Friday, February 1, 2019

A Realistic Look at Coconut Oil

Is this oil a panacea or an artery-clogging villain?  Well, that depends on who you ask.

According to many reputable health sources, any source of saturated fat is considered bad for your health.  Ask an alternative health expert and you'll get a completely different answer.  So who should we believe?  After some quick research on PubMed, I found that coconut oil appears to be a lot better for your lipid profile than butter.  But scientists, based on their findings, still recommend unsaturated fats over coconut oil.  It's a tricky minefield to navigate and when things get tricky, I tend to take the road of moderation.

In my home I use both canola oil and coconut oil regularly and have tried to decrease the use of butter.  From my experience, I don't feel great when I eat a lot of fat in general.  Butter is best in some recipes and cannot be replaced.  And the health claims people make about butter are exaggerated, I think.  You do the research and trust your body.  It usually gives you clues.

All that being said, here are some uses I have found for coconut oil.  Even though I'm not consuming copious amounts of it, it certainly has an important place in my household.  Read below for some great ideas!

5 Realistic Uses for Coconut Oil


Coconut oil makes the absolute best deodorant.  I use it every single day.  And it's the only one that works for me and doesn't give me armpit irritation.  Years ago I quit antiperspirants and traded them in for store-bought deodorants.  While my armpits were less bothered, I still got the occasional flair.  With my homemade deodorant, irritated armpits are a thing of the past!

Click this link for a recipe on how to make your own.  It's super easy and all you will need is extra virgin coconut oil, arrowroot or cornstarch, baking soda, beeswax and any essential oils of your liking.

Replacement for Shortening

I have a recipe for chocolate chip cookies.  It came from Old Sturbridge Village, a local living history museum and one of my favorite places to spend the day. These cookies are really good, but they are not your typical Toll House variety.  They are a denser and crisper cookie.  Anyway, when made with shortening, as the recipe calls for, they are pretty good.  But when they are made with coconut oil they are delectable.  The fat profile of coconut oil allows them to cook nicely and provides a delicious crunch factor that shortening leaves you without.  

Popcorn Oil

Do you know that classic smell when you go to the movies?  You know the smell that makes you want to spend $10 on a tub of popcorn that in reality costs pennies to make?  That smell is in part due to coconut oil.  Coconut oil is the traditional oil used in popping corn.  It adds a nice flavor, smell and crisp crunch to this all time favorite snack.  Try it the next time you make popcorn on your stove or in your microwave popcorn popper.


All by itself coconut oil is a great moisturizer.  I used it for years before I switched to vaseline.  Many people find that it absorbs nicely and gives just enough moisture to dry skin.

Lotion Bars

Just type "lotion bars" into the search bar on Pinterest and you'll get pages and pages of recipes.  And one common ingredient?  You guessed it, coconut oil.  

I tried making lotion bars several years ago with some success but I didn't love them.  I made a simple recipe with beeswax and coconut oil.  Next time I want to try adding Shea butter to the recipe so the bar stays firmer.  

Here is a link to Top 5 Lotion Bar Recipes.  I pinned this on my DIY Health and Beauty Pinterest board because it looked very promising.  I have gotten as far as buying the ingredients, but haven't tried any of the recipes yet.  Let me know if you try any of them and which one you like best!  

You might also like:

9 Practical Uses for Vinegar
Nice and Spicy Melt and Pour Soap
DIY Laundry Soap

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