Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Buy Coconut Oil - Things You Need to Know by Laura Ng

When buying coconut oil, you want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck, and more importantly, get the right type to serve your needs.

Which Type of Coconut Oil Best Fits Your Needs

There are basically 4 different types:

1. Hydrogenated

2. Fractionated

3. RBD (refined, bleached and deodorized)

4. Virgin

Unless you're using it as a varnish coating to protect your home furniture or any other things except using it as food or on your skin, never buy hydrogenated coconut oil. Coconut oil undergoing hydrogenation can harm your health and cause irreversible damages. So first thing when you buy coconut oil, pick up the bottle and scrutinize its label and every single word including the fine prints. Make sure it shows no hydrogenation.

People normally buy fractionated coconut oil for skin care or as carrier oil for essential oils for massage. You can eat it too but not advisable. It won't give you as much health benefits as compared to consuming virgin coconut oil because fractionated oil contains almost entirely of both caprylic and capric fatty acids only. The health-promoting lauric acid is removed for other uses.

As for RBD type, people buy it only because they don't want the natural coconut scent emitted from virgin oil to overpower the food they cook, or they simply don't like the smell. RBD bears almost no flavor and odor. But it's almost as nutritious as virgin oil, provided you get the pure RBD oil that never undergoes any hydrogenation.

Here comes the best quality - virgin. This oil is extracted without the use of chemical and high temperature, and retains its full nutritional values in its most natural form. Hence, it gives you the most health benefits of all coconut oil types.

What about extra-virgin coconut oil? Unlike olive oil, coconut oil doesn't come with any official classification. Hence, 'extra-virgin' means exactly the same as 'virgin' in terms of coconut oil.

Price Determines Quality

Virgin type generally costs more than any other coconut oil types due to its full oil-based nutritional values. There are some (in the name of "100% pure coconut oil" or "virgin coconut oil") from India selling at very low prices (few bucks only). This belongs to refined oil (aka cochin oil) which emits a slight smoky smell. When you pour it out onto a transparent container, it shows yellowish or slightly gray in color. Most people in India use it for hair care. I rub it on my skin and it leaves a slight sticky and dirty feel.

Anyway, when you want to eat coconut oil for health benefits, choose only virgin oil. Best, buy organic virgin quality. It costs 10 - 20 times more than that so-called cochin oil, but it's worth the money spent as far as your health is concerned.

Buy Small Quantity of Coconut Oil

My first bottle of virgin oil didn't come in small bottles, so I bought the big bottle. It tasted awful yet expensive. But I didn't want to waste it so I use it on my skin instead of eating while trying out other brands.

So my advice for you is, choose those brands that come with different sizes so that you can choose the smallest bottle for first trial with a new brand. It costs slightly more comparing to buying big bottle, but it gives you peace of mind. Also, in case this is not the type of coconut oil you like, you can still finish it off quickly and try another brand.

Once you locked on to the brand you love, you can start buying coconut oil in gallons for long-term health benefits and usage, so that you don't have to keep replenishing your inventory and save more money in the long run.

These are the 3 key points to take note when you buy coconut oil. Follow them and you'll soon get the one that suits your needs the best, and provide the most health benefits for you.