Coconut Oil vs Virgin Coconut Oil: What’s the Difference?


While it’s not exactly the panacea that some people claim it to be, coconut oil still has many uses and benefits to the human body. In tropical countries where the product is in abundance, the coconut tree is actually called “the tree of life” because almost no part of the plant goes to waste. Coconut oil as a byproduct of the coconut tree that is similarly versatile and useful.

Virgin coconut oil suppliers from the Philippines are some of the most sought-after manufacturers of this product because the coconut tree is endemic to this Asian tropical archipelago. Many other coconut tree products are also produced in this country and exported to various countries around the world. Coconut oil has been an important part of the local culture and as such, the best practices in producing it has been passed down from generations.

What is virgin coconut oil?

There are many coconut oil products on the market today, so it is important to be knowledgeable about the differences among these types. Simply put, not all coconut oil products are the same. First of all, just like the more familiar olive oil, coconut oil comes in “virgin” variants. Just what does this mean? Virgin coconut oil is obtained from the fresh milk of the coconut meat, which is the pulpy white substance found inside the coconut fruit. It is mostly unrefined, but depending on the method of extraction, heat may sometimes be applied in the process.

Ordinary coconut oil, meanwhile, is usually made from copra or the dried kernel of the coconut. Copra is pressed in order to obtain the oil, which is then further processed through refining, bleaching, and deodorizing to make it suitable for human consumption. Thus, regular coconut oil is mostly also referred to as “refined” or processed.

Regular or virgin coconut oil?

There is virtually no physical difference between regular and virgin coconut oil on the surface. In terms of appearance, they look the same. They both also offer pretty much the same benefits in terms of energy content. A tablespoon of either contains around 100+ calories and around 13 grams of fat, a big percentage of which is saturated. They are both medium-chain triglycerides, which means they are heart-friendly and serve as a ready source of energy for the body.

On the other hand, virgin coconut oil may be more potent in taste, flavor, and aroma compared to refined ordinary coconut oil. It is also a bit pricier. Virgin coconut oil has also been found to contain more antioxidants because of its raw nature. For this reason, most health enthusiasts prefer virgin coconut oil for consumption purposes. For those who may like to use coconut oil on their bodies, regular coconut oil may do.

Benefits of coconut oil

Whether you’re using regular refined coconut oil or virgin coconut oil, you can still enjoy the wonderful benefits of this miracle product. When applied to the body and hair, coconut oil acts as an effective moisturizer. It keeps the skin glowing and supple and makes the hair stronger and fuller. Coconut oil, with its natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, has also been found to address various skin conditions and diseases such as dandruff, allergies, dermatitis, and many more.

When consumed, coconut oil provides a strong antioxidant boost to the body and purportedly helps relieve many physical conditions and ailments—from arthritis and pain to insomnia and weight issues. Coconut oil is also considered very beneficial to the heart as it brings with it high levels of good cholesterol. It can be incorporated easily into foods and meals, and as such many people have made it a regular part of their healthy diet.

Going with coconut oil

For all these reasons, it may be a good time to consider switching from other types of edible oils to coconut oil. Apart from being relatively more affordable, it is also now found in abundance in the market. Just be sure to choose coconut oil products carefully and only go with those that are reputably labeled and approved by health regulating bodies.

Lifestyle Mommy Blogger and Virtual Assistant from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. Aside from doing product reviews and events coverage, she blogs about solo parenting, homeschooling, and things in between.

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