Could eating Coconut Oil be helping me tan, not burn? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am puzzling over this. A few times in the past month or so, I've been outdoors under conditions that would have normally led to a mild to moderate sunburn for me. Most recently, on Friday we went to the Y to swim, and I expected to stay inside but we ended up outside... for about 30 minutes in the noon hour, without sunscreen. I would normally get a mild sunburn from that! But it didn't happen... and I asked dh about it, and he said that no, I wasn't burned, just a bit tan. On another day I was outside at a lake for several hours, and initially got a bit red even though I had sunscreen on. I remember thinking oh no, I'm burned- I had gotten a terrible sunburn at the same lake the same time last year. But nope, it quickly turned to a tan.

That got me to thinking. I've been eating 1-3 TBS of coconut oil a day. I have read things about coconut oil, that it is good for your skin. Could this be a factor in me being less prone to burning?

Thoughts?

(btw I still plan to wear sunscreen, though I am somewhat consciously trying to do skin exposures for 10-15 minutes each day for me and the girls... but I just don't want us to burn, we are all fair.)

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#2 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 10:45 AM
 
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Yes! Coconut oil can also be used as a sunscreen. I definitely believe that a diet high in healthy fats can affect our response to the sun. Are you also reducing your omega 6 intake & increasing your omega 3? That's supposed to be a factor also.

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#3 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 11:07 AM
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wow! that is fascinating! I'm very, very fair and burn to a crisp in no time. I wonder if I should start the CO. I just haven't been able to get it down. How do you ladies do it?

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#4 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 11:14 AM
 
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fascinating!

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#5 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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wow! that is fascinating! I'm very, very fair and burn to a crisp in no time. I wonder if I should start the CO. I just haven't been able to get it down. How do you ladies do it?
I go through about 5 gallons in a yr! I cook with it all the time, bake with it & use it for popcorn. We like everything saturated in butter & coconut oil, so no trouble with using it.

Fresh veggies are SO delicious when sauteed in coconut oil with a bit of butter or ghee & a sprinkle of sea salt. The subtle sweetness of the CO + the saltiness makes a delicious flavor. I like using broccoli florets, cauliflower, carrots, snow peas, onions, summer squash & peppers - but you could use anything.

Another way is to shred carrots, celeriac root & rutabagas & saute them in CO & butter (of ghee) with a sprinkle of salt - SO good, especially with runny egg yolks.

For popcorn, I'll use 1/2-3/4 c. of CO + 1/4 c. of butter & a cup or 1.5 c. of kernels. I simmer the CO/butter in a large pot, add the kernels, put the lid on & wait until it's almost done popping & turn off the heat. Then I add loads of sea salt. Soooooo delicious! The high amount of fat helps take the edge off the carbs too.

For baking - well, I have my own made up recipes, but for instance, I make chocolate muffins using ground pumpkin seeds, ground (shredded) coconut, arrowroot, etc - I use 12 oz of coconut oil to make 30 muffins. That's 1.5 cups - quite a bit. They set really well & definitely have a satiating affect.

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#6 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 11:49 AM
 
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Eat Fat, Lose Fat has a lot of coconut oil recipes.

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#7 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 11:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
I go through about 5 gallons in a yr! I cook with it all the time, bake with it & use it for popcorn. We like everything saturated in butter & coconut oil, so no trouble with using it.
Do you buy it in bulk? If so, where?

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#8 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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I started tanning instead of burning as soon as I switched from vegetable oils to healthy oils (including CO, but not 3 T a day). I also use CO as a moisturizer, and it seems to not only prevent burning (unless I am outside a ridiculous amount of time) but also keeps mosquitoes away. The skeeters here feast on the rest of my family, but not me. I can only think it's the CO. Or, maybe I'm just not delicious.

I've read that higher levels of A and D in your diet (which would be better absorbed with good fats, like the CO) can also prevent burning. Vegetable oils, due to their PUFA content, make the skin more likely to burn.

I do take high amounts of fish oil... which I think is partly poly-unsaturated, but maybe the omega 3s make up for it?

I absolutely hate sunscreen and just refuse to wear it. I made a conscious effort, starting in January (I'm way down south) to get some sun every day that I can, so I have a base tan to protect me from burning.

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#9 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 12:13 PM
 
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Do you buy it in bulk? If so, where?
I bought mine at Mountain Rose Herbs - unrefined, organic. It was an awesome price when I bought it - less than $150, including shipping back then. I need to order more in the next few weeks, so I'll be looking around.

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#10 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 12:32 PM
 
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Wow. So interesting. I've been wondering why I seem to be tanning instead of burning this year. I too have increased the amount of good animal fats in my diet. Very cool.
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#11 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 01:08 PM
 
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I hadn't really thought about it, but I haven't burned since I started eating coconut oil either. DD and I are outside all the time, we are both getting a nice tan! Good insight.
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#12 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes- in addition to the CO, I've also greatly reduced my consumption of industrial oils... I do have some limited intake b/c I can't always fix my own food and will occassionally eat a salad that has store-bought dressing or eat *blush* CFA chicken nuggests... but 90-95% of meals I eat don't have industrial oils I'd estimate. I'm also taking 3 tsp fermented cod liver oil each day.

Glad to hear I'm not crazy for making this connection, lol!

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#13 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've read that higher levels of A and D in your diet (which would be better absorbed with good fats, like the CO) can also prevent burning. Vegetable oils, due to their PUFA content, make the skin more likely to burn.
I am estimating/hoping that my A & D intake are quite high... eat eggs fried in butter this morning, put butter on any veggies, and also like I said the CLO.

This is so cool! In my years of terrible sunburns (since childhood) I always ate veg oils, margarine, never butter...

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#14 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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We also have not had burning since we switched to healthy natural fats years ago. I also wanted to add that coconut oil used topically (on your skin) will also help extend your time in the sun.

A couple of article links about it:

http://oreganicthrifty.blogspot.com/...with-real.html

http://www.coconutdiet.com/skin_health.htm (scroll down to sun protection)
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#15 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We also have not had burning since we switched to healthy natural fats years ago. I also wanted to add that coconut oil used topically (on your skin) will also help extend your time in the sun.

A couple of article links about it:

http://oreganicthrifty.blogspot.com/...with-real.html

http://www.coconutdiet.com/skin_health.htm (scroll down to sun protection)
Great articles!!!

I am just continually amazed, like jaw-on-the-floor amazed, by all the positive changes I'm experiencing from changing my diet to include healthy fats, limit/reduce grains/sugar and industrial oils, and adding in good TF stuff... weight-loss, energy, mood, regulation of appetite, and now this skin stuff! I think I'm going to try it on my girls' scalps, they both get scaley skin patches (cradle cap) at times. Now I'm trying to think how to get them to eat it, mostly I've been eating it myself.

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#16 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 03:15 PM
 
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I bought mine at Mountain Rose Herbs - unrefined, organic. It was an awesome price when I bought it - less than $150, including shipping back then. I need to order more in the next few weeks, so I'll be looking around.
I'm looking as well. I just bought some at KWF's on sale for $7.00 for 24 oz....but I'd like to do a buying club or coop for a much larger quantity. Let me know if you find some place.
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#17 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 04:07 PM
 
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Good doses of high vitamin cod liver oil do the same thing.
I am so gald that others are catching on to this. Most people think I am crazy when I mention this side affect to these good oils!
Your risk of skin cancer drps right off as soon as you can combine lost of good sunshine with no burns, without the use of artificial preventions.

SO!!!! Challenge to everyone! Spread the word!
If you blog, write a big post about it. Email, whatever it takes.
Detail everything relevant to this.
And lets see if this can become a sticky!

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#18 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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Great articles!!!

I am just continually amazed, like jaw-on-the-floor amazed, by all the positive changes I'm experiencing from changing my diet to include healthy fats, limit/reduce grains/sugar and industrial oils, and adding in good TF stuff... weight-loss, energy, mood, regulation of appetite, and now this skin stuff! I think I'm going to try it on my girls' scalps, they both get scaley skin patches (cradle cap) at times. Now I'm trying to think how to get them to eat it, mostly I've been eating it myself.
Here is a good recipe for getting your girls to eat it.

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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#19 of 54 Old 05-31-2009, 09:28 PM
 
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I have to ask this, does it have to be unrefined? I am just not a coconut flavor fan unless it is shredded in a cookie or mounds bar. We have refined and unrefined but i almost always use the refined if i am cooking. if i put it on my skin will it be almost like ingesting unrefined? i don't mind the smell, just the taste. i am fair and hate sunscreen, very very rarely wear it.

also, what about EV olive oil? that is what we usually use for everything, all low temp cooking, pancakes, dressings, whatever. or we use butter which is grass fed raw. it is good to know our butter is helping!
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#20 of 54 Old 06-01-2009, 02:15 AM
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I also definitely don't burn as easily after switching to good fats and getting rid of refined, high-PUFA veg. oils (about 7 years ago). I used to burn relatively easily, I'm rather fair skinned, but now I don't burn easily at all, and tan well. It takes over an hour in mid-day sun on skin with no base tan before I get burned, and even then it heals quickly (I try not to let it happen, but tend to lose track of time when I'm gardening or something, in the spring before I have much tan). It's not just CO, I don't eat much of that anymore, I think it's all kinds of saturated fats from quality sources (not sure about monounsaturated) and fat-soluble vitamins that can help skin be more resilient.

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#21 of 54 Old 06-01-2009, 03:21 AM
 
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I am so thrilled with this! I've always fried but have noticed lately that the redness goes away very quickly (within hours or the day). I never got the CO connection, but now I'll be sure to up both mine and my girls' intake.

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#22 of 54 Old 06-01-2009, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I also definitely don't burn as easily after switching to good fats and getting rid of refined, high-PUFA veg. oils (about 7 years ago). I used to burn relatively easily, I'm rather fair skinned, but now I don't burn easily at all, and tan well. It takes over an hour in mid-day sun on skin with no base tan before I get burned, and even then it heals quickly (I try not to let it happen, but tend to lose track of time when I'm gardening or something, in the spring before I have much tan). It's not just CO, I don't eat much of that anymore, I think it's all kinds of saturated fats from quality sources (not sure about monounsaturated) and fat-soluble vitamins that can help skin be more resilient.
Making a big leap here... so maybe this is the way we are *supposed* to be, and eating all the industrial oils and taking good fats out of our diet has triggered the problems that we have and increased the likliehood of skin cancer? Does anyone know the stats of skin cancer 30, 50, 75, 100 years ago, etc?

My dh & I were talking last night, and he was asking me why when he was a younger kid he could spend so much time at the pool without sunscreen and not burn... he's a red-head. But as he got older, he started burning more. He ate a really junky diet as a teen (but was always super skinny until his early 20s) that included chips, Mt. Dew and Twix bars... the latter two would be the first thing he ate around 2:30 when he was in high school (no breakfast, no lunch, just Mt. Dew and Twix bars after school during his after school activity.) I have to think that maybe what he ate earlier wasn't as loaded with industrial oils or was better, but as he got older his food choices caught up with him?

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#23 of 54 Old 06-01-2009, 11:32 AM
 
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I saw the less-burning change just in the past couple months, but for me it's taken almost 2 years since I changed my diet. There's an interesting blog on health matters and a few entries are on polyunsaturated fats in general, and omega-3/omega-6 imbalance in particular. Apparently fats in our bodies have about a 2-year half life, so it can take a while to swap out enough to see an improvement, and I wonder if some of it is dependent on current diet and omega-3 intake. Since I don't eat any seafood and haven't taken CLO myself, just give it to the kids, I'm probably on the slower end of the spectrum.

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/search?q=sunburn

Betsy, he has some citations from older research and other studies on animals.
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#24 of 54 Old 06-01-2009, 11:39 AM
 
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I am noticing this as well! I didn't even think about it until I read this post but then I thought about it, and I am tanning really nicely this summer and haven't had a burn yet. Which is unheard of for me. I also noticed at least two times when I was out at my moms and others were getting eaten up by bugs and I wasn't which is VERY unheard of for me.

Granted I just now got bit by a mosquito but still... Progress...

Subbing to this thread.

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#25 of 54 Old 06-01-2009, 11:48 AM
 
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I have heard many times that sunburns are directly related to the sun reacting with the oils in your body and have always hoped to come across some articles on the topic. It makes sense- if you are consuming oils that have a lower heat tolerance and become dangerously altered when you cook with them, then they would also react negatively when you are "cooking" in the sun. I have heard of many fair skin folks that no longer burn once they upped the clo, co, and butter.
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#26 of 54 Old 06-01-2009, 01:09 PM
 
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Making a big leap here... so maybe this is the way we are *supposed* to be, and eating all the industrial oils and taking good fats out of our diet has triggered the problems that we have and increased the likliehood of skin cancer? Does anyone know the stats of skin cancer 30, 50, 75, 100 years ago, etc?

My dh & I were talking last night, and he was asking me why when he was a younger kid he could spend so much time at the pool without sunscreen and not burn... he's a red-head. But as he got older, he started burning more. He ate a really junky diet as a teen (but was always super skinny until his early 20s) that included chips, Mt. Dew and Twix bars... the latter two would be the first thing he ate around 2:30 when he was in high school (no breakfast, no lunch, just Mt. Dew and Twix bars after school during his after school activity.) I have to think that maybe what he ate earlier wasn't as loaded with industrial oils or was better, but as he got older his food choices caught up with him?
This is exactly what I try to teach others!
I think I am formulating an article for our co-op newsletter now!!!

Paula, wife to Steve, mother hen to 38 , busy doing : TTC after 6
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#27 of 54 Old 06-01-2009, 01:39 PM
 
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Some ladies on here had mentioned this and I experimented these past couple weeks with VCO.
I'm happy to say that both of my children and I are nicely tanned with no burning I used the VCO topically, and I have been using it in my cooking for awhile. Not quite 2 years yet, but we're getting there :

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#28 of 54 Old 06-01-2009, 02:02 PM
 
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Add me to this list! I use to burn really easily. Since switching to really good coconut oil on a daily basis, I tan well, and when I do burn, it doesn't get bad, doesn't peel, and goes away quickly. I have had one minor burn this season, and it was gone the next day. I am out mowing alot, gardening alot, and am not using a ton of sunscreen, so it's GOT to be the CO! :

I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs, and it's around $40 for a gallon. A gallon does last quite a while, though!

Oh, I've also been buying the Oskri coconut bars, too. We eat those (about a half a bar a day or every other day or so), and I know there's TONS of CO in them since my fingers are very oily after touching them, lol.

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#29 of 54 Old 06-01-2009, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I have been using coconut oil for 3 years, on/off, with more off than on... and in increasing amounts over the past 6 months... I've been using butter for years, though... but it's really only been in the past 3 months that I've been serious about reducing/eliminating industrial oils. I have also taken CLO in the past. So I guess I'm quicker to see some improvement... it would be nicer if there would be even more protection over time!

PaulaJo- I'd love to see your article once you write it.

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#30 of 54 Old 06-01-2009, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh! and i tried the coconut fudge recipe... soooo yummy! My 3 yo likes it, but not my 5 yo though. But that's OK, I'm keeping it in the freezer, in small pieces, will be a nice treat for me and the youngest. You really can't eat large pieces though, it will make you feel sick (well, me anyway...)

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Love homeschooling, reading, cooking (most of the time grain-free except for when I'm not ), lactivist, former and wanna-be cloth diaperer and baby-wearer...

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