Sure you know there are numerous types and variations of oil, canola, olive, vegetable, sunflower; but did you know about coconut oil? Believe it or not, the type of oil you cook with matters, some are much more unhealthy than others! Studies have shown countries with diets rich in coconut actually are less susceptible to diseases that plague the Western countries. In addition to promoting healthy cholesterol levels, clear skin and strong hair, virgin coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid which helps fight viruses and bacteria. Some of you may already be familiar with today's featured brand, Tropical Traditions. But what you may not know if that a regular supplement of Coconut Oil, to your pet's diet can actually benefit it's digestive health, skin, and coat!
The Whole Dog Journal, and Dogs Naturally Magazine, have both recently published articles supporting the use of coconut oil supplements in both canine and feline diets. While coconut oil remains one of the highest saturated fat (content) oils, the high levels of lauric acid also found in this variety has been proven to work especially well as an anti-fungal and antibacterial aid. Interestingly enough, the same MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides) which are known to pack on pounds in humans have been shown to provide much needed energy, and even aid in weight loss with older and obese dogs. This is thanks, in part, to it's unique reaction with your canine's thyroid and a natural boost in metabolic processes. According to Dr.Bruce Fife**, coconut oil improves any dog’s skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions."
I was intrigued when I first came across these articles, and even more interested to learn many of these benefits cross over to felines. But the coconut oil we're discussing, as beneficial for pets, is not the same coconut oil I use to make my famous Sweet and Flaky Coconut Shrimp, or 2 Ingredient Chocolate Magic Shell (great for dipped bananas!) It's quite important you obtain an unprocessed, or Expeller-Pressed, variety of Coconut Oil that is naturally higher in fatty acids and tends to have a more smokey flavor. Virgin Coconut Oil, such as Tropical Traditions Expeller-Pressed, has a melting point of 76F. Though, it's widely known, their true star is their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. Produced from 100% organic coconuts on small family owned farms in the Phillipines, Tropical Traditions provides an authentic top quality product for those looking to do everything from cook healthier to soothe dry skin!
While the company deals in a variety of coconut themed products, and generations of loyal consumers, their true star is this jewel ingredient. We received a 32oz jar of Tropical Traditions Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil for review here on Time Out Truffles. The jar, similar to a large mason, arrived in crystal clear liquid form, though after several days storage at room temperature the product solidified to a milky white substance. While those cooking with the Original Virgin Gold Label Coconut Oil may seek to liquify the entire container for cooking (possible by soaking the jar in warm water for 10 minutes), I prefer to process small amounts as needed. I've found I can place the entire jar in the sill each morning and have a top layer liquified by afternoon. Or, I can take a tablespoon of the solid mixture, and gently melt it in the microwave on LOW.
Did you know that coconut oil has been recommended by vets for soothing dry skin, sores, and flea bites on cats? If you've ever had your pet lick off sunscreen or tanning oil, you likely know that most animals find the fragrance and taste of coconut pleasing. Consult your family's veterinarian or pet specialist for exact suggested servings; though I prefer to give each cat 1/2 tsp mixed in with their wet food, every other day. You'll see in the photos both Truffles and Frankie took interest in the fragrance of oil left on the jar in processing. When I placed a little fingertip before their noses, both were quick to lap it up! I'm ALL for supplemental treatments that go down easy! And, since virgin coconut oil has been known to treat and soothe hairballs, I look forward to a more pleasant shedding season.
**Sourced from July '11 publication of Dogs Naturally Magazine.
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