Which Is Better for Cooking Oil: Coconut or Olive Oil?

cooking-with-oilFor such a long time, coconut oil has all the glory the health world could ever give. This exotic oil has become extremely popular because of its potential benefits on atherosclerosis, aging, and energy, all of which have been supported by numerous scientific studies.

These benefits attributed to the high medium-chain triglyceride or MCT’s content of coconut oil. Medium chain triglycerides are fatty acids that are easier to use as energy by the body rather than stored fat. Therefore, it helps control insulin triggers. Also, coconut oil has a very high saturated fatty acid, lauric acid, which is also present in breast milk. This has been seen to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial effects.

Coconut oil has so many health benefits, which include improving digestion, immunity against disease and infections, hair care and skin care. This kind of oil is not just available in Asia, where there are so many coconut plantations, but also it is used in the United Kingdom and in the United states.

Because of so much attention that coconut oil has been receiving, the olive oil has been somewhat less popular, even if it’s long enjoyed the title as the healthiest oil.

But when it comes to eating a hearty diet, olive oil is really your best buddy. It has a delicious taste and loaded with good-for-the-heart fats. It may even help in your fight against dangerous belly bugs.

On the other hand, olive oil has unrivalled health benefits. Studies add more to the list every day. Indeed, the world is still trying to understand more about the numerous ways olive oil can improve our lives, especially with our health. Olive oil is the keystone of the Mediterranean diet, which is an important foundation for the longest-living traditions in the world.

But, there is another way that this health panacea can make people’s lives much better. The best part is you do not even have to eat it. A recent American Journal of Nutrition study suggests that simply smelling it helps you lose weight.

Coconut Vs. Olive Oil

In some measure, oil is oil, and all oils are more or less comprised of fat, a blend of saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. They contain about the same amount of calories. The only difference that coconut oil and olive oil have is the types of their fat contents.

Coconut oil predominantly consists of more than 90% saturated fats along with a small number of unsaturated fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. But, you do not have to panic because it’s not alarming as it sounds. In addition, virgin coconut oil is no different.

Also, present in coconut oil is caproic, capric, caprylic and myristic acids. Coconut oil contains Gallic acid or phenolic acid. These polyphenols give the distinct taste and fragrance of coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil is an abundant source of these.

On the contrary, olive oil is mainly monounsaturated fats, about 72%. The remaining per 28% is evenly shared by saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. This oil is composed primarily of triacylglycerols and contains tiny amounts glycerol, free fatty acids (FFA), sterols, flavor compounds, and pigments.

Triacylglycerols are the key energy reserve for both plants and animals. Scientifically speaking, these are molecules developed from the natural esterification of 3 fatty acid molecules with a molecule of glycerol. The glycerol molecule can simply be identified as an “E-Shaped molecule,” with the fats, akin to longish hydrocarbon chains. In the case of olive oil, these vary from approximately 14 to 24 carbon atoms in length.

Because these oils have different compositions, they have different smoking points, health benefits, and best possible cooking uses.

Is the Saturated Fat in Coconut Oil Healthy For Us?

The concept that saturated fat is completely detrimental to our health is to some extent misleading. It does not give the entire picture. Both lauric acid and medium-chain triglycerides (MTCs), the saturated fats that are particularly present in coconut oil, belong to the healthy spectrum.

Medium-chain triglycerides are fats that human bodies can instantly use as fuel rather than converting them into fat tissue. In coconut oil, the MCTS are also believed to decrease the levels of LDL blood while possibly increasing the levels of HDL blood.

Furthermore, lauric acid comprises 50 percent of the coconut oil’s saturated fats. This is exceptionally valuable for the immune system. It has been acknowledged to have substantial anti-fungal and antiviral properties. This makes lauric acid an excellent food for the digestive health.

Coconut oil is an excellent source of both vitamins E and K, even if both vitamin potencies are recognized to be roughly a hundred times greater in olive oil.

Is the Monounsaturated Fat in Olive Oil Healthy for Us?

While, MCTs and lauric acid are the best reasons for coconut oil’s greatness, the monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFAs fire up olive oil’s health benefits.

The MUFAs in olive oil facilitate decrease the dominance of LDL in our blood. Moreover, it has been discovered that this type of monounsaturated fats protects one against cardiovascular disease. MUFAs have compelling anti-inflammatory properties throughout various biological mechanisms. Combining olive oil with turmeric makes a very powerful anti-inflammatory recipe.

Which One is Best For Cooking?

The best way to distinguish which oil is the best for cooking all goes down to its smoking point.
Why is this factor very important to consider? Once the oil reaches its smoking point, it begins to burn, which leads to a huge loss of the useful and valuable properties usually provided by the oil.

In addition, burnt oil manufactures free radicals, which a number of researches determined as carcinogenic or something that cause the development of cancer cell.

The coconut oil’s saturated fat content is much higher than olive oil. The smoking point of coconut oil is 350° F, while 280° F for olive oil.

For that reason, if you are planning to cook your food at a high temperature like baking, frying, and sautéing, then it’s better for you to use coconut oil. Olive oil, on the other hand, is best for light cooking, mixing, dressing a dish and emulsifying.

Overall, Which is The Best Oil?

Coconut oil and Olive oil are in a constant battle for the healthiest oil of the world award. After all, both deserve a spot in your pantry. Use the oil that will best serve your plan and purpose. This is such a smart idea that can help you get all the health benefits of coconut oil and olive oil while adding variety to your food’s flavor.