September 2, 2014

Coconut Oil: Which Type Is Best?

pin it button Coconut Oil: Which Type Is Best?

by Doug DiPasquale
that’s fit


It can be confusing when you’re in a health food store looking at all the different types of coconut oil. How do you know which one’s for you? With a little bit of knowledge, it’s actually fairly easy to navigate.

All the coconut oils are named according to their level of refinement. The following is a list of what these designations mean.

Virgin Coconut Oil: If it says “virgin” on the label it means the product has been expeller-pressed from fresh coconut meat (as opposed to coconut meat that has undergone some processing). It can be either quick-dried (most common) or wet-milled (the same method used for extracting coconut milk). The oil is usually lightly heated to remove moisture and then filtered. The end product is coconut oil that still has the smell and taste of coconut.

Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil: This label is actually a bit of a misnomer. There is no industry standard for coconut oil as to what the terms “virgin” and “extra-virgin” mean, unlike with olive oil. Therefore, a coconut oil labelled “extra-virgin” is probably the same as one labelled “virgin.”

Raw Coconut Oil: In the health food community, we’re a bit predisposed to think “raw” is better. In many cases this makes sense, since the less processing a food has gone through, the more of its natural compounds remain intact. With some things, however, raw isn’t necessarily better. This is the case with coconut oil. Because coconut is almost entirely saturated fat (a good thing), it’s completely stable when heated to cooking temperatures. Keeping coconut oil raw offers no advantages over heating it.

Raw foodists may emphasize raw coconut oil for its enzyme content, enzymes being protein molecules that help with digestion. Coconut oil has no enzymes, however. Enzymes work to break down food, so if there were any left in your coconut oil, it would have an extremely short shelf life, deteriorating in quality from the day it was packaged. You don’t want enzymes in any oil product.

Refined Coconut Oil: If it doesn’t say “virgin” or any other designation, the coconut oil is probably refined. Refined coconut oil can be some pretty nasty stuff, so you need to make sure you’re getting a quality product. This is one of many situations where the extra cash put out for organic is essential.

Non-organic coconut oil is often extracted using chemical solvents on kiln-dried or smoked coconut meat. It’s often referred to as RBD coconut oil, standing for “refined, bleached and deoderized.” And, as if this weren’t enough, sometimes coconut oil is hydrogenated, a process that turns what little omega-3 and -6 fats are present in the oil into trans fats.

Since all of these practices are forbidden under organic practices, an organic refined coconut oil is essential. Organic refined coconut oil is usually expeller pressed, heat distilled and then filtered. The final product is a stable cooking oil with a very neutral flavour and smell (not reminiscent of coconut at all).

The Healthy Foodie is Doug DiPasquale, Holistic Nutritionist and trained chef, living in Toronto.

Learn all about the benefits of coconut oil below!

 

Read the full article here: http://www.thatsfit.ca/2011/07/27/coconut-oil-which-type-is-best/

Virgin Coconut Oil:
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Study: Virgin Coconut Oil Reduces Symptoms of Chemo – Improves Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Patients

Study: Virgin Coconut Oil Reduces Symptoms of Chemo – Improves Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Patients

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Once again, research into the health benefits of coconut oil is mainly being done outside of the U.S., primarily in coconut-producing countries. Here in the U.S., only pharmaceutical drugs can make health claims, by law. The FDA regulates all health claims, and only allows pharmaceutical companies that have gone through the lengthy and costly drug approval process to make such claims. No company in the U.S. would spend that kind of money on research for a product found in nature that cannot be patented.

A study just published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease looked at Malaysian women suffering from breast cancer. The study discovered that stage 3 and 4 breast cancer women who supplemented their diet with virgin coconut oil during breast cancer treatment improved fatigue, dyspnea, sleep difficulties, and loss of appetite compared to the control group. Virgin coconut oil consumption during chemotherapy also helped improve the functional status and global Quality Of Life of these breast cancer patients. In addition, it reduced the symptoms related to side effects of chemotherapy.

Using Coconut Oil in Cold Drinks

Using Coconut Oil in Cold Drinks

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Cold drinks are a popular summer staple that coffeehouses and restaurants make a killing off of every year with their ridiculous prices. However, there is little need to buy them. Making most of these drinks at home is easy, not to mention with far more healthy potential when you control what goes into them.

Adding coconut oil to your blended cold drinks is one way to get your daily dose of coconut oil without it being bothersome or boring. Not only that, but the addition of coconut oil will also give your endurance and energy a boost, keeping you going throughout the day or acting as a quick pick me up along with some natural fruit as the day drags on.

Making Coconut Oil Tasteless in Cooking

Making Coconut Oil Tasteless in Cooking

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With the saturated fat myth slowly dying out, coconut oil has quickly risen to be a popular and ideal cooking oil. Coconut oil has a bounty of health benefits and is easily customizable. This versatile nature makes it ideal for many different styles of cooking and dishes.

However, not everyone is a fan of the flavor. Here are some tips on making coconut oil tasteless in cooking.

Users Testify to Coconut Oil “Miracles” on WebMD

Users Testify to Coconut Oil “Miracles” on WebMD

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WebMD is the world’s most visited “health” website. They derive their advertising from the pharmaceutical industry, so they have a pro-Pharma slant, as one can expect. It is not typically the place you would go to find information regarding alternative treatments to FDA approved pharmaceutical drugs. If you are contemplating using prescription drugs, it is a great place to get information about the medical industry’s products. If however you are looking for information on products that are not approved as drugs by the FDA, their information will be highly biased.

Due to the increasing popularity of coconut oil and its healing properties, WebMD now has a listing for coconut oil. It is listed in their vitamin and supplement section, since it is not approved as a drug, and since they generally do not provide any health information about foods.

They give the standard pro-Pharma view of coconut oil, which is that, in their view, there are no approved claims for coconut oil. They also warn people that coconut oil could raise cholesterol levels and could be harmful, even while acknowledging that research actually shows the opposite, since coconut oil traditionally lowers LDL cholesterol while raising HDL cholesterol (a positive thing.) They also warn that if people eat too much coconut oil, since it is fat, that it could lead to weight gain.

Interestingly, WebMD allows users to comment on these entries, presumably in a format where patients can comment on their own experiences with the vast array of drugs listed on their website. Read what users said about the “miraculous” properties of coconut oil in relation to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, weight control, memory, mood swings, energy, dry skin, dental health, stopping seizures and more.

Adding Coconut Oil into Your Fitness Routine

Adding Coconut Oil into Your Fitness Routine

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Fitness junkies, take note: you need coconut oil. Coconut oil straight up, in your protein-rich meals, protein shakes, snacks, pre-workout, post-workout fuel – whatever you choose. Coconut oil can be adapted into your style of eating and seriously enhance the results of the style of fitness you’re into, be it body building, toning, endurance, or general weight and muscle management.

So why add coconut oil into your fitness routine? Coconut oil is a rich source of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), a high-energy fuel that the body uses to prevent muscle loss, but take off body fat. Coconut oil has a lot of these MCTs. Eat it.

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