On a trip to Cartagena, Colombia this past year for a vacation with a friend and her husband, I was surprised to see everyone cooking with all natural extra virgin coconut oil. I’ve worked so hard in training my body, and my mind, to not want them, there’s no way I was going back to eating oils just because I was on vacation.
My family and I were out to dinner at a very nice restaurant one night during the vaca. I’m already against dining out in the beginning of getting your lifestyle healthy, but since I haven’t seen my family in a while, I thought what the heck. I ordered the grilled chicken with no oils or seasoning, steamed veggies and side salad, dressing on the side. The waiter informed my that the oil they use is coconut oil, so I shouldn’t fear to eat. I was a little annoyed by him saying that because I still wasn’t the strongest in making healthy choices and rather new to modifying what I eat. I simple said, “Thank you, but no oils” and smiled.
Chef Knows Best
Next thing I know, the Head Chef comes out to greet our table. Wow, I thought, who’s so special the Chef needed to say hi? Come to find out, he wanted to talk to the customer who asked for no oil. I explained to him the diet I was on and I don’t like to eat and oils. The Chef proceeds to tell me all of the benefits of coconut oil. I was shocked, it sounded too good to be true. I told him to go a head and use the iol then. Shesh, anyone who spends that much time talking about coconut oil benefits, must really have a passion for cooking.
The food came out and it wasn’t oily or greasy at all. It actually had a hint of almond flavor to it. I love the way he prepared the chicken and come to find out, he grilled it like most people do, only used coconut oil instead. I was shocked at how delicious this was and how healthy organic coconut oil is.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
When we came home, I was anxious to see if we sold coconut oil here in the United States. News to me, it’s pretty popular here in America too. I talked to a dietitian at the health club I belong to in order to make sure I got the facts from the Chef in Colombia. She informed me of the health benefits of coconut oil:
- It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in preventing various heart problems such as high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful
- Helps in improving the digestive system and tprevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome
- Strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties
- Helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin which improves those with diabetes
- improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium, which are necessary for development of bones
- Helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder deceases, also helps in dissolving kidney stones
Since I’ve learned all of these great health benefits of coconut oil, I’ve started cooking with it myself. Granted, I still don’t cook with oil, but when I bake with my girls, I chose coconut oil instead of vegetable or even olive oil. I also like to drizzle a little bit on my salads to give it some flavor. If you’re anything like me, you’re scared to try new things that you’ve always heard were bad for you. Just know that not all oils are bad, as a matter of fact, coconut oil is the good guy this time.