I’m no stranger to junk food. After enduring years of healthy eating (brown-bag lunches with an oversized, barely washed carrot from my father’s vegetable garden peeking out of the top), I spent about a decade of rebellion indulging in a plethora of processed foods. But the (organic) apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: Despite the occasional foray into junk food, I always feel better when following these healthy eating habits.
From the time I learned to cook—in Italy, the year I turned thirteen—I kept a giant bottle of olive oil next to the stove. I mixed it into salad dressing, tossed vegetables in it before roasting, and used it as a base—adding garlic first, of course—to pretty much everything I sautéed. But that might all be about to change: I recently learned that coconut oil may be a healthier choice for some methods of cooking.