Refined Coconut Oil

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By Matt Stone… It’s funny that with all the information I put out there, I get one question in particular five times for every other question I receive. That question is, “Why do you recommend refined coconut oil?”

I thought it would be good to answer that question once and for all and be able to send a link to people instead of a long-winded response.

Refined coconut oil is not necessarily something I recommend because it is superior to extra virgin coconut oil. It’s not really. However, you must understand the basic qualities of the world’s most highly-concentrated source of saturated fat, and then proceed to get plenty of it in ya.

Because coconut oil is so highly saturated, it is the most stable oil on the planet – meaning, it is the most resilient to heat, light, and air. Whether coconut oil is expeller pressed (refined) like the Tropical Traditions oil I usually buy, or super duper extra virgin is not much of an issue. You could drop a nuclear bomb on a jar of coconut fat and it’s going to come out the other side unharmed. The extra virgin processing really isn’t necessary like it is with seed oils.

Extra virgin coconut oil’s biggest turnoff is its strong taste. Because of its strong taste and odor, its versatility as a cooking oil is greatly reduced. I used to take spoonfuls of extra virgin coconut oil straight, put it in smoothies, and use it to cook a bunch of stuff. At first I didn’t mind the taste, over time I did. I can’t stand the taste now, much less the smell. It’s revolting. The refined oil, however, is odorless and flavorless, and very well could be the most excellent and versatile of all cooking oils. Cooking most of your food in extra virgin coconut oil is gross, but you will automatically cook most of your food in refined coconut oil because it truly is the king of cooking oils.

Extra virgin coconut oil is also far more expensive than refined coconut oil. Usually triple the price. This is money thrown down the toilet for an oil that can fully handle expeller pressing and come out unharmed.

Lastly, many people experience nausea and diarrhea when consuming extra virgin coconut oil, but they have no such symptoms consuming refined coconut oil. I’ve heard this a lot in those who have made the switch.

All those things put together and refined coconut oil is the champ. I never was able to make coconut oil a permanent habit until I made the switch to the refined version. I now use it for deep frying, sautéing, making my beloved homemade French fries, and more – and it is one of the cheapest sources of calories on earth, which is a rare attribute for many “health foods.”  The above 5-gallon bucket provides 1,333 calories per dollar, nearly 100 times cheaper than many vegetables.

The main reason for consuming a fair amount of coconut oil is that it helps increase the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats in your diet. This protects against cellular oxidation and aging, as well as the free radical damage that is neatly tied to most of the degenerative diseases. It is also lower in free radicals by virtue of the fact that it is not damaged by high-heat cooking.

It seems to be capable of improving the immune system response as well, even providing great symptom relief to those suffering from AIDS, potentially due to its ability to increase the production of Mead Acid when displacing polyunsaturated fat, what some believe to be the ultimate solution for the massive Arachidonic Acid pileup seen in modern Westerners (Arachidonic acid, AA, is the substrate for forming many inflammatory molecules in the body associated with nearly all degenerative diseases from asthma to obesity – Mead acid replaces AA when AA is unavailable… read more about AA and why displacing it may yield dramatic health improvements HERE).
Coconut fat is also believed to stimulate the metabolism, which can most likely be attributed to the fact that it is a saturated fat, and not an unsaturated fat – as polyunsaturated fat has a well-understood anti-metabolic property. I think the research illuminated by Ray Peat in this category is very accurate…

“Another cheap food additive, coconut oil, was found to increase feed consumption while slowing weight gain, so it wasn’t popular in the meat industry. The highly unsaturated seed oils had the opposite effect, of producing a rapid fattening of the animal, while decreasing feed consumption, so by 1950 corn and soybeans were widely considered to be optimal feeds for maximizing profits in the production of meat animals. It was at this time that the industry found that it could market the liquid oils directly to consumers, as health-promoting foods, without bothering to turn them into solid shortening or margarine. Somehow, few physiologists continued to think about the implications of metabolic slowing, obesity, and the related degenerative diseases.”

-Ray Peat
http://raypeat.com/

If Peat’s writing is a little much for your cranium, there is a great interview with Peat on lipids that you can listen to HERE http://eluv.podbean.com/?s=ray+peat

And coconut oil seems to have an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic quality to it as well – all attributes that can probably be linked to the rise in metabolism that coconut oil can trigger.

All this put together, and coconut oil has great potential to assist a population struggling with reduced metabolism, chronic infections, an inflammation epidemic, over-reactive immune systems, and a huge free radical burden.

And there’s hardly a change that is more simple and painless to make for the vast majority of people – replace liquid vegetable oils in your home kitchen with refined coconut oil. Other than your food coming out tasting better, and you feeling better after eating your meals, you won’t even notice making the switch.

For more on saturated fats vs. polyunsaturated fats read Diet Recovery 2.

119 Comments

  1. I agree with you, Matt. I personally love using the evco, so that is what I purchase. I often recommend the refined coconut oil to my readers, especially those who are new to cooking with traditional fats or for people who don't care for coconut. It also doesn't work with some recipes, like homemade coconut oil mayo. I don't know anyone who wants to eat coconut flavored mayo on their tuna sandwich….=/

    Reply
  2. But Matt, isn't there something about the type of refining that is important?

    I think Peat says something about just filtered and then something about melting point? I can't remember exactly but just wondering about various processes; chemical deoderizing vs ultra filtered……

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  3. Peat talks about filtered oil that's made by boiling chunks of coconut in water at boiling point, not melting point, and skimming the oil off the top. If I'm not mistaken, Peat recommends the commercial grade coconut oil used for soapmaking and what not.

    I imagine the expeller pressing used by Tropical Traditions (and I believe Spectrum, which can be bought at most health food stores) is perfectly acceptable.

    But I usually heat mine to very high temperatures anyway, so there's not much point to getting a cold-pressed oil as far as I know.

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  4. Ha, it's not like I would have a choice. It seems almost impossible to find refined coconut oil in Germany. The only one I found tasted like sunflower seeds, which was totally weird.

    But I actually don't mind that much because there are also very mild tasting virgin coconut oils out there, which are subtle enough to go with basically anything and coconutty enough to still have a great taste. A bit more expensive though.

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  5. Thanks for clearing things up Matt. I don't mind the taste, but will look into getting some refined as I've been going through quite a bit of the EVCO. Should save some $$$

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  6. 18 months later and I still love the taste. I must be weird. For some reason you can only buy the refined stuff at my co-op. I get it when it goes onsale and with my discount it's pretty reasonable. Still, though, I should probably order some unrefined just so that I cook more stuff with it.

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  7. I love the taste, too.

    Tropical Traditions has a 2fer til 12/5 on the gallons.

    mountainroseherbs has gallons for $21, 5 for $88. They are near Eugene OR so if you're near, you can pick it up.

    Also depending where you are, shipping is something to consider in your totals. mrh has great prices but if you are in the east, it may be better to shop elsewhere.

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  8. Matt,

    Do you have a theory for why coconut oil starts to taste nasty after a while? Many people related this experience on Paul Jaminet's blog, wondering whether this inidicates some sort of gradual toxic build up. Personally I never had a problem with spoonfuls until I started taking a lot. Then I reduced intake and its no problem again. Also, why would it cause nausea?

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  9. No theories Todd, sorry. But I've definitely heard from several people that extra virgin coco is murder on their digestion, and switching to refined totally cleared up the issue.

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  10. To me, the flavor change tastes like some fermenting is occurring. Given its ability to withstand heat, I'm not sure rancidity is applicable, but it would explain why it gets so hard to tolerate it. What about oxidation?

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  11. I also experienced this phenomenon, and thought it had to do with the richness of the oil — like eating more than a couple pieces of fudge, it just cloys after a bit. Glad to know the refined stuff is just as good but without the oogy factor.

    Anybody ever bake with this stuff? Like make a pie crust? I find lard kind of strong tasting and butter makes a stiff, hard crust.

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  12. Matt – do you think it's important to get the certified organic refined coconut oil, or will the non-certified (and thus less expensive) version do?

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  13. Hey Matt

    I have some refined coconut oil which is made from Copra grown in Fiji. It is a golden colour and has a funky taste and smell (but doesn't taste or smell like coconut – weird!!).

    Does this sound like it's the right stuff or should I ditch it??

    TIA

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  14. Virgin coconut oil in occasional raw restaurant goodies was 'murder on my digestion' back in my '80-10-10 (bananas and dates) days but nowadays I just love it. I almost never eat cooked food, however, so perhaps it's the cooking that does something. I save my virgin coconut oil for eating raw and use refined for cooking.

    This is my first comment here: I've been resisting entering the scrum, but have been intrigued, perplexed and inveigled by this blog very much over the past month. It seems to speak to me so directly. I especially appreciate the light that you've been shedding on the non-evil status of carbs.

    a bunch more I had to say, but apparently too much for the comment window! I'll email you.

    thanks,
    Ela

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  15. Coconut oil is one of the few things that I kept from my stunt at paleo. Although it was not an instant love affair. In my desire to up my caloric intake on paleo, I ate 100 gr of evco – I spent a whole night… not in my bed.

    There is one question that has puzzled me while reading your article, Matt: Peat writes that farmers decided to fatten their cows on corn instead of coconut oil. Do the cows become fat because of the PUFA? Because then humans should become fat too on corn, right? Or is the fattening caused by the fact that cows are ruminants which don't metabolize grains too well? Then the corn could be perfectly fit for human consumption.

    @madMUHHH – So far I haven't found any refined coconut oil in Germany either. The virgin coconut oil from Sollinger Mühle has a nice coconutty flavor though. You can find it at Biocompany. It is a bit expensive (€8 for 250 ml) but the taste is not too bad.

    I even created my own no-sugar dessert from it. Melt a scoop of coconut oil in a bowl (you can put the bowl in a pan of hot water for that purpose), add some unsweetened cocoa powder (probably full of PUFAs but hey it's a treat), add some cream, stir, put in the fridge for a while (30 minutes or so). It should be the consistency of mousse au chocolat by the time you take it out (that's what I call it by the way, fake mousse).

    Stiwa

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    • The PUFA’s make you fat…ruminants and pigs too. Ruminants can handle PUFA’s BETTER than we can though….fresh grass contains PUFA’s…but also contains high levels of Vit E to balance the PUFA’s.

      If you are going to eat vegetables and grains, you should eat copious amounts of coconut oil and/or butter too.

      Reply
  16. This helps, but I still want to know more detail about the actual differences in the way they're processed–since Spectrum extra virgin AND refined both say "expeller pressed" on the top.
    Why doesn't refined taste or smell coconutty? Is it deoderized? Why is it not as pure white anymore?
    To me there are more issues in fat/oil processing than just the heat.
    I would appreciate pointers from anybody as to where I can find some facts about this.

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  17. Ooop, here's another one:

    "This study clearly indicates the potential benefits of VCO [virgin] over CO [copra] in maintaining lipid metabolism and antioxidant status."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19767885

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  18. Well it's good to know the refined is fine if I have a cashflow crunch/ But the one reason I use as much coconut oil as I do is because I ADORE the taste of the extra virgin. As a result I use coconut oil in just about everything. I've bought the refined in the past, but it was so blah and tasteless that I found I never could bring myself to use it, so sort of defeated the purpose.

    Once upon a time I bought MCT oil to try – and with any dose larger than a half teaspoon I felt as if my guts were being shredded with knives every time I tried any! But I have never had a minute's problem with extra virgin coconut oil. It's one of my faves.

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  19. Hey 180 Coco Nuts!
    I found this info on herbs.com.. may answer some of the questions that have come up here:
    What is the difference between VIRGIN & COPRA?

    If you buy regular coconut oil, chances are it came from dried copra. This usually sits in a warehouse and gets oiled after a few months. This is bleached and deodorized. This is why there is no coconut aroma. High heat is also used which is why this type of oil is yellowish in color.

    Extra VIRGIN organic coconut oil is cold-pressed immediately upon opening of the coconut. The oil is extracted before the fermentation process sets in. It is normally bottled or packed within 8 hours from the time the nut is opened. This is not bleached nor deodorized, maintaining the freshness and the sweet coconut scent It will also be clear as water in liquid form because no high heat was used in it’s processing.

    Some people still use the old fermentation process, which is expelling the coconut milk then letting the coconut milk sit for 20 to 36 hours to allow the natural fermentation process to separate the oil. This process turns the oil sour and has a short shelf life due to the high moisture content. This home made oil is all right for home use, if the oil will be used immediately. The shelf life of this type of oil is two weeks to a maximum of two months. This type of oil turns rancid in a short period of time because of the high moisture content.

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  20. Good post. Didn't realize the (lack) of difference between the two. Question: Are their higher quality brands of coconut oil? Or doesn't that matter? (I had always heard that Wilderness Family was the best, but if I can get away with getting something less expensive, I will.) Also, I wonder if there is a limit in how much coconut oil is *too much* for a person to consume in one day. Thoughts?

    Reply
    • I’ve done a ton of research on coconut oil, and the two best quality sources I’ve found are TropicalTraditions.com and WildernessFamilyNaturals.com. I always go with these two sources for all my coconut products. There may be other places, but I love how both of these resources are careful to provide a clean, true, natural product, they have awesome customer service, and source in ways that boost the economies of the locals who do the harvesting and processing. So for me, these are the two best sources I’ve found, and trust. I’ve used them both for several years now (Tropical Traditions is always my go-to source first). Hope this helps. :-)

      Reply
  21. Coconut oil has a long shelf life. Coconut oil can only handle medium heats because it has short and medium chain triglycerides. Olive oil has the highest smoking point and can be put through high heats because it is composed of long chain fatty acids. However, it only has a month of shelf life so buy it in smaller quantities. Butter, Ghee, eggs, and especially animal fat are great for cooking food in as they would have a high smoking point to them. Except for maybe the dairy or eggs…..

    Reply
    • you really comfused me here ,Everywhere i read that coconut oil is very resistant if not the most resistant in high temperatures.
      Olive oil on the other hand is not recommended.Its a salad oil+in high-frying temperatures is suspected as carcinogenic,Its shelf life is 2,3yrs or more.
      Animal fat+butter is not recommended for cooking

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  22. Great post and something I've wondered about. I figured Matt recommended the unrefined as its stable being highly saturated but that left questions in my mind about deoderising and chemicals. Theres quite a few coconut oils in my local asian food shop, both tinned and in jars, but they all are white and taste of coconut so there must be various stages of refining. I too have a gap left by veg oil, where you want high temps but no taste. Somehow, like Madmahh, I'm in Europe (the UK), I don't think I'll be able to find the refined in the shops and paying postage for buying on the net seems like its defeating the purpose. Still got my question about deoderising and chemicals.

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    • Matt did NOT recommend the unrefined, he recommended the REFINED. Please re-read the article, thanks.

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  23. Rachelle
    Just read the pubmed ref. And I'm not surprised that the vco has benefits over the refined. But seems to me might still be a place for the refined in cooking. Especially if it means some use coconut oil that wouldn't were it flavoured. I use the vco to brush my teeth- it seems to be quite healing for mouth sores.

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  24. I love my coconut oil, though using extra virgin. I don't use too much of it so I don't taste it much in my food but do taste it when I use more of it to cook, especially with eggs!

    I'm going with refined next time around and buying more to fry with.

    I absolutely love using it for cooking and using it on my body and hair as a great natural moisturizer.

    Great post Matt!

    I'm always checking in for your blog posts so I hope you update more often!

    Some ideas for future posts that I would personally love to read your thoughts on.

    Diabetes
    Gout
    Fungal/Parasitic infections
    Arthiritis

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  25. FYI, for those that don't like the smell of heavy heavy mayo, the extra virgin coconut oil smell is not for you, it is very nauseating.

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  26. great post Matt!! For my skin, I definately prefer EVCO and its antifungal properties- excellent cleanser/moisterizer. And whenever I'm on freakin antibiotics I start getting all these yeast infections… EVCO got rid of those so fast- best thing ever. But yes- I definately cannot gag that stuff down- refined is best for cooking!!

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  27. The best article I have found about the coconut refining process is on organic-coconut-oil.com. In this article it says that RBD coconut oil(refined, bleached and deoderised) is 'often' hydrogenated or partly hydrogenated. And if it does not taste of coconut, solvents were used. So I think I'll continue to cook with ghee for now.

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  28. I was just thinking… yeast bacteria live in the intestine and EVCO has caprylic acid which prevents yeast growth. Maybe this is why it causes digestive issues?

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  29. Excellent post.I know few things about coconut oil.But now i figured out many valuable things about coconut oil and their usage.Thanks for giving this wonderful article!!!!

    Health News

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  30. I'm not going to read thru all the comments because, as usual, there's a lot of fluff and mindless cheerleading and I'm sorta over it (no offence, Matt – you're not the one doing it.)

    Anyway, 4 points for anyone who cares:

    1) Unlike olive oil, there is no such thing as "extra virgin" when it comes to coconut oil. "Virgin" is the most unmolested available. Some companies choose add the word "extra" and it's purely for marketing purposes.

    2) If you choose to consume refined (RBD) coconut oil, be aware that some (most?) companies use chemical extraction methods that involve crap like hexane. If going for refined, make sure you choose one that only uses heat and no chemicals… Unless you like hexane, in which case I'm sure there's a paper on the net somewhere, conveniently proving how safe it is.

    3) Potatoes cooked in virgin coconut oil = grease-infused potatoes that taste like tropical heaven… no doubt just like the Kitavans would enjoyed and been nourished by since the dawn of time. Nice.

    4) Potatoes cooked in RBD = grease-infused potatoes that taste like potatoes. Sort of sux compared to the above.

    Ian 2.

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    • Very good post Ian … the truth … alas among so many gueses or stabs by people … well meaning but who really don’t know.

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  31. @Anonymous adressing me:

    There's also an online shop of the Ölmühle Solling and I used to buy my coconut oil there, but I now buy my oil from tropicai.com. They have two varieties. I buy the milder one because it tastes agreat and also is cheaper.

    And actually, cocoa fat is, as far as I know, highly saturated. So no reason to worry about the PUFAs there.

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  32. I'm not sure whether this falls under the category of mindless fluff or cheerleading, but I will say that I bought some of that copra oil once by accident at the grocery store. Hilariously it was called "Amish Country" or something like that and it had a picture of a buggy on it. It was put out by a popcorn company that was supposedly supplying Amish popcorn. I find the idea of Amish popcorn highly dubious, and the image of Amish people pressing coconut oil has amused me every time I see that jar languishing in my cupboard. It is completely tasteless though, which is silly since the coconut flavor is really great melted onto to popcorn.

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  33. Yes, as with most things "refined" can mean something quite vile or something totally acceptable. Since I buy coconut oil typically from Tropical Traditions, I'm not concerned that they are bombing it with Hexane or hydrogenating it.

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  34. MATT-

    Where I am from it's pretty hard to find refined coconut too. The virgin one is pretty easy to find though -and expensive!
    We have something here called PALMIN, it comes in a block (like butter does) On the package it says it's coconut oil and that it is 100% vegetable. Would that be a safe choice?
    It's something that has been around for ages. My granny used to cook with it all the time, when my mum was a child.

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  35. I found the Palmin website. It's in German, but here's the gist of their processing:

    The coconut is a drupe, the fruit flesh or core about 35% fat. The core is first dried meat, while the fat content is compressed to 60% – 70%. By extraction and / or compression of the core dried meat (or "copra") will be pure white coconut oil. This is poured into a plate with the typical Palmin ® for dicing. By targeted injection of air, a better cutting and separability of the product is achieved."

    That's pretty vague. Apparently they add air to it to make more like the consistency of butter. They are still kind of vague at how they refine the product since it doesn't smell or taste of coconuts.

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  36. Sheila the Palmin website has a contact us page. You could just ask them how they refine it.

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  37. Hey Ana can you tell us more about the coconut oil yeast infection cure? Do you eat the oil raw? Apply it topically? How much, when, etc.

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  38. I am pretty sure the reason the virgin coconut oil gets to be so hard on teh gut, is the fact that its so anti bacterial/fungul/viral.
    Its important to remember that it is not discriminitory. It kills the good bacteria as well as the bad.
    So, easy on the raw, but if you are cooking with it, then skip the raw.

    Use the raw medicinally, and topically!!!!!

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  39. @ Sydney I noticed you live in the UK. Sainsbury's sell a refined coconut oil for diet cheap (£1.50 for a big tub) in the jamaican/foreign food sections. I have found it in many branches in London. Good stuff and tastes 100% neutral….

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  40. So what do you think of palm oil? How is that compared to coconut oil?

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  41. "I'm not sure whether this falls under the category of mindless fluff or cheerleading,"

    Jenny, sorry to come across as the comments police. I wish I hadn't have written that… I was in a bit of a mood – seems to be usual for me these days.

    Ian 2.

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  42. Paula,

    I've always wondered about the indiscriminate thing.

    Sally Fallon and Mary Enig write that it doesn't harm 'friendly' microbes… not true?

    Ian 2

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  43. Matt, you have impeccable timing. A couple weeks ago, I suddenly felt like puking at even the thought of extra virgin coconut oil. I'd been eating it for like four years before this, no problems. I really don't get it.

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  44. @Ian 2:
    The way I understood it, it simply harms the friendly bacteria much less than the harmful ones. Because coconut oil and herbs and spices are natural food items, the beneficial gut flora is used to that and thus much less affected by it. At least that's the way I read it somewhere, dunno how true that is.

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  45. Oh Ian, have you been eating lo carb? Eat a tater and mellow out, yo. Seriously though, don't sweat it. Like I've NEVER posted anything I regret.

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  46. Idea: people have problems with coconut oil because it's the most likely oil to consume after being vegan for a while and they don't produce enough bile, which results in diarrhea.

    Also, any comment on peat's claim that metabolic health leads to a large appetite? Correct me if I'm incorrect in that interpretation.

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  47. JENNY-

    Thanks for the info on Palmin! I will check out the website and send them a mail!

    "Funny" thing when talking about coconut and diarrhea. When I was on Survivor, everyone was munching on coconuts and coconut milk for obvious reasons -lack of food. Everyone eventually got diarrhea from it and had to stop, except me. I've always wondered why it didn't happen to me. Maybe I had better bacteria in my gut, to start with?

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  48. Jenny,
    I do both: topically and orally. Yeast bacteria live both inside the body, and when unregulated, can reach the skin. So I take about 3-4TBSP per day with meals. And of course, there is NO topical creams as effective in fighting yeast infections as coconut oil. Seriously had a roaring vaginal yeast infection last week (damn antibiotics)- applied coconut oil and within 24 hours it was practically gone! I had heard of women soaking a tampon with coconut oil and tried that- it works very effectively. Honestly though, extra-virgin coconut oil is a miraculous thing for many skin issues. From acne and dry skin to infections and open wounds, I have great faith in that stuff. People think I'm crazy when I apply that to open wounds, but the antibacterial protection as well as the healing properties is pretty amazing. It may sound obsessive but that stuff seriously works. Hope this helps!

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    • Jenny,
      I am new to all this.
      When you mentioned extra virgin coconut oil are you referring to unrefined?
      I went to the market last night and saw both refined and unrefined but was unsure of which one to buy.
      I’m mostly going to use it for its moisturizing and healing properties. I may put it in my smoothies and give it to the cat for his hair ball problem but I will have to ease into cooking with it.
      Any advice you can give will be appreciated.
      Thanks

      Reply
  49. Jenny,
    I do both: topically and orally. Yeast bacteria live both inside the body, and when unregulated, can reach the skin. So I take about 3-4TBSP per day with meals. And of course, there is NO topical creams as effective in fighting yeast infections as coconut oil. Seriously had a roaring vaginal yeast infection last week (damn antibiotics)- applied coconut oil and within 24 hours it was practically gone! I had heard of women soaking a tampon with coconut oil and tried that- it works very effectively. Honestly though, extra-virgin coconut oil is a miraculous thing for many skin issues. From acne and dry skin to infections and open wounds, I have great faith in that stuff. People think I'm crazy when I apply that to open wounds, but the antibacterial protection as well as the healing properties is pretty amazing. It may sound obsessive but that stuff seriously works. Hope this helps!

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  50. Ana thanks for the info and for bringing the vajayjay to the table of conversation. There's no turning back now.

    It's weird that it works on a yeast infection which is due to the scorched earth effect of antibiotics.

    I've noticed that it I put it on a pimple the pimple is dried up and gone within 24 hours. I went on vacation and brought a little tupperware tub of it with me. I'm obsessed too.

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  51. YEAH Fluff!!!!!!!!
    Yes, I just combined fluff with cheerleading.

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  52. Greensmu: Why wouldn't a vegan eat coconut oil? I like your theory though. I think for me large quantities of all saturated fats including butter and cream were problematic when I first started on 180. I had to build up my tolerance to fat having been low fat/PUFA crazy for sooooo long. When I did eat fat it was usually peanut butter.

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  53. Sheila, are there any clips online of your Survivor stint? It's nice to put a face to the name. It's about as close as I get to knowing someone famous, LOL!

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  54. How about dried/shredded coconut, unsweetened of course. I buy it in the bulk section at Wholefoods and eat it for dessert, snacks, etc.

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  55. chris What is the brand of the coconut oil you found at sainsbury's? And do you know if if it is solvent deoderised? Thanks

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  56. I think an aversion to virgin coconut oil may have a genetic olfactory component… Much like you see with cilantro. Some people love the stuff while others just cannot get past the smell.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17873857

    Hence the nice pleasant tropical smell, versus vile and nauseating. Personally I find it quite agreeable, but my mother for instance can't even cook with it just from the smell.

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  57. Maggie,

    I bake with coconut oil, its one of the few things I can do with the coconut oil when it starts to taste strong. The coconut flavor goes out of it during baking.

    When I get naturally processed lard though, I don't notice a flavor at all, and I do prefer it or butter for pie crusts.

    Tropical Traditions just tweeted that yes, the coconut solids in their coconut oil does indeed ferment. They believe it is higher in nutrition when it does that. But as you said, the flavor gets difficult.

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  58. Sydney, sorry no idea if it is solvent deoderized. I have been using the stuff quite a bit myself and it seems pretty high quality. The brand is some sort of Jamaican food importer/manufacturer and it comes in quite generic/plain packaging.

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  59. Hi Matt!

    I've been trying to understand how to combine immune suppressing and proinflammatory effects seen with high omega-6.

    LA is immune suppressing (increased cancer etc.)and that is seen over and over again in immunological literature. In blogosphere there has been often claimed that omega-6 is proinflammatory and it has been stated that AA derived PGE2 is the main bad guy. But there is a problem since PGE2 is also guilty for immune suppression that leads to malfunction of T cell proliferation and decreased immunological function. PGE2 seems to protect cancer cells from the normal function (=attack) of immune system.

    PGE2 increases macrophage responce and this might be something that is usually referred as proinflammatory effect of omega-6. This is has high influence in tissues with infiltrated macrophages like in the adipose tissue with hypertrophic adipocytes.

    Matt, have you ideas how to solve this puzzle?

    I have some ideas but I'd really like to hear what you think about this.

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  60. Recently I'm using ghee instead of coconut oil. It takes some time to make it, but it's a lot cheaper than the cheapest organic coconut oil I can find. It also has a nice taste to it.

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  61. THE REAL WILL-

    LOL! Well since I was on the danish version of Survivor, it's impossible to find clips on the web. I only have pictures.
    I'll send you a bottle post with my autograph, ha ha!
    Regards The Famous Coconut Eater!

    Reply
  62. Jenny,

    The day I wrote that comment actually was a low-carb day! Hadn't had starch for at least 24 hours, maybe more. I'd had 3 coffees that day, tho… might explain the irrational irritability. And I hadn;t really read the comments, anyway, so I don't know what I was on about…

    And I haven't had coconut oil in a few weeks – maybe I need some.

    Ian 2.

    Reply
  63. Hans,
    Buy the "Eden" Coconut Oil. You can find it in every "Biomarkt". It's good and very cheap. I think 1.50 for 250g.

    Reply
  64. I love eating FRESH raw coconut as a snack – crack open and eat. Anyone else?

    Matt: regarding foods that cause (or stop) inflammation in the body…if someone doesn't have overt symptoms (ie joint pain, or such) does that mean there is NO inflammation and would the test for "C Reactive Protein" be a good indication for that. And what number would you like to see?

    Reply
  65. Thanks Hans and Jannis, definitely gonna check those out.

    Reply
  66. Oh, and the tropicai might be expensive, but for virgin coconut oil it's quite decent. 16,50€ per litre is much better than basically all the other virgon coconut oils I've found so far. But still, I think now that I've found a good source of refined coconut oil, I'm probably gonna switch over to that for the most part, but not completely.

    Reply
  67. Sheila…sounds good, my famous coconut eating friend, LOL! :-)

    Reply
  68. @Westie

    I've always wondered about that too.

    Maybe excess inflammation wears down an already dysfunctional immune system by attacking harmless crap and generating a lot of stress?

    Reply
  69. Anyone hear of Lou Ana Coconut Oil. I live in Canada but bought this recently at a Walmart in Maine. It was around $5 which is half what I pay where I live for a jar half the size. It says 'Pure Coconut Oil' on the label, but how do I know how it was processed or if it has hexane, was bleached, deordized or hydrogenated or whatever other nasty words you guys have been warning against. Thanks.

    Mary

    Reply
  70. Ian2: I knew it! For me, low-carb + caffeine = total bitch on wheels. Put coconut on de tater and eat it all up.

    Sheila: You should post the pics to your blog so that we can all cyber stalk you there. I know being on that show was part of what messed you up, but still you are our resident celebrity.

    Here's a random question for the group? Why do some people bruise easily and take forever to heal? I've had a bruise on my shin for almost a month now. I once went a year and a half with a bruise in the same spot. I heal more quickly in other ways since my metabolism has improved but this has me stumped. Apart from wearing my cowboy boots everywhere, I can find no solution to this unsightly problem.

    Reply
  71. @Canadian Mary, I use Lou Ana Coconut Oil ALL the time and was wondering the same thing about it after the discussion here.

    Sooo, since I use so much of this, I just called the company and they do NOT use hexane and it is not hydrogenated and no other oils or fats are added. The literature that the lady was reading from specifically stated that they do not use hexane. It is grown and processed in Southeast Asia, made from the copra. It is refined, bleached, and deoderized. It is both expeller pressed and solvent extracted. I asked what solvent that they used but it wasn't in her literature. That was about it for the info.

    BTW, the lady on the phone was SUPER-nice. :-)

    Reply
  72. Jenny,
    Since I started going moderate on the fats and really low pufas I practically never bruise. I have noticed that cuts I get heal differently too. The scab stays for longer but I am left with practically no scar.

    Do you bruise easily from light pressure? How long have you suffered from "perma-bruise syndrome"?

    Reply
  73. Jenny, you might be anemic. Its worth looking at.
    Gluten is a common culprit in that area.
    Paula

    Reply
  74. Anonymous – That certainly is the stuff, dirt cheap and works a treat…. Bakes some potatoes and parsnips in it last night.

    Reply
  75. JENNY-

    What a nosy 180 -get your nose out of my crack! LOL! I might post some She-man pictures in the future, just for you guys ;-P

    Btw I also bruise easily and have been like that ever since I started fitness/bodybuilding. I heal terribly. I always get blisters on my feet -even from sneakers. My skin is paper thin and the slightest scratch will break my skin. It's very annoying.

    STEVE-

    I actually am almost anemic. Last blood test revealed it. Low red blood cell and low white. I took iron supplements for ages. Never helped one bit. Are you saying that gluten can be the cause of it? Never heard that before. Please elaborate.

    Reply
  76. Regarding the KTC coconut oil –
    I just got the following email response from them:

    "KTC Coconut Oil is 100% pure, refined coconut oil. The oil is not hydrogenated in any way and hexane is not used in the refining process."

    Think I'll try it now.

    Reply
  77. Thanks Real Will for contacting the company about the Lou Ana Coconut oil, I really appreciate that. I bought 3 big jars of it and I was thinking, darn, I'm going to have to use that up and go back to using the more expensive stuff. When I get the more expensive one I find I use it sparingly so it will last longer. Since I have the cheaper one I didn't mind scooping out a big bunch of it the other day to make fries. I saved the oil afterwards like Matt says he does but I'm wondering since this is a cheaper grade of oil if it will go rancid. I put it in a glass jar and it was a yellowish color. I haven't rechecked to see if it stayed liquid or hardened. *Hopefully this comment doesn't post twice, I did it once and it didn't seem to go, so rewriting.

    Mary

    Reply
  78. Riles:

    I've always bruised easily as long as I can remember. This latest bruise was actually something that would probably bruise most people. I got hit in the leg with a firework going about a 100 mph. The majority of the bruise which was enormous went away within a few days, but I still have this spot that's really tender and black. Anyway, the permabruise started about 6 months before I started 180.

    When I was pregnant I was on iron supplements but I never took them because they made me nauseous. The only time I ever threw up was from an iron pill. My doctor suggested I keep them up after the boy was born because I was still iron deficient. I certainly eat plenty of red meat, liver and I cook a great deal of my food in cast iron, so I think I shouldn't be deficient unless something else is involved. I will look into the gluten thing. I've really cut back on gluten in the last few years, but haven't eliminated it.

    Reply
  79. Thanks Scalloway for the info. I will try going gluten free for a few weeks, while upping my iron intake to see if this helps.

    Reply
  80. Jenny, I (Paula) am the one with Celiacs, and I can assure you that if you are anemic, then gluten is most likely the culprit.
    My sister in law went negative in her iron levels,a nd after a great deal of other things not working, she wnet gluten free and had normal numbers in 30 days.

    Paula

    Reply
  81. Nice work Rocket, makes the stuff taste all the sweeter!

    Reply
  82. Do you know if refined coconut oil has the same negative effect on sleep as regular one does? I can't sleep when I eat unrefined coconut oil. I think it's cause it's got so much iodine in it which I am very sensitive to.

    Semi good news for me: I got my first cold in 12 years!!!! This must mean my inflammations are getting better!

    Reply
  83. LISA-

    I am curious. Why would a cold mean that? Because you had a fever, or?

    Reply
  84. Thanks Anony and Rocket for the info. Definately will add the refined coconut oil to my diet. By the way is hydrogenation 'bad' from our point of view since it saturates the fat. Or is anti-hydrogenation a product of the ant-sat people? I used to use lard for a flavourless oil for cooking but stopped when I heard it is often hydrogenated. I couldn't really understand why they would need to hydrogenise pork fat since it is solid anyhow. I suppose Matt would be anti lard for its pufa?
    I tried making my own fat a couple times with complete failure, even with recipes. And its not a nice smell in the kitchen.

    Reply
  85. Sheila-

    Gluten isn't the only cause or aggravator of anemia. Most anemia is a result of a low metabolism. For example, all of the men in Keys's starvation study became anemic despite adequate iron intakes. Your leanness in the past could have played a role. Let us know if when you get tested you notice improvement.

    Lou Ana-

    I've been using Lou Ana coconut oil for the past 6 months. I ran out of coconut oil from TT and they started carrying Lou Ana at my ghetto local supermarket so I tried it out. It seems really good to me.

    Westie-

    I think there's more pointing towards TNF-Alpha and IL-6 as the major problems, not PGE2. Ratio of omega 6 to 3 in the diet seems to perfectly parallel the activity of these molecules…

    http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/content/abstract/69/3/217

    Reply
  86. MATT-

    Low metabolism and anemia also makes more sense to me, at least in my case. All my iron supplementing did squat because my metabolism was running low. If you look at all the WLS patients, they all become anemic as a side affect. WLS patients is actually the new Key's starvation experiment. I've confirmed a lot of suspicions from their "new lifestyle". It really is the men of Key's study, all over again.

    Reply
  87. Hey Sheila,

    In hypothyroid chat rooms they all recommend having your ferritin levels checked and getting them around half way of the upper limits. I've read that that its important to get your iron levels up before taking T3, however it is acknowledged that it can be hard to get your iron levels up when your thyroid is low. Without the sufficient iron, thyroid hormones can't be utilized efficiently. The thyroid hormones end up pooling in your blood. So blood tests look normal, but you have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Also just as important is your B12. It seems B12 tends to be low when iron is low too. You want your B12 levels right up at the upper levels. Vitamin C and folate (B9) helps iron absorption. Ferrous Fumerate is a really good type of iron to take. A tablet with 310mg has 100mg of elemental iron and it's easier to absorb than some of the other forms of iron. Also people with hypothyroidism or just low metabolism tend to have poor digestion which again makes it difficult to get your ferritin levels up.

    I found getting my ferritin levels up from 0 to 50 really hard. It took over a year of supplementing and I wasn't even having a period in that time. And they dropped as soon as I stopped supplementing. They say once you get your ferritin up around 60 to 70 they should stay stable.

    I checked out the youtube link you posted. How terrible! She's promoting weight loss surgery despite the fact her mother in law almost died from complications. Wendy denies she has an eating disorder but I beg to differ! I spoke to a lady who had WLS 20 years ago and her health is so poor from lack of nutrition and a butchered digestive system. She has severe damage to her health from long term low iron and B12 amongst other problems. This goes to prove most people prefer to be thin than healthy. It's a load of crock when people equate weight loss to health.

    Reply
  88. PRINCESS-

    Thanks for your input!
    When I took iron supplements I also switched to some more natural kind which the body is supposed to absorb better. I took something called Kräuterblut but it still didn't do anything. I am convinced it was my starvation diet that almost lead me to anemia and I believe the best way out of it is proper nutrition -and plenty of it.
    I have read a lot about thyroid functioning, also because I have had a very odd blood reading. TSH being 0,20 (meaning in reality I am hyperthyroid) but T3 and T4 being low. You also need a healthy liver to be able to convert T4 to the active T3 and I know my liver isn't working top notch :-/ (I've put it through a lot) Last but not least you can have perfect numbers for your T4 and T3 but you can't measure if the active T3 is actually reaching your cells.
    Hopefully all this will eventually clear up by itself when my body finally realizes it's not going to be starved again. How long it will take, I don't know..

    BandedWendy should be banded in a straight jacket (kidding of course)!
    What I mean is, this women went from overweight to a full blown eating disorder. she constantly talks about exercising the mental muscle as well as her body. She says it's a constant battle but she chooses to say NO to parties and get together and say YES to the gym instead. Like that is how naturally thin people live their lives. I linked to this particular video because it totally nails how obsessed she has become. Everything is math in her head, everything gets calculated, everything gets sum up in numbers, calories, exercise.
    It's the new anorexia, if you ask me. It's kinda scary.

    Reply
  89. Oh hi guys! Theres a half off deal on tropical traditions.com with a free shipping coupon on the right side. cheers

    Reply
  90. @ Jannis,

    unfortantely, I can't find that brand of coconut oil here.

    Reply
  91. Try combining two Peat favourites :
    coconut oil AND gelatine.

    Gelatine aids in digesting coconut oil so you'll have an easier time with it and it also masks the taste and smell.

    Put 1 leave of gelatine per tbsp cococnut oil in cold water for 5 minutes. Heat your coconut oil to body temperature and desolve the gelatine leaves in it while stirring.

    Enjoy !

    Reply
  92. hey Matt, where do you order/buy your refined coconut oil? I have been buying evco by the gallon from Green Pastures and would love a source for that giant bucket o refined CO
    thanks!

    Reply
  93. I know this is an old post, but I just got it after reading the free rrarf book. !!!!!!!!!!! So what's the big deal with extra virgin then! I could have been buying the jar from walmart instead of paying for the pricey stuff at the health food store. I've gone weeks without it because of the price!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  94. food science and technology

    Reply
  95. So if I can stomach the Extra virgin stuff and I dont mind paying the little extra for it, are you saying that I shouldnt use it to ccok my food in? For me it just seems that the extra virgin stuff is a lot purer.

    Reply
  96. I use Trader Joe’s coconut oil for everything, from my skin to my hair. I cook with it and, sometimes, eat it. It is very mild flavored, but I still have problems with the grease taste in my mouth, when just eating it straight from the jar. When I had a sore throat, I put it in my Roibos tea. It seemed to help as the sore throat was gone the next day. I have also given it to my cats for hairball control. If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, it will only cost $5.99.

    Reply
  97. I have a question. My Dr. said not to use it vaginally because it might cause problems with the membrane. Has anyone heard this? Up until the time she told me this, I was using it every day for dryness. It felt great after suffering for many years. Now, I hesitate due to her instruction and am not as comfortable again. I also would like to use it for sexual relations, with my husband. Is it safe? I don’t want to compound the problem. Thanks.

    Reply
  98. Clair.

    Doctors know what they studied only they dont even know here that neem is anti fungal.

    As you have used it you have experienced it, did your doctor study coconut oil or what i think he just assuming what he does not know from experience. Of course some oils can make one drier when not using it as the body get used to it. But our body adapts quick.

    More likely the dr cant make any money from you if you use it so how can the dr tell you to use whats working? You have tried it and feel great why should you let a dr ruin that feeling. I stopped trust dr a long time ago whn i checked the meds ive got and they were wrong even my brother got wrong meds recently. Dr presribe something for earinfection which clearly stated warning not for use in ears.

    Reply
  99. I actually enjoy the taste of virgin coconut oil. I can eat it by the spoonfuls and even mix it with foods. I think the nausea associated with virgin coconut oil consumption is purely psychological. MCTs are easy to digest and up to 20-30% (I’ve read somewhere, can’t remember) can even be absorbed through the stomach. The same gag feeling also occurs if these same people try to eat spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil. Pure fat in the mouth and going down the throat does that, but I doubt it’s actually harming you during digestion.

    It’s easy to get past the taste. Be creative. Add honey and a dash of cinnamon. Or purchased a flavored virgin coconut oil, such as Ziggy Marley’s lemon ginger or orange almond organic coconut oil.

    Reply
  100. That stuff is my ky jelly.

    Reply
  101. Agree! It’s a must at my house. The kiddo won’t touch anything if it tastes like coconut. I get the common “yuck, Ew, and gross!” fairly often… I’ve given up trying to WAPF this kid into some little sprouted granola muchin munchkin. She eats what she wants now (happily), but coconut scented french fries ain’t on the list of her approved foods.

    Reply
  102. Am i the only one who enjoys a coconutty flavor?

    Reply
  103. For anyone looking to try a very economical option, I just ordered this one: http://www.amazon.com/Snappy-Popcorn-Gallon-White-Coconut/dp/B00A2A88ZW

    Food grade, no coloring, straight up refined coconut oil for ~$15/gallon, with free Amazon shipping if you order two of ‘em. No noticeable difference so far from others that I’ve tried, most recently http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/learn/oilprofile/coconut.php which is about three times as expensive when shipped to NYC (it’s cheaper out west). And a gallon lasts me forever.

    Reply
  104. It’s reverse in here, any coconut oil is at least 3 times more expensive than EVVO :( Quite unfortunate since I LOVE coconut oil and don’t really like any other oil.

    But I found a way around that… Coconut shreds.

    Reply
  105. Packets of refined coconut oil are quote cheap here….mai
    ybe we should start up a swapping bussiness as some things are way expensive or not to be gotten over here.

    Reply
  106. This is a great price on coconut oil.

    http://soaperschoice.com/products_list.php
    Scroll down to the Coconut Oil. (ONLY GET the 76 degree–NOT the 92 degree). Right now it is $1.16 per pound in the 5 gallon bucket (50 lbs). It is $1.90 per pound for 7 lbs. (Plus shipping). The EVCO costs $4.76 per pound when you buy 7 lbs. It is a long lasting oil so you can buy the 7 lbs. and it won’t go bad.

    The site sells oils for making soap, but this is food grade coconut oil. I have used it for years and it is great.

    Reply
    • Refined coconut oil.
      Coconut oil can be produced in various ways, from fresh coconut or from dried coconut (copra), depending on the drying process (in the open air or otherwise), needs the oil be refined, which is not the case with oil cold pressed out of fresh coconut and that needs not be refined and contains all of the goodies out of the coconut.
      Coconut oil out of copra, when copra is dried on the open air and which has fermented tot some extend, needs to be refined, otherwise the oil is unsuitable for consumption. The end product is RBD oil (Refined, bleached and deodorized). The processes are executed at high temperatures, a type of clay is used to bleach the oil en sodiumhydroxide is being used to extract the free fatty acids to lengthen the shelf storage time. Some of the RBD oil is partly hydrogenated too increase the melting temperature.
      Most of the refined coconut oil is being used for industrial applications and as a cheap fat in backery products.
      If one wants to enjoy all the goodies from the coconut, you need to buy cold pressed oil from fresh coconut and unrefined., because certain nutritional components are lost through the refining process, besides that the refined oil contains residues from the process.
      So if you want to eat debris, go ahead, but do
      not expect the the results that can be obtained by eating the real stuff. If you think to buy cheap oil, forget about the healthful effects of coconut oil, which is only good to be used as lamp oil or to grease parts of your car etc.
      Bon appetit.

      Reply

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