Vegans and non-vegans alike are celebrating the return of coconut oil to shelves in health stores around the country.Â Coconut oil is a great alternative to dairy and animal fats, but it's flavor is a pleasure even for those who aren't avoiding animal products. Experts now recommend virgin coconut oil, but the less healthful hydrogenated form is what was popular with giant food processors a few years ago, giving any coconut oil product a bad name. Movie theaters were loading their popcorn with lots of the more processed type of coconut oil boosting calorie counts to that of several McDonald's Big Macs.
This confusion is a great example of the important differences between fats -- there are ones that are an essential part toÂ a nutritious diet, while more processed fats are contributors to clogged arteries and associated illnesses.
When contemplating use of coconut oil, think of olive oil, but more fruity. Coconut oil is good when used in moderation and works well as a shortening for everything from sauteing to baking. The flavor is subtle enough to make virgin coconut oil a versatile product, delicious to bring out the best of savory and sweet. Try out coconut oil yourself with this delicious recipe for Spiced Banana Donuts.
To read what the New York Times has to say about coconut oil, read the full article.