Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of mature coconuts harvested from the coconut palm. It has various applications, as a cooking medium, in medicinal preparations, as a massage oil and a base in cosmetics, and more. It is slow to oxidize, and hence doesn’t become rancid for a long time.
Busting coconut oil myths:
There are several articles that discourage their readers from consuming coconut oil. This started in the west in the mid-80s when people were concerned that saturated fats can raise cholesterol levels, and hence exposure to heart disease. This stemmed from articles from the American Heart Association (AHA) which stated that all saturated fats raise total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and, therefore, increase the risk of heart disease. What they failed to mention is that total cholesterol is NOT an accurate indicator of heart disease risk. They also don’t mention that saturated fats, including coconut oil, increase HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol that reduces the risk of heart disease.
Another fact they glossed over is that there are actually two types of LDL cholesterol: one that is small and dense, and another that is large and buoyant (called Large LDL). The large buoyant LDL cholesterol is also a form of good cholesterol. It is the type of cholesterol that the body generates to make bile, hormones, and vitamin D; it is essential not only for good health, but for life itself.
The small dense LDL, however, is the type of cholesterol that becomes oxidized, which is unhealthy and can contribute to heart disease.
Coconut oil by itself has no cholesterol. It increases HDL, large LDL, and reduces small dense LDL. The overall effect is that coconut oil reduces the cholesterol ratio, thus lowering the risk of heart disease.
In fact, populations that use coconut oil as their primary source of fat have the lowest rates of heart disease in the world. In India, all along the western coast, communities that use coconut oil extensively in their cooking have long life expectancies, and excellent hair and skin health.
Fortunately, good sense prevailed in the long run, with many nutritionists, naturopaths, vaidyas, and doctors incorporating alternative healing systems fighting the good fight against propaganda and ignorance. Coconut oil is making a come back into the Indian kitchen, as well as into the western world, where it is establishing itself as a baking medium
Our coconut oil comes from Vasanthkumar’s family owned organic farm in Mysore, Karnataka. They grow rice and dal intercropped with vegetables and spices. The coconuts are harvested, split apart and dried, thus yielding the “copra”. The copra is then chopped up and crushed in a rotary press, which yields the “cold-pressed” coconut oil.