Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

MCT OIL

Health and Wellness Associates
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  MCT OIL

 

mctoil

“MCTs” are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid that has numerous health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management. Coconut oil is one great source of MCTs — roughly 62 percent to 65 percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil are MCTs — but recently more concentrated “MCT oil” has also been growing in popularity.

 

MCTs, also called “MCFAs” for medium-chain fatty acids, are believed to be largely missing from the diets of people eating “standard Western” diets, most likely because the public has been led to believe that all forms of saturated fats are potentially harmful. However, recent research has shown a lot of evidence about the real truth regarding saturated fats.

 

We now know that ideally MCT oils like coconut oil should actually be consumed every day. Certain saturated fats, especially MCTs and other healthy fats found in things like coconut oil or grass-fed beef, are in fact easier to digest than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) and might even have more benefits related to heart health, obesity prevention and brain health, too.

 

In fact, traditional populations living in tropical areas have been consuming saturated fats, including sources of MCTs like coconuts, for thousands of years without any ill effects — so consider the idea that a low-fat diet is “healthy” to be one of the biggest nutrition lies there ever was!

 

Aside from coconut oil, smaller amounts of MCTs can also be found in certain other foods with saturated fats, including butter (especially butter from grass-fed cows), cheeses, palm oil, whole milk and full-fat yogurt.  Dairy products in the United States do not have MCT’s in them.

 

Caution: Palm oil is a controversial source of MCTs, not because it’s bad for your body, but because there are major issues involved in the process of procuring this oil. These include deforestation, loss of wildlife diversity and unethical treatment of workers. That’s why I only recommend RSPO-certified palm oil, which comes from producers who prioritize sustainability practices.

 

What Makes MCT Oils So Special?

MCTs get their name because of the length of their chemical structure. All types of fatty acids are made up of strings of connected carbon and hydrogen. Fats are categorized by how many carbons they have: short-chain fats (like butyric acid) have fewer than six carbons, medium-chain fats have between six to 12 carbons and long-chain fats (like omega-3s) have between 13–21.

 

What makes MCTs a top source of essential healthy fats? Medium-chain fats are digested easily and sent directly to your liver, where they have a thermogenic effect and the ability to positively alter your metabolism. This is one reason why many people claim that MCTs, including coconut oil, are burned by the body for energy, or “fuel,” instead of being stored as fat.

 

Compared to longer-chain fats, MCTs are absorbed more easily since there’s less work for the body to do breaking apart carbon bonds. MCTs are smaller, so they can permeate our cell membranes more easily and don’t require that we use special enzymes in order for our bodies to utilize them.

 

MCTs and saturated fats are good for you in other ways, too: They reduce the risks of low-fat diets, and they’re supportive of your gut environment, especially since they have the capability to combat harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. Additionally, MCTs contain antioxidant properties, which is why coconut oil has far-reaching inflammatory benefits that have led it to be used to treat dozens of health problems in folk medicine for centuries.

 

 

MCT Oil Nutrition Facts

There are actually a few different forms of MCT oils, some that are likely more effective than others. The four different kinds of MCTs include caprioc (acid C6:0), caprylic (acid C8:0), capric (acid C10:0) and lauric (acid C12:0) acids. Generally speaking, the shorter the chain (meaning the lower the number of carbons the acid has), the faster the body can turn the fatty acids into usable energy, in ketone form. Ketones are what the body produces when it’s using fat for energy instead of glucose.

 

Regardless of the exact kind of MCT, all are still beneficial for overall health — especially for people who have a difficult time digesting other forms of fats, including anyone with malabsorption problems, digestive disorders like leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s disease, gallbladder infections and so on.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr P Carrothers

Dir Personalized Healthcare

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

 

312-972-9355

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

What is Coconut Oil?

coconut

 

Are you using the right coconut oil?

Tips for using the right coconut oil?

 

There’s no doubt that coconut oil is one of the most versatile and useful oils you can have at home. It has a wide array of uses, from cooking and baking to being a beauty staple. It works as a lotion, or can be added to your homemade facial mask or hypoallergenic soap recipe.

But how do you know if you are choosing high-quality coconut oil that is truly worth its weight in gold?

There are several important factors that you must consider when buying coconut oil to ensure that you’re getting one that’s truly high-quality.

 

What is Coconut Oil?

Coconut is an edible oil extracted from coconut meat. Both coconuts and coconut oil were staples in many tropical countries and regions, including South and Central America, Africa, the Indian Subcontinent, Polynesia, and Asia. Dating back as early as 1500, India’s Ayurvedic literature recorded coconut oil’s uses for the mind, body and spirit. Even early European explorers noted its benefits for Pacific communities who integrated it – and coconuts – into their daily lives.

Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are easily digestible and stored in your body as energy. Fifty percent of the saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which converts into monolaurin.

However, coconut oil’s wholesome profile was tainted in 1953, when Dr. Ancel Keys published a study that linked saturated fats to heart disease. What many people didn’t know is that Keys’ study was seriously flawed, as he only based his study on six countries, ignoring data from 16 other countries that did not fit his theory.

Keys’ flawed study paved the way for polyunsaturated vegetable oil manufacturers to step up and dominate the market. Ironically, these so-called “heart-healthy” oils are actually a lot more harmful because they oxidize when heated, putting a great deal of burden on your body.

But the tides have changed, and now coconut oil is back in the spotlight as the ideal, all-around edible oil.

Why You Should Buy Coconut Oil Instead of Other Cooking Oils

I have steadfastly recommended coconut oil as the smartest and most versatile oil you can use. It’s perfect for cooking because of its high heat tolerance. Polyunsaturated vegetable oils like corn, canola, and soy become rancid when they are heated or mix with oxygen. In fact, they can actually go rancid within a few hours of being produced. When this rancid oil enters your body, it can lead to disastrous health effects.

You won’t have to worry about this with coconut oil, as it does not easily go rancid. Coconut oil is a complete saturated fat, which makes it very stable against heat damage. It is the ONLY safe oil you can use for cooking – olive oil is also a good oil but only when used cold, drizzled over salads or mixed into cold sauces. Due to its stability, it has a long shelf life of two or more years – the longest of any cooking oil.

So whenever you need to cook or sauté your food, choose coconut oil. It’s great for frying (even though I don’t recommend frying foods), as well as baking, and is a wonderful substitute for shortening, margarine, or butter. When you bake with coconut oil, you’ll find that your muffins, pastry, or bread will be lighter and have a mildly sweet and enticing fragrance.

But that’s not where coconut oil’s convenience ends, because it also has numerous uses outside the kitchen. Coconut oil can actually replace over a dozen beauty products found in your beauty kit, such as your:

  • Makeup remover – Apply a small amount on a moist cotton ball and wipe all over your face.
  • Facial scrub – Make a gentle facial scrub by mixing coconut oil with baking soda, or with oatmeal and a dash of cinnamon.
  • Lip balm – Apply a small amount of coconut oil on your lips. You can also make your own lip balm using coconut oil as a base ingredient.
  • Carrier oil for essential oil – Use it to dilute potent essential oils that may be too harsh when applied on your skin in concentrated amounts.
  • Shaving cream – Apply a thin layer on the area to be shaved, and then shave as usual.
  • Body scrub – Mix equal parts organic cane sugar and coconut oil in a glass jar, and then scrub on your dry skin before bathing.
  • Massage Oil:  For decades, coconut oil has been used by professional massage therapists as a soothing massage oil.

Coconut oil can also have practical uses around the house, such as:

  • Polishing metal (test it on a small area first)
  • Moisturizing and softening your leather goods
  • Lubricating squeaky hinges, sticky mechanisms, and even guitar strings
  • Cleaning and conditioning wooden furniture (also test it on a small area first)
  • Cleaning, conditioning, and sanitizing your wooden chopping board

 

Know the Different Types of Coconut Oil

Considering this impressive roster of uses, it definitely makes sense that you choose a high-quality coconut oil. There are numerous brands and types of coconut oil, and they vary according to source, production method, packaging, and price.

When you shop for coconut oil, one of the first things you’ll notice is that they are classified as either refined or unrefined. They may seem similar, but there is actually a very great difference between these two types of coconut oil.

Refined coconut oil, also known as refined, bleached, and deodorized (RBD) coconut oil, is made by mechanically and chemically refining, bleaching, and deodorizing dried coconuts (copra). Since copra is not fit for consumption, it needs to go through the RBD process to filter out impurities and make it more stable. It’s thin, tasteless, and doesn’t have a coconutty aroma, but has a high cooking temperature before it reaches its smoking point.

 

While RBD coconut oil is a great source of healthy fatty acids, I do not fully recommend it. Many brands are adulterated because of the chemical distillation processes that use lye and other harsh solvents. What’s more, manufacturers sometimes use rancid oil byproducts that are made from creating desiccated coconut flakes. Many RBD coconut oils are also hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, which can lead to the production of synthetic trans fats.

Meanwhile, unrefined coconut oil is made from pressing fresh, raw coconut (not copra) using mechanical methods but without adding chemicals and solvents. This is actually my coconut oil of choice, as it retains the coconut’s flavor and aroma, and is loaded with antioxidants and medium-chain fatty acids.

Be sure to also check the extraction method used. Coconut oil can be expeller-pressed, cold-pressed, or centrifuged. Expeller-pressing is a mechanical process that uses pressure to extract the oil, which creates friction and higher heat that may compromise the taste and nutrition of the oil. Cold-pressing is nearly similar to expeller-pressing, except that it’s done in a heat-controlled environment that keeps the temperature below 120° Fahrenheit (49° Celsius). In this sense, cold-pressed coconut oil is a better option.

However, I advise you to look for cold-pressed centrifuged coconut oil, where fresh coconuts are cold-pressed to make a coconut emulsion, then chilled to help pull out the oils. Afterwards, the milk goes through a centrifuge, where the pure oil spins away from the water layer, resulting in a pure, organic, unrefined and highly stable coconut oil.

In summary, shop for an unrefined, unbleached coconut oil that’s produced from organic and GMO-free coconuts, and made without chemicals, harsh solvents, and heat processing.

 

Where to Buy Coconut Oil: Don’t Settle for an Inferior Product!

With the growing popularity of coconut oil, people are now making the switch to this versatile cooking oil. But remember that not all coconut oil products are created equal, and not all of them have been subjected to the best manufacturing practices.

 

I would also advise you to be very careful when buying coconut oil from grocery stores, as you only have to rely on what is on the label to determine the quality of the product. There have been reports of large bottles of cheap supermarket coconut oils going rancid quickly, which means that either the oil was blended with vegetable oils that spoil easily, or that it has been filtered improperly, which led to coconut remnants to contaminate the oil.

You can buy coconut oil online as well, but you must thoroughly scrutinize the product. Check out their website to learn more about the company, where they source their coconuts, and how the oil is produced. Make sure that the company is truly committed to providing you with a high-quality product that is worth your money.

In addition, keep an eye out for these signs of a good high-quality coconut oil:

  • Appearance  It should be white in its solid form, and colorless as a liquid. Coconut oil stays liquid in temperatures above 25° Celsius (75° Fahrenheit), and will solidify like butter in lower temperatures or if refrigerated. Simply put it under low heat or leave it out for a few minutes to transform it into liquid.
  • Aroma and flavor – It should smell and taste like coconut, but should not be overpowering or strong. If it tastes neutral and is odorless, then it’s been refined. If it smells roasted or smoky, it may have been heat-pressed.
  • Shelf life – High-quality coconut oil can stay fresh for up to two years. It does not need refrigeration, but should be stored away from direct sunlight.

 

How to Keep Coconut Oil from Going Rancid

Despite being heat-resistant and more stable than other cooking oils, it is important that you know how to take good care of your coconut oil to prevent it from going bad quickly. Remember these simple tips:

  • Never place coconut oil in direct sunlight.
  • Use a clean spoon to scoop coconut oil from the container, to prevent mold and bacterial contamination the oil. Don’t use your fingers and avoid double-dipping.
  • Always keep the lid on, sealed tightly, to prevent moisture from going in.
  • Signs that your coconut oil has gone rancid are: turning yellow in color in liquid form, a blotchy consistency, foul taste and smell, and specks at the bottom of the container, which could indicate the presence of mold.

 

Please share this article with family and friends.  Also, if anyone has any questions, needs assistance, or wants to schedule an appointment, please give them our phone number.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

Dr Anne Sullivan

Dr P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Try Rosehip Oil on Your Skin.

rosehipooil

 

Don’t Skimp on Your Skin — Try Rosehip Oil Now

 

Rosehip oil has been making a name in the cosmetics industry because of its phenomenal benefits for the skin. Supermodels and actors even swear by its skin rejuvenating and clarifying effects. But what exactly is rosehip oil and where does it come from? Keep reading this article to find out.

 

What Is Rosehip Oil?

 

Rosehip oil, sometimes called rose hip seed oil, can be obtained from wild rose (Rose moschata, Rosa rubignosa or Rosa canina) bushes, which grow in various areas around the world, including Europe and South Africa.1

 

Not to be confused with rose essential oil, rose hip comes from the “hips,” the small fruits found behind the flowers, which are left once the roses have bloomed and lost their petals.

 

Rosehip oil has a subtle woody smell — it doesn’t have a rosy fragrance since it’s not made from the flower. The color can range from a deep golden hue to a rich red-orange color to a light yellow color.

 

This can be an indicator of quality: golden or reddish rosehip oil is cold-pressed, while light-colored ones may be heavily processed or obtained from an inferior source.2

 

Uses of Rosehip Oil

 

Rosehips have been used for generations by Egyptians, Mayans and Native Americans because of their healing properties.3 The Andean Indians of Chile also recognized the exceptional skin and hair care benefits of the plant as well as its essential oil.4

 

Rose hips can be used to treat wounds and inflammations. For example, researchers in Germany and Denmark found that rose hip can actually ease rheumatoid arthritis pain and improve mobility by 20 to 25 percent.5

 

Today, rosehip oil is most notably added to cosmetic products like moisturizers, shampoos and lotions for its skin and hair rejuvenating and healing properties. However, you can actually purchase rosehip oil and mix it with a safe carrier oil to make your own topical applications.

 

Composition of Rosehip Oil

 

Rosehip oil contains a bounty of nutrients including vitamins A, C and E, essential fatty acids (linolenic, linoleic, and oleic acid), stearic acid and palmitic acid.6 Carotenoids, flavonoids and trans-retinoic acid, which have therapeutic properties, are also found in this oil.7

 

Benefits of Rosehip Oil

 

Do a quick search of rosehip oil on the internet, and you will surely be blown away by the number of testimonials on its beneficial effects on skin and hair. Here are some of the most popular benefits of rosehip oil:

 

  • Promotes healthy and vibrant skin. Rosehip oil is widely used in various skin care products. It helps fight the signs of aging and assists in diminishing photoaging.

 

  • Nourishes dry hair and prevents dandruff. Apply lukewarm rosehip oil onto your scalp, leave it on for an hour and then wash it out.

 

  • Keeps nails healthy. Massaging rosehip oil onto dry and brittle nails will hydrate them and make them strong.

 

  • Helps heal wounds and burns and removes scars. Rosehip oil can help speed up the healing of wounds and burns, while keeping the area hydrated. It also helps reduce the appearance of stretchmarks, age spots, scars and hyper-pigmentation.

 

  • Relieves sunburn. Apply rosehip oil to sunburn for a soothing and healing effect, while reducing inflammation.

 

How to Make Rosehip Oil

 

High-quality rosehip oil is made via cold pressing, which uses a press or a screw-driven machine to extract the oil, while preserving its potent antioxidants and essential fatty acids, which can be reduced via a chemical extraction process. Cold pressed rosehip oil is solvent-free and rich in nutrients.

 

As mentioned above, color can be used to gauge the quality of your rosehip oil. However, I still advise looking for one with an independent organic certification. This will guarantee that the oil will come from plants that are grown and processed without chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.

 

How Does Rosehip Oil Work?

 

What makes rosehip oil stand out from other essential oils is its vitamin A content, which binds the skin cells together and acts as an astringent. This washes away impurities and tightens your skin, giving it a youthful look.

 

The essential fatty acids also hold the same effect, binding the skin cells together for a more taut appearance. Because rosehip oil’s benefits are more readily obtained through the skin, your best bet to ensure that it works for you is to apply it topically as a:

 

  • Conditioner — Add it to your favorite shampoo, or directly rub it into your scalp, and leave it on overnight.

 

  • Facial moisturizer — Gently massage two to three drops of rosehip oil onto your freshly washed face twice a day, once in the morning and at night.

 

  • Massage oil — Mix it with a safe carrier oil and use it as a massage oil.

 

  • Treatment for skin conditions — Simply rub it onto the affected area to get its healing benefits.

 

Make sure to massage rosehip oil well into your skin to absorb all its nutrients. This oil has an ultrafine consistency and is lighter than other mineral oils, so it can be absorbed more quickly, instantly hydrating the skin without clogging your pores.

 

As with any essential oil, I advise doing a skin patch test before using this oil onto your skin. Simply apply a drop on your arm and see if any allergic reactions occur. I recommend diluting this oil in a safe carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil before applying it on your skin, especially if you have a very sensitive complexion.

 

Is Rosehip Oil Safe?

 

Rosehip oil is typically safe to use, as long as it is used in moderation and in diluted topical applications only. Do not ingest rosehip oil without the advice of your physician or qualified aromatherapist.

 

While it’s been said to help remove or prevent stretchmarks, I advise pregnant or breastfeeding women to use this essential oil with caution, and only with the approval of their doctor.

 

Some rosehip oils may smell slightly fishy instead of woody, which may trigger vomiting in some pregnant women. Very young children should refrain from using rosehip oil.

 

Side Effects of Rosehip Oil

 

I advise you to use rosehip oil with caution, as its high vitamin C content may pose a danger to people with diabetes, and increase the absorption of iron, which may affect people with hemochromatosis, anemia and similar conditions.8 It may cause allergic reactions, especially if used undiluted, in people with very sensitive skin.

 

Please share with family and loved ones, and do call us for your healthcare plan, and questions you have about prevention and reversal of health conditions.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article: JM

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

Foods

Which OIL can cause blindness?

oils2

There remains a great deal of confusion around the so-called “healthy” cooking oil called canola. If you are still cooking with canola or eating foods that contain canola, you will want to read this article.

There is no such thing as a naturally occurring plant named canola, but rather a plant that results from the super-hybridization (genetic modification) of the rapeseed plant, which is a member of the mustard family.

The name “Canola Oil,” which stands for “Canadian Oil Low Acid,” was invented because no one would buy a product called “Rapeseed Oil.”

As we reported earlier, oil from the rapeseed plant was originally used as a lubricant for steam engines and as a penetrating oil in the light rail industry. It was not meant for human consumption.

Canola oil is an excellent insecticide, which is registered with the EPA. It is the primary ingredient in many “organic” pesticide products. Vegol Year-Round Pesticidal Oil is 96 percent canola oil.

The product label states: “CAUTION: Avoid contact with skin or clothing.” There is even an Environmental Hazard warning that states: “Do not apply directly to water. Do not contaminate water when disposing of equipment…”

The label warns that if you get the product on your skin, you should rinse with water for 15 to 20 minutes, remove all contaminated clothing and then call poison control or a doctor for treatment advice.

There is no such warning, however, on a bottle of canola oil found in the supermarket. In fact, the label on this product states that it contains 100 percent canola oil. It is interesting that a product that contains 96 percent canola can be so hazardous while a product that contains 100 percent is not hazardous at all.

Although canola was not developed using biotechnology, the majority of what is grown today is from genetically modified seed so that it is able to withstand herbicides. In fact, canola oil is one of the most chemically altered foods in the American diet. Almost 90 percent of canola is genetically modified to be resistant to Roundup.

Because food manufacturers are not required to tell you whether an item contains genetically modified substances or not, it is wise to assume that if a food item contains canola oil – it is genetically modified.

Some common foods that contain canola oil are peanut butter, lunch meat, bread, salad dressing, bread, garlic salts, baked goods, french fries, diet shakes and bars and cereal.

In addition, the omega-3 in canola oil is easily damaged by heat and will become rancid and foul-smelling. Manufacturers deodorize the oil with dangerous chemicals, which changes the omega-3 fat into trans fats.

According to a study that analyzed canola and soybean oils, between .56 and 4.2 percent contain toxic trans fats. Of course, trans fats are insanely harmful and directly associated with a number of serious diseases, especially heart disease…. the number one killer in the world.

This highly refined oil is also void of any real nutrient value – it has no positive nutritional impact on the body. It is also high in oxidized omega-6 fats, and omega-3 fats that we are unable to use. Although omega-6 fatty acids are essential, Americans consume 11-30 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3′s – mostly in the form of partially hydrogenated oils.

If we consume high amounts of omega-6′s, it may put the body at risk for life-threatening conditions such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and a variety of autoimmune disorders.

It is not only heart disease that we should be worried about when using canola oil. Author John Thomas reported in his book Young Again that rapeseed (canola oil) fed to cows, pigs and sheep between 1986 and 1991 in parts of Europe caused the animals to go blind and attack people. When the rapeseed was removed from the diet the

attacks and blindness stopped. The product was banned in Europe in 1991.

So… what oil are we to use

Keep in mind the truth that the closer foods are to their natural state the better they are for us. Any food that has gone through industrial processing has had its personality changed and is no longer recognizable by the body or of much use to it.

Substances that are of no use, such as those that have been denatured or hyper-processed, may also contain dangerous additives or by-products of the refining process.

However, there is one oil that has been used for thousands of years and, in its most natural form, is not only delicious but jam packed with nutrients and therapeutic properties which are garnering the attention of both natural practitioners and mainline physicians alike.

Coconut oil is like no other oil on this planet. Made by by pressing the raw meat of the coconut, this oil, although high in saturated fat, is translated into immediate energy in the body. It is a stable oil that is classified as a “functional food” – meaning that it provides a vast array of benefits beyond its nutritional content.

Along with this energy comes a host of other valuable properties including antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, anti-protozoa and antioxidant capabilities. Coconut oil has been proven to go head to head with the bacteria that cause ulcers, urinary tract infections, throat infections, pneumonia and gonorrhea.

Coconut oil also kills fungus and yeasts that can cause such things as candidiasis, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, diaper rash and other infections. In addition, coconut oil has been used as an effective remedy against tapeworms, lice, giardia and other parasites.

Known quite simply as “the healthiest oil on this planet,” coconut oil is different in composition from other oils – this unique composition is what makes it so effective and healthy.

All fats and oils are comprised of molecules known as fatty acids. Fatty acids can be classified one of two ways. The first way is by their saturation – there are saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

You can also classify fatty acids by the length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid – short chain, medium chain and long chain. Coconut oil is mostly medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

Most other fats or oils in our diets from both plant and animal sources are long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). In fact, almost 98 – 100 percent of all fatty acids we consume are LCFAs.

So, you might ask, what is wrong with a LCFA? The issue comes in when we look at how the body responds to the size of the chain. LCFAs are received differently in the body than MCFAs, which are absorbed quickly, transported in the portal blood directly to the liver, and able to be used for energy. In contrast, the longer chain fatty acids are carried through the lymph and are not readily available for energy, but rather stored as fat.

But… coconut oil contains saturated fat, doesn’t it?

Yes, it does. However, it is healthy saturated fat, and besides, it is actually a myth, all in the name of corporate profits, that saturated fat causes heart disease. The naturally occurring saturated fat that is in coconut oil actually promotes heart health, encourages weight loss, regulates blood sugar and supports thyroid function.

Using coconut oil is as easy as substituting it for your old oil. The rich tropical taste is an added bonus – just be sure you purchase organic virgin coconut oil from a reputable dealer.