Healthy cooking in a nutshell

17 June 2008

Organic certified virgin coconut oil from Coconoil™ is has been billed as the best and healthiest cooking oil for cooking, frying, spreading, baking and barbecuing.

The main reason for this is that certified virgin coconut oil is cholesterol free and the triglicerides it contains are transferred into energy, not fat. Its thermogenic properties increase the body’s metabolism, increasing energy levels and weight loss. It contains fewer calories than many other oils and fats.

There has been extensive research into the effects of medium-chain triglyceride consumption.
An article published on found that medium-chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and can be considered as agents that can aid in the prevention of obesity or stimulate weight loss. The American Association for Clinical Nutrition also published some research suggesting that medium-chain triglycerides are useful as a measure to prevent weight gain. A further article published on found medium-chain triglycerides reduce fat mass and down-regulates expression of adipogenic genes (the genes that control the body’s ability to gain weight).

A study of the south pacific islands near New Zealand in the 1960s – before the islands were exposed to refined food – showed that the inhabitants were healthy with ideal weight to height ratios. Digestive problems were rare; constipation almost unknown. The people ate only natural foods – and coconut was a staple food. Compared with those of us in rich Western countries who consume 40% of our calories as fats, the indigenous islanders consumed 60% of their diet as fats – almost entirely from coconuts.

Virgin coconut oil liquefies at between 18° and 24° Centigrade. It does not need refrigeration and can be stored in the kitchen cupboard or bathroom cabinet. Solid coconut oil is referred to as coconut butter. To use virgin coconut oil as a liquid, either store it somewhere warm, such as an airing cupboard or near a boiler, or spoon solid oil into a dish and sit it in some hot water to melt. (Microwaving virgin coconut oil is not recommended, as it degrades the health properties.)

Some sports professionals use coconut oil as a daily supplement, taking one or two tablespoons a day, but there is a host of other ways to get the same health benefits. It can be used as a replacement for cooking fat, as a base for curries, in stir-fries, on baked potatoes, in ice cream or in cakes, biscuits and flapjacks. Also it can be drizzled on salads, served in smoothies and hot drinks and on crackers or toast.

Pure organic virgin coconut oil is the best form of coconut oil. It contains no pesticides or GMO ingredients. As a healthy nutrition option, it is best when not hydrogenated, bleached, refined or deodorised.

Coconoil™ founder Garry Stiven visited Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami, to help with emergency relief work. He wanted to find a way to help the Sri Lanka people in the longer term, so he turned his attention to finding an export market for the country, to bring in new revenue and boost the economy. Reading a lifestyle magazine one evening, he chanced upon an article about the health benefits of virgin coconut oil and its increasing popularity in California and an idea was born. Garry researched coconut oil production in Sri Lanka, discovering that most of the country’s exported oil was processed and sold to major food manufacturers. Virgin coconut oil had a limited market for cosmetic production in Italy and was not available in the UK.

Garry found a supplier, returned to the UK and, together with colleague Frank Andrew, has become the only importer to the UK of Sri Lanka virgin coconut oil, under the brand name Coconoil.

Coconoil™ is available from The Health Store Ltd, Infinity Foods Co-Operative Ltd, Marigold Health Foods Ltd, Green City Ltd, The Essential Oil Company Limited, as well as many independent retail outlets. You can also purchase online at or by phoning 0161 439 9988.