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Fruit of the "Tree of
The Coconut (the
fruit of the palm cocos nucifera) is the Swiss Army
knife of the plant kingdom; in one neat package it
provides high-calorie food, potable water, fiber that
can be spun into rope, and a hard shell that can be
turned into charcoal.
The flesh inside
the coconut yields Copra, that white, tasty part of
the coconut prized around the world.
Copra is 70% oil
and man has been extracting oil from the copra of
coconuts since at least 100 AD. The process was
recorded on a Tamil manuscript dating from that time!
Copra is extracted from the coconut on site,
either by smoke drying, sun drying, or kiln-drying, and
sometimes a combination of these three drying
techniques. The oil is extracted by cold
pressing. Once the oil is taken out, you
are left with the fibrous copra meal aka coconut cake,
which has too much fiber for human consumption on a
regular basis but perfect for livestock.The dry meal of
copra cake is about 25% protein and the high-fiber
content is just made for ruminant animals such as cows.
The extracted oil is sent to the refinery to become as
RBD Coconut Oil.
for: Refined, Bleached, Deodorized. The
“Bleaching” is generally not a chemical
process, but rather a filter process to remove
impurities. A “bleaching clay” is used for
this filtering. Steam is used to deodorize the
oil, since the starting point was copra. So
the resulting product has a very bland taste,
with little or no odor.
oil is colorless when liquid and pure white
when solid, never yellow or pink, and it
should not contain any residue or have an
“off” or rancid odor.
One of the
misconceptions propagated on the Internet is
that only virgin coconut oils are healthy,
while refined coconut oils are not, and that
they actually might be harmful. This is
generally untrue. The RBD refining process
does nothing to alter the fatty acid profile
of coconut oil, so all the medium chain fatty
acids are kept intact.
with Coconut Oil
For thousands of
years, coconuts have been a staple of tropical
cuisines, and those who followed a traditional
coconut-based diet had none of the heart disease,
cancer, diabetes, or other illnesses that plague
modern world. Coconut oil is very different from most
other cooking oils and contains a unique composition
of fatty acids. The fatty acids are about 90%
saturated. This makes it highly resistant
to oxidation at high heats, so it is the perfect oil
for high-heat cooking methods like frying.
coconut oil when cooking at higher temperatures.
Refined coconut oil has a smoking point of 450º
Fahrenheit, while unrefined coconut oil has a smoking
point of 350º Fahrenheit.
Oil in Diet Source of MCFAs.
coconut oil’s health benefits come from MCFAs,
also known as MCTs. The coconut
kernel is rich in protein and saturated fats
of which lauric acid is the most important.
Lauric acid aids in preventing
atherosclerosis, which has helped boost the
popularity of this oil around the world.
According to former University of Maryland
biochemist and dietary fats researcher Mary
Enig, PhD, “The lauric acid in coconut oil is
used by the body to make the same
disease-fighting fatty acid derivative
monolaurin that babies make from the lauric
acid they get from their mothers’ milk. The
monoglyceride monolaurin is the substance that
keeps infants from getting viral, bacterial,
or protozoal infections.” Coconut oil’s capric
and caprylic acid have similar properties and
are best known for their antifungal effects.
Like lauric acid, capric acid helps balance
insulin levels. In addition to protecting the
body against infection, medium-chain fatty
acids are efficiently metabolized to provide
an immediate source of fuel and energy,
enhancing athletic performance and aiding
weight loss. In fact, several coconut diet
books are now in print.
Oil in Supplements Source
During the last
few decades, extensive research on medium-chain fatty
acids has documented their health benefits, and many
supplements and health foods contain MCFAs or MCTs.
You’ll find them listed that way on their labels – but
their source, which isn’t listed, is always coconut
These fatty acids
go straight from the digestive tract to the liver,
where they are likely to be turned into ketone bodies
and provide a quick source of energy. Epileptic
patients on ketogenic diets often use these fats to
induce ketosis while allowing for a little bit of
carbs in the diet.
Good vs Bad
Sometimes people who are
seeking a healthier lifestyle make the mistake of
avoiding all fats. Sure, eating a bag of Doritos
covered in cheese is terrible for you (in more ways
than just the fat content!) – but certain fats can be
a healthy, and very necessary, part of your diet. In
fact, these “healthy fats” can actually aid in weight
loss, if that is your goal. Some examples of these
healthy fats would be those from nuts, avocados,
seeds, certain fish, and coconut oil.
Consumption of these fats will improve your hair, your
skin, your immune system, and your organ function when
consumed in moderate quantities. As well, certain
nutrients are fat soluble and can only be properly
used by your body in the presence of fat. For example,
Vitamins A, D, E, and K should be
taken when you eat a small amount of fat.
What are the healthy fats?
The healthy fats include
extra-virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, and fats from
plant sources such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and
coconuts. These healthy fats should be consumed with
every meal. Failure to include these fats in a meal
will result in many of the nutrients consumed during
the meal not being absorbed by the body. That's
because many nutrients are fat-soluble nutrients. Beta
carotene, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E are three such
nutrients that require fat in order to be absorbed and
used by the human body, but there are many other
nutrients that also need fats for human metabolism.
The fact is we all need fats. Fats helps nutrient
absorption, nerve transmission, maintaining cell
membrane integrity etc. Fats are not created equal.
Some fats promote our health positively while other
increases our risks of heart disease. The key is to
replace bad fats with good fats in our diet.
Coconut oil is mainly in the
form of medium-chain triglycerides, while most
vegetable oils, such as olive oil are in the form of
long-chain triglycerides. MCTs are utilized more
effectively by the body as an energy source than are
LCTs and have less chance of being stored in fatty
tissues. In addition, MCTs increase the body's
metabolic rate and promote fat loss. In a study
published in the March 2008 issue of the “American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” 31 overweight men and
women, aged 19 to 50 years, were given 18 to 24 grams
per day of either MCT oil or olive oil for 16 weeks.
The MCT consumption resulted in about 1.7 kilograms
more fat loss than olive oil. A study published in the
July 2009 issue of “Lipids” found that 12 weeks of
coconut oil consumption in women promoted
significantly more fat loss in the abdominal area,
compared to soybean oil.