Of the many oils we tested, pure coconut oil tasted the best, by far. Back in the early days of Popcornopolis, that alone was enough to make it our oil of choice. But over the years, we came to understand just how good our decision was.
Conventional thought considered coconut oil to be unhealthy and to contribute to heart disease because of its high content of saturated fat. We now know this isn’t true. In fact, coconut oil is actually a heart-healthy food that can help your body run smoother. (It is important to note that plant-based saturated fats are different from animal-based saturated fats, such as those occuring in red meats.)
Coconut oil contains a saturated fat called lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT). It has been shown that lauric acid increases the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels. Precisely because of its high concentration of MCTs, coconut oil can even help balance body weight. One 2009 study found that women who consumed 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks not only did not gain more weight, but actually had lowered their amounts of abdominal fat (a type of fat that is difficult to lose and which contributes to an increased chance of heart problems).
People who take coconut oil tend to see improvements in how they handle blood sugar since coconut can help improve insulin use within the body. Coconut oil can boost thyroid function helping to increase metabolism, energy and endurance. It increases digestion and helps to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
Studies have also shown that intake of coconut oil can help our bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. (Note 1)
Most recently, studies are beginning to support the accumulating body of anecdotal evidence that coconut oil may alleviate and/or regress cognitive deficits associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. (Note 2)
But as we said, the master crunchologists at Popcornopolis use coconut oil especially because it helps our popcorn taste so good!