If there is one truism in the world of food manufacturing, it is this:
If a particular whole food becomes popular with consumers, food manufacturers will figure out a way to adulterate and cleverly market it so that the average consumer is fooled into believing that this new fractionated food or supplement is as healthy or “better” than the original whole food when, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
This adage very accurately applies to the much talked about MCT oil, also shrewdly marketed as liquid coconut oil. Both of these impostors have been popping up on health food store shelves as supplements or cooking oils, sometimes boldly marketed as “better than coconut oil”.
Why Coconut Oil is a Fat Superstar
Coconut oil in its unprocessed, unfractionated state is one of the healthiest fats on the planet, having nourished degenerative disease free traditional cultures in Asia for centuries. What’s more, these cultures suffered from essentially no heart disease; rendering misguided accusations that coconut oil isn’t “heart healthy” as false and completely unsupportable with anthropological evidence.
Coconut oil is loaded with beneficial fatty acids called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These MCTs or MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids) do not need to be digested by bile salts, which are secreted by the liver and stored by the gall bladder (hint: this is why coconut oil is a really good fat for those who’ve had gall bladder surgery).
What’s more, MCTs are not typically stored by the body as fat like longer chain fats are. Instead, they are quickly converted to energy which makes them particularly suitable for weight loss.
Consumers have caught onto the benefits of coconut oil for weight loss and overall wellness in recent years, with a flurry of companies marketing virgin and expeller pressed versions for a variety of culinary uses.
However, some companies are marketing impostor products as well, trying to ride the wave of coconut oil popularity. Coconut oil processed into wannabes like MCT oil or liquid coconut oil becomes something else entirely, and for the consumer, it is definitely not for the better.
When I first saw liquid coconut oil on the shelf of my local health food store, I thought, “What in the world is this? A coconut oil that stays liquid in the refrigerator and is “excellent” for cooking?” I secretly wondered and knew that something fishy was going on.
Anyone familiar with coconut oil knows that it is a solid fat at temperatures below 76 F/ 24 C. If the coconut oil stays liquid all the time, even in the cold temperatures of the refrigerator, something has been altered.
Caveat Emptor - Buyers beware and be aware! Go for the real thing and you won’t ever be disappointed down the road that clever marketing has somehow cost you your health or failed to produce the wellness results you seek.
Try some of our recipes here using coconut oil:
Source: Sarah – TheHealthyHomeEconomist