One of the biggest misconceptions I see in the health world is that unrefined automatically equals better. This isn't always the case, especially with coconut oil. The refined vs. unrefined coconut oil debate has raged on for decades, with unrefined coconut oil usually winning the battle. However, I choose refined coconut oil every time and here are three reasons why:
3 Reasons I Use Refined Coconut Oil
1. It's All in the Fat
Coconut oil's benefits are due to one important factor: its fatty acid composition. Coconut oil contains a high concentration of medium-chain saturated fatty acids like lauric acid. These fight inflammation caused by unstable polyunsaturated fatty acids, are easily digested, and put up one powerful fight against pathogens like bacteria, viruses and fungal infections.
So here's the question: does unrefined coconut oil have a better fatty acid composition than refined coconut oil? The answer is no. They are essentially the same. So if you're looking for the benefits of coconut oil's fatty acids, you'll still find them in the refined oil.
2. The Taste is More Practical
Don't get me wrong: I really dig the occasional coconut macaroon or coconut cream pudding. But I don't want coconut flavor invading my scrambled eggs, fresh popcorn or homemade chicken broth. And neither does the rest of my family. We tend to eat more coconut oil when it's refined and flavorless, because it's so much easier to blend into any kind of dish.
If you love coconut-flavored anything, then this probably isn't a big deal. But if you're like me, refined coconut oil simply fits into your life more seamlessly.
3. It's Better for Sensitive Digestion and Allergies
Digestive issues and allergies are some of the most common health problems invading our society today. For this reason, unrefined coconut oil can be irritating to sensitive individuals, because it contains a lot of potentially allergenic compounds. In refined oil, these have been completely removed, which is why it is odorless and flavorless.
If someone tells me they have stomach pains after eating a very small amount of coconut oil, I always ask if it was refined or unrefined. Chances are, they answer unrefined. Usually switching to a quality refined oil eliminates this problem.
More Tips on Buying and Eating Coconut Oil:
- It's still a good idea to buy high quality coconut oil. Quality sources make sure their coconut oil is clean, pure and uncontaminated. Click here to find my favorite source of refined, expeller-pressed coconut oil.
- If you are new to coconut oil, start with less than a teaspoon per day and then slowly add more as desired. This can help with digestion and also prevents any possible reaction that your system might have to coconut oil's strong antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
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