This Is the Real Difference Between Refined and Unrefined Coconut Oil

Updated: Nov. 01, 2023

Coconut oil is a staple ingredient in recipes, plus it can be used as a natural beauty product. Let's look into refined vs. unrefined coconut oil.

You can use coconut oil for cooking, baking and all kinds of beauty and body care. But when shopping at the grocery store or on Amazon, you have to weigh the benefits of refined vs. unrefined coconut oil. The major distinction is the state of the coconut meat when it’s pressed, which ultimately dictates the flavor.

Refined vs Unrefined Coconut Oil

What Is Unrefined Coconut Oil?

Unrefined coconut oil, commonly labeled as “virgin” or “pure,” has a tropical coconut flavor and aroma since it’s made from cold-pressed fresh coconut meat. You can use virgin coconut oil if you love a coconut flavor in your recipes. (You’ve got to try these brownies made with coconut oil!)

What Is Refined Coconut Oil?

Refined coconut oil, on the other hand, is neutral. It has no distinct coconut taste or aroma. This is because it’s made from coconut meat that’s filtered and dried before being pressed into oil.

Both refined and unrefined coconut oils have the same nutritional benefits. So, it truly all comes down to usage and taste preference. Love a coconut flavor and scent? Go with unrefined. Prefer your oil unflavored and unscented? Refined is your best bet.

Coconut Oil Benefits and Uses

Though coconut oil is commonly criticized for being a fatty oil, it actually offers tons of health benefits. To name a few…

  • Helps with food digestion and eliminates toxic bacteria in the gut
  • Increases levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and decreases levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Provides burn relief and treats wounds
  • Protects against UV rays, making it a natural sunblock (don’t use it instead of sunscreen, though—look for a sunscreen with coconut oil)
  • Boosts brain health
  • Increases energy and endurance

Coconut oil can be used to clean and polish various surfaces around the home and is a natural, effective beauty product!

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