Written by: Brandi Monasco
Coconut oil is a very versatile oil that can be used for cooking, improving your health and even helping your skin and hair. Coconut oil contains antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
Using coconut oil provides many health benefits such as improving your digestion, giving you a quick energy boost and even providing weight loss benefits. With coconut oil being so versatile, it also works as a skin moisturizer and hair conditioner.
When it comes to choosing the right coconut oil to use, it can be a little confusing. You see label after label of different brands of coconut oil all claiming to do the same thing, but which coconut oil should you really choose?
Here’s how to decode those annoying little labels on coconut oil:
Virgin – When you see a coconut oil jar that’s labeled as “virgin,” this means that the coconut oil is the real deal. This is coconut oil that has not been processed or refined in any way. Virgin coconut oil is made from the meat of mature coconuts, which gives you the good, fatty oil that your body needs. You will typically see virgin coconut oil labeled as “unrefined.”
Extra Virgin – Extra virgin coconut oil is actually the same thing as “virgin” coconut oil. There is nothing different between virgin and extra virgin oils. Adding the “extra” part is a marketing tactic.
Refined – When we hear the word “refined,” it processes in your head as “bad for you” and having added ingredients. But when it comes to “refined” coconut oil, it’s actually quite the opposite.
Coconut oil being described as refined doesn’t necessarily mean that there are unhealthy additives in the oil. In fact, while refined coconut oil is bleached and deodorized, referring to “refined” coconut oil only means that a filtering processes was done in order to remove impurities from the oil.
The filtering process that takes place does not alter the fatty acid profile of the coconut oil, meaning that while this type of coconut may taste a little bland and have no odor, they fatty acid chains are still kept intact and you will still get the benefits of virgin coconut oil.
Organic – If you see a jar of coconut oil labeled as “organic” (the jar will have the “USDA Organic” label), it means that the coconuts that were used to to make the oil were grown without pesticides.
Buying Coconut Oil
When you decide to purchase coconut oil, you may be overwhelmed by the different brands and types that are available. You might be tempted, if not persuaded, to purchase the more expensive brand. However, just because it is more expensive does not necessarily mean that it is the best brand.
When purchasing coconut oil, keep these tips in mind:
1. The color of coconut is always white when it is solid and colorless when it is liquid. If you see any discoloration, this might mean the quality is inferior or that there could be contamination.
2. The aroma of virgin, unrefined coconut oil should smell like coconut and taste like coconut, but it should not be too strong or overpowering.
3. Coconut oil may be pricey depending on which brand and store you go to, but remember that price doesn’t necessarily mean quality.
Do you already have a favorite coconut oil brand that you use? Please feel free to share with us in the comments below!
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