Coconut Oil is well regarded in the fitness industry for its health benefits. It can strengthen your immune system, assist in weight loss and help balance blood sugar levels.
With so many options on the market, how do you choose the right oil?
As the name suggests, refined coconut oil has been through more processes than unrefined.
The refining process is often a way of removing the flavour of the coconut from the oil so it can be a more versatile product.
It often also gives it a higher smoke point. This is great if you plan to cook with coconut oil but it is important you look at the process of refinement.
It is not recommended you opt for oils which have been refined using any kind of chemicals. It is possible to refine coconut oil using heat, friction or a spinning process. These natural methods are much better than chemical refinement.
Unrefined coconut oil is simply raw and is made from fresh, raw, coconut meat. It usually maintains that coconut flavour which some people prefer.
Luckily in this instance, there is no major difference between virgin and extra virgin coconut oil. Unlike olive oil, both kinds are equally beneficial to health.
Cold pressed coconut oil is made specifically from fresh, low temperature, dried out flakes of coconut. It has an even stronger coconut flavour and maintains some of the dried coconut meat flavour too. Cold pressed oil is once again considered raw and retains all the nutrients.
Organic oil isn't necessarily ‘better’ for health. It's a personal and moral choice whether organic coconut oil is your preferred option. Organic oils will have been made from coconuts farmed sustainably and responsibly, with no use of chemicals.
Many companies are now offering a range of different coconut oils so knowing the differences between each is important for next time you stock up.
and to think I thought it only went on hair... I am inspired to try some new recipes now.
I have never understood this hype about coconut oil. It has to be shipped halfway across the world which is environmentally dubious, and rapeseed oil (which we can get from this country) is shown to be just as beneficial for us, and is much cheaper!
I get mine from Costco - huge pot for £17 which lasts months.
thanks, Helen - I'll give it a try with the right ingredients!
I absolutely love coconut oil and use it for lots of things, including hair and skin. I have made stir-fries with it and you can perhaps taste a hint of coconut, but that's quite nice, especially if you're having a spicy thai-style stir-fry!
I have wondered about this, but a bit worried about my stir fry tasting overwhelmingly of coconut. Does that happen?