Comparing the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil vs. Olive Oil
As essential nutrients, natural oils provide many health benefits for our bodies. Oils contain plenty of healthy fats, but not all fat is exactly alike. There are unsaturated and saturated fats, which we’ll focus on a bit later. Additionally, while healthy oils have their benefits, it’s important to understand the difference between each one.
Soon, we’ll dive into comparisons between coconut oil and olive oil. If you’re not sure which oil to incorporate into your daily life, the following may serve as a helpful guide.
Types of Oils
Before we chat about the specifics of both coconut oil and olive oil, here are two properties you may find in either oil:
Hemp Seed - Extracted and cold-pressed from hemp plants and often used in conjunction with olive oil, hemp oil is mainly used for medicinal purposes. Health benefits may include improved skin, lower blood pressure, and better heart health.
MCT - Typically made from coconut or palm kernel oil, MCT oil is very easy to digest. People use MCT oil to help with weight loss, appetite control, extra energy for exercise, inflammation, and implementing fats and nutrients.
Now, let’s jump into the health benefits of coconut oil versus olive oil to find out which one may be better suited for your lifestyle.
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is a popular superfood that is made by pressing fresh coconut meat or dried coconut meat called copra. This oil has also become a well-known staple in both ketogenic and paleo diets. MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) are present in coconut oil, and as mentioned earlier, are easily digestible and may control blood sugar.
Interestingly, coconut oil is high in saturated fat, containing about 13 grams in just one tablespoon. While an excess of saturated fat is often linked to heart disease, having the recommended dosage of coconut oil may still provide health benefits.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Here are some of the possible health benefits of coconut oil.
- Increase good cholesterol - According to numerous studies, MCT, a property of coconut oil, may contribute to boosting good cholesterol, otherwise known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Good cholesterol means better cardiovascular health.
- Decrease stress - Specifically, virgin coconut oil has antioxidant properties, which are known to reduce stress.
- Improve skin/hair - Some have discovered that applying coconut oil directly to the scalp or as an extract on the skin may prevent inflammation and overall skin damage.
- Improve dental health - Coconut oil can be used for oil pulling, a traditional oral treatment for dental health that’s similar to mouthwash. Studies show that oil pulling with coconut oil may prevent cavities and improve gingivitis.
How to Use Coconut Oil
As coconut oil is quite high in saturated fats, it’s important to keep in mind that implementing less processed coconut oil will lead to greater health benefits. Taking a lower dose will be more beneficial for your heart health as well. Depending on an individual’s daily caloric intake, the recommended dose of coconut oil is no more than two tablespoons per day.
Here’s some healthy options for incorporating coconut oil into your diet:
What is Olive Oil?
Olive oil is made directly from olives growing on olive trees. Specifically, extra virgin olive oil is cold-pressed from ripe olives. Extra virgin olive oil is commonly used in cooking or salad dressings, producing more of a peppery flavor than refined olive oil.
Generally, olive oil is a very healthy fat and is well-known in Mediterranean diets. When compared to coconut oil, which has a high amount of saturated fat, olive oil is much healthier. One tablespoon of olive oil has about 9.9 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, and only 1.9 grams of saturated fat. Consider adding olive oil to your diet for overall healthfulness.
Benefits of Olive Oil
Again, due to its unsaturated fats, olive oil is one of the healthiest foods you can include in your diet. However, do not overdo your intake. Olive oil may be a healthy fat, but moderation is still important.
Some potential health benefits of olive oil are:
How to Use Olive Oil
Here are some great methods for including olive oil into your wellness routine:
- Cooking Oil - You may use either extra virgin olive oil or refined olive oil for cooking. However, keep in mind that extra virgin olive oil is not as processed and contains more antioxidants than refined olive oil.
- Dressings, dips, and marinades - Use extra virgin olive oil for salad dressings, dips, or marinades for beneficial antioxidants.
- Tincture - Try Vitaldiol’s Essential Tincture, a CBD and extra virgin olive oil tincture that can boost metabolism, increase well-being, and help you find balance in your everyday life. The Essential tincture is flexible enough for everyday use, and is a great way to incorporate a bit of extra virgin olive oil into your diet.
Healthy fats or not, we should always be mindful of the amount of fat we consume on a daily basis. You may safely consume olive or coconut oil in moderation, but we do suggest looking further into the benefits of olive oil over coconut oil. We believe that olive oil is far superior than coconut oil due to its adequate amount of unsaturated fat and helpful contribution to a heart-healthy diet.