Coconut oil, in its virgin state, has the texture of vegetable shortening and may replace butter when used in baked goods. Coconut oil has 117 calories per tablespoon, as opposed to butter, which has 102 calories.
Coconut oil is a soluble fat when stored in temperatures lower than 76 F and becomes liquid oil when stored in higher temperatures. Coconut oil may be refrigerated; however, it will harden into a solid state that is unsuitable for baking. Coconut oil should be at room temperature to simulate the texture of butter and make it suitable for measuring.
Coconut oil has more saturated fat than butter. It also contains a healthy type of fatty acid that a body quickly burns into energy, possibly boosting metabolism. However, Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky reports that, although consuming coconut oil on a short-term diet is not harmful, it may not promote weight loss.
You can substitute 2 tbsp. of coconut oil as one fat exchange. However, Mayo Clinic staff members recommend limiting the amount of saturated fats used daily to avoid heart related health issues.
- Photo Credit coconut image by citylights from Fotolia.com
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