Nutrition

Coconut Oil | How To Use It, Benefits & Top Tips

Written by Charlotte Campbell


Coconut Oil


Coconut oil is one of the hottest household staples to emerge in recent years. Bloggers, celebrities and experts all seem to agree you should get yourself a tub, but why?

 

Coconut oil is often specifically mentioned in healthy recipes. This is down to the makeup of coconut oil and in particular, the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that are high in coconuts. These MCTs are digested quickly by the body and turned into energy sources.

 

Studies have found that this quick energy allows the body to expend more calories. In a separate study, consumption of MCTs was found to keep participants full for longer, leading to a reduction in overall daily calorie consumption. This means coconut oil is a great choice for those on weight loss programmes or shredding phases.


coconutwater


How Should I Use Coconut Oil?

 

We’ve put together a quick guide to the ways you can use coconut oil in the kitchen to see how versatile and economical it really is.


Simple Subs

 

Simply substitute your normal cooking oils and butter. At room temperature, coconut oil is solid. This means it can be used for flaky baked products or no-bake recipes.

Coconut oil has a similar consistency to other oils when heated. So simply melt it down when you are substituting in this way. Conveniently, coconut oil has a high smoke point so you don’t have to worry when using it to fry food.

You can find coconut oil cooking sprays, however, you should generally avoid these as they contain lots of preservatives and non-coconut oil, so have little nutritional benefit.


coconut water health benefits


Shake it Up

 

You can also add coconut oil to your shakes and smoothies to get the most out of their satiating effect. Soften up and mix in a small teaspoon to start with, and build up to your ideal level.


Easy Energy

 

Mix a tablespoon of coconut oil with a teaspoon of dried coconut and a tablespoon of chia seeds. Roll into a ball of instant energy for a pre-workout boost.


Dressing for Success

 

Melted coconut oil makes an excellent base for dressings. Add them to your salads, grilled veggies or drizzle over meat or fish.

An easy and versatile dressing to try is a basic lemon vinaigrette. Whisk together ½ cup of melted coconut oil, the juice of 1 lemon, ¼ cup red wine vinegar and 1 chopped garlic clove. Add some salt and pepper to taste, and you’re good to go.


cooking with coconut oil


Paleo Chocolate

 

Melt ½ a cup of coconut oil, and thoroughly mix in ½ cup of organic cacao powder 3 tablespoons of honey and ½ teaspoon of vanilla Flavdrops. Then pour into a dish and chill. Healthy treats have never been easier. Add in dried coconut for extra MCTs or any other dried fruits for extra flavour.


Beauty Bonus

 

Coconut oil is also a favourite among fan of natural skincare. You can rub it into your face and skin as a natural moisturiser, as it is easily absorbed into the body.

It also has excellent conditioning and softening effects on dry hair. Rub a few teaspoons into the bottom half of your hair before you have a shower, and see how silky it becomes!


 

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.


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