Olive oil tops the list of healthy oils you should be cooking with. But coconut oil is a growing culinary star that continues to shine brighter and brighter. But does it really deserve to be so popular?
Here are some facts about how to cook with coconut oil…and whether you should or not.
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What Are The Different Types Of Coconut Oil?
There are three main types of coconut oil that you can use in cooking and baking:
- Virgin coconut oil is extracted from the fruit of fresh mature coconuts without using high temperatures or chemicals. It is considered to be unrefined.
- Refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat that is often chemically bleached and deodorized.
- Partially hydrogenated coconut oil is a processed, and very controversial, variety of coconut oil that is used commercially by some food manufacturers.
Is Coconut Oil Really Good For You?
The health benefits of coconut oil have been in the news for quite some time now, claiming to cure everything from weight loss to Alzheimer’s disease. The truth? There isn’t enough scientific evidence yet to support all of these claims about coconut oil’s potential health benefits.
First, the bad news: The coconut oil that you’ll find on supermarket shelves, whether virgin or refined, is high in saturated fat – higher even than butter. In fact, coconut oil is actually considered to be a solid fat.
One tablespoon of coconut oil contains 117 calories, 13.6g total fat, 11.8g saturated fat, 0.8g monounsaturated fat, and 0.2g polyunsaturated fat.