While we’ve learned that butter isn’t as bad as we once thought it was, many of us still have a preference for using cooking oils like coconut oil and olive oil to create our meals. Both oils are often regarded as healthy cooking oils to stock up on and are used in a variety of healthy recipes. While the two oils have different flavors, we were curious to know which oil was actually the healthier choice when it comes down to the benefits they provide.
Coconut Oil: Uses and Benefits
While the topic at hand is all about cooking, it should be noted that coconut oil’s uses go beyond just the kitchen. Aside from being used to prepare both sweet and savory recipes, coconut oil is often used to:
- Moisturize and improve hair quality
- Moisturize and protect the skin
- Rinse and clean the mouth in a process known as oil pulling
When coconut oil is ingested, either on its own or in meals as a regular part of your diet, it has been linked to the following benefits:
- Increases good cholesterol
- Controls blood sugar
- Reduces stress
- Prevents liver disease
- Reduces asthma symptoms
- Fights bacteria
- Improves satiety
- Aids in weight loss
Olive Oil: Uses and Benefits
Olive oil has long been used as the healthier alternative to corn oil or butter. Like coconut oil, olive oil’s use has extended beyond cooking and has been used to:
- Condition the hair
- Moisturize the skin
- Treat acne
- Polish furniture
- Soothe a sore throat
- Fix squeaky doors
- Remove stickers from walls and furniture
Regular use of olive oil in cooking has been linked to many health benefits, some of which include:
- Fights inflammation
- Promotes healthy cholesterol
- Fights free radical damage
- Prevents stroke
- Protects against heart disease
- Fights Alzheimer’s disease
- Protects against type 2 diabetes
- Fights bacteria
Coconut Oil vs. Olive Oil: Which One Should You Cook With?
With all of the health benefits that both coconut oil and olive oil offer, you may find yourself standing in the grocery store pondering over which one you should actually purchase and cook with. Afterall, both seem to have positive effects in the body and ward off diseases.
Deciding between the two is really a matter of which oil has more to offer, and the winner in this situation has to be olive oil. A staple ingredient of the Mediterranean diet, olive oil has been long known to be an incredible source of antioxidants. While coconut oil does offer some antioxidant activity, it doesn’t offer it to the same extent as olive oil.
Olive oil is also rich in monounsaturated fats, particularly a fatty acid called oleic acid. This fatty acid is linked to cancer-fighting benefits and is a nutrient that is missing from coconut oil, which is primarily made up of saturated fats.
While both oils make for good cooking oils (as they’re both resistant to high heat), olive oil has been well-studied for decades as a viable ingredient to include in your diet to promote optimal health. Its effects and activity in the body are well-researched, while coconut oil is still relatively new in comparison.
While cooking with coconut oil is often a trendy choice suggested by the food industry, sometimes sticking to a classic — in this case, olive oil — ends up being the better option.