Our guide on how to choose a coconut oil from our large range, 10 easy ways to add coconut oil to your diet and the many benefits of coconut oil.
1. The Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has been badly rated in the past because it contains saturated fat but data over the last few years has shown that saturated fats are harmless. Indeed the fat of coconut oil is pretty unique in that it contains one of the highest sources of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA), notably lauric, capric and caprylic acid which have anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti viral and anti inflammatory properties.
The uses and claimed health benefits of coconut oil are many. It has been claimed to lower cholesterol, help with weight loss, kidney problems, lower blood pressure, help diabetes, HIV, cancer, lower the risk of heart disease and have therapeutic effects on epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. Being naturally anti viral and anti fungal it has been shown to be a very natural source for fighting infections and treating things like candida. It’s also wonderful for skin and hair, naturally treating conditions and also offering protection and maximum emollient effects.
As ever here at the RealFoodSource we don’t make health claims about our products and encourage customers to do their own research, good books for researching coconut oil include “Coconut Cures” by Bruce Fife and “Coconut Oil, Discover the Key to Vibrant Health” by Siegfried Gursche.
2. Which Coconut Oil in our Range is Best for You?
Here are the RealFoodSource we have a wide range of coconut oil and we understand it can be a bit of a search trying to work out the best one for you! We offer our standard cold pressed, whole kernel and wet milled or centrifuge extracted oils in our range. We also source a few other oils from around the world from time to time as well as Eco Tubs that are packed at source (in the country it comes from) to keep the price of the oil as low as we possible can for maximum value for our customers. This means you can save a little on a great quality oil and the local company it comes from makes a little more too. We give you a quick overview of the different ones below to help you choose. We have also put together great value packs here where you can buy our different oils together for you to choose your favourite.
A note on the difference between virgin and extra virgin coconut oils, there is none! Unlike olive oil, there are not first and second pressings etc, there are simply virgin coconut oils of varying quality. Due to the high number of queries we now label our coconut oils as extra virgin to avoid customers confusing virgin and extra virgin with a difference in quality.
2.1 How It Is Made – Cold Pressed, Wet Milled or Deodorised Coconut Oil?
2.1.1 Cold Pressed Oils
These are currently our best selling oils. By cold pressing the oil is extracted from dried coconuts and the white meat is made to pass through a cold process expeller at controlled temperatures. The oil is then filtered which results in a crystal clear coconut oil that retains the distinct scent and taste of coconuts. Laboratory tests show that these are very high quality oils, with the lauric acid contact being around 50%.
Our oil is cold pressed unless it say’s otherwise in it’s title (eg. if it is a Wet Milled Oil rather than Cold Pressed it will be labelled “Wet Milled”).
2.1.2 Wet Milled Centrifuge Extracted Oils
These are new oils to our range which are growing in popularity as customers learn more about the quality of oil produced from wet milling or centrifuge extraction of coconut oil. Wet milled coconut oil is produced from wet coconuts in much the same way as cream is made from milk. The fresh coconuts are shelled and passed through a cold press to obtain the coconut milk which is spun at high speeds and separated from the water so that the oil can be collected from the top. It means that the oil is produced very quickly from the freshly picked coconuts, quite often in less than 12 hours with very minimal heat so that the nutrients remain as close to the what is found in the actual coconut.
The resulting oil has a very mild and delicate flavour and pure white colour. If you are looking for a stronger flavour you will most likely prefer the cold pressed oils in our range.
Wet milled oils are more niche in the UK with the majority of mainstream coconut oil being cold pressed. However, we think centrifuging is a great extraction method that produces the purest oils which is why we have added them to our range.
Our Wet Milled Oils all have “Wet Milled” in their title.
2.1.3 Deodorised Coconut Oil
The majority of cheap coconut oil on the market today has been deodorised or processed in some way. While we would always recommend our virgin coconut oil for maximum coconut nutrients we understand that customers do not always like the smell of coconut oil or don’t want the smell of coconut in their recipes and therefore we also offer our organic deodorised coconut oil in our range. This oil is also significantly cheaper than our other oils.
2.2 What Part of the Coconut Makes the Oil – Whole Kernel or Regular Coconut Oil?
Most coconut oil is made from peeled coconuts. It means that the thin brown skin which covers the white nut flesh inside is simply peeled off and thrown away. Analysis of the peel shows a wide range of natural secondary plant substances like natural tocopherols (Vitamin E), phytosterols and other protective antioxidants are detected, which are mainly located in the peel. VCO made from the whole kernel maximises all these natural ingredients in a natural balance in the oil. In a secondary effect the whole kernel coconut oil is considered by many to have a better natural taste and smell, as well a long shelf life due to the complete natural composition of protective agents.
Pressed with the brown skin, the resulting coconut oil is not as white as the oil pressed from peeled coconut meat but will have an about ten times higher oxidative stability (BHT-equivalent) which is caused by its high content of phenolic antioxidants. The result is an increasing durability of the oil (fat) and a more heat-stable behaviour during frying, baking and deep-frying.
We recommend whole kernel oil for cooking at high temperatures. We also recommend as the most protective oil for hair and skin or when you are looking for the nutrients that are found in the coconut’s brown skin.
Our Whole Kernel oils all have “Whole Kernel” in their title.
2.3 Country of Origin?
Our standard cold pressed, wet milled and whole kernel oil are all sourced from the Philippines or Sri Lanka. From time to time we source oils from other locations when there are harvests or we work with a small local producer to showcase their oil.
2.4 What is an Eco Tub?
We have been working hard over the last few year to offer the best quality organic coconut oils at the best prices. To do this we have had some coconut oil packed at source in economy HDPE tubs to keep the price low. This means the local company (in Sri Lanka) makes a little more and you the customer saves a bit on a great quality oil. The tubs are not the quality of our standard oils, we have done this to provide a cold pressed oil at the very best price directly from Sri Lanka. If you don’t mind about the quality of the tub this offer a great value choice.
2.5 Finally Glass Jars of Plastic Tubs?
The easy one and no doubt the one you have already decided on! Some people prefer to avoid plastic so we sell most of our oils in glass jars too. However, note that most of our plastic tubs are HDPE. Some people prefer plastic, for example if they store in the shower room or to avoid broken jars. Although glass could be seen to be more environmentally friendly we find that by shipping online we have to use a lot of packaging to protect the oil so we actually think our plastic tubs are more earth friendly, especially if you can reuse and recycle the tub.
3. How To Add To Your Diet In 10 Easy Ways
We started to use coconut oil 5 years ago and have found a whole host of easy ways to add it to your diet which we share below:
1. The simplest method, find the oil you like and scoop it straight from the tub/jar!
2. Add a scoop or two to your smoothie for an extra creamy texture.
3. Add a tablespoon or two to our gluten free porridge blend (or if you want a creamier porridge try our coconut milk powder with 65% oil content, you’ll get a lovely creamy dairy free porridge and the coconut oil too)
4. Leave beside the cooker and make it your new go-to oil for frying, we make everything from classic thai stir fries to cooking eggs and flipping pancakes with it (see here). If you go for a milder flavoured oil you won’t even taste the coconut!
6. If you can’t be bothered baking try just making some raw breakfast bars or slices that don’t even need to go in the oven. See our recipe section or check out these Hemp Protein Bars.
7. Add in chocolate or fruit mouses. Try this Chocolate Mousse which packs a punch.
8. Make your own chocolate. Combine with our nut pastes and sugar to make your own Dairy Free White Chocolate here.
9. Give the new craze a go and make a bullet proof coffee! Bullet proof coffee is made by mixing your coffee with unsalted butter and coconut oil in a blender the way the south americans do it. Gives a great boost to the start of your day. Our recipe to follow on our blog very soon!
10. Just use our coconut milk powder with 60% oil content for fudge making, dairy free milk drinks or baking, the list is endless, download our free recipe ebook that shows you all the uses for this versatile powder here.