How about coconut oil?
A blog in Smithsonian Mag talks about what one Gringo is doing in Ecuador and why it makes health sense. As I read the article I saw so many parallels to Nicaragua -- from the smell of burned vegetable oil near typical fritangas to an ample supply of coconuts.
First, here is the why:
Nordeng first visited Vilcabamba about five years ago. In his early 30s at the time, he was a health aficionado interested in natural healing and cleansing methods. He met a woman here whom he would eventually marry, and he began returning regularly, from his home in Washington State. Nordeng wasn’t infatuated with local cuisine. He found it bland and too greasy, and he also felt sure that refined vegetable oil—a staple component in Ecuadorian pantries—was having negative effects on the nation’s health. Diabetes is a leading killer and crippler of Ecuadorians, and Nordeng blamed the prevalent fried foods. In the interest of maintaining his own health during his sojourns to Ecuador, Nordeng cooked frequently—and he rarely returned from the United States without a few jars of coconut oil, which has shown effective as an antifungal agent, strengthens the immune system and can help the body positively manage its insulin levels—a point relevant to a diabetes-stricken nation like Ecuador.
The rest of the article talks about his production facility, complete with photos. It's small-time and too expensive right now but it's a start. One problem he has is the cost of coconuts. I think we can do better here. And what he has done shows how you can start small with little investment. While you may not replace vegetable oil in the supermarkets, just adding this locally made product helps the local economy and the local health.