Coconut oil provides more than just a lovely flavour, and there’s many reasons why we use it in our Pita Chips! You may have heard through the grapevine (or through the coconut trees?) some of the health benefits associated with coconut oil, including curbing appetite, healthier skin, and possibly even heart disease prevention. Read on to find out more about this wonderful ingredient and why we chose to use it in our Pita Chips.
Why Coconut Oil?
Contrary to the food industry’s drive to push fat out of any and all products in the 1990s, we actually need fat in our diets (healthy fats, that is). Repeat after me: not all fat is bad for you! In fact, your body NEEDS certain fats for many reasons!
Coconut oil contains those GOOD FOR YOU fats: it’s 80-90% saturated fat, which has to do with its structure (being solid at room temperature). You may have also heard that saturated fat is a big no-no, and most saturated fat can be found in animal products such as beef and cheese. The saturated fat in coconut oil is predominantly lauric acid, a type of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), which are shorter fatty acid chains and a buzzword in the health industry. The reason why MCTs are important is because they are processed differently in the body than other dietary fats (long-chain triglycerides, or LCTs). When we eat MCTs, they travel straight to the liver to be used as energy rather than being stored as fat.
The majority of MCTs in coconut oil are lauric acid, and a 2015 study investigated the benefits of lauric acid in the body. They found that many of the touted benefits of coconut oil, such as aiding in weight loss and protecting against Alzheimer’s disease were linked directly to the presence of lauric acid.
In addition to this, there’s good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. The natural saturated fats in coconut oil can increase the HDL (good cholesterol) levels in your body, and studies have also shown that they can potentially change LDL (bad cholesterol) into a form that is less harmful to our bodies.
The Coconut Oil We Use
We use only Non-GMO, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil that is unrefined and additive free. We also perform thorough supplier checks and research to ensure the coconut oil we source is produced through ethical business practices, meaning that workers are paid well and NO animals are used in the collection of coconuts, as is the case for several other companies (you can read more about that in this NPR article).
Using a high-quality oil makes all the difference in a product, both in taste and health benefits. Other oils that are frequently used in products, such as canola, safflower, sunflower, or other vegetable oils, are mostly genetically-modified sources and are heavily refined to the point where they become a compound our bodies can’t even recognize or break down properly. By sticking with coconut oil, we are able to obtain an amazing flavour and flaky texture, and still maintain the variety of health benefits coconut oil provides. I mean… why should snacking always have to be a guilty endeavour?? We believe the buttery taste goes hand-in-hand with our signature seasonings, but you have to try them for yourself and decide!
So, what do you think? Are you a coconut oil convert?