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Coconut Oil - Only the Facts Please
White, Fluffy Looking Coconut OIl
World War II and Coconut Oil
Did you know that during World War II coconut oil was no longer allowed to be exported to the United States from the South Pacific Islands? The occupation of the Japanese military in the South Pacific Islands including the Philippines caused the once more than ample supply of coconut oil from coming into the United States. This went on for several years while Americans turned to vegetable oils that were touted as heart healthy by manufacturers.
The Cooking Oil of the 1950's
Since coconut oil was no longer available for cooking in the United States during the World War II years citizens had to use vegetable oil. Manufacturers of cooking oils had to develop a plan of action to make vegetable oils more desirable than coconut oil and they did it. Even though the war was over and coconut oil was again available people had been lead to believe vegetable oil was healthier for them so coconut oil was out and vegetable oil was in for the long haul.
Industries Band Together and Add Insult to Injury
Once the polyunsaturated vegetable oils were born and advertised as healthy they were the new standard in cooking oils. Adding insult to injury the soybean industry had to join in on the war against coconut oil. Now the vegetable oil industry and the soybean industry were demonizing coconut oil to the public. They were condemning the use of tropical oils of any kind and focused specifically on coconut oil. This was all about money not the health of the American people. Millions of dollars were at stake and they just didn't need that competition. How could the poor South Pacific Island nations combat the bad press and propaganda being spread by the wealthy American cooking oil and soybean industries? They couldn't and they didn't.
Cooking Oil Poll
What's your cooking oil of preference?
What are the Coconut Oil Facts?
Dr. Weston Price happened to be traveling in the South Pacific during the 1930's. What was he doing there? He was studying the diet of the natives of these islands. He was studying how their diet affected their general health and oral health. What did he find? His discovery was that their diets were high in fat but they were a fit and trim people. What fats were they consuming? Coconut products including coconut oil. The same information was discovered in 1981 when other researchers studied the Polynesian diet. Coconut oil is and has been their primary source of caloric energy and it was found that the high levels of what is classified as saturated fats had no harmful effects on them. These results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Why Were the American People Left in the Dark?
Technically, to be fair Americans did need some kind of cooking oil for at least some foods. It wasn't nice to demonize coconut oil and other cooking oils that are healthy to create more desire for vegetable oil, but what's done is done. Why did it have to be that way? Since coconut oil is one of the most affordable oils available it just came down to money. Would it not have been more advantageous to these industries to get in on the coconut oil band wagon and increase their revenues as opposed to creating popularity for a less healthy cooking oil alternative? Personally, I have nothing against businesses and industries making money and creating jobs. I do wish however, that they would be more responsible. That's just my take on this part of the problem. If I owned a company in any industry I know I would go above and beyond to keep things real for us all.
Up Close and Personal With Coconut Oil
Is Coconut Oil the Best Cooking Oil?
Finally after years of being touted as bad for you all for the sake of making more money for certain industries coconut oil is back on the good list. My personal opinion is that coconut oil is the best oil with which to cook, bake and use in general for a variety of medicinal applications. What do we know about coconut oil for cooking now?
- It promotes a healthier heart
- It supports the immune system
- It aids in weight loss
- It offers an instant energy boost
- It supports healthy metabolism
- It promotes healthy functioning of the thyroid glad
- It is very good for your skin (not necessarily related to cooking but interesting nonetheless)
Coconut oil is also flavor enhancing when added to certain foods and makes an excellent butter substitute.