Recently there was an article in the NY Times, Once a Villain, Coconut Oil Charms the Health Food World, you can click on the link to read the article in full but in summary, at one time coconut oil was considered to be very bad for you, containing more saturated fat then butter, lard or beef tallow. It was the reason movie theater popcorn was so bad for you, because it was popped in coconut oil. Recently however, its been available in the health food stores and the attitude toward coconut oil is changing. Apparently, the studies were done on partially hydrogenated coconut oil, we all know any hydrogenated oil is not good for you. But virgin coconut oil isn’t so bad for you.

The article goes on to talk about how not all saturated fats are considered equal and while its uncertain if coconut oil, like olive oil, is good for you, in small amounts it is not bad for you.

However many good things might be said about coconut oil, I still won’t eat foods made with it, I like breathing better. Air in and air out is good, no air in and no air out is bad, very bad. This brings up two concerns of mine about coconut. First of all, coconut is not a very common allergy, so while you can look at the list of ingredients and at the bottom of the list in bold print, is whether or not the product contains, peanuts, wheat, milk, soy or tree nuts, coconut is not mentioned. Which brings me to my second concern, why don’t people consider coconut a nut? Doesn’t it have nut right in the name? And that tall thing it grows on, isn’t it called a palm tree? It makes me wonder where this woman’s head is:

Elizabeth Schuler, who writes the blog mycommunaltable.com, started baking with coconut oil after her son’s severe allergies to tree nuts, eggs and dairy were diagnosed. She searched out vegan recipes and was surprised by the number that relied on margarine and Crisco, a no-go as far as she was concerned.

This means I have to be super vigilant about coconut, it helps that I know what foods are likely to have it in them, Lindt Truffles, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, Girl Scout Cookies, other high end chocolates, Häagen-Dazs® chocolate covered ice cream bars, some fudge ice cream toppings and some soft serve ice cream. And I read the labels, all the labels, every little ingredient.

Like I said, I like breathing, a lot.

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