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Day 198: The return of good ol' Coconut oil

Editor's Note: This is just an opinion article and the research about the goodness or benefits of coconut oil is not given here. Please use this post wisely. There is a lot of research that supports the use of coconut oil, but due to lack of time, I have kept this post as a simple opinion post. 

Image Courtesy: Google Images 
Coconuts. How can you ask a girl from the beautiful coastal land of Kerala if she likes coconut? Well, I just live with it. I love coconuts in any form. Coconut water, coconut in sweets, coconut in my curry, coconut milk, and of course, the good old coconut oil. In our place we only cook using coconut oil. The only other oil used for cooking for certain food and for body and hair massage was sesame seed oil or as it is called the nallenna. Of course, after coming to the US, I have included olive oil in that list, especially, when we cook a different cuisine.

However, while in India, we always lived by coconut and sesame seed oil. During the late 90's people had started changing their traditional ways. There was more refined oil available than others. I think coconut was more focused as an oil meant for beautifying and maintaining one's hair and skin.But for cooking the focus was on refined oils. In Kerala, most stuck to coconut oil. However, having lived in the neighboring states, I was always asked, how could we use the same oil we applied on our hair. It was very weird for most of my friends. I remember reading a lot of books (children's magazines) that carried nice ads for sunflower oil. Yes, I was attracted to it too, especially with the television commercial that showed a fantasy land of a young boy with food. Such was the power of advertising. They focused on how the refined oils changed our health for better results and how the 'fat' from coconut and sesame seed were not good for healthy living.

In fact, I remember the old ads and newspaper articles on how Hema Malini, the dream girl and popular yesteryear actress in Bollywood maintained her beautiful skin and looks by using Olive oil. So, they kind of pushed both coconut and sesame seed oil's benefit off the boundary and made it sound like less important. Now, in the US, I see a sudden rage to have these 'other' oils instead of refined oils. The US MNC's were the ones who pushed the idea of refined oils for this long and now, coconut or anything with coconut is considered healthy (should I say healthier?). The potato chips are sold at a slightly higher price when it is made using coconut oil. Hello! We have been always making delicious chips and curries using coconut oil.

Now, when the western world is giving the rest of the world an advice that 'extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil' is the best for your health, I think a lot of us in India will follow suit. Sad and scary, right?

I for one, haven't changed at all. I think the nature's best oil form is either coconut and sesame oil. Not denying the use of mustard or olive. But the refined ones are surely not the best in the long run.


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