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“Refined” vs. “Unrefined” Coconut Oil

Coconut oil (derived from the seed of the coconut palm) is a versatile edible oil, with a history dating back thousands of years in tropical regions. Although favored in cooking due to its high melting point and delicate aroma, the uses of coconut oil extend beyond the kitchen: it’s also included in cosmetic products, soap, lip balm and even transportation fuel. The two main types of coconut oil, refined and unrefined, have different production methods, costs and benefits.

It is so important to know the difference between these two types of the same oil. So, pay attention!
Also note, both oils can be used for the same purposes, however, it may be a good idea to keep in mind that unrefined may be the better choice when it comes to anything you’ll be putting into your mouth (for it’s healthier benefits)!

REFINED

“Refined” coconut oil means that it has been processed. Basically, the oil has been extracted from the coconut and refined. Refined means that impurities have been removed and small changes have been made to the oil. So, what was once all-natural, no longer has the elements or benefits that it once had.
Refined coconut oil is much cheaper than unrefined oil.
It has a more bland flavor (if any) than the unrefined oil.
It has a melting temperature of 76 degrees.
Because refined oil has been processed, it may or may not be hydrogenated (depending on brand and processing techniques), which results in the presence of trans fats.

UNREFINED

Unrefined [“virgin”] coconut oil is not processed, which means that it still retains all of its original beneficial qualities that cannot be found in the refined oil.
It may be a little more expensive, but it truly goes to show that you “get what you pay for!”
Unrefined coconut oil, unlike the refined oil, still has its distinct coconut aroma and flavor.
It also has a melting temperature of 76 degrees.

Now, if you ask me, I’d tell you I have both refined and unrefined coconut oil in my cabinets.
I use the refined oil for household purposes and some beauty products, and I use the unrefined coconut oil strictly for cooking.

Pictured below are both refined (left) and unrefined (right) Coconut Oil.

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