coconut oil vs. olive oil

Do you ever walk into the grocery store and feel completely and utterly overwhelmed by the huge variety of oils on the shelf?!  From canola and peanut to avocado and palm. . .and everything in between!  And then, you start following health blogs and YouTubers, and you become further confused about which oils are better for you, which ones you should stay away from, and which are the proclaimed cure-alls!

We want to take some of the confusion and guesswork out of your oil journey, so let’s keep it simple and compare the two that top our list of favorites – coconut oil vs. olive oil, and our favorites of each.

olive oil

Background

Let’s start with olive oil.  Olive oil has been a popular staple of a Mediterranean diet for thousands of years because of its rich flavor and nutritional makeup. The Mediterranean diet is popular among health enthusiasts for its reputation for lowering the risk of heart disease.  It has also been said to reduce the risk of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.  So, the oil that provides the foundation for this diet is certainly worth exploring!

When considering olive oil, it is imperative that you choose 100% true, unrefined, cold pressed, extra-virgin olive oil.  Store shelves are filled with imitators that are watered down with soy, canola oil, etc., which could be highly inflammatory and toxic.  So, look for dark glass bottles with labels that specify “extra virgin” and “cold pressed”.  The back label will also list a harvest season and a lot number.  When you open the bottle, the scent of the oil should be rich and fragrant with undertones of herbs and olives.

Health Benefits

Without getting too scientific, there are just too many amazing health benefits to not share a few.  Olive oil, in its true state, contains phytochemical properties unmatched by any other oil.  Phytochemicals are produced by plants to help them adapt to environment changes and dangers, and these same adaptive characteristics benefit us when we ingest the phytochemicals – such as those found in olive oil.  Phytochemicals have been said to ward off cancer cells, and one study suggests that the phytochemicals in natural olive oil actually suppress breast cancer cells.

Olive oil is also an excellent source of polyphenols, health-protective antioxidants that are said to fight against heart disease, cancer, and other aging-related deaths.  The monounsaturated fat prevalent in olive oil may also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, according to some studies.  It also contains squalene, which is said to be a major factor in the cancer-risk reducing effect of olive oil.  Finally, olive oil will give you a healthy dose of Vitamin E, a major fat soluble antioxidant that protects from various health issues and disease.

Our Favorite Olive Oil

As previously mentioned, when choosing an olive oil, we look for one that is 100 percent true, unrefined, cold pressed, and extra virgin.  We also want to know when it was harvested and where it came from.

Our olive oil of choice is Papa Vince Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Papa Vince exemplifies the highest of olive oil standards.  Having said that, it’s a given that it is 100 percent pure, non-blended, cold pressed, extra-virgin olive oil.  Aside from that, it has a rich, robust flavor, that reminds us of ripe olives with hints of Italian flavors like tomato, artichoke, and pepper.  It’s perfect for cooking, dipping, or drizzling.

One of our favorite things about Papa Vince is that it is a family business in Sicily, Italy, that has been in the olive oil business since 1935. Their beautiful dark bottles always have the harvest date clearly printed on them, advertising a 4-year shelf life after opened.  Papa Vince also has a very low acidity, (FFA < .26) which is the lowest acidity we could find, anywhere.  They say it is because they only press green, fresh olives, which yields 13 percent to 18 percent oil, which, although costly, allows them to deliver the lowest acidity and highest concentration of anti-oxidants & essential oils.

Another point mentioning is the Papa Vince is produced from orchards that use no insecticides, herbicides, or pesticides, and uses no further manufacturing after it comes out of the press.

Based on the highest quality of the olive oil, we find the pricing of Papa Vince to be more than fair.  For a 16.9 ounce bottle, the price is just $39.97.  Get your Papa Vince Extra-Virgin Olive oil, today, and start enjoying the outstanding flavor and health benefits!

coconut oil

Background

Coconut oil has grown in popularity over recent years due to the low-carb, clean & natural living movements.  However, it has been used as a staple for many cultures for thousands of years. . .for many great reasons!

Coconut oil has many uses.  People use it as a moisturizer and hair protectant, as a makeup remover, as a soothing agent for skin problems, as a tooth whitener. . . the list goes on and on.  But we love to eat it!  We love the flavor and consistency of coconut oil.  Because of its high level, plant-based, saturated fat content, coconut oil is solid at room temperature.  This makes is perfect for keto foods like fat bombs and energy bites!  It also provides a sweet and unique flavor to some of our favorite sautéed vegetables and baked goods.  And just like olive oil, coconut oil is packed with nutritional benefits, which sometimes makes the coconut vs. olive oil debate a difficult one!

Health benefits

Many proponents of coconut oil warn consumers about the dangers of saturated fat, which makes up much of the calorie count in coconut oil.  Not all fats are created equal, however, and the saturated fat in coconut oil comes from lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid (MCT) that can be used as a quick source of energy or converted into ketones.  The MCTs in coconut oil can also increase how many calories you burn per day, aiding in weight loss, according to one study. Lauric acid has also been said to kill bacteria and fungi, and to provide appetite suppressing effects and immune system protection.  According to Organicfacts.net, coconut oil reduces HDL cholesterol levels, treats yeast infections, improves digestion, and boosts immunity.

Our Favorite Coconut Oil

As stated previously, when shopping for a quality coconut oil, we look for one that is organic, non-GMO, and cold-pressed.  We also look for a product that isn’t going to break the bank.

Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil is the coconut oil we recommend.  Nutiva uses an all-natural cold press extraction process, so you can be sure the coconut oil you’re buying is light tasting, rich in nutrients with 63 percent MCTs and 50 percent lauric acid.  No chemicals, hexane, or heat are used in the extraction.   And unlike some other oils on the market, Nutiva’s Virgin Coconut Oil is never deodorized or bleached.

Nutiva is a thriving company, which has been creating quality products since 1999.  Social and environmental responsibility is a core part of Nutiva’s culture and business.  We love Nutiva’s commitment to quality and the environment, too.  They partner with organic farmers to source the world’s finest, fresh, organic virgin coconuts, and they adhere to USDA certified organic and non-GMO guidelines.  Nutiva also is packaged in safe, convenient, BPA-free packaging.  So, their coconut oil is good for you and good for the planet.  We also find Nutiva’s pricing to be very competitive at $19.99 for a 54 ounce container, with other companies charging more than that for only 36 ounces.

Buy your Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil, today, to meet all of your coconut oil needs.

nutiva organic coconut oil

coconut oil vs. olive oil

Clearly, both olive oil and coconut oil have numerous health benefits making them both excellent choices for your healthy lifestyle.  So, coconut vs. olive oil. . . how do they compare, and when do you know which one to use?

Coconut vs. Olive Oil in Cooking

As a good rule of thumb, if you have coconut oil and olive oil available, coconut oil is the better choice for cooking at high temperatures.  The monounsaturated fats in olive oil are said to not be heat stable, and heating is said to damage or even destroy the polyphenols and omegas in olive oil.  Further, it has a low smoke point, so heating it may create toxic smoke – which you obviously wouldn’t want to breath in.  On the other hand, because of the high amount of saturated fat in coconut oil, it is very stable, so can be used for sautéing, baking, roasting, or frying.  Olive oil wins in the coconut vs. olive oil debate when you’re preparing dressings, marinades, and sauces and for drizzling over veggies or bread.

As far as Coconut Vs. Olive Oil, we hope this chart will answer some of the questions you may have!

per tbsp

coconut oil

olive oil

Calories

117

119

Monosaturated Fat

0.8 grams

9.9 grams

Saturated Fat

11.8 grams

1.9 grams

Polyunsaturated Fat

0.2 grams

1.4 grams

Smoking Point

350 degrees F

280 degrees F

Best Uses

Fry, sautee, bake, roast

Dressing, drizzling, dipping, poaching

Best Known For

Antibacterial benefits

Antioxidants

Coconut vs. Olive Oil – Macro Impact

Coconut oil and olive oil have very similar caloric and total fat profiles.  So, they would utilize macro allowances of fats and calories in the same way.  Coconut oil contains 117 calories per tablespoon, while olive oil contains 119 calories.  In terms of fat, however, the breakdown is quite different.  Although both oils have about 13.5 total grams of fat, coconut oil has 11.8g of saturated fat, while olive oil only has 1.9g.  On the other hand, in terms of healthy, unsaturated fats, olive oil has 9.9g of monounsaturated fat, while coconut oil has 0.8g.  And coconut oil only has 0.2g of polyunsaturated fat, while olive oil has 1.4g.  

Coconut vs. Olive Oil – Heart Health

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are often referred to as the “good fats”, and olive oil contains more of these good fats than coconut oil does.  According to one article, 1 tablespoon of olive oil contains 11 grams of monounsaturated fat and 1 gram of polyunsaturated fat.  In comparison, a tablespoon of coconut oil contains 0.1gram of monounsaturated fat and 0.25 grams of polyunsaturated fat.  This means that in terms coconut vs. olive oil, olive oil delivers a more robust dose of the healthy fats we should consume.  These fats are very good for our hearts, as they are said to lower inflammation, improve cholesterol, lower the risk of heart disease.  Another article claims that the good fats found in olive oil also have been linked to promoting heart health by improving your lipid profile, including modestly increasing HDL(good) cholesterol and helping to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Coconut vs. Olive Oil – Polyphenols & Vitamin E

Coconut oil and olive oil are both a source of polyphenols – antioxidants known for their ability to combat cell damage.  Extra virgin olive oil is the winner in this realm, too, with a whopping 36 different polyphenols, compared to just six different polyphenols in coconut oil.  Vitamin E is also prevalent in olive oil, with one tablespoon containing 1.94 mg and coconut oil containing only trace amounts.  Like polyphenols, vitamin E works hard to protect cells.  According to one study, vitamin E may prevent coronary heart disease, support immune function, prevent inflammation, promote eye health, and lower the risk of cancer.

IN CONLUSION

We know the list of pros for each oil is very long, so we simply chose to highlight those that appeal most to healthy living.  When it comes to coconut vs. olive oil, we feel that is a decision that you need to make for yourself.  If you’re looking for an oil that’s light in color and flavor that is great for baking and using internally or externally, then coconut oil is for you.  If you’re looking for an oil that is robust and rich in flavor, that you can use to enhance the flavors of your foods while reaping many heart-health benefits, then olive oil is for you.  We believe that in the case of coconut vs. olive oil, it’s a tie, as there is room for both in a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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2019-05-14T06:09:38-04:00