How to choose the best coconut oil
We all know about the health benefits of coconut oil. It is one of the essential oils and can yield significant benefits if added to your daily diet. Coconut oil is also known for boosting up the energy levels of the body. Due to significant benefits of this oil, there are many varieties of it available in the market. It is extremely critical to choose the right type of coconut oil that best suits your needs. In doing so, it is very important to get the basics of this oil right.
Coconut oil is cholesterol and Trans fat free oil which is generally non hydrogenated. I(t comprises of a medium chain of fatty acids which get broken down by our body. This is why it is considered as quick source of energy. The best part about this oil is that it does not turn into unhealthy compounds upon heating at high temperatures. This oil can also be used for cooking purposes.
There are two types of coconut oils, refined and unrefined. The refined version is generally taste and aroma less. It is extracted from dried copra which is a non fresh coconut. It passes through various stages of bleaching and deodorization which is why it is not recommended. The unsaturated variant is also known as extra virgin oil in the USA. It contains the taste and aroma of fresh coconuts. In the unrefined category also, it is recommended to buy it in organic or raw form.
As far as pricing is concerned, refined oil goes through various processing levels at high heat which kills the healthy nutrients. This is why this oil cheaper than the unrefined counterpart however paying extra for the unrefined oil is worth the benefits.
Now that we have come to know that you need to choose unrefined over refined, there are certain things you should keep in mind. Most of the coconut oils available in the supermarkets are generally refined unless specifically mentioned on their label. While most of the refined coconut oil companies use chemical based processing, some use natural and chemical free cleansing process which makes it more beneficial. The flavour of the unrefined coconut oil can vary depending upon how it is extracted from the coconut. Heating at high temperature makes the coconut flavour more intense. An actually raw and unrefined version of coconut oil will have a very mild coconut fragrance.
Coconut oils are also differentiated based upon their method of processing. Two most common methods of processing are cold pressed and expeller pressed. Most companies market their oil as cold pressed which means that heat was not used during the processing. While this is a good thing, don’t be bluffed to pay extra for it as heat has very little effect on the oil. On the other hand expeller pressed oil use a mechanical extraction process which involves significant amount of heat. Expeller pressed processing method does not leave the oil in its virgin form however is preffered by many people because it takes away the aroma and taste of the coconut.
Now let us talk about where to buy it from. The small packaging of coconut oil available in the grocery stores are generally quite expensive therefore if you wish to save some money, go for bulk buying. Since the oil has a handsome shelf life (generally more than 6 months), you can buy anywhere between 1-5 gallons. Before buying the larger quantity, buy a really small one to check that you are okay with the smell and taste. You do not want to end up with 5 gallons of oil that does smell or taste good to you.
The above mentioned information is not exhaustive and buying the right product for you will depend on your tastes and preferences more than anything else. It is only meant for assisting you in buying right.