Coconut oil has been a staple requirement for people of colour for centuries, from cooking to hair, health and beauty. It has long been a claim for long life and a general multipurpose essential.
Could this be why black skin looks and feels so good after all they say “Black don’t crack” referring to our supple well oiled and fragrant skin, now everyone wants some!
So, coconut oil is everywhere nowadays. By everywhere I mean it’s trending on social media as the newest entrant into the natural health nuts’ diets. By everywhere I mean it’s in beauty treatment articles on skin, hair and even improving oral health.
Before we get into the how-it-helps questions, it’s important to point out that only a couple of decades ago, coconut oil was condemned as the worst natural agent. The chief reason: its high levels of heart-damaging saturated fat. Did the experts get it very wrong back then or is the resurgence of the tropical oil a passing health fad?
The answer is some combination of both, experts say. Not all coconut oils are created equal. The flaky, fragrant stuff you might find in a superfood smoothie is a very kind than the partially-hydrogenated fat found in junk food in the 1980s. This was a highly-processed version of the plant oil, containing trans fats and other dangerous, cholesterol-promoting compounds.
Although older refined-deodorized bleached coconut oil causes rapid and very unhealthy looking rises in cholesterol, there is no evidence that that is the case for virgin coconut oil, which is available today but was not in the 1970s and 1980s when people were using RDB coconut oil.
So, head over to your grocery stores and health stores to grab yourself a bottle. With news of its ability to help you lose weight, stave off illness and even prevent Alzheimer’s, coconut oil is surely raising more than a few eye-brows. Sure, coconut oil beats its junk food predecessor, but is it really all that?
“It has properties that are promising, but we need a lot more research before we can say this is the superfood of 2014”, says Kristin Kirkpatrick MS, RD, LD, manager of wellness nutrition services for the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.