What Is Refined Coconut Oil?
The majority of coconut oils found in grocery stores are refined coconut oils. Coconut oil is generally refined to ensure it contains no harmful bacteria; some producers of coconuts dry their coconut meat or “copra” in the open air or store their coconuts in insanitary conditions, which can lead to dangerous bacteria build up. When coconut oil is refined it is processed in a way that removes any impurities and harmful bacteria that the coconut may contain. During processing, most refined coconut oil is bleached and deodorized, which not only removes all impurities in it, but also removes its coconut flavor and scent. Processing also unfortunately removes some of the natural beneficial health properties of the coconut oil. Some refined coconut oils are hydrogenated, which often ends up making the coconut oil unhealthy, as the short and medium chain healthy fatty acids are replaced by unhealthy long chain fatty acids. However, some refined coconut oil is processed using the expeller pressed or cold pressed technique, which helps them retain much of their natural beneficial properties. Expeller pressed or cold pressed refined coconut oil does not contain the natural health benefits that unrefined coconut oil does, but its close.
Refined Vs. Unrefined Coconut Oil
Refined or unrefined coconut oil, which is better? It depends on what it is being used for. Unrefined coconut oil has more beneficial properties than refined coconut oil does; however, refined coconut oil has a longer shelf life than unrefined coconut oil does, and it has a higher smoke point than unrefined coconut oil does. The smoke point of refined coconut oil is 450 degrees F, while the smoke point of unrefined oil is 350 degrees F; cooking oils become unhealthy and unsafe to use once they reach their smoke point and should be thrown out. For those who do not like the taste or smell of coconut, refined oil is better for cooking as it is tasteless and odorless; unrefined oil leaves a light coconut taste and smell in the food when it is used in cooking. What contains more health benefits, refined or unrefined coconut oil? For those using coconut oil for its health benefits, unrefined oil is a much better choice than refined oil is; refined coconut oils still retain some healthy benefits, but they are much less than that found in unrefined coconut oils. For those on a tight budget, refined oil is better than unrefined oil is, as refined coconut oil is far less expensive than unrefined coconut oil is.
Refined Coconut Oil Benefits
Refined oil does not contain as many beneficial health properties as unrefined oil does, but it still contains some and is generally a healthy cooking oil to use. However, refined coconut oil that is hydrogenated, is generally not a healthy cooking oil, for when it undergoes the processing procedure that hydrogenates it, its healthy medium chain fatty acids are removed and replaced with unhealthy long chain fatty acids that can lead to heart disease and other serious health conditions. Refined coconut oil that is not hydrogenated contains Lauric, Capric and Caprylic acids and vitamins, and nutrients like vitamin K and E and iron. Refined coconut oil helps to boost the body’s immune system and helps to fight diseases like diabetes, HIV, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Crohn's disease and many more. It also helps the thyroid and heart stay healthy and functioning properly. Refined coconut oil helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, increases metabolism and increases energy levels. Refined coconut oil is not a healthy as unrefined coconut oil is; however, assuming it is not hydrogenated, it is one of the best and healthiest refined cooking oils that people can use. One of the very best refined coconut oils on the market is Tropical Traditions Organic Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil. Unlike most refined coconut oils, it is expeller pressed so it retains as much of its natural healthy benefits as possible. It is also organic so it does not contain harmful pesticides. Tropical Traditions Organic Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil is the best of both worlds, due to it being organic and expeller pressed it has more health benefits than the average refined coconut oil does, but due to being refined it does not have the coconut taste or scent so it is better for cooking. Tropical Traditions Organic Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil is less expensive, has a longer shelf life, and has a higher smoke point than unrefined coconut oil. Tropical Traditions Organic Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil is available in a convenient one gallon tub, and can be purchased at some health food stores, grocery stores and online at places like Amazon.