The 1 Miracle Cooking Oil Better For You Than Olive Oil

Written by Josh Bezoni

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

While extra virgin olive oil has always been (and will continue to be) a staple, nutritious, go-to oil for healthy cooking and food prep, there’s a new kid on the block that’s getting all the attention as of late.

This powerhouse oil has been touted by “celebrity” fitness gurus for its metabolism and weight-loss benefits, Hollywood celebrities have sworn by its hair, skin, and anti-aging properties, and researchers have examined the compelling claims.

Oh me, oh my! Whatever could this so-called “miracle” oil be?

Well, before we get to that, you may be shocked to learn that this oil is 90% SATURATED FAT, yet by most standards, it’s even healthier than extra virgin olive oil.

Editor’s Note: 17 White Foods For a Flat Stomach

We’re talking about extra virgin coconut oil.

While extra virgin coconut oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil (350 vs. 320 degrees F, meaning it can withstand even higher temperatures without being damaged or denatured), its most unique health-supporting and fat-loss benefits come from a special type of saturated fat that is abundantly found in coconut oil: medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

MCTs are a unique form of saturated fat that have been shown to possess antioxidant and anti-microbial properties and may also offer anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral immune benefits.

Even more, several studies have linked replacing other fats with the consumption of extra virgin coconut oil to smaller waist sizes. One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found MCTs to be THREE times more effective at raising metabolism than long-chain fatty acids. And one other study showed coconut oil provided a greater muscle-preserving effect when calories were restricted in overweight individuals.

How?!

Great question. You see, because medium chain fats are metabolized by being sent right to the liver from the digestive track (unlike most fats), they’re more likely to be used immediately for energy or stored as ketone bodies. In addition, coconut oil appears to be more “thermogenic”; that is, it may increase energy burning compared to if you consumed the same amount of other types of fats (on a calorie per calorie basis). One study, for example, showed that when 1 to 2 tablespoons of MCTs were consumed, energy burning increased by 5% or about 120 calories per day.

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Beyond that, coconut oil has been shown to slow digestion, increase feelings of fullness, and support healthy blood sugar levels. It also appears to reduce appetite, so you’ll eat less calories. In one study, healthy men who were eating high amounts of MCTs ate 256 fewer calories per day, without even trying.

Clearly, replacing other fats with this “super” oil as part of your nutrition plan may carry numerous benefits. A win-win all around.

The type of coconut oil you choose is very important, however, as some coconut oils are BAD NEWS for your health (such as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated coconut oil).

By far, the purest form of coconut oil is organic extra virgin coconut oil, and the top researchers and experts recommend replacing other fats with 2 – 4 tablespoons of coconut oil daily. The easiest way to get your daily quota of this super fat is to use coconut oil in cooking as you would olive oil or any other oil, in baking, and you can even mix it in your fat-burning protein shakes.

Avoid These Cooking Oils:

While coconut and olive oil are great for healthy cooking, did you know that many very common cooking oils are creating a TOXIC environment in your body, making it much more difficult for you to lose fat, while at the same time putting you at risk for major health complications?

Even worse, there is one particular “nightmare” oil that is proven to expand your waist and even DAMAGE the precious tissues of your heart… only it’s being added to just about EVERYTHING that lines grocery store shelves these days…

We give you the full scoop on which oils you MUST avoid, along with those that are both safe and beneficial to consume, in this brand new free report, The 5 Worst Cooking Oils for a Flat Stomach.

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References

  • Dulloo AG, Fathi M, Mensi N, Girardier L. Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and urinary catecholamines of humans consuming low-to-moderate amounts of medium-chain triglycerides: a dose-response study in a human respiratory chamber. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Mar;50(3):152-8.
  • Geliebter A, et al. Overfeeding with medium-chain triglyceride diet results in diminished deposition of fat. Am J Clin Nutr January 1983 vol. 37 no. 1 1-4.
  • Hilmarsson H, et al. Virucidal effect of lipids on visna virus, a lentivirus related to HIV. Arch Virol 2006;151:1217-1224. 22.
  • Intahphuak S, et al. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil. Pharm Biol 2010;48:151-157.
  • Kabara JJ, et al. Fatty acids and derivatives as antimicrobial agents. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 1972;2:23-28. 21.
  • Kitahara T, et al. Antimicrobial activity of saturated fatty acids and fatty amines against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 2004;27:1321-1326.
  • McCarty MF, DiNicolantonio JJ. Lauric acid-rich medium-chain triglycerides can substitute for other oils in cooking applications and may have limited pathogenicity. Open Heart. 2016 Jul 27;3(2):e000467. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2016-000467. eCollection 2016.
  • Papamandjaris AA, White MD, Jones PJ. Components of total energy expenditure in healthy young women are not affected after 14 days of feeding with medium-versus long-chain triglycerides. Obes Res. 1999 May;7(3):273-80.
  • St-Onge MP, et al. Impact of medium and long chain triglycerides consumption on appetite and food intake in overweight men. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 Oct;68(10):1134-40. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.145. Epub 2014 Jul 30.
  • St-Onge MP, et al. Physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides: potential agents in the prevention of obesity. J Nutr. March 1, 2002 vol. 132 no. 3 329-332.
  • Stubbs RJ, Harbron CG. Covert manipulation of the ratio of medium- to long-chain triglycerides in isoenergetically dense diets: effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1996 May;20(5):435-44.
  • Zakaria AA, et al. In vivo antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of dried and fermented processed virgin coconut oil. Med Princ Pract 2011;20:231-236.
  • ellen van wyk

    Hi there i believe in coconut oil i have using it all my life its really amazing But thanx for the tip that it is good for weigh loss allso that is new too me but thanxvery great ful”;;God bless

    • Cristina

      Hi Ellen. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a nice review, and for sharing your personal experience with coconut oil.

      We would love to learn more about your inclusion of coconut oil, and how it has provided you with favorable results. Do you have a particular coconut oil that you use?

      Thank you for sharing your opinion with others. We look forward to hearing from you again soon.

      • Inna

        Dear Cristina
        I never used the coconut oil and chia and would like to know how to cook and how to use it in salads for example
        Thank you in advance
        Inna

        • Cristina

          Hi Inna. We appreciate your interest in our article on the benefits of coconut oil. I would be more than happy to share some additional information on how you can incorporate both coconut oil and chia into your healthy diet.

          Both coconut oil and chia are what I would consider to be “healthy fats”. Generally speaking, the following are good starting points for portion sizes for fats:

          Women: start with 1 thumb sized portion per meal
          Men: start with 2 thumb sized portion per meal

          For me personally, I use coconut oil in place of butter, shortening and oil in most (if not all) of my baking. Something I learned the hard way is coconut oil will solidify if added to cold ingredients (i.e., eggs and milk) so it’s best to make sure all ingredients in the recipe are at room temperature before you add the coconut oil.

          Some folks add a serving of coconut oil to their protein shakes or their coffee, and these are both excellent ways to ensure you are getting healthy fats in your diet.

          Coach Josh mentioned some of the benefits of healthy fats, and I would like to add that healthy fats are critical for recovery and support of mental health and feelings of well being.

          Chia seeds are loaded with essential nutrients like omega-3s, calcium, potassium and magnesium, and contain 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per tablespoon.

          Since chia seeds have a somewhat neutral flavor, I toss a serving into pancakes, waffles, or muffins. Sometimes I will add them into recipes such as my Healthy Granola Bars. The reason I am such a fan of chia seeds is because they are so small I can get away with adding them to my baking without my children noticing. 😉

          I hope this information is helpful, Inna. If there is anything else we can do for you, just say the word!

  • Actually it would be sesame seed oil or safflower oil or pecan oil if we could find it or grass-fed-butter or walnut oil if we could find it.

    • Cristina

      Welcome, Anna. We appreciate your feedback and I would say this is a case where we view things on a good>>better>>best continuum when determining which type of oil or fat source to include in our diet.

      Butter sourced from grass-fed cows is high in conjugated linoleic acid, which has potent body composition and anti-inflammatory benefits, so this may be a good fat source.

      In terms of cooking oils, I would probably suggest avoiding other refined vegetable/seed oils like peanut, corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oils for many of the same reasons as mentioned in my above response to Muriel’s inquiry about canola oil.

      Specifically, these refined oils are heavily concentrated in omega-6 fatty acids. This is important because omega-6 fatty acids are generally considered “pro-inflammatory,” and they are particularly problematic when consumed in excess of omega-3 fatty acids, which are generally regarded as “anti-inflammatory.”

      You see, experts estimate that throughout human history the optimal ratio for consumption of omega-6 fatty acids (e.g., linoleic acid) to omega-3 fatty acids (e.g., alpha linolenic acid, DHA, EPA) was about 1:1. With the contemporary diet, this ratio has shifted dramatically in favor omega-6 fatty acids to 20:1.

      Researchers attribute this imbalanced intake of omega fatty acids to an increase in virtually all inflammation-related conditions including mood disorders, mental illnesses, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. That’s right, despite the fact that we’ve been fed the advice to opt for refined vegetable oils rich in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids for the past half century, research now shows that this advice is misguided, leading to increased rates of death from all causes, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease.

      While there are multiple explanations for this heavy imbalance of omega fatty acids—including a decrease in omega-3 fatty acid consumption from freshwater fish—researchers attribute this in large part to the ubiquity of refined vegetable oils (e.g., soybean, safflower, sunflower, peanut, corn oil) present in the Western diet.

  • Muriel

    How about Canola oil?

    • Cristina

      Hello Muriel. Great question!

      We generally recommend folks avoid using polyunsaturated fatty acids such as vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, and canola oil.

      These five cooking oils are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and can do a number on your omega fatty acid balance, thus inducing inflammation and ultimately negatively impacting your overall health.

      Beyond that, polyunsaturated oils are highly unstable under heat, light, and pressure, all of which heavily oxidize these fragile oils, snowballing free radical production within your body and ultimately increasing inflammation within your body’s cells, tissues, and organs.

      Even worse, polyunsaturated fatty acids are easily transformed into health-derailing trans fats under high heat, and research conducted at
      the University of Florida found the trans-fat levels of commercial canola oil products to be a whopping 4.6%—the highest of all oils.

      Thus, we recommend folks limit their consumption of these oils whenever possible.

  • I love coconut water, extra virgin coconut oil and coconut milk. Actually, using coconut milk (instead of creams and other milks) in cooking vegetables and foods can also give coconut oil, coz coconut milk contains coconut oil, and it taste so good.

    • Cristina

      Hi there, MakeMoneyHobby.com. It sounds as though you are very well versed in the benefits of coconut oil and how it is far reaching beyond that of any other dietary oils.

      It is no surprise why the palm tree is known as the “Tree of Life”.

      If you have any favorite recipes that incorporate coconut water, coconut oil, and coconut milk, we would love for you to share them with us!

  • john

    The very best oil is Linseed oil and will also take high heat as in frying unlike coconut oil which won’t! Linseed oil has a very high Omega3 and as a
    Master Horseman/Dietician/Nutritionist I know the benifits of a healthy oil for the skin/hair/ and overall body health, and if it’s good for horses then it’s
    great for humans! Also ACV(apple cider vinegar) is great for weight loss which literally desolves excessive belly fat it also has many other benifit’s e.g.
    Removes free radicals, cleans the blood of toxins etc. By the way the best Linseed oil is Raw Linseed oil you can buy it at a horse store or drug store
    that sells other stuff for horses, cheaper too!!

    • Hi John,

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing your insights and enthusiasm. We appreciate fellow avid health and fitness folks such as yourself!

      Having said that, I respectfully disagree with regard to using linseed oil (more commonly known as flaxseed oil) for cooking. In fact, I’d highly recommend not cooking with it for the very reason that you cited: it’s rich in polyunsaturated fats (e.g., omega-3s), which are very unstable when exposed to oxygen and heat. In other words, when heated, these fats are very susceptible to oxidation, which results in the production of free radicals and harmful compounds, and rancidification, which results in an unpleasant smell and taste. I talk more about this in the following article:

      4 cooking oils to never use

      That’s not to say that you can’t or shouldn’t use flaxseed oil (although I’d suggest that ground flaxseeds are likely a better option); however, linseed/flaxseed is best used “cold” (i.e., unheated) applications, such as part of a salad dressing, drizzled on vegetables, added to smoothies, etc.

      With regard to apple cider vinegar, I would agree that there are some potential health benefits associated with its use, most notably an improvement in blood sugar management and appetite control (e.g., increased satiety). Along those lines, some studies have shown that ACV can improve weight loss outcomes, which seem to be related more to a decrease in appetite (i.e., reduced calorie consumption) than dissolving body fat, so to speak.

      However, I’d be curious to learn more about the science behind these other potential health benefits that you’ve suggested. If you don’t mind sharing links to relevant resources, I’m very open minded to learn.

      Thanks, John!

  • Kathryn Niager

    I have listened to this presentation a couple of times, and have purchased this product, However, I still don’t know what the #1 deadly oil is that you referenced prior to the presentation. If I missed it, please tell me what it is. Thanks.

    • Cristina

      Hi Kathryn. We appreciate you taking the time to listen to the presentation, and even moreso that it was helpful in your product selection. I am sorry to hear it did not provide you with the information you were looking for in regards to the #1 deadly oil.

      With regards to the 5 worst cooking oils we recommend steering clear of, those are:

      1. Vegetable oil
      2. Soybean oil
      3. Corn oil
      4. Sunflower oil
      5. Canola oil

      If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let us know.

      We are honored at the opportunity to serve you.

  • Nicxk Lenhardt

    How can this be better? We needs to see it.would love it OK.

    • Cristina

      Hi Nicxk. Thank you for taking the time to check out our article on extra virgin coconut oil.

      I personally use coconut oil for a variety of things, and have found it to be pretty amazing. The following eBook is a great resource and will help you to see the many uses of coconut oil:

      10 Ways To Add Coconut Oil To Your Diet

      Hope this helps, Nicxk. We look forward to your next visit!

  • Hi Dr. Pete,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing your question; it’s a good one, and to be quite frank, you’ve piqued my interest. I get the sense that you’re asking the question rhetorically, so I wonder if you might be able to shed some light and provide some additional detail.

    On one hand, coconut oil has come under considerable recently, most notably in position paper published by the American Heart Association. On the other hand, I would tend to argue with what may be insinuated that the health benefits of coconut oil may be overstated. I’ve elaborated on both sides in the following article:

    Is Coconut Oil Good For You? Here are the facts…

    Having said that, arguments against coconut oil seem to stem from its fat content—particularly its saturated fat—and the notion that fat (saturated or otherwise) is “bad” has roots in observational data from the 40s and 50s, which we’ve discussed in other articles and on our podcast:

    Low-Carb vs Low-Fat: Which Diet Is Really Better For You?

    7 Nutrition and Exercise Myths…BUSTED!

    I’d be interested to hear any additional thoughts that you have on the topic, Dr. Pete. Thank you for your time and the discussion.