Coconut Oil vs Olive Oil

I have been asked this question many times, “why do you use coconut oil and how is it different than olive oil?”

While both should be a part of your daily intake (fats should make up around 35% of your diet) coconut oil is best to cook with while olive oil is best served at room temperature (in salad dressings etc). I cook almost everything in coconut oil, my egg whites in the morning, chicken, veggies…the list goes on!!

Here’s why I prefer coconut oil over olive oil…

Coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids which are sent directly to your liver where they are quickly converted into energy rather than stored as fat.  It contains high levels of lauric acid which is a powerful antioxidant that may help the body absorb nutrients and shed weight.  It is also anti-microbial and may help fight signs of aging (you can use it on your skin). 

Coconut oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil.  Why does this matter? Unrefined olive oil has a lower smoke point (320F) than unrefined coconut oil (350F) and thus isn’t the ideal oil for higher temperatures. Oils can break down beyond their smoke points which starts to change the molecular structure and integrity of the oil.  That being said, coconut oil is much more versatile which makes it ideal for cooking and baking while olive oil is best for cold dishes.

They taste and look different but both are full of health benefits!

Olive oil has two standards, virgin and extra virgin.  Both varieties come from crushing and pressing fresh olives.  The result, as everyone is familiar with, is a light to medium golden yellow color and fresh aroma.  The taste profile of olive oil  is mild and smooth making it perfect for salads and pasta dishes.

The coconut oil is a stark, bright white color and has a fresh coconut smell.  The taste profile of coconut oil is light and sweet, with subtle hints of actual coconut.  The flavor is wonderfully versatile in both savory and sweet dishes.  What surprises most people is that coconut oil can change between a liquid and solid state very easily.  Whenever the temperature is above 76 degrees Fahrenheit, coconut oil will be liquid.  Below 76, coconut oil is a solid. 

Similarities:

The calories per serving is the same for both at 120cals/1 tbsp. and they also have the same fat content (14g/tbsp)

Where can you buy it?? Some grocery stores carry it in their “organic” section or you can always find it at your local natural food or supplement store. 

For those of you how are still stuck in the 90′s and believe that you will lose weight eating a  “low fat” diet well GET WITH THE PROGRAM! We need to consume fat in order to burn fat!  If you want to read more on this check out an old blog post all about the importance of having healthy fats in your diet!

Alright back to work for me…I have a few clients to train this evening and then it’s time for my workout :)

Have a fantastic weekend and bundle up, it’s COLD in Ottawa!

Les :)

 

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