What is a Medium Chain Fatty Acid (MCFA)?
MCFA is a fatty acid with eight to twelve carbons in their chain (although some researchers include fourteen-chain fatty acids as medium chain). Coconut has all of the MCFAs found in nature: lauric,
capric and caprylic acids.

What happens when virgin coconut oil is heated?
Coconut oil is not destroyed by heat. The medium chain fatty acids are very resistant to heat and even commercial oils heated to very high temperatures retain their MCFAs. Coconut oil is one of the best and safest oils to use in cooking.

Will cooking with virgin coconut oil cause it to become hydrogenated and toxic like hydrogenated oils?
No, hydrogenation is an industrial process using heat, pressure and hydrogen gas to transform liquid oils into solid fats at room temperatures. It chemically alters the oil and creates harmful trans fatty acids. Cooking does not introduce hydrogen into the oil or hydrogenate it. It is perfectly safe to heat the oil for cooking.

Are there Omega 3 fatty acids in virgin coconut oil?
No, coconut oil contains mostly of medium chain fatty acids.

Does virgin coconut oil need to be kept in the refrigerator?
No. Virgin coconut oil is a very stable oil and does not need to be refrigerated. It will stay fresh for at least two or three years unrefrigerated. If kept in a cool place, it will last even longer, so it makes a good storage oil.

How long does virgin coconut oil last?
Virgin coconut oil is least susceptible to oxidation than any plant oils. Its natural antioxidants contribute to its longer shelf life without becoming rancid. However, it is recommended that the oil be stored out of direct sunlight.

How much coconut oil should one consume?
Researchers have yet to determine exactly how much coconut oil is needed daily to gain optimal health benefit. The amount of medium chain fatty acids that is believed to be necessary for optimal health based on the amount of MCFAs found in mother’s milk can be obtained from a variety of coconut products. The following all contain about the same amount of MCFA.

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 7 ounces (198 g) fresh coconut meat, about half a coconut
  • 2 3/4 cups dried, shredded coconut
  • 10 ounces (283 g) coconut milk

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