Coconut oil is hands down the latest organic craze. The oil from this seemingly boring tropical fruit has managed to captivate vegans, nutritionists, organic product lovers, the fashion conscious and even some doctors. Coconut oil has numerous benefits.
Namely, it’s considered a healthier alternative to animal fat for cooking, and is popular as a skin and hair moisturizer. Some people even go as far as to claim that coconut oil can burn fat, get rid of cholesterol and even cure Alzheimer’s. While most such claimed are exaggerated, there are undoubtedly beneficial effects of coconut oil.
Coconut oil comes from the white flesh inside the hard, brown nut of the tropical fruit. The oil is made by pressing the dried flesh until the fats are separated. Coconut oil has been a staple of cuisine and hair care in Asia for centuries.
Best Coconut Oils
Traditionally, coconut oil is made at home where the oil is allowed to separate naturally. Nowadays, cooking coconut oil is hydrogenated to lower its melting point. Hydrogenated oils are considered unhealthy for consumption, as it can lead to arterial buildup. If you are buying coconut oil, buy organic or unrefined.
When you are shopping for coconut oil, you may notice that some labels say “raw coconut oil” and “virgin coconut oil.” Virgin coconut oils can mean different things depending on the manufacturer. For some labels, virgin means unrefined coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil may be exposed to minimal amounts of heat during the processing.
Raw coconut oil generally refers to products that go through as little amount of processing as possible. When buying, choose a product that is as unrefined as possible. Here are some good brands you can rely on:
Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil
Nutiva coconut oil is unrefined and not hydrogenated at all. The liquid has a silky feel and smells just like the real tropical fruit. The virgin oil is made from cold pressed coconut meat.
The formula the brand uses is USDA approved to be organic.
This oil is best used for skin and hair care. Shampoo and dry hair and then apply some Nutiva oil onto the scalp to restore moisture.
Coconut oil can prevent your scalp from drying out and flaking. If you have dry or frizzy hair, applying this oil will make it more manageable.Nutiva coconut oil is also great for moisturizing skin, especially the hard, dry skin on elbows and heels.
Viva Labs Fine Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
This virgin coconut oil is made from cold pressed fruit as well. This product is certified organic. It’s completely kosher and is also gluten-free (this product does not contain any flour).
The product label says that is coconut oil is free of trans fat, hexanes and particles.
This oil is rich in triglycerides just as the oil contained in the natural fruit.
This coconut oil is perfect for cooking. You can substitute this oil for butter, or use it for frying. This coconut oil is made to retain natural freshness without losing the good ingredients to a harsh processing procedure.
Nature’s Way Virgin Coconut Oil
This organically made and minimally processed coconut oil is rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and essential acids.
This oil can be a far healthier alternative to cooking grease, lard and animal fats used in your kitchen.
Use this as a dietary supplement to make your overall diet healthier. You can spread this on bread or use it when baking cakes, cookies and pastries instead of butter.
Keep in mind that consuming coconut oil in addition to other fats does not make you healthier. Substitute other fats with this coconut oil to enjoy delicious but healthier meals.
Carrington Farms Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
This is another cold pressed virgin coconut oil product that is exposed to only light amounts of heat. This is a high-quality product that you can trust to use for cooking or personal care.
The oil is quite unrefined so it contains most of the original natural ingredients that will make your diet healthier.
It retains the slight yellow color of the natural oil and captivating authentic fragrance.
The coconut oil has a minimal taste so it’s excellent for baking. This oil can be used as an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum jelly as a skin protectant.
Island Fresh Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
This cold-pressed coconut oil is made without using any heat at all. The oil is made using traditional methods people in tropical countries have used for generations.
It does not go through a harsh refining process, so the oil is healthy and retains its natural nutrients.
This oil is rich and healthy so it will be quite a delicious dietary supplement.
It has a gentle natural fragrance, so you can use it as a hair oil or a hair masque without any issues.
Conclusion: Coconut oil is only healthy in its unrefined or organic forms. Do not purchase refined coconut oil as it contains no health benefits that are usually associated with coconut oil. Refined coconut oil is also smelly and is not suitable for skin or hair care. Choose the best coconut oils like the ones mentioned above to enjoy the enormous health benefits of coconut oil.