Refined vs unrefined coconut oil – important things to know

Coconut oil is a thing that finds its utility in kitchens, medicine and beauty regimen too. This oil is processed in multiple ways so as to make them suitable for variety of uses. The oil is available in both refined and unrefined forms and both have the utility of their own. That is why; refined vs unrefined coconut oil kind of comparison is quite important thing to do. It helps knowing which types of coconut oil to use according to the need.

Refined vs unrefined coconut oil – points of comparison

The difference between refined and unrefined coconut oil lies in the way coconut oil is treated. There is a distinct difference in appearance of the two, to start with. The important points of difference are:

  • Refined coconut oil has no scent and its flavor is neutral too. On the other hand, unrefined coconut oil has distinct scent and flavor.
  • Refined coconut oil is refined with the help of steam and there is no use of chemicals involved; There is no refining process applied to unrefined, the name suggests the same too.
  • Refined coconut oil is derived from dried coconut whereas the unrefined variety is made from fresh coconut.
  • Unrefined coconut oil maker cold presses fresh coconut meat portion; whereas, refined coconut oil is prepared by steam-refining of dried coconuts.
  • The smoking point of unrefined coconut oil is 350o F whereas refined coconut oil has a higher smoking point of 400

Benefits and uses of refined coconut oil

The refined coconut oil has no scent and shows neutral flavor. Its high smoking point also makes it useful for various cooking methods such as sautéing, baking and stir-frying. It is not to be used for frying, however. Top benefits of refined coconut oil are:

  • Refined coconut oil is easy to digest, that is why, it offers good cooking medium. It does not impart coconut flavor to the dishes too.
  • Buy coconut oil because it is rich in lauric acid that is converted into monolaurin, which is quite good for boosting immunity in the body.
  • The other component of the refined coconut oil is caprylic acid which has distinct antibacterial properties
  • Coconut oil of refined nature can boost energy levels in the body because of richness of short and medium chain fatty acids which stimulate liver to product energy

Unrefined coconut oil benefits

Unrefined coconut oil is offering healthy alternative to saturated fats containing oil. It has delivered health benefits like:

  • Enhancing good cholesterol in body
  • MCTs present in unrefined coconut oil preserve insulin sensitivity leading to better control of blood sugar
  • The antioxidants property of the unrefined coconut oil help reducing stress and also in treating chronic cold
  • Unrefined coconut oil forms good quality hair mask due to its better ability to get absorbed in the scalp
  • This oil helps feeling fuller, thereby, reducing the need to eat often. Thus, it helps in weight control and management.

Use of unrefined coconut oil for hair and beauty

Refined coconut oil is extracted by hydraulic pressing of dried coconut meat. Apart from refining, the processes of deodorizing and bleaching is also applied to produce high quality coconut oil fit for hair, beauty and cooking purposes. This takes away the rawness of the coconut oil, which is helpful in retaining beauty and for hair treatments. So, the unrefined coconut oil is employed for hair and beauty in following ways:

  1. It is whipped with shea butter to make highly moisturizing body balm
  2. It is an important ingredient of homemade deodorant
  3. The use of coconut oil is also realized in making sunscreen lotion because of its screening property
  4. This oil has remarkable capability of combining dirt and so, is used for skin cleansing treatments. For the same reason, it is also employed in preparing anti-dandruff oils and shampoos
  5. This oil acts as a carrier to which any essential oil can be added for making massage oil that can offer good body care

The refined and unrefined coconut oil differ in their response to heating, in extraction process and their usages. Find out what purpose you seek to derive from the coconut oil and then choose from virgin coconut oil or its refined version.

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