All things coconut oil: a guide to the uses, benefits and facts of coconut oil

 

Coconut is often lauded for taste, health benefits, and diverse applications.

But…what do you actually know about coconut oil? How is it made? What is virgin versus extra virgin?

Coconut oil is made by pressing fresh coconut meat or dried coconut meat called copra? Virgin coconut oil uses fresh meat, while refined coconut oil typically uses copra.

Coconut oil can be used in/for:

  • cooking and baking
  • beauty and hygiene products like lotion, hair treatment, or toothpaste
  • skin conditions including eczema and dry skin
  • and more!

The sky is the limit here.

A look at its nutritional profile:

1 tablespoon of coconut oil contains:

  • 121 calories
  • 0 g of protein
  • 13.5 g of fat, of which 11.2 g is saturated
  • 0 mg of cholesterol

Coconut oil contains vitamin E. Although, it has no fiber, no cholesterol, no plant sterols, and nominal vitamins or minerals.

Coconut oil is almost 100% fat, mostly saturated fat. Unlike most animal products which are long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil is made of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These are easier for your body to metabolize. [1]

 

Did you know?

The Philippines is the greatest worldwide producer of coconut oil.

 

Coconut Oil Cooking & Baking

Coconut oil has a melting point of 78 degrees F. You can use melted or solid coconut oil. Some recipes specify.

  • Coconut oil can be used for frying, baking, and sautéing.
  • Refined coconut oil doesn’t impart a flavor. Use it if you don’t want any possible coconut flavor.
  • Swap one-for-one with butter or another oil in baked goods
  • Add to your coffee or smoothies
  • Try Jenny’s these recipes with CBD coconut oil. All the coconut oil benefits with CBD!

 

Coconut Oil Benefits

  • According to Science Daily, consuming CBD with high-fat food increases your body’s CBD uptake by about 4x. [2]
  • Research suggests MCTs may help burn calories as much as 5% in 24 hours.
  • MCT fats are easier for your body to break down than animal fats (which are long-chain fatty acids).
  • MCTs are shown to significantly reduce appetite, which may lead to reduced body weight over the long term.
  • You can apply coconut oil to your skin, hair, and teeth. Studies suggest it is an excellent moisturizer for skin and improves oral health.
  • May support the immune system because it contains lauric acid, a type of lipid. Lauric acid has been linked to many health benefits. It may kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi while protecting against various infections. [3]

Coconut Oil Terms to Know

Copra: Dried flesh of coconuts

Virgin, Extra Virgin (used interchangeably): The United States doesn’t have regulation on these terms for coconut oil, unlike olive oil. Virgin or extra virgin coconut oil typically denotes that it isn’t refined coconut oil.

Expeller-pressed—A machine presses the oil from coconut flesh, typically using heat or steam

Cold-pressed—Oil is pressed without heat or at a very low temperature which remains below 120 degrees F. This no-to-low heat extraction is believed to retain more nutrients than the heated expeller pressed.

Refined: The copra is machine-pressed, releasing the oil. The oil is steamed or heated to remove odor and some flavor. It is often filtered through clays to remove impurities.

Sometimes chemical solvents, like hexane, may be used to extract oil from the copra.

Refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point, is flavorless, and odorless.

Partially Hydrogenated: The unsaturated fat in coconut oil, typically up to 20%, is hydrogenated to extend shelf life and help maintain its solid-state above 78 degrees F. However, partially hydrogenated coconut oil contains trans fats- avoid altogether.

 

Coconut Oil Storage

Coconut oil is shelf-stable. Hotter temperatures and exposure to sunlight increase the probability of spoilage. It’s ideal to keep coconut oil in a cool dark place or your refrigerator.

Refined coconut oil generally lasts for a few months. Virgin coconut oil may last for 2-3 years.

So, now that you’re a coconut oil connoisseur, try some CBD coconut oil or CBD coconut oil brownies, perhaps?

 

In hemp and happiness,

 

Jenny

 

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References

1 https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/coconut-oil/

2 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282857#nutrition

3 https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/what-is-lauric-acid

4https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/what-is-lauric-acid

5https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190813130426.htm

6https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil#section11

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