I mentioned awhile back, when I showed a step-by-step, photo-illustrated guide on how to make banana blossom patties, that I always use coconut oil in my everyday cooking. Yes, nothing but coconut oil for me. For reasons why, read here. My fondest dream is to be able to afford VCO and use it in all my cooking, but since the price of VCO is very high now– probably because most VCOs are high-value export commodities– I use RBD coconut oil instead. You can read about the differences between RBD and VCO here, but to sum up the difference, VCO has not undergone as much processing as RBD oil and thus has more nutrients, antioxidants and other naturally-occurring substances. Fortunately, both have medium-chain fatty acids, predominantly lauric acid, which do not clog arteries and provide antimicrobial protection– all of which you can read here.
My brand of RBD coconut oil is Minola Lauric Oil. First off, here’s my disclaimer: I am not paid or perked to review on Minola. This is just my informed choice given the data I have gleaned so far about coconut oils in general.
Minola Lauric Oil sells for 106 pesos a liter in my city. VCO, in contrast, sells for almost 700 pesos per liter, so you can just imagine how costly it would be to use it, especially since I do quite a lot of frying for my kids. Minola is a Philippine brand of refined, bleached and deodorized coconut oil. If you buy it in department stores, where air conditioning keeps the temperature low, it will solidify. As the package says, “Solidification of coconut oil at a certain temperature is its natural characteristic and does not affect the quality.” What is important is that this oil does not coat arterial linings in the same way that animal fats do.
I don’t really judge the book by its cover, or the product by its package, yet I find the label write-up quite impressive. It shows that the company is in the know regarding the essential points of coconut oils.
“Research shows that coconut oil:
- contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) which provide energy and do not accumulate or deposit in the body tissue.
- is trans fat free, a natural product that does not contain hydrogenated fats.
- is a lauric oil and when absorbed by the body becomes monolaurin which is known to have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Monolaurin is also found in mother’s milk.
- promotes good health and helps build a stronger immune system.”
By the way, you can read about the danger of trans fats here.
I also admire the fact that the List of Ingredients honestly includes an admission that it is a “Refined, Bleached and Deodorized Coconut Oil” rather than drop the RBD term and pass off as almost like VCO by using such terms as “all-natural coconut oil” or “pure coconut oil” as some RBD brands do. Truthfulness in advertising is that important to me.
I do use VCO, but not for my cooking. My husband and I take 1 to 2 tablespoons of VCO a day. I do that to keep my breastmilk lauric oil-rich, which then affords greater protection for my baby. But for my daily cooking, I use Minola Lauric Oil.
I poured Minola Oil into a clear glass so you can see the color. VCO should be as clear as water since it is made from fresh coconuts. RBD oil, in contrast, is made from dried coconuts which will impart a yellowish tinge. Refining removes the impurities, bleaching removes much of the yellow color and deodorizing removes the burnt odor of sun-dried coconuts. Thorough refining, bleaching and deodorizing would thus produce a slightly yellow and odorless oil, such as Minola Lauric Oil.
Haphazard processing, on the other hand, produces dark yellowish oil which may have visible impurities and a burnt or rancid coconut smell. (Believe me, there are re-packed oils in the public market which fit this description.)
To quote Coconut Republic, “While high temperatures and chemical solvents are used to produce this oil, it is still considered a healthy dietary oil as the fatty acids in coconut oil are not harmed in the refining process.” This is because coconut oils are the most stable oils on earth. You can subject it to the high temperatures of frying and baking, yet it won’t spatter and get burned as much as canola oil. I speak from experience.
You can visit the Minola company website here.