Olive Oil vs. Coconut Oil.

Olive Oil vs. Coconut Oil.

The olive tree is an important ancient tree in Greece. It was consider a symbol of peace, fertility and victory. It also plays an important role in the Mediterranean diet due to its nutritional and health benefits. Clinical studies support that theory especially in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Studies also shows that olive oil has a low content of polyunsaturated fatty acids and a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, reducing the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease by controlling the lipoprotein profile, blood pressure, glucose metabolism, and antithrombotic profile [1]

Coconut oil is about 90 percent saturated fat and high levels of saturated in the diet are unhealthy because it raises LDL cholesterol levels. However, research also showed that coconut oil also raises HDL levels up. Coconut oil contained lauric acid in higher amounts more than any other vegetable oil. This explained its HDL effects in the body. The saturated fat in coconut oil is unlike the types of saturated fat found in vegetable oils, meat and cheese. Coconut oil is referred as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) and research suggested that your body metabolizes MCT’s differently than from other fats. MCT’s are ready and available for energy and they do not stored as fat in the body [2].

I used olive oil on a daily basis, and in many occasions I have used coconut oil for its flavor and health benefits. After evaluating different articles about the difference of both oils and the way they affect the body my suggestion is that olive oil is the ultimately choice for a healthy diet. You could still use coconut oil, but with limitations. Especially if you have a heart condition, high cholesterol levels and/or placed on a low saturated fat diet by your PCP, up to limit the consumption of coconut oils; instead use Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and Extra Light Olive Oil for frying and baking.

Cold-pressed olive oil is extracted from fresh olives by mechanical means at a temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Olive Oil Source. Cold-pressed virgin olive oil contains high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants that provide many health benefits.

1. Kosma I, Vavoura M, Badeka A, et al. Characterization and Classification of Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Five Less Well-Known Greek Olive Cultivars. Journal Of The American Oil Chemists' Society (JAOCS) [serial online]. June 2016;93(6):837-848. Available from: OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson), Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 9, 2017.

2. Dayrit F. The Properties of Lauric Acid and Their Significance in Coconut Oil. Journal Of The American Oil Chemists' Society (JAOCS) [serial online]. January 2015;92(1):1-15. Available from: OmniFile Full Text Select (H.W. Wilson), Ipswich, MA. Accessed June 9, 2017.


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