Proponents of the Coconut Diet believe that adding coconut oil to your diet will help you to maintain a balance of “good fats”, replacing the unhealthy refined fats that are often part of modern cuisine. They claim that this can help with losing weight, reducing the chance of heart attack, maintaining healthy skin and increasing your immune defenses.
Coconut oil is an excellent oil for cooking, as it has a high smoking point and doesn’t create any harmful substances when heated, like, for example, soy bean oil does. While coconut oil does have good qualities, it is still a type of fat and as such should be used in moderation. Up to three tablespoons per day is recommended. You might want to work up to this amount, bearing in mind that it is worth around 350 calories, which is a lot to add all at once. Virgin coconut oil has the most health benefits. Here are some tasty, healthy ways of adding coconut oil to your diet:
1. Use Coconut Oil in Place of Regular Oils
Coconut oil is excellent for cooking and can be used in stir fries, when sauteing, in baking, or when making oil popped popcorn. In fact, much of the popcorn eaten at the movies in the United States is flavored with coconut oil. If substituting for vegetable oil, remember that coconut oil is solid at cool temperatures and so may not be suitable for salads that will be refrigerated.
2. Add Coconut Oil or Milk to Smoothies
When making a fruit or yogurt smoothie, slip in a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil. It will add to the flavor and help make it lovely, smooth and creamy. Alternatively, you can use a small amount of sweetened or unsweetened coconut milk as a substitute for regular milk or yogurt. For a thicker smoothie, freeze it first, then add to the food processor to whip it up.
3. Use Coconut Oil on Toast
Coconut oil is solid at cooler temperatures, like butter, and can be used as a butter substitute for many things. Use it as a spread on your morning toast or to make garlic bread.
4. Use Coconut Oil in Baking
It can replace butter, margarine or vegetable oil in baking. When using coconut oil as a substitute, it should be reduced by about a quarter, so use 3/4 cup for every cup of butter. If you prefer the taste of butter, you can use half the amount and make it up with coconut oil.
5. Eat Fresh Coconut
Fresh coconut can make a delicious snack and is excellent for school lunches. Just break off a piece and wrap it in clingfilm. Grated, fresh coconut can be used in any recipe that calls for dry coconut, and it tastes even better. Try making coconut rice or cookies.
6. Eat Southeast Asian Foods
Many of the curries and sauces in Thai, Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian cuisine require liberal amounts of coconut, whether it is coconut milk, oil or fresh coconut. Eat these at an authentic restaurant, or try them at home.
Incorporating coconut oil into your diet is easy and makes for some tasty meals. Add some to your kitchen for a healthy, balanced diet.