What is the difference between refined and unrefined coconut oil?
The answer to this question about coconut oil might be of interest to you…
In the nutrition world it could be assumed that the word unrefined automatically means better but this is not always the case… Let us explain why.
Coconut oil is a great substitute for processed vegetable oils. It contains a high concentration of medium chain fatty acids which help fight inflammation. Both refined and unrefined coconut oils have the same nutritional profile and contain the same amount of these fatty acids. Therefore, either are a good option!
Some facts about Coconut Oil:
- It is extracted from the kernel or meat of mature coconuts – a nutrient dense whole-food.
- Because of its fatty acid profile coconut oil is quite resistant to rancidification and can last up to six months at 24 °C without spoiling.
- It is often recommended as a dairy-free cooking alternative to butter.
So what exactly is the difference and how should we use the different types?
Refined or liquid coconut oil has a higher smoke point making it ideal for stir-frying, sautéing and baking. It also usually has a more neutral flavour making it ideal for recipes where a coconut flavour is not needed. It should not be manufactured using harsh chemicals, so just be sure to check that it is steam-refined or cold-pressed to maintain its nutritional profile.
Unrefined or virgin coconut oil, on the other hand, is preferred for low to medium heat cooking especially where you desire the fullest coconut flavour. It is also preferred in recipes likes bliss balls and fat bombs for texture purposes. This type of coconut oil is also great for the hair and skin due to its high levels of phytonutrients and polyphenols. It is often used as a carrier oil for essential oils when making all natural non-toxic cosmetics.
But at the end of the day which oil is best?
Coconut Oil is definitely a healthy option as far as oils go. But there are other oils on the market that are just as healthy. Olive oil is another great option where extensive research has shown time and time again how beneficial this oil can be. Nut oils like avocado and macadamia oil are also healthy alternatives. By incorporating a variety of healthy oils into a balanced diet you will nourish yourself with various fatty acids and nutrients. Our big tip here is once again to aim for variety in your diet even with oils!
Check out some of our recipes below that utilize coconut oils:
The products we have recommended in this post are from Amazon Australia which we will receive a tiny commission for if you wish to purchase using our link.
We also stock a range of Melrose products available for purchase at our Clinic.
Thank you for sharing!