Tagged: coconut oil

How to Choose the Right Cooking Oil: Top 4 Healthiest Options

Why choosing the right cooking oil is important

There are an array of options when it comes to cooking oil. What is the best and healthiest oil? One of the most important factors that needs to be considered when choosing a cooking oil is its resistance to oxidation at both low and high heat. When oils are heated they undergo oxidation, which changes their molecular structure and could turn them into harmful compounds that are dangerous for consumption. You want to cook with oils that are stable and don’t oxidise or go rancid easily. Being aware of the smoke point of an oil will help you determine whether it’s more suitable for cooking on low or high temperatures. As a rule of thumb, the more refined the oil, the higher the smoke point.

Fats and oils that are rich in monounsaturated and saturated fats are much more stable when heated, compared to polyunsaturated fats (source). Here’s what made our top 4 healthiest oils list:

Coconut Oil

Zebra-Organics-Coconut-Oil-21

Complementing sweet baked dishes and some savoury dishes (such as Thai food), coconut oils offers great health benefits and can liven up a dish with a strong coconutty flavour. In contrast, its flavours can also be masked by other dominating flavours in a dish. Coconut oil is easy to digest, enhances energy, increases metabolism and more. Read more about it in our post Health Benefits of Coconut Oil. 

Coconut oil is approximately 90% saturated fat (which is higher than butter, which is about 64% saturated fat). Harvard Medical School has pointed out that a diet containing too much saturated fat is unhealthy because it increases “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, which raises the risk of heart disease. They recommend using it occasionally.

Refined coconut oil is suitable for occasional high heat cooking such as frying, as it has a higher smoke point, while raw virgin coconut oil is more appropriate for low temperature cooking or baking.

Olive Oil

olive-oil

Olive oil is good for low-heat cooking but it also contains enough flavour to be enjoyed uncooked, drizzled over a salad, as a condiment or as a dip for bread. Olive oil is abundant in antioxidants, supports heart health and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory characteristics.

Olives and olive oil offer virtually the same health benefits. The biggest difference is that olive oil is 100% fat, while olives contain only 20% fat. Both offer fantastic health benefits that you can read about in our post Origins of the Olive Tree.

Tip: Olive oil should be stored in a dark, cool place away from the stove, as light and heat are detrimental to it. Look for “100% olive oil” on labels to ensure it hasn’t been combined with cheap vegetable oil. We recommend a high quality Peruvian olive oil here.

Avocado Oil

avocado-oil

Avocado is a great oil to use for frying because of its high heat tolerance. With a mild, clean flavour and a slight hint of nuttiness, avocado oil doesn’t taste like the fruit. Smooth and light in texture, it also does very well as a salad dressing.

Ghee

Traditionally used in India for ayurvedic cooking, ghee is basically butter cleared of milk solids. Golden in colour with a nutty, savoury flavour, ghee has a high smoking point and can be used to cook at high heat. The preferred cooking oil in ancient India, ghee was traditionally considered to be the healthiest source of edible fat. Ayurveda says ghee promotes longevity and protects the body from an array of diseases. It improves absorption and memory and supports the functioning of the brain and nervous system (source).

If you’re wondering why you shouldn’t just use butter, removing the milk solids from ghee almost entirely removes the carbohydrates and lactose that people are sensitive to. This is the reason why it has a high smoke point, so it can be used for stir frying, deep frying and sautéing.

We encourage you use these oils to cook healthy, nutritional dishes to benefit your health and wellbeing.

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Background and history 

Coconut Oil has gained wide acceptance as a healthy fat over the past 10 years. This is in sharp contrast to the smear campaign it underwent in the 80’s. During the 1980’s there was a huge backlash against “tropical oils”. This included Palm and Coconut Oil. The campaign targetted saturated fats. The blanket claim is saturated fats are bad for you because they raise cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease and stroke (Read more here). In reality, the campaign against “tropical oils” had to do more with politics than health. The claims were later deemed misleading.

It was only in February 2015 that researchers from the UK and US concluded that there is no correlation between high cholesterol levels and incidences in cardiovascular disease or all-cause mortality. They concluded that, “Dietary recommendations were introduced for 220 million U.S. and 56 million U.K. citizens by 1983, in the absence of supporting evidence from randomized controlled trials.” (Read full study here).

Why Coconut Oil?

It is far from the health villain it was purported to be. In fact, it is one of the healthier fats available. Extracted from the “meat” inside the hard-shelled fruit of the coconut palm, Coconut Oil is the most concentrated food source of saturated fats – more so than butter (Berkeley Wellness). It has approximately 13 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon, compared with about seven grams for butter (USDA’s food-nutrient database). It is shelf-stable and can tolerate high heat cooking –  two features you can’t say about other oils. This makes Coconut Oil an attractive ingredient for food processing and baking.


Health Benefits of Coconut Oil


1) Coconut oil to satisfy hunger

For folks looking to eat less, satiety is important. Coconut Oil is a great, healthy addition to your diet that can help effectively suppress your appetite, as it helps produce the feeling of fullness which signals you to stop eating (see research here).


2) Easy to digest

Coconut Oil’s saturated fats are medium-chained, unlike the long chained saturated fats found in animal products. According to Dr. Glen D. Lawrence, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Long Island University in Brooklyn, medium chained fatty acids are easier to digest than the long-chain fatty acids most Americans are used to eating (The Wall Street Journal).


3) Energy enhancing properties

While most oils pass through the intestinal tract most intact, Coconut Oil breaks down into individual fatty acids more easily and quickly, allowing it to be immediately absorbed  into the portal vein and sent directly to liver. In the liver, it is burned to produce energy. When the fatty acids in Coconut Oil are burned, you get a surge of energy that can last for several hours (Read more at Coconut Cures).

The quick turnaround means Coconut Oil contributes very little to the fat that accumulates in our body. Coconut Oil is converted into energy, not stored as body fat so it does not contribute to weight gain.


4) Increased metabolism

Coconut stimulates your metabolism due to the increased energy production created from the burning of the medium-chain fatty acids. As metabolism increases, the rate at which calories are burned increases. Research shows that after a single meal containing medium-chain fatty acids, metabolism quickens and continues working at a rapid pace for a full 24 hours. During this entire period you will have more energy and you will be burning calories at an accelerated rate (American Society for Nutrition).


5)
 Helps to treat Alzheimer’s disease

Very large doses of Coconut Oil are believed to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders. Theoretical research, animal studies and anecdotal evidence found in a book called “Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure?” by pediatrician Mary Newport, M.D. (2012), has received lots of media attention. Here’s the theory: that medium-chain triglycerides such as those in Coconut Oil, boost the production of ketones (byproducts of fat breakdown) in the liver. They offer an alternative energy source for brain cells that have lacked the ability to use glucose as a result of Alzheimer’s. There have been no further studies to support this claim. We have not been led to believe that Coconut Oil or other medium-chain triglycerides can assist in the prevention of the disease (See Berkeley Wellness for more detail).


Uses of Coconut Oil

Its delicious taste and heavenly aroma make it a great choice for cooking, deserts, raw treats and right off the spoon. From breakfast, snacks, to dinner and desert, there is no shortage of coconut oil recipes. See this great list of the more popular and delicious coconut oil recipes. Enjoy your coconut oil guilt free and visit our web store to pick up a bottle or bucket!

Photo_CoconutOil

Holistic Oral Health Part 2 – Oil Pulling

http://www.zebraorganics.com/shop/organic-virgin-raw-coconut-oil-15-oz-glass-jar-zebra-organics-p-224.html

A mighty simple solution to your oral health my be sitting in your kitchen cabinet. The ancient and revered folk remedy oil pulling for oral health comes to us by way of India. This is an ancient Ayurvedic practice  involves swishing one teaspoon to one tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil in the mouth for 20 minutes. For best results it is recommended to “pull” the oil through the teeth and mouth. This practice is said to bind the microbes and and remove harmful bacteria. For this reason it is important that the oil be discarded and never swallowed. After you are done oil pulling rinse your mouth with warm water and brush as normal.

This method has been around for thousands of years and proponents swear by it for keeping the mouth healthy. If you do an internet search you will find some interesting testimonials regarding the benefits people received from oil pulling. I even read one where a woman used Crisco! And she still said she experienced a wide range of benefits. I suggest using coconut oil has other proven benefits it contains easily
digestible, fat-soluble vitamins: A,D,E and K. Vitamin A is good for the
immune system, Vitamin E has strong antioxidant properties for the skin
and can provide some protection against UV rays, Vitamin D is good for
strong bones and teeth, and Vitamin K is good for blood-clotting.

This brings us to the modern day and the fact that agencies such as the ADA, American Dental Association claim oil pulling does not enhance oral health. I mention this because I think you should know that while oil pulling has been practiced for thousands of years modern science has yet to understand and verify its positive impact. There are a host of things you can do to keep your mouth healthy such as regular brushing, flossing, cleanings, oil pulling and avoiding refined sugar. Refined white sugar is quite a dangerous sweetener in terms of oral health. Alternatives include stevia or xylitol both which are becoming quite popular and xylitol is believed to defend against tooth decay.

This information is shared for your benefit and awareness, oral health is extremely important to overall health. Keeping your mouth healthy can help keep the whole body functioning more smoothly. This post is shared to bring you attention to the importance of oral health in your quest for optimal health.

Butter in your coffee

http://www.zebraorganics.com/shop/green-pasture-factor-gold-high-vitamin-butter-oil-120-caps-p-579.html

Quite recently a new trend has emerged which is to add butter and coconut oil to coffee. This may sound strange but it has roots in ancient buddhist monasteries where Tibetan monks would add yak butter to their black tea. If we take a deeper look we can see the wisdom of adding fats to caffeine. The Tibetans did this to sustain their energy during long hours of meditation. The fats in the butter provide the body with easy to use calories and now the revival of this practice has taken on a modern twist. Now advocates are suggesting to use butter from grass fed cows and coconut oil which is high in Medium Chain Triglycerides.

Along with the boost of caffeine the healthy fats provide the body with energy and supports cognitive function. The body is able to use the healthy fats from grass fed butter and coconut oil for energy rather than storing them. And fats help the body to maintain blood sugar balance by buffering the release of sugars into the blood stream. When using butter it is wise to use butter from grass-fed cows because it supplies a ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty
acids which is healthier than the ratio found in conventionally raised cows.  And the MCT’s from coconut oil is a form of fat that the
body burns for quick energy preventing it from being stored in fat
tissue.
Zebra Organics Coconut Oil
is made from certified organic coconuts grown in the clean tropical
pacific region of the  Philippines. First the Coconut flesh is
low-temperature dried and then cold-pressed to yield an oil higher in
anti-oxidants. After pressing, the bottles are filled and delivered to
you. With a perfect balance of delicious flavor you can taste the
freshness of our Coconut Oil.  And it is very stable meaning it will
last a long time in your kitchen, up to 3 years. 

If you are looking for a high quality grass fed butter but can’t find one consider using Green Pasture Factor X High Vitamin Butter Oil.  This High-Vitamin Butter Oil is extracted from dairy milk produced by
cows that graze exclusively on irrigated grass of the Northern Great
Plains. The combination of climate and irrigation produces a rapidly
growing specialized forage ensuring optimal levels of Activator X. This beautiful golden oil is rich in nutrients including a powerful
catalyst called “Activator X” discovered more than fifty years ago by
Weston A. Price. Dr. Price considered high-vitamin butter oil to have
extraordinary healing properties.

Liver Health Part One

The liver is the largest organ in the body, it is responsible for processing toxins and it plays a key part in regulating glucose for energy metabolism. The liver is a very active organ that is involved in about 10,000 processes a second, a staggering number which is hard to comprehend. As such the liver can easily get overworked and compromised by stress, overeating, poor eating, stimulants and alcohol. Any combination of the above mentioned scenarios  puts a huge stress on the liver. Overeating stresses the liver and when combined with alcohol this adds greatly to the stress.

Leafy Greens to Love Your Liver

To assist the proper functioning of the liver eat more leafy bitter greens, collard, mustard and dandelion greens are excellent choices. The liver is a fatty organ and it is very integral in processing fats. Eating healthy simple raw plant fats helps the liver function smoothly and nourishes the whole body. And, it is equally important to avoid rancid and unhealthy oils, especially those found in fried and processed foods.

With exception of coconut oil most if not all healthy fats go rancid rapidly when heated. This is important to know because overheated rancid oils are a major toxin to the liver and as much as we can avoid not ingesting these toxins the best. You are best to just not cook with almost all vegetable oils, some like canola can be ok but they are not that good for you and most are genetically modified. Healthy oils are really important piece to liver health and if you take anything away from this post I hope it is this fact. It is advised to use either coconut oil, high quality sesame oil or organic ghee (clarified butter) for cooking as these fats have a high heat tolerance.

 

Healthy Liver Foods

Foods that are good for the liver include burdock root, beets, greens and artichokes. Burdock is so wonderful for the liver and skin and is can be found in most health food. Burdock root has a mild sweet woody flavor prepare it by steaming or gentle sauteing, it pairs well with carrots and a little nama shoyu. Made popular by the macrobiotic diet enthusiasts, burdock is a common weed  throughout the United States. Dandelion another common weed is also great for the liver and use  beets to help purify the blood and keep the liver clean and healthy.

Easy Cleansing Burdock Recipe:
Julien one stalk of burdock and 2 medium carrots
1 tablespoon sesame oil

-Heat one tablespoon of sesame oil in a skillet over medium
-Saute the burdock for 7 minutes stirring continuously, add the carrots
-continue cooking for 7 minutes stirring occasionally,
towards the end add a few dashes of soy sauce and sprinkle of cayenne.

Serve warm with rice or quinoa
This dish is warming tasty and very balancing to the entire body. This dish is a simple way to make the most out of burdock. Enjoy and stay tuned for Part Two of the Liver Health Series.

The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil and Saturated Fats

Could saturated fat be good for you?  You have heard for years how it is a health enemy. But what if  your were to learn that saturated fats were not only good for you but essential to your health…?

 Yes, it is true Saturated Fat is essential to your health. You may think I am crazy saying this and wondering if you are reading a health blog . . . I am not crazy and you are reading a health blog.  This post is to dis-spell myths about saturated fats and cholesterol but are important to health.  I feel we have been gravely mis lead by the low fat craze and I would like to illustrate why saturated fat is important and some of the functions of cholesterol.


Essential to Health

Saturated fats and coconut oil are not only important components of a healthy diet they are essential to human health. Consider the facts on saturated fats:

  • Vital carriers of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K
  • Required for the conversion of Vitamin A to carotene
  • Contains the antiviral compound caprylic acid
  • Contains the antifungal compound lauric acid
  • Contains the anti cancer compound butyric acid
  • May actually lower cholesterol levels

 Cholesterol and Health

The case against cholesterol and saturated fats is based in both the politics of health and an incomplete understanding of health. In America there is a reductionist view of nutrition. Nutrition and human health are highly nuanced and intricate and to make the case that cholesterol is bad and saturated fats are bad is over simplified. While high cholesterol can be dangerous, cholesterol is  completely needed for health.  Butter oil capsules (pictured to the left) is a high quality saturated fat containing Vitamins K, E and CoQ enzymes.

  • Cholesterol is needed to produce the following hormones
    -insulin
    -testosterone
    -estrogen
    -progesterone
  • Cholesterol is needed for your brain to function properly
  • Cholesterol is needed for cell membrane function and blood vessel integrity
  • Cholesterol is needed for proper function of the immune system

This is just a small list of ways cholesterol contributes to health.

Sources of Healthy Saturated Fats

Luckily today there is an awareness of the need for healthy fats in the diet, including healthy saturated fats. Some good sources of this nutrient include grass fed animal products including but not limited to butter and milk.  Fish oils are also a great source of healthy saturated fats, if you are going to eat fish it is recommended to consume small bodied fish such as sardines and anchovies.  Lets not forget, coconut oil  an excellent source of healthy saturated fats that tastes great, smells of ambrosia and is from a sustainable vegetable source.

Historically Cod liver oil has been used as a source of healthy saturated fats.  It is also a well know source of vitamin D.

*The information in this blog post is not medical advice, I am not a medical doctor and the information is not intended to provide personal medical advice.  Medical advice should only be obtained from a medical professional. 

    Organic Raw Cold Pressed – Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

    This excellent grade Coconut Oil is amazing.  Its scent intoxicating. 
    One of the purest natural oils with its superb stability, preservatives are not needed.  

    Besides being one of the healthier oils Coconut Oil tastes great.

    Use our aromatic Coconut Oil in place of butter or other oils, as a spread, in smoothes, or foods recipes. Excellent for raw foods, dehydrated food, sautés, baking, ice cream, or other frozen desserts.

    This Extra Virgin Coconut Oil can also be applied topically to the skin as a natural body oil, lip balm, and to the hair for extra shine and that healthy vibrant look.  It absorbs well after a short time.

    Zebra Organics is delighted to bring you this Raw, Cold-Pressd, Certified Organic, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

    Zebra Organics Coconut Oil is made from certified organic coconuts grown in the clean tropical pacific region of the  Philippines. First the Coconut flesh is low-temperature dried and then cold-pressed to yield an oil higher in anti-oxidants. After pressing, the bottles are filled and delivered to you. With a perfect balance of delicious flavor you can taste the freshness of our Coconut Oil.  And it is very stable meaning it will last a long time in your kitchen… three plus years.

    The health benefits of coconut oil are many.  And an excellent support for weight loss.  Contrary to the “bum wrap” coconut oil received some years ago studies clearly show just how healthy coconut oil is for us.  The benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial.  

    This rich, elegant, healthful Coconut Oil, from Zebra Organics, comes in an ecco-friendly, amber glass jar to protect from light.   Processed in an organic and kosher space where nothing but coconut oil is processed. 

    Available in both 16 fl oz and 24 fl oz amber glass jar.



    We think you’ll love this wonderful Coconut Oil – by Zebra Organics