It’s not a secret coconut oil is good for you. A quick Google search will tell you about all its benefits and why you should use it. But do you know what kind you should be using? And when?
There are so many brands of coconut oil out there. It’s important for you to read the label when you’re shopping. I’ve highlighted a few of the key differences below to help you in your ultimate coconut oil quest.
Refined vs. Unrefined
Let’s be clear: all coconut oil is refined in some way. They have to make the oil from those coconuts!
Refined oils don’t have a coconut flavor or aroma. The refining process is what removes the coconut flavor. Refined coconut oils tend to be cheaper and they also have a higher smoke point. The higher smoke point makes refined oils great for cooking at high temperatures. But pay attention to the rest of the label. You don’t want the label to say bleached, deodorized, or hydrogenated.
Unrefined or “raw” coconut oil is pressed from the coconut meat. They haven’t used high-heat to refine the oil so you get more coconut taste. Unrefined oil tends to have the most benefits of coconut oil.
Virgin vs. Extra Virgin
When it comes to coconut oil virgin and extra virgin are the same thing! Virgin and extra virgin oils are both derived from coconut meat and that’s what you want. Either term on the label is a good thing.
Cold-pressed vs. Expeller-pressed
Cold-pressed coconut oil isn’t heated above 120 degrees. The cold-pressed process helps the oil retain its nutritional benefits.
Expeller-pressed is a mechanical extraction process that uses high pressure and high heat. Expeller-pressed oils are also refined.
Oils you want to avoid
If the oil label says hydrogenated or chemically processed, stay away.
Oils you want to buy
If you are cooking above 350 degrees, use organic, virgin, expeller-pressed coconut oil. If you’re using coconut oil in non-heat or low heat situations, use organic, virgin, cold-pressed coconut oil.
I hope this breakdown was helpful! Do you have any other questions about coconut oil?