Olive Oil vs. Coconut Oil

If you're fitness conscious and try to maintain a healthy body weight, the chances are that you already know what role fat plays in your body. The kind of foods you eat is important in maintaining healthy, but what you use to cook your food also matters. Some experts believe olive oil is the best cooking oil, but some others are in favor of a relatively newcomer, coconut oil. Coconut oil and olive oil are both growing in popularity because they help maintain low cholesterol and low body weight. Keep reading to find out a comparison of olive oil vs. coconut oil.

Olive Oil vs. Coconut Oil

It is not difficult to find proponents and opponents of olive oil and coconut oil. Although they both offer health benefits, there are still subtle differences.

1. Saturated Fat or Monounsaturated Fat

Both coconut oil and olive oil are made up of 100% fat, and a tablespoon of each contains 14g of fat. The real difference is in the types of fat they contain.

  • Olive Oil

Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat, which is good for your heart. It is also available in other fat-rich foods, such as seeds, nuts and avocado. So, using olive oil for cooking will actually help lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. You will get more benefits if you use extra virgin olive oil, which contains vitamin E as well as polyphenolyic compounds that reduce inflammation in your body.

  • Coconut Oil

About 85% of fat in coconut oil is saturated fat that has a bad reputation of causing heart related diseases. But the good news is that certain research shows saturated fats found in coconut oil do not increase risk of cardiovascular disease, which mainly because the main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is the same fatty acid found in human breast milk.

2. Smoking Point

Cooking oil has a smoking point, and you should not cook it beyond that temperature or else it will start forming compounds that may be harmful for your health.

  • Olive Oil

The smoking point of olive oil is 280°F, and it is actually a bit on the lower side, which means you should avoid heating it on high temperatures. Olive oil is liquid at room temperature.

  • Coconut Oil

The smoking point of coconut oil is higher than olive oil at 350°F. You can use it for cooking at moderate temperatures. Coconut oil exists in solid form at room temperatures and will become hard when stored in refrigerator.

3. Usage

Although you can use both oils for cooking, there are certain limitations

  • Olive Oil

Olive oil is usually less expensive and is an appropriate choice for cooking meat and vegetables at low temperatures. And the high-quality extra virgin olive oil is perfect for seasoning the meals and dressing homemade salads, but do not heat this oil to avoid the destruction of its vitamin E and polyphenolic compounds.

  • Coconut Oil

Compared to olive oil, coconut oil is an expensive option. It is a great choice when you want to bake something. It is also great in oven cooking and stir-frying with its medium smoke point.

4. Health Benefits

Through the above olive oil vs. coconut oil comparison we have known the advantages and drawbacks of both oils in cooking; now let's give a comparison over their health benefits.

  • Olive Oil

As mentioned before, olive oil is considered a healthy fat because it contains monounsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids help a lot in lowering bad cholesterol levels, which in turn will reduce the risk of heart disease. It also helps control blood sugar.

  • Coconut Oil

It may not be as ideal as olive oil is because it contains higher levels of saturated fat. However, experts believe coconut oil can be extremely beneficial for your overall health. It plays a role in preventing heart disease and even helps with proper weight management. It contains medium-chain triglycerides, which don't take long to absorb into the body. In fact, your body can burn this type of fat as fuel source more quickly.

5. Calories

The calories of both oils are low and can benefit your weight loss plan, but there is still a slight difference.

  • Olive Oil: 120 calories per tablespoon
  • Coconut Oil: 130 calories per tablespoon

6. Color

The color of both oils differs:

  • Olive Oil: golden
  • Coconut Oilwhite

To find out more about olive oil vs. coconut oil and their differences, check out the following video:

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