Take coconut oil for example.... I am not exaggerating when I tell you that if there was a list of EVIL foods in my college dietetics courses, this would have been tops on the list. It is very high in saturated fat and therefore, puts people at risk for high cholesterol and weight gain.
So, that being said.... The other day, I received some coconut oil from one of my family members. I was taken aback at first... are they trying to upset me? Then she explained that she had heard how much better coconut oil is for you as compared to other oils. Huh?? She must be delirious. So, I took the coconut oil home(tried to keep an open mind) and decided to see what all the hype was about.
According to my most sound resource, The American Dietetics Association website, coconut oil still continues to be a food that high is saturated fat. It does, in fact, raise both the bad cholesterol(LDL) and good cholesterol(HDL). However, the fact that it raises both does not change the ratio of bad to good cholesterol. This is a good thing. So, in other words, it is probably not as bad as butter. And it has a pleasant coconutty flavor when you cook with it.
Another reason for the hype... it can be used by vegans as a butter substitute.
I found this recipe printed by the NY Times- Coconut Oil Roasted Sweet Potatoes....
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel and cut up 3 to 4 sweet potatoes into 1/2 in chunks
3. In a large bowl, combine 2 tsp of brown suger, 3/4 tsp kosher salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Add 2 T. virgin coconut oil.
Toss in the cut-up sweet potato and mix gently mix until it is well coated. Spread the sweet potato chunks onto a baking sheet.
Roast in the 350 degree oven, until soft and carmelized, for about 1 hour.