Coconut oil has really gained in popularity as a healthy fat that contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). That is really just a technical term for essential fatty acids. The essential fatty acids in coconut oil are what increase energy, boost metabolism, increase HDL cholesterol, and help fight fungal infections, among other benefits.
There may be some confusion about which type of coconut oil is best to use for cooking vs. topical use. When shopping you may see coconut oil labeled in a variety of ways:
This can be confusing, so let’s break down what these terms mean and what are the best uses for these products.
Refined and Unrefined Coconut Oil
Refined coconut oil is commercially processed using a high heat extraction process. This oil has been bleached and deodorized, resulting in a tasteless and odorless oil. It may also contain preservatives. This oil is fine for high heat cooking without the coconut taste.
Unrefined coconut oil is minimally processed and isn’t exposed to high heat levels. It tastes and smells of coconut meat. It has a higher nutrient content than refined oil. This form of oil is derived from fresh coconut meat, not dried, and is sometimes labeled “pure”. Unrefined coconut oil is great for cooking at slightly lower temperatures and imparts a rich flavor. It can also be used for moisturizing the skin and hair.
Expeller-Pressed and Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil
Expeller-pressed coconut oil involves pressing or squeezing the meat of the coconut to extract the oil. No heat is added during the process, yet the friction of the machining produces high temperatures of up to 200˚F (93˚C) causing some of the beneficial fats to be lost. Expeller-pressed has a bit of a toasted aroma that many cooks desire. This is a good product for use in baking.
The cold-pressed method keeps the temperature below 120˚F (49˚C) by just pressing the oil from the meat. The end product is purer with more nutrients retained. Cold-pressed oil is excellent for fighting fungal infections, boosting metabolism, and moisturizing skin and hair.
Virgin and Organic Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil simply refers back to the processing method. Virgin and extra virgin coconut oil is unrefined, and contain higher vitamin, antioxidant, and mineral content. Virgin coconut oil is also richer in taste and fragrance.
Organic coconut oil can only be labeled as such if it is certified as not being grown using any pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or other synthetic compounds. Organic oil does not necessarily guarantee that it is unrefined. So, read the label carefully.
Your best coconut oil option for cooking or topical use, is unrefined, cold-pressed, and virgin. This will be the purest, least processed, and most nutrient dense form of coconut oil. Choosing an organic option is also important to ensure the product is non-gmo.
Check out our large selection of coconut oils at Famous Foods!
Reducing your food packaging waste can be tricky, especially if the majority of the products you use, have plastic packaging. Statistics Canada reports that a vast majority of Canadian households use at least one recycling program that dispose of glass, plastic, and paper waste. If you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly way to save money and still eat well, we may have a solution for you! Welcome to buying in bulk at Famous Foods! When you buy in bulk, keep in mind that you can help the environment and save some money in the following ways:
With the ability to try out small quantities of new products, you can have fun trying different foods, herbs and spices. Check out our bulk food aisle at Famous Foods to see what you can add to your menu this week.
As summer temperatures soar, you have to work harder to stay hydrated. Your body needs to maintain a healthy fluid balance to carry oxygen to the cells, regulate its temperature and eliminate wastes and toxins. You can quench your thirst during the worst heat waves with plain water, or you can mix it up a bit with some fun, flavourful alternatives.
Revitalizing with Juicy Fruits and Veggies
Seasonal fruits and vegetables can be excellent thirst-quenchers, and they contain critical nutrients and fibre. Some steamy weather must-tries include:
This humble veggie has more water than any other food and is a great source of iron, vitamin K and vitamin B6. Add chunks to a salad, eat a few slices or blend cucumber with yogurt and dill for a refreshing summer dip. You can also slice a cucumber and add it to your water with mint sprigs for an icy cool drink.
While dark, leafy greens tend to get the most attention when it comes to nutrient-dense leaves, lettuces such as green leaf, romaine, butterhead and even iceberg are refreshingly light and hydrating. Pile your salad plate high, or use lettuce leaves in place of wraps and buns to cool down your summer cookout.
“Water” is right in the name of this luscious summer mainstay, but the fluid content of watermelon is only part of the reason watermelon is a great summer rehydrator. It is a great source of magnesium, salt, potassium and calcium, which your body must replace especially after heavy sweating. Eat watermelon straight, or mix it up with cantaloupe and strawberries for a sweet summery fruit salad.
Picking just one fruit or veggie to keep hydrated can be tough, so consider juicing your favorites or whirling several together for a flavorful, fiber-rich smoothie.
After a workout or time in the sun, you might be thirsty. Quench that thirst with water, or reach for something a little more revitalizing. Some great alternatives to tap water include:
The sweet, tropical taste of coconut water puts this drink light years ahead of plain water, but unlike fruit-flavoured sports drinks, coconut water is low in carbohydrates. Thanks to its high potassium content, it can even help rehydrate you after light sweating. Add citrus slices for an extra burst of freshness.
While tea gets a bad rap sometimes due to its caffeine content, it can hydrate you just as well as water. Black, white and green teas are all packed with antioxidant power, and herbal teas can be just as refreshing. Toss a few berries, mint sprigs or citrus slices in your brew for extra flavour.
Aloe Vera Juice
You might be more familiar with the idea of treating sunburned skin with aloe vera, but the invigoratingly sour juice of this prickly succulent is packed with immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory nutrients, including vitamins B, C and E, and can just as effectively quench your thirst.
Take care of your body this summer, and don’t forget to keep hydrated. All of the products we mentioned above can be found at Famous Foods, drop in and stock up!