When it comes to coconut oils, you really do want quality over quantity. Deciphering the label can be the first step in choosing the highest quality coconut oil, which in turn will have the highest amount of health benefits.
Here are the three main things you need to look for on the label of your coconut oil.
This is key, which is why it’s first. Having an UNrefined coconut oil means it has not been heated or bleached in the extraction process. Why is that important? Often times, when coconut oil is refined it can be hydrogenated or caused damage to the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These uniquely composed fatty acids are what provides the coconut oil it’s “superfood” benefits – including easing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Unrefined coconut oils will be bright white and have a light coconut smell and flavor. When cooking, it can be taken to temperatures of up to 375 degrees.
According to LiveStrong.com, there is a difference between cold-pressed and expeller processed coconut oil.
New processing methods allow the separation of coconut oil from the raw coconut meat at low temperatures. Cold pressing extracts milk from the shredded raw coconut at temperatures below 60 Degrees C. The extracted coconut milk stands in a fermentation tank for one or two days to allow separation. The high-fat coconut cream rises to the top, leaving behind the coconut protein and water. Poured off the top, the cream becomes virgin coconut oil. Traditional coconut oil resulted from boiling the coconut cream and gave the oil a roasted flavor.
Expelling with an efficient mechanical press increases the oil yield. Friction and pressure could cause the temperatures in the press to rise to 99 Degrees C. even when using no external heat source. Higher temperatures cause some loss of volatile aromatics and nutrients but increase the yield of oil. Using a process called Direct Micro Expelling, yields approach 90 percent of the total oil in the meat. Even hand operated DME presses generate high yields from mechanically shredded and fast-dried coconut meat. Five hundred coconuts yield about 50l of oil by this method.
By using cold-pressed processes, the coconut oil maintains the flavor and highest nutritional benefits.
I put this last for a reason. It is important to get an organic coconut oil, especially since coconuts cannot be harvested in the US. It’s a way to ensure environmentally and human friendly practices are in place. But it’s third on the list because you CAN have an organic REFINED coconut oil. It’s something a lot of consumers don’t realize. We just read organic and associate it with the best pick, when that’s not always the case.
So now that you’re armed with the knowledge, enjoy the best unrefined, cold-pressed, organic coconut oil on the market!