Coconut oil: How to choose the best for you in 2021
Today we are going to talk about a versatile food that is good for your health and body: coconut oil.
Extracted from coconut, this oil fell in popular taste for its benefits for the immune system and weight loss, in addition to acting as a natural cosmetic for skin and hair.
Size is its success as nowadays there are different types of coconut oil. Therefore, we will show in this article what you should take into account before buying the ideal.
First, the most important
- Coconut oil can be used as a nutritional supplement, in the preparation of meals and snacks and in aesthetics.
- But, even with many health benefits, this oil should not be consumed in excess, not by everyone.
- We will show you what are the characteristics that differentiate one product from another and how to choose the ideal coconut oil.
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Ranking: The 5 best coconut oil options
Anyone looking for a coconut oil supplement is looking to its health benefits, good shape and aesthetics. Knowing this, manufacturers increasingly invest in differentiated products.
Therefore, below, we will present you the best coconut oil options available on the market.
At first glance, it doesn’t seem difficult to choose the best coconut oil. But as it is a fatty food, caution is needed in the use and choice of the correct product.
So we created this Buying Guide with all the information you will need to make the best decision when buying your coconut oil.
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is a type of vegetable oil that is extracted from the pulp of coconuts by the pressing process.
This oil is basically composed of saturated fats, which represents approximately 90% of its composition.
And even if saturated fat is proven to be harmful to our body, in the case of coconut oil it is presented in the form of medium chain triglycerides (TCM).
This means that the saturated fats of coconut oil are metabolized by our body more quickly, generating energy and preventing its accumulation in the form of fat.
Although the benefits of coconut oil are still controversial, this food has become famous for strengthening immunity, increasing satiety and improving skin and hair health.
Typically, coconut oil is found in a liquid state at room temperature. However, it is solid and white when placed at low temperatures.
As we will see soon, in these states it is widely used in meals and aesthetics.
But, nowadays, its use in the form of food supplement in capsules is more and more popular.
What are the main nutrients in coconut oil?
As we have seen, coconut oil is essentially composed of fats and mostly saturated fats, which are basically formed by fatty acids.
The saturated fatty acids present in coconut oil are: lauric, caprylic, capric, capric, miristic, palmitic and stearic.
Coconut fat has the highest concentration of lauric acid among all vegetable fats.
And this acid is the same fatty acid present in breast milk and in the body and has the power to fight numerous infections.
In addition, in natural coconut oil you can also find unsaturated fatty acids, which are good fats for health, divided into polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.
Polyunsaturated fat is rich in essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6, which are not produced by the body, but must be consumed constantly.
This type of fat helps in reducing and controlling blood cholesterol levels.
Coconut oil contains TCM-type saturated fats that do not accumulate in the body, in addition to those that are good for your health.
Monounsaturated fat, in turn, is even better for fighting cholesterol, as it only reduces the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood.
But in addition to fats, coconut oil also contains vitamins in its composition.
Below is the basic composition of nutrients contained in 15 grams of coconut oil:
* Source: United States Department of Agriculture table
To give you an idea, the recommended amount of saturated fats to be consumed daily is 22 grams, for people who consume 2,000 calories per day.
In a portion of 15 grams of coconut oil, as we saw in the table, there are 12.97 grams of saturated fat, which corresponds to 59% of the recommended daily value.
What are the benefits of coconut oil?
Experts say that coconut oil, although composed of saturated fats of the TCM type, is less harmful than other sources of saturated fat.
The fact is that it is precisely the type of fat present in this oil that confers most of its benefits to our health. Check out the main ones below:
Helps you lose weight
According to studies, people who consume coconut oil have a greater oxidation of fats than those who follow diets with common oils.
This is because when the fat is broken it is used as energy and is not accumulated in the body.
In addition, coconut oil helps to speed up metabolism. That’s because lauric acid, one of the TCM present in the oil, makes cells work faster, consuming more calories and favoring weight loss.
Researchers at Columbia University and the Obesity Research Center in New York, USA, found that the TCM of coconut oil activates hormones linked to the feeling of satiety.
That is, when consuming coconut oil for breakfast, for example, the tendency is that the amount of food eaten in the following meals is less.
Fatty foods such as coconut oil aid digestion, as fat mixes with the bolus and feces, facilitating its passage through the digestive system.
In addition, the lauric acid present in the oil and its antibacterial properties eliminate bad bacteria from the intestine, favoring the intestinal flora.
Lauric acid and capric acid, two of the TCM of coconut oil, are effective against fungi, viruses, bacteria and diseases.
In addition, coconut oil also indirectly contributes to immunity by improving the work of the intestine, eliminating bad bacteria.
Good for skin, hair and nails
Studies show that consumption of coconut oil improves skin elasticity.
In addition, the antioxidants in this food help fight free radicals, which cause premature aging.
In addition to benefiting the skin, coconut oil is also widely used as a moisturizer for hair, increasing its shine and softness.
The Society of Cardiology (SBC) states that the lauric acid present in coconut oil has the potential to increase good cholesterol, HDL.
The downside is that it can also raise LDL, which is considered a bad cholesterol.
What is the recommended amount of coconut oil?
Experts recommend that you consume a daily dose of 15 grams of coconut oil, or a tablespoon.
But if consumption is in the form of capsules, supplementation with coconut oil is usually between 2 to 4 capsules of 1g per day, which should be taken before main meals.
However, before starting supplementation with coconut oil capsules it is essential that you consult a doctor or nutritionist.
Coconut oil: how to consume?
Coconut oil can be consumed in liquid and pasty form, in food preparation or as an aesthetic treatment. And it can still be taken in the form of pills.
As we have seen, in its liquid version, coconut oil can change its shape to become solid and whitish.
This is because coconut oil is a saturated fat and with climate change, usually below 25 ° C, it solidifies.
For it to become liquid again, just place it in an environment with a warmer temperature or heat it in a water bath.
Even being subjected to high temperatures, coconut oil does not form toxic substances and still preserves its antioxidant properties.
Therefore, you can use coconut oil in salads, yogurts, juices and vitamins, in addition to hot dishes and in the preparation of cakes and pies.
Here are some tips on how to use coconut oil for cooking:
- Coconut oil can be used up to 178ºC, which is its smoke point. However, the healthiest thing is for you to use it for quick preparations.
- It can be used in cakes and breads, as a substitute for butter and other fats, and even in place of eggs.
- You can add a portion of coconut oil daily to your meals.
- It can be added to coffee to obtain a more creamy drink.
- It can be used to prepare pancakes for breakfast or snack.
- You can exchange butter for coconut oil in cookie recipes, for example.
How to use coconut oil as a cosmetic?
In addition to being a health benefit when consumed with meals, coconut oil also acts as a natural cosmetic.
For hair it works as a powerful moisturizer. You just need to apply coconut oil to dry hair and let it act for at least 15 minutes before washing it.
You can also massage the scalp with oil to prevent hair loss and strengthen the roots.
For the skin, the hydration made with coconut oil helps to keep the skin soft.
You can put pure coconut oil on your skin or mix it with your favorite moisturizer. In addition, this oil can also be used as a makeup remover.
But it is possible to further expand the performance of coconut oil in our body. Check out:
- Cleans and moisturizes the skin
- Removes makeup
- Acts as a natural deodorant
- Fits body scrub
- Protects lips
- For men, coconut oil can also be used as a shaving cream and aftershave
- It is useful for softening cuticles, strengthening nails and treating fungal infections.
What are the contraindications of coconut oil?
As long as it is consumed in moderate amounts, coconut oil will only benefit you.
But, as we have seen, ingesting excess coconut oil is as bad as any other oil. In addition, not all people can or should start supplementing with coconut oil.
Check below who should not use coconut oil, unless under medical guidance:
- Who has cardiovascular problems
- Who takes anticoagulant
- Who has high cholesterol
- Who has metabolic syndrome
- Who has liver problem and / or cirrhosis
What are the risks of excessive consumption of coconut oil?
If you ingest more than the recommended amount of coconut oil, your health could be seriously impaired.
After all, excessive consumption of fats can not only lead to an increase in body weight, but also contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease, with the increase in cholesterol.
In addition, excessive consumption of coconut oil is bad for the intestine and can cause diarrhea, nausea and cramps.
Excessive use of coconut oil can cause side effects and even increase cholesterol, which leads to cardiovascular disease.
Other side effects of consuming coconut oil can include allergy reactions, such as itching, redness, or swelling of the skin.
Therefore, the ideal is to follow your doctor’s recommendation or not exceed 15g of coconut oil daily.
What are the advantages of coconut oil?
As we have seen so far, there are several advantages of coconut oil. Whether in its fresh form or in tablets, this food acts to strengthen the immune system, promotes satiety and ensures energy.
In addition, coconut oil has an antioxidant action, decreasing the production of free radicals; and it also helps in reducing bad cholesterol (LDL).
That is, coconut oil contributes to the prevention and treatment of brain and cardiovascular diseases.
Another advantage is that coconut oil regulates intestinal function and further stimulates the function of the thyroid gland.
Coconut oil also acts as a natural cosmetic, which can be applied directly to the skin and hair.
In addition to moisturizing the skin and containing no free radicals, coconut oil can also help prevent wrinkles.
Not to mention that nowadays you can consume it as you wish, in its natural form or in capsules.
On the other hand, the disadvantage of coconut oil is that, if consumed in excess, it can lead to an increase in cholesterol, risk of cardiovascular disease and weight gain.
The following are the main advantages and disadvantages of coconut oil:
- Strengthens immune system
- Prevents cardiovascular and brain diseases
- Promotes satiety
- Help in the process of losing weight
- Prevents constipation
- Controls cholesterol
- Natural cosmetics for skin and hair
- Contains no free radicals
- Variety of forms of consumption
- Too much can be harmful to health
- May have side effects
- Not all people should consume
The price of coconut oil varies depending on the manufacturer brand, the form of consumption, the composition and quantity. In general, you will find coconut oil costing between R $ 10 and R $ 350.
You do not need to buy the most expensive of all. The ideal is that you find a product with guaranteed quality and in the exact quantity for your consumption.
Where to buy?
You will find coconut oil for sale in pharmacies, health food stores, department stores and hypermarkets.
But we recommend that you make your purchase at online stores such as Amazon.
With this, you not only guarantee more options to choose from, but also purchase coconut oil from the comfort of your home.
Purchasing criteria: What to consider before choosing coconut oil
After consulting your doctor and knowing the dose you should consume, it is time to choose the best coconut oil among the various options on the market.
To make the ideal choice you need to understand what differentiates one product from another.
Therefore, we have listed for you the factors that should be considered before buying coconut oil:
In the following, we will explain each of these factors in detail so that you make the best decision and invest in the best coconut oil.
The first factor that you should note before making your purchase is the type of coconut oil. Nowadays, you will find two types: refined and virgin.
Virgin coconut oil (also called extra virgin) is purer and can only be extracted from fresh coconut meat.
Due to its extraction process, it does not lose nutrients. To identify it, just observe the aroma, texture, color and flavor.
That’s because virgin coconut oil should have a mild coconut flavor and aroma and its color should be transparent when liquid or white when solid.
In addition, if the words “virgin”, “extra virgin”, “pure” or “natural” are not written on the product label, then it means that coconut oil is of the refined type.
The refined type is obtained through the dry coconut, through a refining process, which modifies the natural characteristics of the food.
The result is a less effective coconut oil, as part of its properties are lost in the process.
Refined coconut oil, despite having less beneficial health properties, is more recommended for cooking food.
As we have already seen in this article, it is normal for virgin coconut oil to change its condition due to the temperature, which can become liquid or solid.
But, if this state variation does not occur it means that the product has had its properties changed and, therefore, it is a refined oil.
However, refined coconut oil is recommended for culinary uses, as its smoke point can reach high temperatures and it has no flavor.
Here are the main differences between the two types of coconut oil:
In addition to these two types of coconut oil, you can also opt for organic coconut oil.
That is, the one who did not receive any type of pesticide in his cultivation. It is more a guarantee that the product is 100% free of chemical compounds.
Another factor that you must take into account has to do with the process of obtaining coconut oil.
The best method for obtaining the oil, to preserve all its properties, is cold extraction (or pressing).
Cold pressed coconut oil is the most common on the market. Due to the extraction process at low temperatures, the flavor, aroma, color and nutrients present in the oil are maintained.
The best coconut oil is cold pressed, since at the time of extraction its properties are maintained by the low temperature.
But you can also find coconut oil that is extracted with mechanical pressure, which uses high temperatures during the process.
However, as we have seen, at high temperatures coconut oil can lose its properties so beneficial to health.
Next, assess the best way to ingest coconut oil for you.
Coconut oil can be sold in liquid form and in capsules, as a supplement. In the first case, as we have seen, it is used more in the preparation of meals.
But if you choose the capsules, it is important to consult a specialist to know the ideal dose of consumption and avoid the excess that can cause health problems.
Still rare and, in general, with less nutrients than the fresh version, there is also coconut oil powder.
Another option is to buy coconut oil in the form of spray, which is ideal for seasoning food or greasing pans.
It is important that you also check the composition of the product, as there are variations depending on the manufacturer brand.
Ideally, coconut oil should be 100% plant-based and without the addition of other nutrients. In addition, the best on the market are gluten free.
However, you can also opt for coconut oil combined with other substances. For example, with safflower oil, which is a natural supplement that promotes metabolic acceleration.
Finally, we recommend that you evaluate the amount of coconut oil before making the purchase.
If you choose capsule food, you will find bottles that offer between 30 and 120 tablets.
In the fresh (liquid) version, you can choose bottles containing between 15ml and 10 liters of coconut oil.
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