Monday, August 4, 2014

Coconut Oil 101

I really wanted to take some time to chat with everyone about coconut oil. I cant begin to tell you how many people have told me coconut oil is bad for you. I hate that it got such a bad rap back in the day and I am here to clear it's name! 

For me, coconut oil has a zillion uses. My favorite uses are oil pulling(don't worry, I have a whole post planned all about this), using as a carrier for essential oils, I use it to cook with and use it in a ton of beauty and bath products. I couldn't be without it and it makes me sad that so many people think it's bad or don't know anything about it.I hope by the end of this blog post you are inspired to run out and buy a couple of jars, but be warned, you may become severely addicted like me!

The number one myth I hear about coconut oil is that it is a saturated oil and will raise cholesterol levels and cause someone to have a heart attack. Seriously, I cant tell you how many times I have heard this. I guess in today's society, it makes sense, but it's false. Many people do not know that there are two types of cholesterol. One is good and one is bad. Your doctor measures both of these and both are important to watch. Coconut oil raises your good cholesterol(also known as HDL - High Density Lipoproteins). Having higher levels of good cholesterol actually helps lower the bad cholesterol(known as LDL - Low Density Lipoproteins). I also want to note that the saturated fat in coconut oil is a medium chain and therefore does not contribute to obesity. The medium chain saturated fat in coconut oil helps to rev up your metabolism and can actually help you lose weight! The rumor that coconut oil is saturated and is therefore bad was started by companies pushing soybean oil, which we know is horrible for you.

So why reach for coconut oil when there are other good oils out there, like olive oil?

My Top Uses For Coconut Oil

- When using coconut oil to cook, it has a high heat point. This means, unlike olive oil, it is great to use in things like stir frys because it wont break down. I love using coconut oil when cooking. If you don't like the taste of coconut but want all the benefits, try refined coconut oil. It's just as good for you but without the coconut taste. Check jars carefully for unrefined and refined labels.

- Use as a skin moisturizer plain or with essential oils. I personally love whipping my coconut oil in my Kitchenaid mixer. It stays fluffy and light and is the perfect thing to keep in my bathroom. Maybe I'll do a blog post all about how to do this!

- Coconut oil can be used as a cloth diaper safe diaper cream. It works better than anything else I have tried and is safe on my baby's skin. I have one child who has horrendous eczema and this is all I use on it nowadays for diaper rash or any eczema flair ups.

- Along the lines of mamas and babies, I used this stuff like crazy during my last two pregnancies. I say save yourself some money on expensive stretch mark oils and just use this. If you love the smell of coconut like I do then you will love slathering this all over a giant pregnant belly. If you don't love the smell of coconut, reach for refined oil or just add some yummy smelling essential oils.

- Use to remove awful cradle cap from baby's head. I just rubbed some of this all over my son's head, used a soft brush to gently scrub it away and then washed his hair like normal. It worked like a charm and I love that it was already handy in my bathroom. Seriously, I keep a jar of this all over the house.

- One of my favorite mama treats is to use this mixed with organic raw sugar as a body scrub! You can keep this in your bathroom as long as no water gets into your container. I recommend keeping it in a squeeze type container instead of a jar to prevent water from getting in. I also do the same for a homemade lip scrub.

- Of course, you can always use this for a simple, yet luxurious massage oil instead of buying pricey ones.

- I've always used vitamin e as a facial moisturizer instead of lotion and I've always had fantastic results. Lately I've been using equal parts vitamin e oil and coconut oil and it's even better! I highly recommend this combination to hydrate your skin and keep it soft.

- It helps heal skin that has been injured or has an infection. We mix essential oils with our coconut oil and then apply topically for first aid.

- Like I said above, it's a God send for my baby girl's eczema. I have also heard wonderful things about it helping psoriasis. 

- Boost your brain power with coconut oil and it's medium-chain fatty acid - lauric acid! This is also found in breast milk and is amazing for your brain. Coconut oil contains 50% lauric acid. There is a ton of research out right now about coconut oil being a possible treatment for Alzheimers and it is truly fascinating to read about.

-  Oil pulling! I oil pull with coconut oil and Young Living's Thieves oil and I love it. I will write more about oil pulling later.

- I add a couple tablespoons to my smoothies every day to help boost my milk supply and to give my body healthy fat to start the day off.

- Replace all vegetable oils in any recipe with coconut oil! I also use it to season all of my cast iron skillets and dutch ovens.

- We take this camping to help ease the itch of bug bites or the burning with sunburns. I just used this recently on a sunburn for my daughter mixed with a couple drops of lavender oil. 

- When breastfeeding, I don't even bother buying expensive nipple creams anymore, I just keep little jars of coconut oil all over the place and use that. I love that I don't have to wipe it off before my baby nurses.

- I take coconut oil with a Vitamin D supplement to help me absorb the Vitamin D properly. Vitamin D needs fat to absorb and I love that I am getting so many benefits from a healthy fat.

-I use it as a carrier oil with all of my essential oils, especially when diluting them for my kiddos. My kids love the smell of coconut oil!

- I am currently in the process of opening my own Etsy shop full of homemade bath and body products and coconut oil is a major ingredient in everything! I cant wait to share all of that with everyone! Coconut oil is the perfect replacement for awful ingredients in a wide variety of bath and body products!

As you can see, I use coconut oil in dozens of aspects of my life and there are SO many more uses out there. Do you have a use for it that isn't listed? Please share with me in the comments below!

My favorite brand of coconut oil is Nutiva and you can buy huge jugs of it from Costco for around $22.00.

I hope someone found this blog post to be helpful! If you loved it, please plus 1 it on Google plus, pin it on Pinterest, tweet it or share on Facebook! I really appreciate it!


1 comment :

  1. Awesome post ! best coconut oil is beneficial in maintaining hair health, but in different ways. Whether one or the other is better for you will depend on what needs you have concerning your hair. Thanks !