All coconut oil comes in the form of a white solid and looks much like shortening. Stored at room temperature, it will last for years. In the refrigerator, it may get so hard you can't even get a spoon into it; but can easily be melted over low heat.
coconut oil is more than 90 per cent saturated fat, or about 11.8 grams per 15 millilitres (one tablespoon), compared to about 63 per cent or 7.2 grams for the same amount of butter. And saturated fat is generally considered to be a "bad" fat that increases overall cholesterol levels and specifically bad cholesterol.The reason this doesn't apply to coconut oil, say supporters, is that about half the saturated fat in the oil is medium-chain fatty acids, which are easier to digest than the more prevalent long-chain fatty acids in most other oils, including butter.
Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a "functional food" because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content.
Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued by them as both a source of food and medicine that it is called "The Tree of Life." Only recently has modern medical science unlocked the secrets to coconut's amazing healing powers.
While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it's the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine.
Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties. It is now gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food.
Coconut oil has been described as "the healthiest oil on earth." That's quite a remarkable statement. What makes coconut oil so good? What makes it different from all other oils, especially other saturated fats?