Everything you need to know about Coconut Oil

Author: ANCP   Date Posted:22 April 2014 

Have you ever wanted to use an oil that was actually good for you? An oil that you could fry in and not worry about the negative impact heat would have on the oil? What about an oil that you could use not only for eating, but for just about everything, everyday? You should consider coconut oil!

But what is coconut oil and why is everyone touting its health benefits?

Coconut oil is the oil from the meat of a mature coconut. It’s high in saturated fat, coming in at around 90% saturated fat and 10% unsaturated fat (a mixture of both poly and mono unsaturated). However, although it's high in calories like other oils,  unlike other highly saturated fats, coconut oil is very unique. Coconut oil is composed almost completely of metabolism-boosting medium chain triglycerides, which make it very heat stable and a great source of energy.

What types of coconut oil are there?

Coconut oil comes in a variety of types but the main ones are refined and unrefined. Refined oils are typically cleaned of any impurities and can withstand a higher heat. They don’t normally have a coconut flavour and are OK alternatives if you’re on a tight budget. Unrefined oils are typically marketed as “virgin” or “extra-virgin”, which basically means that the oil is made from the first pressing, leaving it little handled and little changed. They are normally made without the use of added deodorising chemicals and can have anything from a mild to an intense coconut flavour.

How do I use coconut oil?

Coconut oil has so many uses, it is a great versatile item to have in your pantry. It can be used much like any other cooking oil, but it has the added benefit of being very heat stable so can be used safely at all cooking temperatures. When solid it can be used as a butter substitute, or used to make dips, spreads, cakes, desserts and more.

It’s not just for cooking though! Coconut oil is also a great moisturiser for both your hair and skin. It can also be used as insect repellent; toothpaste; deodorant; baby lotion and much more! It can even be used on wounds to help promote healing and avoid infection.

Storing coconut oil

Able to be stored for 12 months at room temperature, coconut oil is easy to keep. Above 25C expect it to stay liquid, below 25C and it will be solid. This oil, with all its benefit and uses in and outside the kitchen, should be a part of every pantry, including yours!