Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil vs Olive Oil: From Culinary to Healthcare

Discover the ultimate showdown between coconut oil and olive oil! According to Statista, coconut oil and olive oil are 8th and 9th, respectively, most used vegetable oils in the world. This article goes beyond the kitchen, exploring their unique characteristics, health benefits, and diverse applications in skin care, hair care, and medicinal use. Find out which oil reigns supreme in this comprehensive comparison.

Chemical Profile: Coconut Oil vs Olive Oil

When it comes to nutrition, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil each bring their distinct array of benefits to the table. Let’s take a closer look at their chemical profiles:

Fatty AcidCoconut Oil (%)Olive Oil (%)
C6 (Caproic acid)~0.5~0.1
C8 (Caprylic acid)~7.0~0.5
C10 (Capric acid)~9.0~0.3
C12 (Lauric acid)~49.0~0.8
C14 (Myristic acid)~16.5~0.3
C16 (Palmitic acid)~8.0~13.5
C18 (Stearic acid)~2.5~2.5
C18:1 (Oleic acid)~5.8~72.0
C18:2 (Linoleic acid)~1.8~10.0
C18:3 (Linolenic acid)~0.2~0.8

Coconut Oil: A Treasure Trove of Medium-Chain Fatty Acids

Approximately 90% of coconut oil is saturated fat. Coconut oil boasts a rich composition of medium-chain fatty acids (C6 – C12 are considered medium-chain fatty acid). Its most prominent fatty acid id lauric acid. These fatty acids are known for their unique ability to be rapidly metabolized, providing a quick source of energy. Additionally, lauric acid has potent antimicrobial properties, bolstering the immune system.

Coconut oil vs Olive oil: which oil reigns supreme?

Olive Oil: The Heart-Healthy Monounsaturated Fat

Contrary to coconut oil, about 85% of olive oil is unsaturated fat. Olive oil is a major source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid. These fats contribute to reducing bad or LDL cholesterol levels, supporting cardiovascular health. Olive oil also contains powerful antioxidants, such as Vitamin E and polyphenols, which combat oxidative stress and inflammation.

Olive oil is rich in oleic acid, just like peanut oil and avocado oil.

Coconut oil vs Olive oil: which oil reigns supreme?

Culinary Versatility: From Frying to Drizzling

In the culinary realm, both Coconut Oil and Olive Oil take center stage, each showcasing its versatility and unique flavors. Let’s explore their culinary roles.

Coconut Oil: The High-Heat Warrior

Coconut Oil excels in high-heat cooking due to its high smoke point. It can reach 204⁰C or 400⁰F. However, smoke point is not the only factor to decide which oil is most heat resistant. One must also consider the oxidative stability of the oil.

Coconut oil is high saturated fat. Saturated fat is known to be more stable in high heat compared to unsaturated fat. It can withstand high temperatures without breaking down or producing harmful compounds.

Coconut oil vs Olive oil: which oil reigns supreme?

Hence, the oil remains stable at elevated temperatures, making it ideal for sautéing, stir-frying, and baking. Additionally, Coconut Oil imparts a delightful hint of coconut flavor to dishes, adding a tropical twist to your culinary creations.

Olive Oil: The Flavorful Elixir

Olive Oil brings a burst of rich, fruity flavors to the table. It shines as a finishing oil, best used in salad dressings, drizzled over roasted vegetables, or simply enjoyed with a crusty piece of bread. Its delicate aroma elevates dishes and enhances the overall dining experience. After all, olive oil is a fundamental component in Mediterranean diet, known for its health benefits.

Coconut oil vs Olive oil: which oil reigns supreme?

Although refined olive oil’s smoke point is relatively high (199⁰C or 390⁰F), it is not recommended to use for high heat frying. This is because olive oil is high in unsaturated fat. When exposed to high heat for a prolonged period, the double bonds between carbon atoms of the unsaturated fat can break down and oxidize, producing harmful compounds.

Interestingly, an Australian study suggests that extra virgin olive oil, not refined olive oil, is most stable at high temperature. Despite its high unsaturated fat content, extra virgin olive oil has a high amount of antioxidants to nullify the negative effect of oxidation.

Skincare Superstars: Nourishment and Glow

In the realm of skincare, both Coconut Oil and Olive Oil possess unique attributes that cater to various skin types and needs. Let’s uncover their skincare prowess.

Coconut Oil: Healing and Moisturizing

Coconut oil’s antimicrobial properties is the oil’s superpower. A study comparing the effectiveness of coconut oil vs virgin olive oil in curing atopic dermatitis or eczema found that coconut oil is a more potent cure. Atopic dermatitis is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which can be successfuly eradicated by regular application of coconut oil. At the end of the experiment, only 5% subjects using coconut oil were still positive, compared to 50% who applied olive oil.

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Coconut Oil’s emollient properties, primarily attributed to its unique composition of fatty acids, make it an excellent moisturizer for the skin. The oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, such as lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid. These fatty acids have smaller molecular structures, allowing coconut oil to penetrate deeply into the skin layers more effectively than many other moisturizers.

Moreover, these nourishing fatty acids work in harmony to replenish the skin’s natural lipid barrier, improving its ability to retain moisture over time. Skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, and dermatitis can worsen moisture loss from the skin, leaving it dry. Additionally, coconut oil’s antimicrobial properties, particularly due to the presence of lauric acid, can aid in soothing skin irritations and promoting healing, making it a favorite for those with sensitive or dry skin.

Olive Oil: A Natural Antioxidant Booster

Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, including Vitamin E and polyphenols. These antioxidants helps protect the skin from oxidative stress and premature aging. Vitamin E acts as a shield against free radicals that can damage skin cells and accelerate the aging process.

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On the other hand, polyphenols in Olive Oil contributes to its anti-inflammatory properties, reducing skin redness and irritation caused by environmental aggressors or skin conditions. Regular application of Olive Oil can fortify the skin’s defence against external elements, leaving it more resilient and less prone to premature signs of aging. While coconut oil also contains vitamin E and polyphenols, the levels are relatively lower than olive oil’s.

As mentioned above, about 70% of olive oil is oleic acid. Oleic acid is an unsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid that is utilized in plenty beauty products. It can lock in moisture, combating premature aging and dry skin.

Hair Care Heroes: Strength and Lustre

Both Coconut Oil and Olive Oil make potent allies in the pursuit of healthy and lustrous hair. Let’s explore their hair care benefits.

Coconut Oil: Strengthening and Conditioning

Coconut oil’s lauric acid allows it to penetrate the hair shaft, strengthening it from within. Lauric acid has a unique molecular structure with a smaller size and low molecular weight, allowing it to easily penetrate the hair’s cuticle layer. Its nourishing properties prevent protein loss and reduce hair damage, promoting overall hair health and shine. It is a great oil to be applied on your hair before going swimming.

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Olive Oil: Gloss and Manageability

Olive Oil’s lightweight texture serves as an excellent hair conditioner, providing a glossy sheen and enhancing manageability. Its lightweight texture is predominantly cause by olive oil’s high monounsaturated fatty acid content (i.e. oleic acid). Hence, the oil does not weigh down the hair when applied. It tames frizz and leaves the hair soft, smooth, and easy to style.

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Medicinal Marvels: Natural Remedies

Both Coconut Oil and Olive Oil have a long history of traditional medicinal use, offering a range of health benefits.

Coconut Oil: Antimicrobial and Immune-Boosting

The lauric acid in Coconut Oil has potent antimicrobial properties, which may help combat harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Additionally, the medium-chain fatty acids in Coconut Oil may support immune function, contributing to overall well-being.

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Olive Oil: Cardiovascular Support and Anti-Inflammation

Olive Oil’s monounsaturated fats and antioxidants have been linked to improved heart health, reducing the risk of heart disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of Olive Oil may also benefit those with inflammatory conditions.

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Conclusion: Embrace the Versatility of Both

In conclusion, Coconut Oil and Olive Oil each bring a wealth of health and beauty benefits to the table. While Coconut Oil excels in high-heat cooking and nourishing the skin, Olive Oil shines in heart-healthy applications and enhancing hair gloss. At OilCocos, we celebrate the unique attributes of both oils, inviting you to embrace their versatility and make them your trusted allies in your journey to health and well-being.

Remember, whether it’s sizzling in the kitchen, soothing your skin, or elevating your overall health, both Coconut Oil and Olive Oil deserve a cherished place in your daily routine.

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