Another healthy food that has ended up landing on the superfoods list is coconut oil. Ten years ago you never saw it on the grocery store shelves except in health food stores and specialty markets. But now? You’ll find it nestled up against the peanut and corn oil on supermarket shelves.
And the press it has gotten! Wow! Coconut oil went from being distrusted in the past due to the level of saturated fat to being one of the darlings of the “Super Foods” lists because of new scientific studies that were done.
The reason people didn’t like it wasn’t the taste. It was because a large percentage of the fat in coconut oil is saturated fat.
But this was in the dark days of the past when butter disrespected, eggs were considered evil and people were actually buying and consuming margarine like it was going out of style. I haven’t bought margarine in decades and I don’t even see it being advertised anymore very much.
What made all of this change? Well, despite the fact that there is disagreement among health professionals about coconut oil as well as the entire controversial artery clogging issue, studies done on hundreds of thousands of people proved that the idea that coconut oil clogged arteries is wrong.
There was a time when health professionals were pushing the low fat diet. But they began to come around when they came to the realization of a few facts that were overlooked in the past.
The reason the science world is changing their mind is due to the fact that about half the fat in coconut oil is derived from lauric acid, a type of fatty acid.
Lauric acid is considered to be a “good fat.” While too much fat isn’t good for any living being, fat is indeed a dietary necessity. And if the fat you consume is the good type, all the better. It’s the way it is processed by the body that makes it a good fat.
Coconut oil processes straight from the liver right into the digestive tract where it can be utilized for quick energy.
It also has the ability to be turned into ketone bodies, which have been found to have therapeutic effects on conditions like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.
It is a shelf stable product so there is no need to refrigerate it and it remains in a liquid state above 76 degrees.
But there’s more to it than just the “good fat’ aspect. Coconut oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties as well as an anti-viral aspect. People have taken this as a cue to use it as a topical application as well as consuming it. I’ve been using it on my lips when they get chapped and it seems to be far more effective than lip balm.
But it’s the lauric acid that seems to be getting the attention of researchers. Lauric acid has had a long history of being utilized in fighting pathogens which are infections that cause disease or illness. This has been studied for over fifty years. It has been found that coconut oil is the food source that has the richest source of lauric acid.
It’s wonderful for cooking because it has the same smoke point as butter. This means that it can be heated to a relatively high temperature without smoking or burning.
Studies have also indicated that it might also reduce the risk of cancer and degenerative conditions.
It has been found to improve cholesterol levels as well as helping to fight heart disease.
When feeding it to your birds, using just a drop or two daily might benefit them. Simply add it to their Chop, Grain Bake or dry food in a separate dish and remove the food when they have finished eating. A small drizzle is plenty. Do not add it to their water. But perhaps dipping a nut meat into coconut oil and offering it as a treat would work. You could even put a drop or two onto some birdie bread.
You can also employ coconut oil into recipes by using a technique I refer to as “Nutritional Layering.” If you are cooking pasta for a recipe for them, simply drizzle some coconut oil onto the pasta while it is draining in a colander and coat the pasta evenly. This prevents the pasta from sticking together and your birds will get the benefits of the oil when they consume the pasta.
Coconut oil is easily found in the grocery store these days. Ensure you have a fresh bottle by checking the expiration date just to be sure.