Cooking with Coconut Oil is very similar to cooking with butter or olive oil. Learn why to use coconut oil, How to use coconut oil, and Where to buy the best coconut oil and one that I use personally.
Why use coconut oil? – Evidence-Based
Just cause everyone else is using it, and you bought it, doesn’t mean you understand WHY it is better for you than other cooking oils.
First, take a look at populations across the globe who eat coconuts and other coconut-based products as a staple in their diet. THEY. ARE. GORGEOUS. On top of that, studies have been done that tout the beneficial properties of coconuts from a scientific standpoint. Just in case staring at beautiful tanned people isn’t enough proof for you.
- Coconut Oil Contains Fatty Acids With Potent Medicinal Properties
Coconut oil is high in fats called medium-chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently than most other fats. These special fats are responsible for a lot of the health benefits of coconut oil (1).
- Populations That Eat a Lot of Coconut Oil Are Healthy
Several populations around the world have thrived for multiple generations eating massive amounts of coconut (2, 3).
- Can Increase Fat Burning
The medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil have been shown to increase calories burned over 24 hours by as much as 5% (4, 5).
- Can Kill Harmful Microorganisms
The fatty acids in coconut oil can kill harmful pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This could potentially help to prevent infections (6, 7).
- Can Reduce Your Hunger, Helping You Eat Less
The fatty acids in coconut oil can significantly reduce appetite, which may lead to reduced body weight over the long term (8, 9, 10).
- The Fatty Acids in Coconuts May Reduce Seizures
The MCTs in coconut oil can increase the blood concentration of ketone bodies, which can help reduce seizures in epileptic children (11, 12, 13).
- Can Raise The Good HDL Cholesterol
A few studies have shown that coconut oil can raise blood levels of HDL cholesterol, which is linked to improved metabolic health and a lower risk of heart disease (14, 15).
- The Fatty Acids in Coconut Oil Can Boost Brain Function in Alzheimer’s Patients
Preliminary studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase blood levels of ketones, supplying energy for the brain cells of Alzheimer’s patients and relieving symptoms (16, 17).
- Can Help You Lose Fat, Especially The Harmful Abdominal Fat
Coconut oil is still high in calories, so you shouldn’t add a ton of it to your diet. But replacing some of your other cooking fats with coconut oil could have a small weight loss benefit (18, 19, 20).
How to use Coconut Oil?
- When to substitute for Coconut Oil
Substitute your existing fat with coconut oil for high-heat cooking, including frying. Coconut Oil has very high saturated fat content (87%) compared, Butter (68%) and Olive Oil (14%). Which makes coconut oil very resistant to heat. Substitute coconut oil at room temperature on a 1-1 ratio for oil or butter.
- What is the smoke point of Coconut Oil
When cooking, it is important to know the smoke point. Unrefined coconut oil smokes around 350°F/176°C, which is similar to butter or lard. More refined coconut oil can reach 450°F/232°C, which is very high. For extreme high-heat cooking, consider cold-pressed Avocado Oil, which has a smoke point of 520°F/270°C (21).
- How to store Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is easy to store and does not require refrigeration. It’s high in saturated fat, and it’s resistant to oxidation. However, I typically melt it and store it in the easy push out ice cube trays.
- Virgin Coconut Oil
Use only virgin coconut oil that has not been processed with chemical solvents. If in doubt, read the label and read the reviews. Virgin implies no solvents were used in the extraction process.
- Refined vs. Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil
Refined Coconut Oil is more processed with a mild coconut flavor and higher smoke point 450°F/232°C. While unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil is less processed with a stronger coconut flavor and lower smoke point 350°F/176°C.
I am pretty picky when it comes to fats like butter, olive oil, and coconut oil. Plus, I am an avid Amazon shopper and take advantage of subscribe and save, auto-deliveries, and save 15% in the process. I also like to research products in-depth and read reviews before buying.
Recipes to Try
For breakfast, try this delicious Egg Strata with Blueberries and Cinnamon or browse all of our recipes and find one the works for you. And don’t forget to substitute coconut oil at room temperature on a 1-1 ratio for oil or butter.