Benefits Of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has become all the rage in recent years, but why is so good and why should you choose it over other oils?? In this article we will go through everything you’ve ever wanted and needed to know about Coconut Oil
What is Coconut Oil
Firstly, let’s establish the different types of coconut oil.
Standard (Refined) Coconut Oil
Strictly speaking, all coconut oils go through a refinement process, virgin coconut oil’s refinement is much less significant.
Most Standard Coconut oil’s start with a base of “Copra”, Copra is the meat of the coconut that had been dried out, usually by a kiln or sunlight. It’s then pressed or dissolved using solvents. It’s then the next stage that makes Standard Coconut Oil the one to avoid, it’s then refined some more, and sometimes bleached and deodorized, producing a coconut oil that has no to little taste or aroma to it.
Virgin Coconut Oil
As soon as you open a tub of Virgin Coconut Oil you are greeted with the lovely scent of fresh coconut, this is a very good sign. Virgin Coconut Oil is commonly made with fresh coconut meat to begin with and dried and pressed later to get the oil, with no bleaching or deodorizing taking place.
There is also a wet milling process which extracts the coconut oil from what is essentially coconut milk and uses heat and a fermentation process to produce the coconut oil. There is several studies to show that this produces the most anti-oxidants and nutrients compared to the other extraction processes.
Quality Scale of Coconut Oil Types
1 to 10 Rating. 1 Being Worst, 10 Being Best
0 – Hydrogenated Coconut Oil
1 – Liquid Coconut Oil
4 – Refined Solvent Extracted Coconut Oil
6 – Refined Physical Coconut Oil
8 – Fresh Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil
9 – Wet Mill with No Heat Treatment Coconut Oil
10 – We Mill heat treated Coconut Oil
Let’s go through some of the many benefits to Coconut Oil, everything below will be regarding Virgin Coconut Oil.
As Coconut Oil is a source of Medium Chain Triglycerides, or MCT as it’s also known, it acts very similar to Carbohydrates to in the body, when MCT’s are sent to the liver it gets converted directly into energy for you to use, making Coconut Oil an ideal Pre workout food inclusion or if you are on a low carb diet and need quick energy from your dietary fat sources.
The saturated fats and the Medium Chain Triglycerides in coconut oil has been shown from studies to reduce total and LDL Cholesterol, oxidized LDL, triglycerides and increased HDL which is the good cholesterol.
Medium Chain Triglycerides which make up the majority of coconut oil has been shown that when replacing calories with MCT’S whilst daily caloric intake was the same and the people were in a deficit, resulted in a small increase of fat loss rate over time. This was more prevalent in overweight people.
Coconut oil has also been known to be used as a beauty and skin care product, ranging from Body scrubs, Hair Conditioner, a body and facial moisturizer to treating sun burn to name a few, it really is a super, versatile product!
In cooking, use Coconut Oil in place of any type of oil or butter you would normally use, whether you’re baking, frying or spreading, use the same amount and in some cases, less coconut oil for a delicious and nutritious alternative to your usual fat sources. You can even use in homemade smoothies and juices to boost up the nutrient profile and also taste of your super drinks!
One of the main benefits to cooking with coconut oil is it’s significantly higher smoking point over the majority of other oils. The smoking point refers to the point an oil reaches where it its fatty acids start to degrade and toxic compounds can also be formed, so the higher the smoking point is, the less chance of this happening whilst you cook with it and the hotter you can get away with cooking the oil without worrying about this happening. Below is a list of Oils and their smoking point.
|Almond oil||216°C||420°F|
|Canola oil (Rapeseed)||Expeller Press||190-232°C||375-450°F|
|Canola oil (Rapeseed)||High Oleic||246°C||475°F|
|Canola oil (Rapeseed)||Refined||204°C||400°F|
|Canola oil (Rapeseed)||Unrefined||107°C||225°F|
|Coconut oil||Dry Expeller Pressed Virgin (Unrefined)||177°C||350°F|
|Coconut oil||Dry Refined||204°C||400°F|
|Ghee (Indian Clarified Butter)||252°C||485°F|
|Grapeseed oil||216°C||420°F|
|Hazelnut oil||221°C||430°F|
|Hemp oil||165°C||330°F|
|Macadamia oil||210°C||413°F|
|Mustard oil||254°C||489°F|
|Olive oil||Extra virgin||160°C||320°F|
|Olive oil, high quality (low acidity)||Extra virgin||207°C||405°F|
|Olive Pomace Oil||238°C||460°F|
|Peanut oil||Unrefined||160°C||320°F|
|Rice bran oil||254°C||490°F|
|Safflower oil||Unrefined||107°C||225°F|
|Safflower oil||Semirefined||160°C||320°F|
|Soybean oil||Unrefined||160°C||320°F|
|Soybean oil||Semirefined||177°C||350°F|
|Sunflower oil||Unrefined||107°C||225°F|
|Sunflower oil||Semirefined||232°C||450°F|
|Sunflower oil, high oleic||Unrefined||160°C||320°F|
|Tallow (Beef)||215°C||420°F|
|Tea seed oil||252°C||485°F|
|Vegetable shortening||182°C||360°F|
|Walnut oil||Unrefined||160°C||320°F|
|Walnut oil||Semirefined||204°C||400°F
Make the swap to coconut oil today and reap the benefits in your health! The delicious fatty acids of Coconut Oil will provide you with a broad spectrum of nutrients so change from the regular Oils and Fat sources you’re used to.