Posted: 13 December 2017
You’ve heard of the numerous health benefits of coconut oil and you’re ready to get on board and finally purchase some.
But, when you get to the supermarket, you become completely overwhelmed by all of the choices.
And it’s no wonder why–the secret about coconut oil is out and demand for it has gone up in recent years. This means that more brands of coconut oil are on the market, trying to keep for your purchase.
So how can you tell which is the best coconut oil?
In this guide, we’ll go over how to spot the best coconut oil so you don’t have to hesitate next time you’re at the supermarket!
Understand the Different Types
Coconut oil is coconut oil is coconut oil, right?
Wrong. There are actually several different types of coconut oil, and depending on your needs, you may want to opt for one type over the other. Let’s go over the different kinds.
Virgin Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil is usually the one most health junkies reach for, as it is definitely the purest out of all the forms.
Many consider this the best coconut oil because it is extracted right from the meat of the coconut.
But depending on your taste buds, you may either love or hate this variety of coconut oil.
Because no chemicals are involved in the extraction process, it has a very, shall we say, coconut-y flavor?
If you like the taste and smell of coconut and want the purest stuff out there, then this variety is for you. If you can’t handle the taste/smell, you may want to opt for something else.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Ok, since virgin coconut oil is the purest form of coconut oil, then that must mean extra virgin is like the purest form on steroids, right?
Here’s where marketing companies may be trying to fool you. Extra virgin coconut oil is actually no different than virgin coconut oil. That’s right, it’s the same exact thing.
So don’t fall into the trap of paying extra when you can buy the same thing for less!
Refined Coconut Oil
For many health nuts out there, words like “refined” and “processed” are the enemy.
But, when it comes to choosing the best coconut oil, refined isn’t always that bad.
You see, as long as the oil was extracted non-chemically (also known as expeller processed), then you’re safe. There are no harmful chemicals added to this kind of coconut oil.
Refined coconut oil is great for anyone who finds the unrefined versions to be too potent. It can be especially great for those who have sensitive allergies as well.
Or, if you are looking for a more subtle flavor of coconut oil to add to your dishes, you could also opt for Nuton MCT Oil.
Liquid Coconut Oil
Liquid coconut oil is especially popular among those who like to use their oil for aromatherapy purposes. This is because even at room temperature, it stays in a liquid form.
However, it is one the less natural coconut oil options. This is because it is fractionated to get to its liquid form. Basically, its fatty acids have been removed via steam distillation and hydrolysis.
The issue is that during this process, the coconut oil is stripped of some of its essential properties, one of which is lauric acid. Lauric acid is a very healthy fat that plays a crucial role in a lot of the benefits of coconut oil (i.e., fighting acne, fighting infection, aiding in weight loss).
RBD Coconut Oil
RBD stands for “Refined,” “Bleached,” and “Deodorized.” And you guessed it, it’s the worst form of coconut oil out there for you.
Similar to refined oil, this oil is void of the coconut-y flavor. However, you won’t be getting all the benefits of coconut oil. And, even worse, you’ll be putting unnatural substances in your body. It’s fine in a pinch but try to stick to the more natural options when you can.
Read the Labels
Ok, now that you have an understanding of the different kinds of coconut oil, it’s time for the next step: understanding the label.
There are some keywords that you’ll see popping up on labels, and knowing the differences is important for choosing the best coconut oil. Here’s what they are
Organic Vs. Non-Organic
“All natural.” “Made with organic products.” “Made with all-natural ingredients.” There are a variety of ways companies try to trick us into thinking their products are healthier by including misleading food labels.
So how do you really know if the coconut oil you’re choosing is 100 percent organic? You have to look for the green and white label that says “USDA Organic.”
But wait, what does organic really even mean?
Organic means the product was grown without the use of pesticides. Choosing pesticide-free is important, so make sure to look for this little symbol on the label.
Refined Vs. Unrefined
We touched on this a little bit earlier, but let’s make sure you fully understand.
The refined coconut oil is the oil with less flavor. It is definitely more processed than unrefined coconut oil.
However, as we touched on earlier, there are different methods of refinement. For the best coconut oil, it’s important to look for one that has been refined using only chemical-free methods.
With unrefined coconut oil, you don’t have to worry about any chemicals being added. This coconut oil is also sometimes labeled as “raw” coconut oil.
Cold Pressed Vs. Expeller Pressed
Another thing to be aware of on the label is whether the coconut oil is cold-pressed or expeller pressed.
Cold-pressed means it was made from dried coconut flakes and no heat was used in the process. Cold-pressed is often the best option for those who live in particularly warm climates, as you don’t have to worry about the oil melting as easily.
Expeller pressed uses a significant amount of heat through a mechanical extraction process. It’s great for cooking because it tends to have less of a coconut-y taste to it.
Which one you choose will depend on your personal preference and what you intend to use it for.
Choosing the Best Coconut Oil
Now that you’re a pro at understanding and choosing the best coconut oil, it’s time to hit the supermarket and figure out your favorite brand.
And for more tips on living healthy and improving your lifestyle, be sure to check out our blog.