Coconut oil - the classic go-to for hair, skin, food, tanning - just about everything. The benefits of coconut oil are widely known and we are not here to diss the coconut. We love it! Instead, we are here to compare, reflect and explore the health benefits of both - coconut oil and olive oil. We have done a similar thing in the past, you can read about our olive oil and avocado oil comparison here!
Many celebrities advertised that coconut oil burns fat, prevents heart disease and helps fight off dementia. Sounds great, but only about 30% of nutrition experts agreed. Still, coconut oil is very popular in keto and paleo diets, but so is olive oil, so which one should you use?
About Coconut Oil
The reason coconut oil is so popular with the keto and paleo diets is because it is 100% fat. The saturated fat gives it its firm texture at cold temperatures. The fat in the coconut oil is made from small molecules aka fatty acids divided into several types:
- Lauric acid
- Myristic acid
- Palmitic acid
No cholesterol, no fiber and only small traces of vitamins and minerals are present in the coconut oil.
- Coconut oil comes from the fruit of the coconut palm
- The oil of the nut has medicinal benefits
- There is no industry standard for what virgin coconut oil is, usually it means it is unprocessed, has not been bleached or deodorized
Coconut Oil Vs Olive Oil: Cosmetics
Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which is a fantastic moisturiser and antibacterial compound. Some studies showed that lauric acid decreased acne and acne inflammation, however, those studies mostly used animal skin for testing, and we know animal and human skin are not alike.
Coconut oil has all these acid’s we mentioned earlier and works as an anti-inflammatory that strengthens the skin’s barrier repair function. Palmitic acid creates a great protective layer in the winter - so yes, coconut oil is beneficial for your skin. However, never use it as sunscreen!
Some people use coconut oil for dental hygiene. This practice is called coconut oil “pulling.” This practice has not been scientifically researched thoroughly. A study in 2008, however, showed that swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes reduced the presence of streptococcus mutans, which contribute to tooth decay.
Olive oil is a source of squalene which reduces trans-epidermal water loss and restores skin’s flexibility. Olive oils also contain hydroxytyrosol but this rare compound is only found in the highest concentrations of the best olive oils. Hydroxytyrosol acts as an anti-inflammatory.
People living in ancient Egypt and Greece maybe didn’t have access to the best health care but they did have access to unadulterated extra virgin olive oil. They were aware of the natural anti-ageing benefits of olive oil many people are not aware of today. Maybe olive oil was Kleopatra’s seduction secret.
Olive oil also works as a tan enhancer, however, you need to be smart about it.
Coconut Oil Vs Olive Oil: Nutrition
This is the saturated to monounsaturated to polyunsaturated fat ratio for olive oil:
- Saturated fat: 13.8%.
- Monounsaturated fat: 73%
- Polyunsaturated fat: around 10% or less
For coconut oil, the fat profile looks like this:
- Saturated fat: 87 %
- Monounsaturated fat: 6%
- Polyunsaturated fat: 1-2 %
Is It Better to Cook With Coconut Oil or Olive Oil?
It is better to cook with olive oil. Coconut oil contains about six times the amount of saturated fat of olive oil. This can lead to the increased levels of cholesterol and raise the risk of heart disease.
Olive oil is the star of the healthiest diet in the world - the Mediterranean diet.
Compared to a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of coconut oil contains about six times the amount of saturated fat, nearly meeting the daily limit of about 13 grams that should be consumed.
“Between the two, olive oil is a better choice, since monounsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on your heart when eaten in moderation and when used to replace saturated and trans fats in your diet,” said Annessa Chumbley, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the A.H.A.
Olive oil vs coconut oil smoke point:
˝Every oil and fat source has a smoke point. This is a temperature, under which, the oil will begin emitting a bluish smoke. It's not the smoke that is bad, however. The dangerous part is oxidation.
When a compound oxidises, it reacts with the oxygen in the atmosphere. This produces free radicals, highly reactive chemicals that can harm you down to the molecular level. You want to avoid free radicals as much as you can.
They are the primary cause of cell ageing and they've even been associated with causing cancer. A high smoke point means that you can safely heat an oil without producing oxidation.˝
Coconut oil Refined, dry 204 °C 400 °F
Coconut oil Unrefined, dry expeller pressed, virgin 177 °C 350 °F
Olive oil Refined 199–243 °C 390–470 °F
Olive oil Virgin 210 °C 410 °F
Olive oil Extra virgin, low acidity, high quality 207 °C 405 °F
Olive oil Extra virgin 190 °C 374 °F
Olive oil Extra virgin 160 °C 320 °F
Coconut Oil Vs Olive Oil: The Bottom Line
- Coconut oil is great in the winter skin, good for your teeth and does wonders for your hair.
- Olive oil is better for cooking, anti-aging and a golden tan.
We suggest using both, but for different things. No one ever said you can’t use both, but it’s best to know which oil is best for what.
Fun facts !
- Fossil evidence indicates the olive tree had its origins 20–40 million years ago in the Oligocene, in what is now corresponding to Italy and the eastern Mediterranean Basin. Wild oleasters were present and collected in the East Mediterranean since ~19,000 BP
- Never put olive oil on a steak before grilling! Putting olive oil on a steak will cause it to flare up and your steak will taste like sh*t. Instead, when the steak is done, drizzle some good olive oil with fresh black pepper and a pinch of salt
- Olive tree can live up to 2000 years
- Olive oil is a juice, technically, because it is pressed from a fruit - olives. Yes, olives are considered fruit.
We can’t promise you coconut oil, but we can promise you fresh content and real olive oil.
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