Type in "benefits coconut oil" on Bing or any search engine and you'll be overwhelmed with all the great things that come from using coconut oil - inside and outside of your body. I'm surprised it took me as long as it did to 'discover' it! If you believe everything the websites claim it'll cure pretty much anything that might ail you, get rid of split ends, keep away sand fleas, moisturize your skin and help you find the love of your life. OK, I stretched it with that last claim...however, it IS highly beneficial.
I started using it a while back when I saw the claim that it helped with weight loss and read a few of the other side benefits. I figured it couldn't hurt.
Now that I've been using it for a while I can't tell you whether it has helped with my weight loss or not. I'm taking cinnamon (supposed to cut belly fat), I don't eat any form of sugar, and have done a number of things that have contributed to weight loss. Although weight loss wasn't my goal when I made most of my dietary changes, I've lost a chunk of much-needed weight.
As I've said before, I found a way of eating that works for me. I feel great, am eating a ton of veggies, am more alert, have cut back on all my tummy problems and, and... oh, shoot, I'm just happy and comfortable with it.
So, back to coconut oil.
My first purchase was a plastic container from Walmart. I chose it based on price thinking that there couldn't be that much difference in one brand to the next. That is definitely not true. It's important to learn a little and buy good quality if you expect to get good quality results.
I expected it to smell like coconuts - the one I bought at Walmart didn't. Ditto the one I picked up from Kroger (or maybe Publix). I've since discovered that if it doesn't smell, then it doesn't have the beneficial things that the 'good' stuff does.
Now I buy it at the Dekalb Famers Market. They package it themselves and it has the right smell. Fresh Market has recently opened a store here so I'll probably check out their offerings in the near future. I'm not sure if this is something where buying organic would make that much difference. I plan to research organic vs non-organic.
I was keeping it in the refrigerator initially. I've learned you don't need to keep it in there. I wondered as it gets hard as a rock in the fridge! I had to take a good knife to dig out what I needed when cooking. Turns out it is resistant to rancidity, so leaving it out at room temperature works just fine.
It's heat stable so it's great for cooking almost anything. You can bake with it, too. I'd suggest you go roaming the Internet to find some good recipes if you're into baking.
It does have a slight flavor, but I don't find it objectionable. I've learned that I don't need to use as much and that cuts back on the little bit of flavor in most cases.
Regarding weight loss:
http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html Weight Loss: Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.
About the Benefits of Coconut Oil | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5072908_benefits-coconut-oil.html#ixzz1ITek6Nk4
Weight Loss: Coconut oil accelerates the body's metabolism by relieving stress on the pancreas. Coconut oil contains healthy saturated fats that prevent foods from becoming incompletely digested, which in turn aids enzyme and thyroid function. Naturopathic doctor Bruce Fife states that by substituting coconut oil for other oils in recipes, individuals end up eating less because the beneficial fats in coconut oil naturally make people feel fuller sooner than if they had ingested other dietary oils. The coconut diet is not necessarily a "diet" because instead of limiting or restricting the dieter's food intake, it replaces the widely used refined fats with coconut oil to incorporate a lifelong weight reduction plan that is based on the healthier coconut oil fat.