Smart Tips For Using Coconut Oil From 'Recipe Rehab'

by Meredith Grace
Each week on Recipe Rehab, two chefs face off in a competition to give one family's high-calorie recipe a new low-calorie twist. Recently, we watched chef Vikki Krinsky use coconut oil to lighten up the Ventura family’s tamale recipe. If you missed the episode, watch below!

If you’re a fan of healthy cooking, chances are you might already have coconut oil in your pantry. In recent years, coconut oil has become a trendy product to use in the kitchen as well as in your beauty regimen. While most of us know that coconut oil is healthier for us than vegetable or canola oil, you might be surprised at some of the other benefits that come with jumping on the coconut bandwagon.

Also on Z Living: 4 Ways To Use Coconut Oil For Natural Health​

What Makes Coconut Oil Such A Healthy Oil To Cook With?

While coconut oil has more saturated fats than olive oil, the kind of saturated fats is more important than the amount. Coconut oil is mostly made of lauric acid, which has good health-promoting benefits like raising your “good” cholesterol HDL levels. These fats are a shorter lipid chain than the longer saturated fats of butter and vegetable oils, making them easier to digest and convert into energy, which makes coconut oil a great additive to dishes and smoothies for a natural energy boost.
For example, check out Z Living's coconut turmeric smoothie recipe for a blast of refreshing tropical fruit that’ll remedy whatever your day throws at you.

Coconut Oil's Additional Benefits:

The lauric acid in coconut oil is also known to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and is great for soothing muscles and joints as well as boosting your immune system. Some recent studies have even pointed to coconut oil as a potential inhibitor of neuron damage in the brains of people afflicted with Alzheimer’s. The hype doesn’t end there; coconut oil is also being lauded as having a positive impact in the treatment of heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammation, eczema, and many more conditions. While further studies are needed to solidify the evidence of how coconut oil interacts in disease treatment, we can all benefit from the positive health benefits of incorporating it into our food recipes every once in awhile.

Also on Z Living: Coconut Oil: A Healthier Alternative
Despite all of these health benefits, it’s important to recognize that fat and oil are exactly that: fat and oil. Occasionally incorporating coconut oil into your recipes is great, but keep your saturated fat consumption limited to healthy levels, about 15-22g for someone on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

If you want to optimize the benefits of coconut oil, try using it more frequently as a beauty treatment. Try these two ways to incorporate more coconut oil into your day-to-day:  
Recipe RehabWATCH on Z Living: Recipe Rehab, where each week two chefs face off in a competition to give one family's high-calorie recipe a new low-calorie twist. See a sneak peek here.

Tell us in the comments: How do you use coconut oil?

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