Several readers have asked me this question - okay so we know coconut oil is good for health and we should be using it in some way or another, but how much ? Also what if I eat raw coconut and not coconut oil or maybe coconut milk and not coconut oil? How would I know I have taken a decent amount of coconut oil?
This is indeed a very very relevant and important question. Unfortunately there is no precise scientific answer to this question. By this I mean when you look up for vitamin / mineral dosages, you get exact quality you should be taking them, this is not the case with coconut oil. But there are estimations and as coconut oil is harmless for humans (it is included in the FDA food list which as "generally regarded as safe"), a bit here and there does not make a lot of difference anyways.
Reasoning behind coconut oil daily dosage
There is an interesting observation used to find how much coconut oil is required (required may not be the correct word here, but I am still using it considering coconut as an essential food in our diets) by us on a daily basis. It is based on the MCFAs provided by mother's milk to child. Why this is a good way? because nature has ensured maximum protection for a child through mother's milk. MCFAs play an important part in this protection. Thus, if we can sort of calculate an equivalent volume for adults using thus we would be on safer side. Based on this the value comes out to be 50 gms or 3.5 tbs of coconut oil in a day.
This quantity is assumed to be good enough to protect our body from various health issues. While researchers have not indicated any maximum value for coconut oil consumption, but it is best not to deviate too much from the above figure.
Should you take only coconut oil?
This is the beauty of coconut oil. You need not take coconut oil only in form of oil but you can get the same nourishment by eating raw coconut or drinking coconut milk. not only this, even topical application of coconut oil is included by experts in this. Thus, there are so many ways you can the required quantity of coconut oil. Another question - so how much raw coconut is equal to 3.5 tbs of coconut oil. For that here are some rough figures. 3.5 tbs coconut oil can also be obtained by:
- 200 gms of coconut meat
- Close to 2.5 cups of dried coconuts
- 250 gms of coconut milk
Here are some of my personal favourite ways to include coconut in diet:
- Raw coconut - I just love it. The effort which goes in breaking is absolutely worth it. You also get delicious water to drink with it
- Coconut milk - This is number two as I can add lot of flavours and honey in it to make it taste even better and more nutritious
- Coconut oil in cooking - Using coconut oil in cooking especially the dishes where you will not mind aroma and taste of coconut
One thing to note here is all of the above are pure products, I make my own coconut milk and even own coconut oil in (mostly). Canned products may not have that impact. Further, if you are choosing coconut oil it is better to choose virgin coconut oil and not refined (RBD).
I hope this answers how much coconut oil is just good enough for us. In case of any queries please write to me.