Cuckoo for Coconut Oil

If you were around in the early to mid-90s, you may remember quite the scandal involving movie theatres, popcorn, and coconut oil.

This was during the “low fat” craze, not to be confused with the “low carb” craze, “low salt” craze, or any other crazy fad diet in the past 20 years. For a moment in time, the hot topic was movie theater popcorn and popping oil. “Health experts” claimed coconut oil was bad due to its saturated fat content, and suggested theatres needed to pop in canola oil.

Anyway, during this time period, I happened to work at a movie theatre chain called General Cinema Corporation. They are since defunct, but this particular chain did pop its popcorn in canola oil. I spent many an evening popping popcorn in a greasy back room and bagging it up. It could sit on a shelf for up to two weeks before being “heated” and served. To this day, I pretty much can’t stand popcorn.

The real argument about movie theater popcorn should have been around serving sizes. Movie theaters make very little money on ticket sales (it all goes to the studios) and I remember we were instructed to “upsell” patrons to this giant bucket of popcorn and extra large soda – where the real money was made –  which was more than a day’s worth of calories, regardless of the oil in which it was popped. Let’s not even talk about the “butter topping.” (I’ll give you a hint – it was not butter.)

But, here’s the deal! Science and common sense have come along to tell us that in fact, coconut oil is not bad. Coconut oil is really very good for you. It has amazing healing properties, and in its unprocessed and unrefined state, provides an excellent supplement (in moderation) to our diets due to its medium chain triglycerides.image

Other benefits include boosting metabolism, helping fight of infections and viruses due to the lauric acid, and there are even some benefits from applying directly to the skin to fight rashes. Oh, did I mention? It is delicious.

I have to admit, I am pretty sold on the stuff. On Saturday, as 2Chili and I drove from Bend to Bellevue, I couldn’t stop sneezing. I didn’t know if I was getting a cold, or, just had an allergy issue, or what. But, when we got to Bellevue, I had some greens (kale) sautéed in coconut oil, and later a few mandarin oranges with Greek Yogurt. The next day, I drizzled coconut oil on my sweet potato, and had a couple of whole oranges. I didn’t do anything else from a “prevention” perspective. Stupidly, I even ran 9 miles on Sunday with the question in my head, “Am I getting sick?”                      (Image Source)

As I write this on Tuesday, I didn’t get sick. But, 2Chili woke up with a head cold and sore throat this morning. Clearly we were exposed to the same bug, but I contend the coconut oil and upped vitamin C fought the bug. Food is a powerful healing device!

While we’re on the topic of oils, here is a PDF handy reference from Andrew at Eating Rules. He covers just about every oil out there, and why it is good or bad!

So, what’s your opinion? Do you like to use Coconut Oil in your daily cooking?

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