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I see this post is from 2008, but thought I'd put the question out there again ... does anyone have info on where to find culinary grade coconut oil? There are tons of health benefits over regular vegetable oils, and I'd like to start using it, but it's apparently very hard to find. I know it must be easily found in Limón, but what about the central valley? Anybody?

Tiffany

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Coconut oil is high in lauric acid which is a saturated fat that raises cholesterol levels. As a nurse I have learned to discourage people from using coconut oil or non-dairy creamers that contain it. FUT.....to each his own.

M

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Coconut oil is high in lauric acid which is a saturated fat that raises cholesterol levels. As a nurse I have learned to discourage people from using coconut oil or non-dairy creamers that contain it. FUT.....to each his own.

M

 

Strange that I read just the opposite about coconut oil and have actually been looking for it myself. This proves only that you can authenticate any opinion if you look hard enough. I guess we all have to go with what we "feel" is correct.

 

One would think that coconut oil would be readily available in a country that produces coconut.

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I think it's best to go to several "official" sources -- just look it up to see about the fat. Then make up your own mind. Many times there are "food fads" that are not based on many facts, just some kind of marketing. I would read a good cross-section of material before starting to use it.

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Agreed, best to do wide research and just see what you think.

 

It's true that coconut oil does have high saturated fat and is high in lauric acid. The difference between coconut oils and the other oils is the structure: coconut oil is a medium-chain fatty acid, most other oils are long-chain, making coconut oil unique. Long story short, it is processed and digested differently in the body, is easier on the pancreas and liver (which I am particularly interested in, with my husband's family history), and has a whole host of beneficial properties due to its structural difference from the other oils. People who use it swear by it, and it has topical uses as well.

 

Olive oil is another beneficial oil, and I have always used it for everything ... unfortunately the one thing about olive oil is that you can't really use it for frying, as it has a low smoke point. (Coconut oil has a high smoke point) In the states I never, ever fried anything, so no problem, but here, I can't really get away with that ... patacones must be fried, and the hubby gets a taste for fried yuca now and again.

 

I don't eat beef or pork (or even poultry in the states, but I do eat poultry occasionally here), rarely eat fried food, and have always paid attention to eating healthily, all my numbers are low for cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, etc., so I kind of freaked out upon moving here, with all the frying and use of margarine (being cheaper than butter here) and renewed my research into the coconut oil so the hubby could still have patacones on occasion. (As for the margarine, that "Numar" stuff, I told him forget it ... that is out of his life now, jeje.)

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I guess the main thing to keep in mind is that everyone's metabolism is different, and different foods affect different people...differently. I eat a lot of chicken and pork here, and occasionally beef if I can find some that can be chewed (even the hamburger is tough!), and I have normal cholesterol, BP, glucose and whatever. If I eat a lot of grains, that all changes for the worst. Do what your body tells you, not what someone else, no matter what their training, tells you. Have checkups and be your own judge.

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We buy coconut oil on Route 36 on the Caribbean coast. There are two familys that process it, simply. If you take your own bottle they will give you a discount. Keep in mind they know the "value" of it in industrialized nations so it is not less expensive here like I would have hoped.

 

As far as the health debate goes, I have no idea.

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"Olive oil is another beneficial oil, and I have always used it for everything ... unfortunately the one thing about olive oil is that you can't really use it for frying, as it has a low smoke point. (Coconut oil has a high smoke point) In the states I never, ever fried anything, so no problem, but here, I can't really get away with that ... patacones must be fried, and the hubby gets a taste for fried yuca now and again."

 

If you mix olive oil with another oil with a higher smoke point, you can use it for frying. Try the soy oil.

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I also use olive oil for everything. I don't seem to have a problem with its burning. However, I don't use it for any deep fat frying, just mostly sauteeing or "shallow fat frying." I make some things - salmon patties, chicken strips, using just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. They turn out crispy but not greasy and no burned oil. I don't even use butter or margarine anymore.

 

For something like stir-fried veggies, I just use a spray oil to coat the pan and get it very hot to cook them quickly.

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There is question to the accuracy of the information we have on Coconut oil. There is a book the Coconut Oil Miracle that is available on Amazon that questions some of the information we believe to be true about this oil. The questions basically is that there is very little scientific work done on the benefits and risk associated with its use and few studies per the author about increased rates of heart disease among populations that use coconut oil entirely. On the Caribbean side of Costa Rica coconut oil was used due to the ready access and the reported rates of heart disease were not reportedly greater than elsewhere. Another book I read believes that the sow bean oil industry used political maneuvering to discourage the use of coconut oil. The FDA historically has not been flawless. There is little if any research that proves 8 glasses of water are better than 7 or 9. I am a nurse as well I was taught to shake a thermometer 4 times and then use it, no science involved. But this is what I taught because I was taught. My experience with coconut oil is I dislike the smell, I think if left out like other oils it spoils quickly. I use olive oil and am able to fry around 375 degrees in my fry pan and not burn the oil. You can also use paprika in the batter to give things a brown color with less frying time and temperature. I am not sure how this would effect frying plantain .

Ed

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Agreed, to saute I do use olive oil, and actually I used it to fry as well when I first got here, but the hubby wasn't really down with it for out-and-out frying, like for patacones y yuca ...those bottles of vegetable oil keep showing up in the cabinet.

 

I will probably try mixing it ... maybe right into the vegetable oil bottle, hehe, as suggested above, to fry with for now.

 

From what I know about coconut oil, it supposedly does not go rancid quickly, lasting longer than other oils, but apparently when it does go rancid it smells awful. I can't remember this moment why, but I remember I read a lot about it lasting longer than other oils as far as going bad for some reason. I agree, the info out there about coconut oil needs to be researched ... and really, I'd say that about the whole deal on fats ... you have to dig deep to find out the true info, and really pay attention to who is funding those studies and "neutral" articles, and then weigh out the pros and cons once you do get the straight skinny on the stuff.

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There is also I am told a coconut oil that does not have the smell that can be purchased here in the States. There also are videos on making your own which maybe something if you have lots of free labor or just bored with life. Any thoughts on canola oil. I had a minister friend tell me he would not use it because God did not make no Canola s. I am uncertain if that is true but what a commitment.

 

Ed

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