Smart Fuel: Coconut Oil

We?ve written about the nutritional benefits of coconut, shared recipes that include coconut milk, and discussed the merits of coconut flour, but we?ve never actually fully covered one of the best coconut products out there: coconut oil.

Coconut oil consists of about 92 percent saturated fat and is therefore nearly solid at room temperature. It can be used in cooking, but is also a common ingredient in home remedies and skin care products.

Although it gets a bad rap in some circles for its high saturated fat content, we know that such fats can offer many health benefits. For example, coconut oil has been found to help normalize blood lipids and protect against damage to the liver by alcohol and other toxins, can play a role in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases, and is associated with improved blood sugar and insulin control and therefore the prevention and management of diabetes. In addition, coconut oil has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. On a more superficial level, meanwhile, coconut oil is thought to help strengthen mineral absorption, which is important for healthy teeth and bones, and can also help improve the condition and appearance of the scalp, hair and skin when ingested or topically applied.

So how is this veritable miracle food manufactured? In brief, coconuts are collected, broken open and then the flesh is allowed to dry. To extract the oil, the dried flesh is then heated at a low temperature until any moisture is evaporated, leaving you with an oil residue. Now, the thing to note here is that in most coconut oil manufacturing processes chemicals are used to expedite drying as well as to speed the heating process. However, if you select an organic coconut oil, no chemicals will have been used during processing and the original coconut itself will have been grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Regular coconut oil production, however, often subjects the coconut meat to chemical solvents in order to maximize extraction. If you want to avoid any chemical residues, stick to organic coconut oil. This shouldn’t be difficult, since most coconut oil available in stores seems to be organic.

One other thing to note is that with coconut oils there are many different grades, or values of refinement. According to the Asian and Pacific Coconut Community Standards for virgin coconut oil, coconut oil can only be sold as such when it is ?obtained from the fresh and mature kernel of coconut by mechanical or natural means with or without the application of heat, which does not lead to alteration of the oil.”

Refined coconut oil ? which is generally what you?ll see in stores ? is made from copra, the dried meat of the coconut. However, because the process of drying the coconut is somewhat unsanitary ? it includes laying them out in the sun, putting them in a kiln, or smoking them  ? the oil is inedible, and is therefore required to undergo a refinement process that includes some combination of using high heat to deodorize the oil, filtering the oil through bleaching clays, adding sodium hydroxide to remove impurities and prolong shelf-life, or performing some kind of hydrogenation or partial-hydrogenation process. In industry terms refined coconut oil is RBD – refined, bleached, deodorized.

The choice is clear ? steer clear of the refined stuff and stick with organic virgin coconut oil.

A word of warning about coconut oils labeled as extra virgin. Experts note that there is no other ? or more virginal ? process of extracting oil from coconuts and the concept of the ?extra? is nothing more than a marketing ploy.

Coconut oil is less sensitive to heat than other oils (won’t oxidize as easily) so it’s great for stir-frys and sauteeing. You can substitute it in baking (when making Primal energy bars, for example) and in recipes that call for butter, lard or any other high-saturated fats. It is fairly similar in consistency to butter so it can be used as a spread for vegetables. It makes an excellent addition to a smoothie and can also be used in place of a creamer in coffee or tea.

Our verdict? This is one seriously tropical way to get some more healthy fat in your diet.

What do you use coconut oil for? Share your thoughts in the comment board!

Further Reading:

10 Steps to “Primalize” Your Pantry

Choose Your Own Stir-Fry Adventure

Guest Post by Modern Forager: Tropical Oils

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139 thoughts on “Smart Fuel: Coconut Oil”

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  1. This is my go-to oil for cooking anything on the stove over medium heat. I’ve also used it in baking once or twice. A friend of mine even uses it instead of butter on toast.

  2. I use it to cook eggs every morning. It’s good to blend into homemade nut butters and gives shakes a creamy taste without adding sugar. Also, when I’m craving fat and don’t want to eat fats with carbohydrates (i.e. almond butter), I’ll take a scoop straight. Nutiva makes a good organic, extra virgin coconut oil and they sell it by the gallon.

  3. I’ve been taking coconut oil every day for about four months now, and one of the first effects I noticed was mood stabilization… people also started asking me if I was doing something “different”, because my skin was looking really good. I also apply it topically most nights before bed.

    For cooking, it’s particularly great for fish.

    1. How much do you take everyday. Do you take only coconut oil or do you take a combination of coconut oil and coconut milk?

      Thanks for you reply!

    2. How do you take the coconut oil? I have tried swallowing it but feel nauseous at the thought of so much oil in my body. I know that’s crazy but… I am looking for a way to take it which does not involve swallowing it. I do cook with it. It most definitely works!

      1. You can swallow it easily, you just have to emulsify it first. I can take very large amounts of coconut oil by emulsifying it with sunflower lecithin in a blender. First, melt it gently, then mix in a small amount of lecithin, then blend it with lukewarm water. It tastes like milk–even more so if you add whey protein.

        1. dont over do the lecithin! Lecithin makes things soapy – soapy means degrease = penetrate lipids…. so too much lecithin = leaky gut

  4. While I use virgin coconut oil raw, on my skin, and for baking and light sauteing, I have been using expeller-pressed coconut oil for frying. It’s flavorless so you don’t get that coconut flavor that competes with the flavor of the food.

    I have used expeller-pressed coconut oil for fried chicken (with yogurt and sprouted flour), French fries, fried banana chips, and homemade tortilla chips (made from homemade masa from organic corn I soaked myself). It’s also great for popping popcorn. Everything I have made has come out delicious!

    I’m going to try making all kinds of other things like doughnuts and tempura — I even want to try using it for fondue.

    Expeller-pressed coconut oil is also a lot cheaper so I like to use it for frying. I buy it from Nutiva and Wilderness Family Naturals.

    1. I used coconut oil on my skin for several months, thinking it was superior to chemical laden lotions. At first it worked great, but over time my natural oils must have slowed down, because my skin became like an alligator’s. I quit using it, and after several weeks, my skin recouped it’s natural look. I’ve since read articles on oil causing skin to dry out.

      1. It did the same thing to me as well. I used VCO on my skin, it became super dry and I could not figure out why. So I did some research and seen that I was not going crazy, that it was indeed the organic virgin coconut oil that was drying me out so bad! Be ware! It works good at first.

        1. Moderation is the key. . . It never dried my skin out but then again I don’t use it often on my skin… I don’t always like to apply it because I don’t like such oily skin but I will do it sometimes to help my skin stay nice then I don’t apply anymore for at least another month or so.. works perfect my skin stays shinny for a while after that. Now if I am spending time in the sun a lot then I might start putting stuff on my skin more regularly.

    2. Thanks very much for the tips on Expeller-pressed coconut oil. I didn’t know about it and I will inquire more before I use it in cooking.

  5. I love brussels sprouts that have been coated with coconut oil, dusted with curry powder, and then roasted. Yum!

    I also put coconut oil in my hair about once a week for a deep conditioning treatment.

    1. I get mine from ebay certified organic COCONOIL. Its the best price I have found it so far.

  6. firstlunchthenwar – you can buy it in Holland and Barrett in the UK. £11.99 for 16oz.

    We use coconut oil for all our frying. We use creamed coconut or coconut cream in our curries to create a creamy texture. We eat fresh coconut for dessert sometimes. I even put coconut oil on my vegetables instead of butter.

    In short? We use it at every opportunity we get!

  7. I love it on nearly frozen berries with a little cinnamon and a couple tablespoons of kefir (or yogurt). It goes on as a liquid and hardens into a thin shell that is a little crunchy and delicious!

  8. Great! About a week ago, I bought coconut oil for the very first time and I’m still experimenting what works with it and what doesn’t. If anyone got some experiences to share here, I’d be happy to hear about that. I think I’m still not using enough of it most of the time though. It wasn’t that cheap, but then again, even if I’m using a little more for frying etc. it shouldn’t change that much, it’s not that I’m eating it like I’d eat yogurt or anything.

    @Parley: When you say you take it every day, yo you meantaking it with food or do you mean applying it on your skin? I’ve got quite some dry skin, so is this an good option?

  9. Tblspn of CO + tspn of cocoa + sprinkle of xylitol + a few minutes in the freezer = nice “fudge” treat.
    Enjoy !

  10. We have generally avoided coconut oil because of the saturated fat, but my wife loves coconut milk. It may be interesting to look for some coconut flour though. Never tried cooking with that. Thanks for the info!

  11. haven’t used coconut oil but i think i’m going to be ordering some and trying it asap! my pantry, refrigerator, and whole kitchen look so different these days… i LOVE it.. its so.. so.. soo, whats the word? PRIMAL!

  12. I make a shake just about every morning. Not paleo/primal, but it’s become my morning staple. 8oz milk, 1 med. banana (or half a large), 1 scoop (30ish g) of chocolate protein powder, 1 heaping scoop of peanut butter (used almond butter a few times but it didn’t cut it for taste, for me pb goes better with the chocolate & banana), and about 1 big spoonful of coconut oil, ice and blend. Wanted just a little more ‘better’ fat than the PB alone was giving the shake and the coc. oil does the trick and adds a nice little extra flavor to it.

    Also used coconut oil for scrambling eggs, can’t really tell much of a difference over butter.

    I’ve used it in the Primal Bars several times. I’m glad to hear about the differences in coconut oils, my first jar of it was an expensive organic expeller pressed oil, but the one I’m on now was a significantly cheaper large container of it. I didn’t know the difference when I bought it (other than the first being labeled ‘organic’), now I do, thanks Mark.

  13. The Wilderness Family Naturals has no coconut flavor – which apparently is true for all expeller-pressed (?). Sometimes you want the taste…sometimes you don’t!

  14. It reminds me of those old SNL commercials: its a floor polish! its a dessert topping! I can’t wait to try that frozen berry treat, thanks Rodney. & thanks to Sally, I’m gonna have another way to prepare Brussel spouts (can’t get enough of ’em).

    Something I tried the other night: ahi tuni “dredged” in fresh ground black pepper and sesame seeds. Pan-sear in coconut oil on hot skillet.

  15. I love coconut oil but do find that it flavors the food I cook slightly. It’s great if you are going for a tropical flavor or curry. And it’s great in desserts- esp of the raw variety.

  16. I love coconut oil! I use it in all of my baking, as well as on toast and in stir-fry. I also combine it with sea salt, essential oils, and a little olive oil for a body scrub. Plus it’s delicious in greek yogurt if you happen to buy non-fat.

    Emily from Healthy Eating, Naturally

    1. I bought organic virgin coconut oil, and when I tasted it, it tasted like rancid coconut candy. Is that the way it is supposed to taste? I melted some in my coffee and that wasn’t that bad tasting. It says it expires in 2012 and I bought it at Vitamin Cottage.

      1. I bought a jar of organic at my commissary, and it tastes DELICIOUS, I keep sweeping a spoon over the top of it and eating it plain (just a little taste, less than 1/4 tsp) when I want something sweet! Not rancid at all, so maybe you got a bad jar. It kind of melts in your mouth. Can’t wait to try some of the recipes here!

  17. I use coconut oil in my coffee, love it. Also as a general cooking oil. I can’t resist eating it out of the jar too. The Nutiva brand is what I use.

    1. I’ve found something interesting with stove-top cooking (sauteeing, I guess) and protein. If I use a long-chain fat, it has that nice non-stick or at least stick-less effect that I would expect from cooking fat. If I cook protein with MCT fats, though, like coconut oil, I run into problems. It’s like the protein soaks it up and starts sticking almost right away.

      I’m finding I’d rather cook with a cooking *fat* than a cooking oil because the solid fats (solid at most non-cooking temperatures) tend to be long-chain and behave a lot better.

      I have found similar with baking. If I bake Paleo/Primal muffin recipes with the coconut oil they typically call for, the muffins stick hard to paper muffin cups. If I use ghee instead, which is long-chain, the amount of sticking is about what you’d get from a conventional muffin. In other words you can peel off the muffin cup without losing half the muffin too.

      I am probably not the only person who has noticed these phenomena.

      1. This is interesting. Something I will test. I cook for my child and my family but I am also a baker and I shall experiment on what you said about sticking.

  18. Not only to I cook with coconut oil and eat it but it makes a great massage oil (melts in your hand) and is great at preventing sunburn.

    So eat it, play with it and wear it too! What other food is that diverse?


    1. FYI for anyone who comes after since this comment was from 5 years ago: If you go Paleo or Primal, you may find that your *diet* prevents sunburn. My personal n=1: keeping my carbs low (to a reasonable level for me that permits fat loss) and eating enough animal fat and tropical fat means I can sit out for longer and not do much more than turn light pink. I’m brunette with brown eyes, if that helps, though when I was younger I’d burn a lot faster. And if I let the carbs creep back into my diet now, even with the good fats still in place, I start sunburning faster again.

      So yeah, put the coconut oil on your skin, but also ask yourself if you really *need* that second helping of “safe starches.” I’ve been wheat-free (except maybe the occasional trace) since 2012 and I still notice these differences.

  19. madMUHHH-

    I generally buy two tubs at a time, and keep one in the kitchen for cooking and eating (just a spoonful, straight, every morning when I get up. I’ve seen some sites recommending 2-3 spoonfuls a day).

    The second tub I keep under the bathroom sink, and use some on my face/neck most nights before bed, and in my hair before bed once or twice a week.

  20. I sometimes mix coconut oil half and half with butter. That way I get the good MCTs, but also the rich, buttery taste. Not that coconut oil has a bad flavor, but it’s just nice to change things up once in awhile without totally sacrificing one or the other.

  21. In my country sri lanka, coconut oil, coconut milk, coconut meat and coconut water is used everyday for everymeal, coconut oil is the only oil used for cooking in rural parts of the country, and the oil is always homemade from fresh cocnuts, the people in these parts are incredibly healthy and fit, while people in cities use ‘western’ vegetable oil and they have high rates of obesity and diabetes, there are other factors of cause but coconut oil has amazing properties

  22. Greg at Live Fit: Don’t avoid saturated fat! It’s good for you and is what humans have eaten for thousands of years.

  23. I use it to cook, yum!

    I use it like lotion after a shower. Melted it and added a couple drops of essential oil.

    I put it on scrapes, cuts and such. I have noticed a much faster heal time when I use the coconut oil. It is also antimicrobial so it protects against infection.

    1. Tara,

      To get a wonderful easy to apply texture for coconut oil used as lotion, just beat it with your electric mixer. It gets fluffy and is perfect to scoop up and moisturize your skin.

    2. Thanks Tara! I will try it for scrapes and cuts. I’ve been thinking about using essential oils.

  24. Coconut oil was a godsend to my overly bruised skin (from too much running, which I’ve since quit thanks to this website), and it’s a great base for salad dressings. One of the things I’ve heard about it is that a teaspoon of VCO five minutes before every meal will help the food get digested easily, although the claim hasn’t been proven. Can anyone attest craziness? Because, I mean… gulping oil, that’s just nasty.

  25. I’m with Methuselah, dump a load of that creamed coconut into my curries. The mix of hot chillies and cool coconut has only one disadvantage, it generates a strong demand for 85% chocolate.

    Shall have to try the oil on its own, it’s now on my list for next week’s shop.

    1. Ha ha ha! My favorite snack is a whole grain waffle with coconut oil and dark chocolate peanut butter.

  26. what is the difference between coconut oil and creamed coconut? i have seen both. the creamed stuff seems to come in a hard block and the only ingredients listed is coconut. so what’s the difference?

    1. Coconut oil: the coconut fat by itself, pressed from the meat.

      Creamed coconut: the coconut meat processed into a creamy texture.

  27. Creamed coconut is like coconut milk in paste form (without all the water); it contains whole coconut meat. Coconut oil is just the oil from coconuts, separated from the fiber, water, etc. Virgin coconut oil is made from fresh coconut, rather than dried coconut. Traditional Filipino VCO is made by allowing the liquid expressed from the fresh coconuts to ferment, which separates the fat from everything else. The other method used to make VCO is a centrifuge. Personally, I like the centrifuged VCO from Wilderness Family Naturals.

  28. Ha ha, I use coconut oil in my hair. I tried to cook some tempeh in it once and it burned, so I haven’t tried again.

  29. I keep one tub in the kitchen and use it for cooking when butter or olive oil wouldn’t be the best choice — any frying, soups, bread, whatever.

    I keep another next to the bed. It is the most wonderful body lotion!

  30. Just got a 5 gal tub (I think) from Mountain Rose. its awesome and I have been using it for a long time now, coc oil that is!!

  31. I use 1 part coconut oil, 1 part butter to all the foods I cook on the stove.

    If someone in our family has a cut, bruise, burn or skin irritation of any kind – I put coconut oil on it. If it’s really bad I put some calendula oil and tea tree oil in a cup with coconut oil and whip it together. That mixture heals pretty much anything in a short amount of time.

    Before we go out for extended periods of time I have everyone slather on some coconut oil and then we put on natural sunblock when we get where we’re going.

    And I always use it as a moisturizer. 🙂

  32. Memo to anyone trying to buy it and failing to find it, it isn;t in a bottle with the other oils as it’s pretty solid at room temperature and comes in a jar or tub (DUH!)

    I was going to do the chicken thing listed above but mother decided it would have too many nuts, so I compromised and stir fried the chicken with streaky bacon coloured peppers garlic and ginger root in some coconut oil, first impressions are it has quite a high cooking temperature and didn’t taste of coconut.

  33. I just purchased some coconut oil and noticed the it had expired last month, should I throw it away?

    1. You can say if it has spoilt from the smell. Natural coconut oil leaves a very unpleasant rancid smell if it has gone bad. If it smells just fine, you may continue to use it. Regular user of CO oil.

  34. How do you use this instead of creamer for tea or coffee? I tried and the oil just rose to the top, making just about every sip pure oil…and I don’t love the taste straight. Am I missing something here?

  35. Hi,

    I recently saw organic coconut oil in a jar that was totally liquid and clear at room temperature – I shunned it because it was £10 for 500g!

    I ended up buying a non organic jar from an Indian store for £1.59 for 500g. But this was solid and white at room temperature.

    can anyone explain the why one was clear/liquid and the other was opaque/solid?

    1. Alex: virgin coconut oil changes from a solid to a clear liquid right around a warm room temperature (it’s about 77 or 78 degrees F if my memory serves). So it’s possible that it was just warmer in one store than the other.

  36. Another good source for both virgin and expeller/pressed coconut oil is Tropical Traditions; they also carry coconut cream concentrate and many other products they make from coconut oil. The owner’s wife is from the Phillipines and they use only coconuts grown by the local small farmers. Mary Enig, Phd, lipid expert suggests 3-4 tablespoons daily which contains the same amount of lauric acid as mother’s breast milk – it’s what keeps new babies from getting sick. And saturated fat is what your brain, heart and other organs use for energy. You need it!

  37. On Virgin vs Extra Virgin- I have noticed a significant taste difference. The extra virgin CC oil tasting much more “coconutty” than the virgin (both being organic).

  38. Mark, I am really surprised that you reported the supposed medical benefits of coconut oil. Most of your stuff is well researched and documented, but the coconut oil supposed benefits have never been proven scientifically.

    There is a lot of crap on the internet and in magazines, and the rave reviews of coconut oil are crap. Just like the supposed benefits of acai berries.

    Pure junk science.

    1. Have you actually tried VCO and are speaking from from experience? Or are you believing what you read?

      If you haven’t ACTUALLY TRIED IT, I dare you to try Virgin Coconut Oil for 21 days and see what happens. You may be surprised. Go ahead, I dare ya!

      If you HAVE actually tried it and nothing at all happened of value or worth from a health persprective, then I extend my humblest apology for my post and ask for you forgiveness.

    2. Actually, there are some really good studies out there on the lauric acid that comprises about 57%, on average, of coconut oil. The first one I saw was done by the CDC, and then one by Stanford; both at least 5 years ago now. And one in Japan. Their results all agreed: It kills 29 classes of enveloped viruses by destroying their protein envelope, leaving what passes for the nucleus of the virus unprotected so the body’s defenses can more easily take it down. It does nearly the same thing to gram negative and positive bacteria both, and to many of the fungi that are unfriendly to humans.

    1. I read that statement just now and it sounds like they are trying to sell some of their own products by dissing coconut oil. What I’d like to know is have they ACTUALLY tried virgin coconut oil? I’ve been using it for about 15 days (consuming as food and using as a body lotion) and I have noticed an amazing amount of energy from it and a lessening in spring allergies. I took hardly any yesterday and noticed I was extremely lethargic. To test the theory that it was indeed the VCO helping me, I took my usual amount and in about 20-30 minutes, my normal energetic self was back.

      I encourage you to do some experimentation for yourself. Only you know what your body can benefit from. You might also want to check out “Eat Fat Look Thin” by Bruce Fife. You can read most of it for free online on Google Books. I am on page 78.

  39. The gold label Tropical Traditions CO tastes so good that I eat a spoonful by itself sometimes. There isn’t anything else like it that I’ve discovered. The extraction process they use is unique.

    Diane, there are lots of scientific studies *proving* the benefits of coconut oil. Like all scientific studies it’s up to you to decide if you think they are valid or not.

    bruce b.

  40. I use VCO for some cooking and I put it on toast with peanut butter and it’s D’lish. I also use it as an anit frizz serum for my hair and a straightening balm for my hair when I want to go straight. I use it sparingly since it is an oil and you can over do it. If you do overdo it, get some corn starch and go through your hair. I am also using it as a body moisturizer, I feel alot less dry all over BUT my hands are seeming to dry out quickly…maybe cause I am washing them all of the time. Great massage oil and I put it on my feet and throw socks on and go to bed and wake up with soft feet.

  41. I cook with coconut oil and only coconut oil – I love it to death and it is the best stuff out there. How about that!

  42. Egad! I’m sooo confused. Mark (or someone), clarify something for me, please! The more accessible/affordable grocery store coconut oil (eg Louana) is NOT what I should use? The sources mentioned in the replies here are very pricey. What to do?

  43. I tried organic, expeller pressed virgin coconut oil by Spectrum organics for the first time today. I was absolutely floored at how yummy it was just by the spoonful…. omg…. sinfully good.

    I have been reading about it for a while. I’m trying to lose this last 4 pounds of bodyfat and decided to change my diet radically and increase my good fat intake – I lift weights and have heard around the community that this is something I should try out.

    I fell in love at first taste. I am interested to try it on my skin and in my hair. It was exceptionally decadent and yummy. I’m hooked after three spoonfuls.

  44. I have a tub of unopened “pure, unrefined coconut oil”. There’s zero starch, yeast, gluten, milk, soya, wheat, sugar, etc etc. But: the allergy advice warns “Contains (or contains an ingredient/s derived from) nuts” Where on earth are the nuts coming from??
    I also don’t see the words Cold Pressed, Organic, or Virgin on it anywhere. So, I’m thinking of bringing it back.

  45. @JustinKN–Ted Slanker jabbers a lot. I met a small, independent farmer here in Texas who has actually personally met Ted Slanker and doesn’t like him. Now, while that may not mean much, I just want you to consider that trusting Slanker is maybe not such a good idea. I trust Mary Enig–a lipid biochemist–and HER opinions about coconut oil over Slanker’s any day. He’s great at making money and selling his products. Use your own judgment: coconut oil which has been used for literally thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of years…or canola oil which is a genetically modified rapeseed oil? I think I know which one Grok would prefer.

  46. The best place to get coconut oil that I have found is from Wilderness Family naturals.
    They have 3 types of coconut oil but my all time favorite in the organic centrifuge pressed virgin coconut oil. Wow, it smells and tastes wonderful. I use it for massage oil, since I am a massage therapist. I guess you could call me an aficionado of coconut oil. Did you you know that coconut oil is the only water soluble oil? So it washes easily out of clothes and linens.

  47. A bit late to the party, but if folks out there are concerned about the price I’d suggest having a look at your local farmers market. Here in Atlanta the Dekalb Farmers Market sells “Phillipines Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil” in 16oz plastic tubs for $3.49.

  48. I had a monster skin tag which the dermatologist wouldn’t remove, but it bothered the heck out of me. It was like a pet parrot on my shoulder LOL. I rubbed organic, virgin coconut oil on it three times a day and in a week it was shrunk by half, and in a month was COMPLETELY gone. You would never know it was there, even if I showed you where it was. I read later than I could have soaked a band-aid pad in the oil and put it on there. Absolutely amazing.

  49. So let me get this right; The clear-yellow coconut oil that I have been using is refined in unfavourable ways, and isn’t recommended for health and longevity? And I should run for the hills, and even refined palm oil is better than refined coconut oil? I’m very confused here please help.

    The bottle says ingredients are: Coconut oil. So misleading!

    1. The correct one to use is Unrefined, unbleached, unprocessed Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. I swear by this item. In 2008, I took 2 tablespoons everyday and lost 20 pounds in 3 weeks. Effortlessly. It is good for your overall health.

  50. I buy most of my things from this store where they package their own bulk whole foods. They have coconut oil. All that’s written on the label is “coconut oil- Kosher, tropical, all-purpose” Do you think it’s refined with chemicals?

  51. There is an excellent article from Dr. Mercola on thyroid dysfunction and some ways to manage it naturally with coconut oil of all things. There was feature about that in Womens Day in 2003 as well but there are plenty of resources and testimonials about it online.

  52. i find coconut oil to be work wonders i have changed my eating habits i stopped eating bread and sugar and drink one table spoon of coconut oil in the morning and one in the evening and i loss 8 pound in a month without no exercise coconut oil get rid of unwanted fat in the body it has worked for me so try it ..

  53. I started experimenting with the Shangri La diet recently. As part of the diet I took 2 Tbsp of coconut oil on an empty stomach and had a severe (debilitating) stomach ache and diarrhea for the next couple of hours. I had taken 2 Tbsp of canola oil the day before with no problem, so it wasn’t just the amount of fat. The next day I took just 1 Tbsp coconut oil and had very mild stomach upset. After that I was able to take the 2 Tbsp daily with no problem whatsoever. I’ve since read that this is extremely common when people take it in significant amounts on an empty stomach. Some claim it is yeast “die off.” I have no idea, but it’s interesting that it was so severe, and now it has no negative effect. Anyone have any idea as to what that’s all about?

    1. Well I am no expert about coconut oil but know that aloe vera has the same effect. The reason is that it is purging your system of toxins and that is the reason for the upset. It calms doen as the rubbish is expelled from the body

  54. I have recently switched to Coconut Oil from Canola Oil after reading a lot of stuff on lipid peroxidation. I believe this is a primary cause of premature hair loss and early onset of MPB.

    What a lot of people don’t know is that you should ease into coconut oil specially if you are coming from a diet of PUFAs. This is necessary to allow time for your body to adjust to saturated fat. I have myself suffered from slight nausea, upset stomach and heartburn after consuming coconut oil. Perhaps this is caused by allergens in virgin coconut oil and maybe I need to make use of refined coconut oil.

    I am considering dropping coconut oil till my side effects subside and slowly add it back in. Nausea is not fun at all.

  55. We get ours for USD 6 a gallon(India). Let me know if you want some!
    The coconuts are definitely organic, but they may use some chemicals in the extraction,I dunno.

    1. Hi, I would like to say about my experiences after 3 days coconut oil detox. It worked very well, I had no bad symptoms mentioned about it, and my hunger amazingly is cut by half. I made instant coffee and …. couldn’t drink it , it tasted so bad. Anyway home made latte was amazing. My meals are much smaller now, and I have coconut oil only for breakfast, whenever I’m hungry I take it. It really works wonders with my fat loss. Got to add, that I eat primal/paleo with most calories from coconut oil.

  56. I take 3-4 tablespoons of Coconut Oil and enjoy many benefits from this wonderful oil.
    Sustained energy, positive mood, great skin + its superb for dressing and cooking.
    Its an integral part of my primal/paleo inspired wellness lifestyle

  57. Hi everyone. Here’s a couple of interesting articles about the benefits of coconut oil, with some anthropological data from the Phillipines. Apologies if these have been referred to in an earlier thread or other article (however I don’t think they have) but I figure if it makes more people realise the huge health benefits then that’s good:

  58. I’m now using coconut oil on my toast instead of butter! Then I add the wonderful combination of honey and cinnamon and a bit of peanut butter and its delish!

  59. My in-laws are 70ish and not hip to the way the Medium Chain Triglycerides in coconut oil benefit the body and especially the brain. In fact, they were a bit horrified to see us using it. Soo… I made them a hefty leftover smoked chicken, asparagus, oregano, cilantro and cheddar cheese frittata loaded in a whole wheat pita for the drive from Ky to Florida. The sandwiches easily weighed 1/2 pound each. Between the browning of the chicken and asparagus and the oil to cook the actual omelet, I would wager that each stuffed pita sandwich contained at least 2 Tablespoons of Coconut oil.

    They left here at 6:30am, they ate their sandwiches a couple of hours later and drove straight through – 930 miles. They can’t understand how they were able to do this. They said they felt so alert after driving for 10 hours that they decided to push on.

    Anecdotal to be sure, but they haven’t driven straight through in a decade.

  60. Does anybody know about roasted coconut oil ? A friend brought me some from India and it is a yellowish color with a distinctive roasted flavour.

    The package mentioned double filtration. The coconut oil is from one of the biggest coconut producers in India, the Kerafed Co-op. From the little I can find they seem to produce both virgin and roasted coconut oil with good quality control. But, I’m unsure of the health benefits of roasted coconut oil vs the virgin oil (if there are differences).

  61. I have two kinds of coconut oil, both from Spectrum. One is unrefined, and has a distinct coconut flavor. The other is “refined, organic, expeller-pressed” and relatively flavorless. I prefer to use the latter for cooking unless I want the coconut flavor. Is it really not a good idea? The unrefined version is great, but I don’t want my omelets tasting like coconut.

  62. Someone else asked this but I saw no answer. What do you know about Louana coconut oil? I looked on their website but it didn’t give any info. Has it been hydrogenated? It says “all natural” and “pure coconut oil” on the label. “Ingredients: coconut oil”. I will ask the company, too, but has anyone already asked and gotten an answer?

  63. Thanks for the explanation on types and debunking the ‘extra virgin’ label. The food co-op got me for triple the price on organic ‘extra’ virgin coconut oil when I can buy organic virgin at the supplement store instead. Now I’m an educated primal consumer.

    Mark, your work (passion?) is appreciated.


  64. I am trying to put on quite a bit of lean weight. I am currently adding a couple glasses of organic whole milk to my diet with a 2 eggs in the morning. I am eager to add coconut products but am not sure that the fat in the milk, eggs, and coconut oil will be too much saturated fat. How many TBSP of coconut should I be including per day? Suggestions are more than welcom

  65. I use organic virgin UNREFINED coconut oil as a substitute for mct oil when I make bulletproof coffee.

  66. Unless one is doing a shangri-la style method, it is odd to me that anyone would take coconut oil from a spoon as a supplement. Why not enjoy it as a delicious food? Also, I wonder why people don’t use full fat coconut milk more often when they want to supplement coconut oil/MCT. The milk is mostly just coconut fat and water anyway.

    Last night I made a tall glass of chocolate milk using a big spoonful of organic cocoa powder (dissolved in a very small amount of hot water), a few drops of stevia, a touch of cinnamon, a dash of vanilla extract, a good dose of sea salt, and about a third cup of full-fat coconut milk. I filled the rest of the large glass with water and ice and stirred. OH MY was it delicious!

  67. I like to put a tablespoon in my morning oatmeal. I also enjoy a tablespoon with my protein drink after a workout. Plus it’s the best oil for sex lubricant.

  68. Your article says that coconut oil should be rather solid at room temp. I live on a small island and buy coconut oil from a little Thai lady that I witness make my oil. I actually gather the coconuts that she uses to make it!! (gets me a discount)It is VERY pure! But, it does not congeal at room temp.
    Anyone know why??

    1. If you live in a climate that’s around 73*F or higher, VCO will not solidify but stay in semi liquid or liquid state. The “purer” the oil the longer it takes to solidify.


  69. Thanks for sharing the health benefits of coconut oil. This article has added more useful information and had further established my belief that these are true.

  70. I never cook with coconut oil because I don’t like the flavor with savory foods. But, I have found at night that I crave coconut oil. I have about 4 tablespoons at night before bed. I eat frozen coconut oil with dark chocolate and almonds, and sometimes afterwards add a tablespoon of coconut oil to Paleo Fuel and have that as well. Why am I craving coconut oil so much? It is a really intense craving and I feel so good after I eat it.

  71. Does anybody know anything about Spectrum Refined Coconut Oil (expeller pressed, organic)? Their website claims that no chemicals are used in the refining process and that they use temperatures under 250F. Mark’s main text says Refined is RBD, but Spectrum’s process doesn’t sound offensive.

    Am I missing anything?

  72. I have an autistic son so VCO is the only thing I put on his skin, hair, rashes, scrapes, etc.
    VCO is also EXCELLENT oil for “private” areas and sex. My husband and I love it! It can also be used in oil lamps, and to polish leather shoes.


  73. Wonderful & healthy oil to use in many ways. I use it in cooking anything that I am sauteing or frying. I use it on baked potatoes. I also rub it into my dry, cracked heels and feet. It is amazing for that use! I rub it in before bed and then put on an old pair of socks and let it soak in there all night. My horribly dry, cracked heels are now well, soft, and young looking again. Amazing since I am NOT young at all. The newest thing I am trying it on is my dog’s dry, flaky, itchy skin. I just rub a small amount of it into her skin (she’s a short haired dog) and massage it directly into the skin as much as possible. I’ve only done this for a couple of days but she is definitely scratching LESS already. I don’t know. I’ve tried everything on her for the last 5 years and nothing works so far except antibiotics, steroids and anti-fungal meds which I don’t want to keep her on. Once she gets off of them, it all comes back immediately anyway. Since coconut oil is antibacterial and anti-fungal, I’m hoping this might just be the answer. I also put it in her food too. I highly recommend trying coconut oil if you haven’t yet. There’s lot of research on it on the internet so you can research it first if you’re leery about using it.

  74. Where can I buy coconut oil in Kansas City? Anyone know???

  75. If I already bought coconut oil but it is “refined”- how bad actually is it? It was a little expensive I think so should I use it anyway or it’s so bad that I should throw the whole thing out and buy a new one?

  76. Under my current circumstances coconut oil is too expensive for me. But I have found a refined Coconut oil which is much cheaper and something I can afford regularly. Its KTC Pure coconut oil.

    My question is, what is better to use normal vegetable oil or refined coconut oil?

    I hope someone can help. Thanks.

  77. Great Stuff! Use it daily. Fab for cooking fish. Use it on the skin instead of store bought products.. Fab for “between the sheets, too.”

  78. I wonder how to cooking the coconut oil without the oil reach till the smoke point because even I’m cook with lower heat I still can see the smoke from it.

  79. Coconut oil does make me nauseous if I take like a tablespoon of it but some have no problem with this… Now if I use it on food I don’t nearly eat all of it as some is left behind on the plate and this does not seem to bother me. But I love it for the skin!! I don’t apply it all the time but when I do it’s there and it’s great. When your feet start to stink you can put some on and you are good!

  80. One way I use coconut oil is for what’s called “oil pulling.” If you don’t know what that is, you can find lots of pages that talk about it on the Internet. Here’s one:

    Another way I use it is for turmeric tea. First I bring 6 ounces of water and one tablespoon of coconut oil to a full boil. Then I add about 2 grams of organic turmeric powder, a generous dash of freshly ground black pepper, a dash of stevia, and stir like hell. The fat in the coconut oil and the piperine in the pepper are both supposed to increase the absorption of the antioxidant curcumin in the turmeric.

  81. I used coconut oil to heal my son’s eczema that appeared on his scalp. A few applications were enough to get rid of big flakes.