Refined vs Unrefined Coconut Oil
As we are beginning to learn how great coconut oil is for our health and how many great uses this product has, it is important that we distinguish between what are two similar, but in many ways very different products produced from the same fruit. If you are interested in using coconut oil in order to help improve your health you first need to understand the difference between refined vs unrefined coconut oil.
Refined Coconut Oil
Refined coconut oils simply do not provide the same health benefits as unrefined coconut oils; and at their worst can be thoroughly unhealthy. While there are some high quality refined coconut oils, most have gone through a harsh chemical extraction process, followed by a secondary refining process. The refining process often ends up removing many of the healthy nutrients. You particularly want to stay away from any coconut oil that has been hydrogenated as these are full of those bad hydrogenated trans fats and have lost their MCTs.
Some refined coconut oils however are organic and non-hydrogenated and therefore retain the Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) that we know have so many health benefits. These types of oils have usually gone through a bleaching and deodorizing refining process so they will not retain that natural coconut odor and taste. While their fatty acid profile would remain intact, all refined oils do lose many of the vitamins and antioxidants found in unrefined oil. Another thing to keep in mind is that, unrefined coconut oil is often not made from fresh coconuts but rather from dried out coconut kernels.
While non-hydrogenated organic refined coconut oil is one of the best cooking oils you can use, for all other uses the unrefined coconut oil is superior.
Unrefined Coconut Oil
Unrefined coconut oil, also called ‘Virgin’ or ‘Extra Virgin’ is coconut oil that has been extracted through a natural process from fresh coconuts and it therefore retains the natural flavour and scent of fresh coconuts reminiscent of the tropics.
Extra Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil contains no additives and undergoes no secondary refining process allowing it to retain the maximum level of antioxidants and vitamins plus of course those all important MCTs which give this product the unique healing and protective properties that are proving so successful in the treatment of skin conditions, hair care and insulin related diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you want to use the absolute best coconut oil for your health you really want to go for an unrefined, virgin or extra virgin coconut oil that has been extracted through a chemical-free process such as a cold-press. These organic oils are always non-hydrogenated and therefore contain zero trans fats.