On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m sharing which coconut oil is best for cooking and eating, based on how it’s made, how it tastes, and the cost.
I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the coconut oil phenomenon, and why you should be consuming it.
If not, check out this post on why it’s listed as one of our fitness superfoods.
The quick answer is no, since there is more than just one type of coconut oil.
So on this edition of Food Wars, I share 4 criteria on how to decide which type of coconut oil is right for you.
Yes, we’re getting back to an old school episode of Food Wars, which is what it was originally intended to be.
This is the segment where I analyze which foods should be in your kitchen, and which foods should be in your garbage.
However, when comparing different types of coconut oil, it’s not a case of one type being bad and another type being healthy.
The best type of coconut oil for you is based on 4 different criteria.
So if you’re wondering if you should you buy cold pressed, virgin, unrefined or refined coconut oil, keep reading.
1. Process: how is the coconut oil produced?
2. Taste: do you like the taste of coconut?
3. Cost: is price a major factor in your selection process?
4. Cooking: how do you intend to use the coconut oil? Are you cooking over high heat?
Let’s get into each of these, in more detail, below.
There are a couple different ways that coconut oil can be produced.
So the first criteria is to look at is how the coconut oil is processed.
In other words, is the coconut oil refined or unrefined?
Refined coconut oil uses higher heat to extract the oil.
This is not necessarily the healthiest way, since higher heat may kill some of the nutrients in the coconut oil.
Unrefined coconut oil can be cold-pressed, meaning it doesn’t use as high of a heating process that is used in refined coconut oil.
Therefore, more of the nutrients in the coconut are still retained in the coconut oil.
Based on processing, unrefined coconut oil retains more nutrients, therefore it is healthier than refined coconut oil.
Let’s move it on to the next criteria, taste.
Due to the heating process of refined coconut oil, deodorizers can be used to remove the coconut flavor.
If you don’t like the taste and flavor of coconut oil, refined coconut oil can be a good thing.
Therefore refined coconut oil is the way to go.
However, if you’re like me, and you love the taste of coconut oil, unrefined coconut oil is the way to go.
Cold pressing doesn’t remove the coconut flavor from the coconut oil, so it tastes like it should taste, like coconuts.
Lets move on to the next criteria, cost.
Even though refined coconut oil goes through many different layers of the refining process, it actually costs less money.
This still confuses me.
Refined coconut oil is going to cost less while unrefined coconut oil is going to be more expensive.
So if cost is an issue, you may want to go with refined, but once again higher quality foods means higher quality nutrients.
In my opinion, unrefined coconut oil is worth those extra few of dollars.
Lets move on to the last one.
When it comes to which cooking oil is best for cooking, refined oil can be used at a higher heat, since it has a higher smoke point than unrefined coconut oil.
Coconut oil smoke points:
If you’re cooking over really high heat, and don’t have access to avocado oil, refined coconut oil is better than unrefined coconut oil.
However, when it comes to most forms of cooking, it’s better to cook over lower heat to maintain most of the nutrients in the food.
These are the 4 different criteria you should keep in mind, when buying coconut oil.
I buy unrefined coconut oil since I love the taste, nutrients, and health benefits of coconut oil.
When it comes to cooking over higher heat, I also prefer to cook with avocado oil.
Therefore, I’m sticking with the unrefined coconut oil.
But if you are on a budget and can’t afford unrefined coconut oil, refined coconut oil is still a healthy option.
That’s it for another episode of Food Wars.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.