconut oil should be avoided.
These days, I still read labels, but for a much different reason than I did when I was younger. Searching for the highest-quality food available to nourish my body, I am no longer scared of fat. As a matter of fact, I seek it out. That’s one of the (many) reasons I love Honey Mama’s Cacao Nectar Bars. It is such a gift to open my fridge when looking for a treat, and see a Honey Mama’s bar waiting for me. This is real food, folks, not candy. It nourishes me from the inside out, and tastes amazing. I feel good about sharing Honey Mama’s bars with my family and friends, while at the same time educating them on the virtues of healthy fat. Coconut oil saved me from a lifetime of fearful eating, and including it in my daily diet has made me feel more alive than I ever did before.
If you are a health food nerd like me, you may want to do some additional reading on the subject. I highly recommend “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Coconut Oil Diet” by Maria Blanco, CFH and Dr. James Pendelton, ND, NMD. A good chunk of the information I provided above is contained in the pages. You can even read some select pages from the book here.
For further reading, click on any of the following links:
What are Benefits of Alkalizing Your Body? – Nourish Holistic Nutrition
About Coconut Oil – Hummingbird Wholesale
Benefits of Coconut Oil – Wellness Mama
Coconut Oil: The Right Kind – Wise Mind Healthy Body
Coconut Oil Benefits – Med Health
Coconut Oil Uses – Balance Me Beautiful