When it comes to oils you can use in your kitchen, two names stand out:
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
Studies have shown that both of these oils are beneficial to our health, with benefits that include:
- Weight loss
- Cholesterol level management
- Irritable bowel syndrome treatment
- Chron’s disease treatment
- Reduced chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms
- Increased energy
But you probably want to know which is better. If you’ve been following health articles and research, you already know that olive oil is considered the heavyweight in oils. However, coconut oil, particularly virgin coconut oil, has been receiving great attention from health experts recently. Let’s take a look at the qualities of the challenger first.
Virgin Coconut Oil
- Rich in Antioxidants: Antioxidants help the body fight oxidative stress, which the heart and the blood vessels are exposed to. If this type of stress is not stopped, plaques in the arteries can develop and can lead to heart attacks. When blood vessels are affected, you can also suffer from high blood pressure or worse, heart failure.
- Has Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats: These two types of fats are healthy fats that have the ability to control cholesterol levels. Consuming virgin coconut oil can help the body digest fat, while increasing bile production. The latter allows the body to break down and remove fats.
- Has Medium-Chain Fatty Acids: Virgin coconut oil has up to 63% medium-chain fatty acids, which makes this oil perfect for people whose goal is to lose weight. These fatty acids increase the process of burning calories in the body. So you lose weight faster.
- Has More of the Good Fats than Coconut Oil: To compare, one tablespoon of coconut oil is equivalent to 0.1 gram of monounsaturated fat vs. olive oil’s 11 grams. As for polyunsaturated fats, coconut oil has 0.25 grams, while olive oil has one gram. In short, olive oil has up to 10 times more of the good fats than coconut oil.
- Has Less Saturated Fat: Too much saturated fat can increase bad cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of developing heart disease and artery plaque buildup. Unfortunately, even though coconut oil is healthy, it is rich in this type of fat. Coconut oil has 13 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon compared to olive oil’s one gram per tablespoon.
When it comes to calories, both oils are pretty much the same with 120 and 130 for olive and coconut oil respectively. To answer which one is better though, more studies are leaning toward olive oil, particularly with its many benefits to our health, which can be maintained for a long period of time.