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I’m slightly obsessed by health and nutrition and although I am far from perfect, I try to eat really well and to feed my family the best and most natural food. I truly believe that you are what you eat (well, you are right?) and that quality is more important than quantity. I was therefore delighted to become brand ambassador for Tiana Fairtrade Coconut recently.

For many years now I have eaten, cooked with, baked with, bathed in and rubbed on Tiana Fairtrade Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and now I get to talk about it and cook with it on QVC (live shopping TV!) sharing my excitement with others. Food and cooking are having a trendy moment, and there is a whole glut of healthy cookbooks out right now (many of which I adore!) and they mostly recommend coconut oil as the best oil for health and for healthy cooking. However, in spite of all of the rave reviews, many people are not sure why this amazing oil is actually deemed ‘healthy’ when other saturated fats have historically been considered the opposite.

1) Coconut oil is made of medium-chain triglycerides (fat) or MCT. Other vegetable oils and animal fat (also saturated) are made of short or long chain triglycerides. The MCT’s in coconut oil are digested more easily than other fats and are converted quickly into energy. The belief is that your body will use this readily available energy for activity, rather than storing it as body fat and suggestions are that it can actually speed up your metabolism, aiding weight loss (Patrick Holford’s wonderful book ‘The Low-GL Diet Bible’ explains this very simply). So, in short, coconut oil is an excellent source of energy and can help you to lose weight. Use it in the morning with porridge for a great energy boost, or before exercise to fuel your activity.

2) This raw and pure oil is incredibly heat-stable. We all know that trans-fats are bad for us, but did you know that if you fry or cook extra virgin olive oil at high temperatures that it will become a bad fat? Butter also becomes dangerous to health when fried but Tiana’s coconut oil can be heated time and time again for frying and it will maintain it’s healthy state. Use to fry fish or chicken, for all curry recipies and for any kind of roasting. (If you don’ want the taste of coconut on certain recipes then Tiana have a no-coconut-taste cooking butter)

3) It contains lauric acid. Lauric acid is a nutrient which is believed to have immune-boosting properties and is present in breast milk, one of natures most nutritious and protective foods. Megan Roosevelt’s book ‘Superfoods for life – Coconut’ explains how lauric acid can destroy viruses and pathogenic bacteria. A spoonful of the oil in hot water with fresh ginger, lemon & honey is my go-to as soon as I feel a sniffle coming on!

4) Its a great beauty-buy! Incredibly pure and moisturising, this is the perfect skin moisturiser and hair treatment for anyone concerned with chemicals and purity. The oil melts onto your skin and can be used for face, body, cuticles, and massage. I love it to melt away make-up (particularly after TV when make-up is heavier) or if I have any dry spots such as toes, elbows and knees.

So! There you have 4 good reasons to switch to, or try out Tiana’s organic coconut oil, and in my next post, I’ll be giving you plenty more reasons in the form of some delicious ways to cook with and use the oil. I’m off to make a strawberry-coconut smoothie!

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