If this frigid, bleak winter has you longing to jet off to a tropical island to reap the benefits from a coconut, you may have to go no further than your local grocery store.
Forget the usual storm staples of eggs, bread and milk, everything is now coconut. From fabulous coconut oils you can use to make your hair shinier or spread on toast, (buy two separate containers, please) coconuts are in everything.
I can remember when my mother was searching for a coconut years ago in the local grocery store to suit up my brother Joey’s top half for Halloween. I am not quite sure where she found the grass skirt for the lower, but I can tell you the coconut was not only hard to find, but hard to cut.
So much so that Joey’s (I mean Joe’s, that is what he likes to be called now) friend who worked at the store accommodated the request and nearly sliced his hand in half to create perfectly rounded bikini top cups.
Now both coconuts and my brother’s costumes are a more frequent occurrence. He is a comedy writer and my father likes to refer to him as Retro Joe as Joe has confiscated most of his 80s style tube sox and velour “jogging suits.”
But it was during that era of fabulous fashion that coconut oil got a bad name. That was because we mainly thought of the hydrogenated kind.
According to The Huffington Post, “Hydrogenated oils and trans fats are especially unhealthy because they both raise our LDL or 'lethal' cholesterol while lowering our HDL or 'healthy' cholesterol. If you purchase coconut oil, look for labels that say 'virgin' and make sure it's not hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated and contains no trans fats.”
Yep, go “Like A Virgin” with your coconut oil and use it to prepare wonderful stir-frys. It is fabulous when cooking fish, too!
Remember, however, it is still high in saturated fat.
“Coconut oil contains a mixture of saturated fatty acids, some of which don’t adversely affect cholesterol levels,” Joy Dubost, Ph.D., R.D., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics told EatingWellMagazine.com.