When it comes to oils and which ones to use the choices can be overwhelming. There are all different types of oils on the market today. Some oils you have probably used for years and some that you have never even heard of. One of the rising choices among chefs and home cooks alike these days is coconut oil.

Coconut oil is a type of oil that comes from the meat of a coconut. It is made up of over 90 percent saturated fat with small percentages of mono unsaturated and poly unsaturated fats. Coconut oil solidifies at room temperature and is almost clear when heated up. It can be used in several different types of cooking preparations including; sautéing, frying, and baking. Coconut oil is also used for several non-cooking purposes as well, such as for your skin.

Virgin versus refined

There are two different forms of coconut oil, virgin and refined. Virgin coconut oil is oil that is made by the pressing of the coconut soon after it has been picked. Virgin coconut oil will have more of a true coconut taste as well as more of the nutrients found in actual coconuts. Refined coconut oil will have a more basic taste because it has undergone a process to bleach and clean the coconut meat prior to making the oil.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using coconut oil?

One of the biggest advantages to using coconut oil is due to the presence of Lauric acid. Lauric acid has been known to aid in lowering bad cholesterol levels and raising good ones. Lauric acid has also show beneficial in deterring viruses and removing bad bacteria in the body.
Coconut oil is versatile in how it can be used.
Triglycerides that give your body energy are found in coconut oil.
Because of the coconut taste coconut oil is not good for cooking all types of foods.
Coconut oil typically costs a lot more than traditional vegetable and seed oils.

Where can you find coconut oil?

Depending on where you shop you probably will not see coconut oil stored on the shelf next to vegetable and olive oils. Because coconut is still new in its popularity you will most likely find it in the health section of your grocery store. It is possible that you may not even be able to find it at your grocery store. You may have to go to a whole foods or fresh market store in order to get it. If you are unable to find coconut oil at your grocery store and there are no whole foods stores around you, you can also order coconut oil online and have it shipped to your home.

Coconut oil is a great alternative to regularly bought vegetable and seed oils. Its health benefits on top of being able to use it for several different cooking methods makes it the clear choice for what oil to use in your home.