Olive or coconut oil?
Not all oils are the same. You've probably noticed that before, in a world where some people even base their entire diet on high-fat food. Vegetable fats and oils are by no means the underlying cause of increased cholesterol levels, overweight and the like! Recently, there has been a discussion between coconut and olive oil. Let's see what's behind it and what the two oils can be used for.
Are vegetable oils healthy?
We know that fats are wonderful flavour carriers that make our dishes tastier. At the same time, they take on essential functions. For example, they protect us from the cold and act as shock absorbers for our organs. In addition to the fact that they provide a longer feeling of satisfction, they help vitamins such as vitamin K, D, and E to be absorbed into our body in the first place. Because they are so-called fat-soluble vitamins that our organism can only break down in interaction with fat.
Whether vegetable oil can generally be described as healthy depends above all on the quantity, production, and composition of the fatty acids. Fat contains plenty of calories, which you should take into account when consuming. Vegetable oils contain unsaturated and saturated fatty acids. Nutrition experts generally recommend consuming more unsaturated than saturated fatty acids.
Olive oil - the Mediterranean classic
When it comes to olive oil, you should differentiate high-quality olive oil from conventional, lower-quality varieties, because there can indeed be great differences here. We only dedicate ourselves to the native variant, i.e., the extra virgin olive oil, so the purest form. It is precisely as you imagine it: olives are pressed, and the liquid is bottled directly. The most significant difference between olive oil and other natural edible oils is that unlike other oils, olive oil should not be heated to high temperatures.
Hot dishes with olive oil
Some studies show that very high temperatures can destroy some of the healthy substances in virgin olive oil. However, this does not automatically mean that it becomes harmful, only that the substances are lost. Also, the oil can lose its typical taste at such high temperatures.
To give you a helping hand: Too much heat when frying with virgin olive oil is reached when the oil starts to smoke in the pan. This reaction is called smoke point and should be avoided (with all vegetable oils) if you want to get the best out of the oil.
You can use olive oil for baking without any problems. However, it has an original taste and is therefore not suitable for every recipe.
Virgin olive oil is excellent for cold dishes such as starters and salads. With desserts, you have to be careful because virgin olive oil can have a very characteristic and intense taste due to its purity. This is considered a nuisance in some desserts.
Coconut oil - for frying, baking and cream application
The essential and cold-pressed coconut oil is extracted from the coconut by pressing without heat, using gentle processes so that as few of the ingredients as possible are lost. Coconut oil adapts to its ambient temperature, i.e., at an ambient temperature below 25°C it changes into a firm consistency. It is therefore practical to store coconut oil at room temperature and not in the refrigerator.
Warm dishes with coconut oil
Due to its high heat resistance, natural coconut oil is very suitable for baking, roasting, and cooking. The smoke point is around 200° C, which is higher than many other vegetable oils. Coconut oil thus retains its health-promoting properties at relatively high temperatures. It is particularly famous for Asian dishes and is now indispensable for curries in particular.
It can also replace butter when baking cakes and biscuits.
Cold dishes with coconut oil
Like olive oil, coconut oil can also be used for all cold dishes. It is very suitable for creamy desserts due to its consistency and its subtle exotic taste. You can also spice up your smoothies with coconut oil. Remember, however, that coconut oil solidifies quickly at cold temperatures.
Balance is the key
Both oils can be used for both hot and cold dishes. The smoke point of coconut oil is higher than that of olive oil. But olive oil does not solidify so fast at low temperatures. Each fat has its advantages and disadvantages. Also, tastes are different. It is best to include both oils in your diet because the more balanced and versatile your diet is, the more you can guarantee that your body is supplied with sufficient nutrients to handle everyday’s stress.