Olive Oil vs. Coconut Oil: Which is Heart-Healthier? (Infographic)

Pick the winner of our Health Hub Knockout

This Health Hub Knockout pits olive oil against coconut oil to see which is better for your heart.

We pit olive oil against coconut oil to determine the heart health champion. See if you can guess the winner of this round of Health Hub Knockout — and get healthy cooking & baking tips too!

Olive oil or coconut oil: which is healthier for your heart? HealthHub Knockout from Cleveland Clinic Infographic

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  • Terry Cooper

    I have read that coconut oil has a specific fatty acid that other fats do not have, medium chain omega 3’s. There has not been enough research regarding this particular omega fat to determine whether it is more or less beneficial than others. However, observational research seems to indicate that it is more beneficial and than other fatty acids. Since so much more research has been done on the benefits of olive oil, one must conclude that for the time being, olive oil is the best heart healthy oil to use.

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      From our Preventive Cardiology Dietitian, Kate Patton MEd, RD, CSSD, LD: Medium chain fatty acids are found in coconut oil and palm kernal oils. Medium chain fatty acids are absorbed differently than other fats, which is beneficial in treating medical conditions such as gastrointestinal absportion disorders such as short bowel syndrome, gastrectomy, as well as other diseases such as gallbladder disease, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimers, and chylothorax.

    • Tyler Dresser

      Coconuts do not contain Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s are essential oils that are naturally occurring in certain strains of algae, absorbed by fish, and some seeds. Coconut oil would only contain O3 fatty acids if they were supplemented inside. Even if coconut oil did have O3 fatty acids, it would be an incredibly trace amount. 100 grams of coconut oil has 1.8 grams of polyunsaturated fat (Omega 3 fatty acid is a polyunsaturated fat due to the carbon-carbon double bond.); it would be nothing worth noting. Anyways, that should falsify any claims regarding coconut oil containing O3’s.

  • johnbelloh

    There is no need to add liquid oil of ANY kind to our food. Fruits, vegetables & grains all contain natural oils. Two table spoons of ground flax seed will supply out daily need for Omega-3. Liquid oil only adds unnecessary calories and contributes to the obesity epidemic in this country.

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      From our Preventive Cardiology Dietitian, Kate Patton MEd, RD, CSSD, LD: This is true, we can get recommended amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from whole foods, rather than oils.

    • Simon

      the best prevention against heart disease is cooked tomato with olive oil, lycopene resists the oxidation of cholesterol in vivo, but is not well absorbed without cooking with fat, the reason it’s natural? every animal above the vegos in the food chain eats partially digested gut contents, along with the soft organs, and the soft visceral fat as the preferential part of the kill, veg plus fat

  • Lorie Saad

    “I beg to differ” on this information. I use the Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil that is USDA Organic and has the “Quality Assurance International (QAD)” seal. For every tablespoon…saturated fat 12g, calories 120, total fat 14g, has a high-heat content, grown in the Philippines, and I use it for just about everything when it comes to cooking and baking including stir-fry’s. It’s great on toast instead of butter with a sprinkle of cinnamon. I don’t use it is my salads (EVOO or Avocado oil) unless I am making a Hawaiian coleslaw. If I am not going to cook with it that day, I take a tablespoon of it right before I eat. I go through about four-16 fl.oz. jars a month and it is $5.99 a glass jar. NOT BAD!!! On top of that, I think it taste great!!!” >>>In addition, study’s show it is beneficial to those suffering with Dementia and Alzheimer’s. I know it has helped with the issues my mother had with have fits where traditional medicine only made it worse. She almost ended up in the nut house.<<<

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      From our Preventive Cardiology Dietitian, Kate Patton MEd, RD, CSSD, LD: We do not discourage the use of coconut oil completely. It can be incorporated in to a balanced diet as long as you are aware of how much you are consuming and what your total daily fat needs are based on heart health. It is true there is some research that that supports positive benefits in those with Alzheimer’s disease.

    • WildBill51

      I have a couple of friends who consume one tablespoon of coconut oil a day and report thier total colesterol and LDL has slightly dropped (about 5mg/dl). It is not something that would be expected. I think there needs to be more research before claiming all saturated fat from any source is bad.

      • Ascencion Gomez

        To me the stuff taste like coconut oil smelling lotion. My Triglycerides dropped from 142 to 72 by eating more veggies and cooking with Extra Virgin Olive Oil…

    • Perry Piluden Gayman Page-et

      Coconut is more better is just that america cant produce coconut that is why is hard for them to accept the thruth that extra virgin coconut oil is better than thier oil

  • Dan Cicora

    I tentatively opened the article re Olive Oil vs. Coconut Oil as I feared a long winded editorial with a ‘possible’ summary embedded somewhere toward the end. Instead, I discovered an excellent, to-the-point presentation which provided the information in a direct, comprehensible, and sensible format. Thank you. Please keep this as your model for future informational articles of this nature.

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      Thank you Dan! We appreciate it!

    • Laird Gaylor

      My very thoughts as well

    • Therese Blackburn

      What most people don’t realize is that MOST olive oils have very little olive oil in them and have more of the cheaper oils with clorophyl added for color so unless you know which are true olive oils you are not reaping the benefits, by the way the fridge test is not accurate

  • Hezi Green

    You can not compare the two. They each contribute to the individual nutrition. Olive oil is not a good cooking oil, as it is not happy with heat. On the other hand coconut oil can withstand higher temperature . In either case the calorie content should not be a determining factor.

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      Hezi -The use of olive oil in cooking seems to be a controversial topic and you are right – it is related to smoke point and the recommended cooking temp of olive oil is less than some other cooking oils. I cook with it all the time and it is an ingredient in many recipes on the food network, etc. It must be a personal preference as well? I did a search and there is actually an International Olive Oil Council. They provide guidelines on frying with olive oil at http://www.internationaloliveoil.org/estaticos/view/85-frying-with-olive-oil . Hope this is helpful, although you sound very knowledgeable! betsyRN

    • Doug

      Please look up Free Fatty Acid in relation to smoke point. Very good olive oils can be .1 to .2 FFA which gives them a very high smoke point. When using olive oil for cooking you want to know what the FFA is. The cheap olive oils are around .7 to .8 and thus not that great for cooking. The best possible oil for cooking is low FFA and high polyphenol (antioxidant) olive oil. The myth about not using olive oil for cooking got started because a lot of olive oil out there is not good quality olive oil. Buy yourself some .1 or .2 FFA olive oil and a thermometer and test it in a pan. You will see how hot it really can get. Wait till you taste it as well! Nothing like what your used to tasting if you’ve been buying Lampante olive oil.

      • The_Beating_Edge_Team

        Thanks Doug! by the way – we are having a video chat with a chef and our dietitian on Friday – if you have questions – join us! http://www.spreecast.com/events/heart-healthy-diet-and-cooking

      • Stephanie

        Thanks, I didn’t know this either.

        • Doug

          You’re welcome! : ). Also look up the latest news on Oleocanthal. Pretty impressive!

  • Making sense & being practical

    i believe both oils supplement each other nicely. Coconut is great for cooking and baking, olive oil is best when used raw. No sense in spending extra money to get the best quality olive oil to ruin it by exposing it to any heat.

  • Jonathan Wood

    Those who think coconut oil is better point to 1) it’s much higher stability under high heat, and 2) the assertion that it’s a more healthy form of saturated fat. This article indicates 1 is simply false and fails to address 2. How did you determine that the smoke point is the same for both fats, and how did you conclude that saturated fat from coconut oil has the same effect on health as saturated fat from animal sources?

    • Tyler

      People can be a bit ridiculous when it comes to naturally occurring substances. People assume that just because it is extracted from a plant, it is good in every scenario. Your brain doesn’t care if a saturated fat comes from a plant or an animal; it’s a saturated fat. Your brain processes the shapes of the different fats; saturated fats tend to lead to fat production and slowed metabolism. Saturated fats weren’t so abundant hundreds of years ago, making them a great source of energy storage within our bodies.

      • കേരളപുത്രന്‍

        As I have read, saturated fats from cocounut oil contains medium chain fatty acids which ends up as a source of energy rather than being deposited as body fat.

  • D M

    i’ve never seen such a ridiculous comparison. Saying saturated fats are bad for you is absurd – there’s a big difference between coconut oil which melts in the hand, and meat lard, seems to me they are indiscriminately lumped together by those who know very little. d

    • Shaena

      It’s not absurd. The truth remains that coconut oil it the most saturated fat oil on the market. Saturated fat is not good and should be limited. Olive oil and canola oil have very little saturated(bad fat) and more poly and mono saturated( good fats). Coconut oil has neither.

      • D M

        All those facts may be true except for the statement on which everything hinges, that “Saturated fat is not good” – that is what I am questioning: some is good, some is not good. See for example this:- http://www.pca.da.gov.ph/heartdisease.php

      • dcharris

        I think you are wrong, Checked my cholesterol then took 2 tbl spoons of coconut oil every day for 6 mos. checked cholesterol again and cholesterol went down 40 points. No changes to my diet.

        • sherry 66

          That’s great

      • Smilez

        Take gmo’s into consideration if you’re bringing up canola oil.

    • Tyler Dresser

      Your comparison is wrong. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature; this has to do with the chain structure of the fat. Coconut oil is simply fat; completely fat. Lard is not completely fat, it also contains cholesterol. Cholesterol melts at nearly 300 degree Fahrenheit; thus it will keep the lard in a solid state up until a certain temperature. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats are liquids at room temperature. Does olive oil really get sticky and lumpy at room temperature for you? If you want to better understand how fats work inside organisms, you should research phospholipid bilayer; monounsaturated fats have one kink in one chain of their fatty acids, while polyunsaturated fats have multiple kinks. These kinks allow for more space and movement of the fats. Since saturated fats have no kinks, it explains why they are solid at higher temperatures than mono and poly-unsaturated fats (the molecules can get closer together in saturated rather than unsaturated). Cheers!

      • D M

        My comment was about liquidity at blood temperature, not room temperature, since it’s about what happens inside the body not the room :)
        Olive oil doesn’t get sticky for me in air, but the polyunsaturated ones like sunflower oil do.
        Appreciate your comments though, especially the cholesterol observation. I’m not sure it fully answers the question though. Without disregarding the things you mention, the basic physical nature of things is important (like the kinks you mention) despite being heavily ignored. Put in other terms, the physical nature of the oils/fats such as melting point (once subjected to standard oxidizing conditions etc hence the comment about stickiness) correlates better with their healthy qualities than other postulates I have seen, if one assesses things like coconut oil on evidence in populations (affect on circulation etc) rather than on theory (“saturated fats are bad” etc).
        All the best,

        • Tyler Dresser

          Hey, D M! Sorry for the late response I have never used this Disqus method of commenting before, and have only found it again since I wanted to post a comment elsewhere. I appreciate everything you brought up in your reply. I did forget to mention some information about the shapes of varying fats. Research has taken place lately that insists the “kinks” in the fats are vital for the way your brain is to process them. The shape of saturated fats is interpreted such that it promotes your body to store fat, lower metabolism, and eat more; reason being that saturated fats are structured in such a way that they have the most potential energy. A variety of the fats is necessary for a healthy lifestyle, but saturated fats of any chain length are to be limited. The phospholipid bilayer is immensely important to all life and should be as fluid as water. If a person is to only digest saturated fats, this bilayer will become much more viscous and results in less nutrients, proteins, hormones, etc. being transported to cells. I am a little confused to what you mean by sticky, but I assume it means solid. As coconut oil is a saturated fat, it will be solid at room temperature. Coconuts are from a tropical climate, hence the reason for it being so high in saturated fat. In order for the bilayer in coconuts to maintain a fluidity of water saturated fat is necessary, otherwise varying unsaturated fats will make for a bilayer that is too fluid and results in death. Olives are grown in colder climates, thus have more unsaturated fats to prevent the bilayer from becoming too solid. Melting point tells you a lot about what kind of fat you are digesting. Solids like butter and coconut oil are rich in saturated fats; liquids at room temperature like olive oil and flaxseed oil are rich in unsaturated fats. The carbon-carbon double bonds (the “kinks”) keep space between the fat molecules which allows them to be behave like liquid; saturated fats have no carbon-carbon double bonds and can stay much closer together, thus behaving as a solid at room temperature. Anyway, main point that I have: The shapes of saturated and unsaturated fats trigger signals from your brain as to how your body should react to the fat, and it is the kinks in these fats that give them shape. Saturated fats are composed of straight fat tails and the brain sees that; these promote fat storage and slowed metabolism. Unsaturated fats (fats with kinks) promote metabolism, fat burning, and give you a sense of being full quicker. I learned all of this from my biology class here at CU; this was what a good chunk of the semester was about.

          • TSK

            Hi guys. I really appreciate the detailed explanation with scientific terms. I dont understand too much science. I have high cholestrol with ldl = 144. Please let me know If i can use coconut oil daily for cooking to reduce cholestrol.

    • Leouise

      Canola oil is horrible for your health and mixed with a high carbohydrate diet is what gives you heart disease!

      • D M

        Hello Leouise! We’re talking about coconut, and the nature of its saturateds; canola however is not a saturated fat. So, all other things aside, if you purify that and cook with it you’ll potentially be asking for trouble, since cooking affects unsaturated oils. More generally, people cook because it changes food’s flavour, but a change of flavour tells you you’ve altered the chemicals in the food, often quite randomly. d

  • Ryan Jeambey

    According to Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s work at the Cleveland Clinic, it seems that the best oil to use is none at all.

    • Simon

      but if you want long and healthy life, you should eat a lot of olive oil, like in crete and ikaria, crete consumes 50% more olive than corfu, and has 1 sixteenth of the heart disease, esseltyn and ornish are more faith based research than single variable double blind

    • pjb

      Then your body would have no way to absorb fat soluble vitamins. And then you would be eating a heck of a lot of carbs with nothing to slow their absorption…like my 27 year old vegetarian daughter (who is thin and very fit) who is now pre-diabetic.

      • Ryan Jeambey

        Fat is available without eating it in a refined concentrated oil. Adding a few nuts or some avocado to your nightly dinner salad is a great way to make sure you get your fat soluble vitamins daily. And just like with fat, it’s best to get your carbohydrates from whole food sources, like fruit. The fiber in fruit slows down the absorption of the carbohydrates. I wish your daughter well. I hope she is aware the role that intramyocellular lipid plays in insulin resistance, so she can make an informed decision regarding her fat intake.

  • WildBill51

    You can’t do a direct comparison. If you stir fry olive oil works fine. If you make popcorn the old fashioned way coconut oil, or a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil works best. For high heat cooking, high heat avocado oil works great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/todd.austin2 Todd Austin DC

    I’ll continue to eat both daily along with my flax seed oil.

  • Shaena

    Yes. Coconut oil is loaded with saturated fat and unlike other oils, has no poly and mono saturated fats. Stay away from coconut oil and use more extra virgin olive oil. Also, canola is healthy.

    • Tyler Dresser

      Don’t forget the safflower!

    • Julie W

      Canola oil is NOT healthy. It’s man made, is NOT a remotely naturally occurring oil, there’s no such thing as a canola plant so why would one think canola oil is healthy? Because the media tells you so? Or the government? Or marketing? Anyone who believes it to be healthy hasn’t done a lick of research.

      • Anonymous

        Julie, Canola oil is a naturally occurring oil, it’s made from a yellow flowering plant called rapeseed. It’s a relative of mustard plants. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canola). It’s as healthy as any similar vegetable oil.

        “The name “canola” was chosen by the board of the Rapeseed Association of Canada in the 1970s. The “Can” part stands for Canada and “ola” refers to oil…. The name was coined partially to avoid the negative connotations of rape.[8]”

        • Julie W

          It is NOT a naturally occurring oil. It is oil from a genetically modified plant. Which would not naturally occur.

          “Canola is a made-up word which stands for “Canadian oil low acid”, and is a genetically modified product. It is a Canadian invention that is backed by the government. It’s a cheap product to manufacture, and many processed or packaged foods contain canola oil.
          Canola oil was first bred in the early 1970′s as a natural oil, but in 1995 Monsanto created a genetically modified version of canola oil. By 2009, 90% of the Canadian crop was genetically engineered and as of 2005, 87% of canola grown in the United States was genetically modified.”

          “The first seed oil to be created through genetic manipulation, canola is also the focus of a variety of genetic engineering (GMO) projects in which genetic material from other species is inserted into the seeds in order to magnify certain traits in the resultant plant. Herbicide-resistant GMO canola now comprises a large portion of the total canola crop. Apologists point to endorsement by the FDA and the American Dietetic Association that GMO canola is nutritionally and environmentally safe and claim that the GMO variety means less spraying of herbicides, less chemical runoff and a boon to farmers.
          Percy Schmeiser, a third generation Saskatchewan farmer, found out the hard way that GMO canola may not be a boon to farmers. Pollen from Monsanto’s patented GMO canola seeds blew onto his land from neighboring farms– unlike grains, rape and canola plants spread their pollen on the wind. Monsanto’s “gene police” then invaded his farm and took seed samples without his permission. Because Schmeiser did not spray his crop with herbicides, a Canadian court ruled that he had taken advantage of Monsanto’s GM technology. Schmeiser was ordered to pay $10,000 for licensing fees and up to $75,000 in profits from his 1998 crop.”

          “The claim is that canola is safe to use because through modification it is no longer rapeseed but “canola.” Except… canola is just genetically modified rapeseed.”

          And according to google: “Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering.”

      • Stacy Branham

        To Julie, There is a plant called canola. As far as I can understand it is like a hybrid, crossing rapeseed with other mustard family plants. And so the given name of this hybrid plant is canola. But I so agree with you, it is not a healthy oil. It does not naturally occur as Anonymous says it does. It is highly processed. If Anonymous would actually read the article that they posted from Wikipedia, they would see how unnatural canola oil is. I’ll stick to using butter, which I can process in my own home in 15 min or so by shaking cream in a jar. My next choice would be beef fat or tallow. If there is an oil out there in the world that isn’t highly processed, then maybe I’ll use it.

        • Julie W

          Since canola oil was made through both the seed splitting and genetically modifying of the rapeseed plant, I don’t consider it naturally occurring, but instead man made… Since it never would’ve happened without man’s interference.

          I love coconut oil… First pressed, organic, etc… Basically the best kind. It’s absolutely incredible and you can find countless stories of some amazing health benefits people have when using it. We’re told its so unhealthy bc of saturated fats, yet studies on the areas of the world the consume this daily are pretty impressive… Showing that all of the ‘health risks’ we’re told about saturated fats actually occur in far larger numbers here while those countries suffer them minimally. I’ve even seen articles talking about some areas actually having the heart disease/attack/etc increasing dramatically AFTER they become ‘Americanized’ and begin using the UNsaturated fats. It’s all quite amazing to me!
          Ps-real butter is awesome too, but I can’t personally eat it. Wish I could though! Coconut oil is my go-to substitute. It’s benefitted me quite a bit and I’ve only been using it a month!

      • Jack

        So what you are saying is that the American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association as well as others are wrong and we should believe your research?

        • Julie W

          No Jack, I would highly suggest taking *personal* responsibility for your health and doing the research yourself, and stop listening to what this association, that association, and this other government agency spoon feed you. Unless you trust them all so much with your own health that you’ll blindly hand it to them, in which case, why bother arguing with those of us that don’t take our health for granted?

          • Jack

            I do take *personal* responsibility. However, your tone in these discussions comes off a bit condescending. I am merely trying to strike up a conversation. You are the one assuming I am arguing and taking my health for granted. You think because this is the Internet that gives you the right to speak down to others? You get all pissed off because someone challenges your word and immediately go on the defensive. So don’t *highly suggest* anything. Are you a doctor? You post information from whatever source and because someone has the gall to question it you get nasty.

          • Julie W

            So let’s get this straight. You’re just ‘trying to start conversation’ when you pose what could easily be considered condescending and argumentative question to my post… Yet when I respond in like manner, you feel compelled to call me condescending and essentially uneducated in an obvious lecture. I think you’re misunderstanding how the internet works, in fact, because it’s silly to expect you can ‘start conversation’ in argumentative forms and expect anything other than the same in return.

          • knuckle head

            Love a good cat fight

        • Fid

          Yeah, things have been going great health-wise for America ever since those organizations started spewing out dietary recommendations. Pair it up with the USDA food pyramid and you got a prescription for Crestor, Lipitor, Lantus.. no thanks.

        • Diana Harris

          It is terribly unfortunate, but even at my university, we were told, “knowledge is socially constructed.” It was that way in Galileo’s time, and STILL IS!! Companies reward, or blackball, scientists who will agree, or disagree, with what they are trying to sell!! Note the history of any pharmaceutical lauded, then removed, from the market. Our illustrious governmental agencies are comprised of both good and bad members–those who can be bought, and cannot, but it is very hard to discern who is “winning” on any one topic.

  • Luciana

    No oils of any kind! No added oil is good for the heart! Certain oils present naturally in walnuts for example are a good source of heart-protecting fats, but no one should incorporate oils to their cooking if you truly care about your heart. Read the work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Neal Barnard or Dr. Campbell (author of The China Study) and you will understand how adding oils to your foods can only harm you. Of course, the industry behind oils and animal products won’t tell you that, but please, go find for yourselves! Your heart is precious! Give it the best foods!

    • Fid

      Just watched video of Dr Esselstyn. Wow, what a quack. go read up on the paleo diet to get an evolutionary perspective on diet instead.

    • Tyler Dresser

      Oils are good for you (certain kinds). Mono and poly-unsaturated are the best way to go.

  • dcharris

    My cholesterol went down 40 points after I started taking 2 tbl spoons of coconut oil every day. Was an experiment with my Dr.

    • Tyler Dresser

      That’s great! My step mom has been doing something similar; however, her whole diet has completely shifted. Honestly, I think the whole craze about coconut oil is a sham. It’s approximately 86% saturated fat, with the rest being poly and mono-unsaturated fats. I suggest making a switch to olive or safflower oil, perhaps even canola. All of these are high in monounsaturated fats (this is the kind of fat that is most beneficial to your body). Perhaps a tablespoon of flaxseed oil could prove beneficial due to the large amount of omega 3 fatty acids.

      • Fid

        Polyunsaturated fats are unstable and get rancid. This is why saturated fats like coconut oil and animal fats are better for cooking at high temperatures. Polyunsaturated fats also come in different breakdowns, namely omega-6 and omega-3. You want to keep these in a ratio hopefully close to 1:1, but safflower oil is 75% polyunsaturated which is almost all omega-6 making it an absolutely horrible choice for oils. Canola oil is made from rapeseed.. besides eating something with the name “rape” in it, it is toxic to humans and must be treated at extremely high temperatures which make it rancid and carcinogenic, another horrible choice for oil. That said, olive oil is a great recommendation (not for cooking though), also try macadamia nut oil, awesome stuff. Coconut oil is the true star here, and don’t forget about grass-fed butter as well. Chomp some whole fish and free-range eggs to get your omega-3s.

        • Jack

          So in a box of cake mix that calls for oil, which kind do you use?

          • Julie W

            Coconut oil is perfectly suitable for baking.

          • pjb

            Well for starters, I would never use a cake mix. :)

        • Jack

          I believe you are wrong about Canola oil. According to Snopes the claim that rapeseed oil is toxic is completely false and is a debunked myth.

          • Julie W

            The rapeseed plant goes rancid at reasonably low heat. It was used at very low heat safely for many many years in other countries, but that’s not how it’s treated currently. It was genetically modified into the canola ‘plant’, and is repeatedly treated to very high heats. This causes rancidity, and thus it goes through a deodorizing and bleaching process, to remove the smell, taste, and look of rancidity. It is also treated with chemicals repeatedly in the process, but don’t worry, the makers say it’s not enough to ‘really’ do any damage. Canola is not only a GMO product, but also is treated to such high heat and chemicals that it’s necessary for it to be processed in such a way that it fools the consumer to think it’s never been rancid.

            If you like the idea of eating such a product then go enjoy it, that’s more coconut oil for the rest of us.

          • Jack

            What an attitude you have Julie. Wow. You don’t know what I have in my kitchen. BTW do go ahead and consume your high saturated fatty coconut oil.

          • Julie W

            I’m sorry that you find it so highly offensive that I defend a perfect stranger’s statements regarding the rancidity of canola oil. I suppose you wanted the conversation to stop with you saying they were wrong, as clearly anyone reiterating what the previous writer stated is having ‘an attitude’ in your opinion. So sorry you don’t like my basic list of information, best of luck to you.

          • Tyler Dresser

            We should also bear in mind that “rancid” does not mean “toxic.” When rapeseed oil becomes rancid, it means that the oil is oxidizing. This is the same process that happens when food becomes stale. A lot of nutrients are lost when they are oxidized and become rancid; this does not necessarily make them bad. GMO’s are also not bad in the essence that they are altered by human intervention. We owe a lot to GMO’s and their contribution since the industrial revolution. Not all canola is GMO; nor does that mean all GMO canola is bad. If you would like to supply evidence suggest the dangers of GMO’s, then I would be happy to read; but simply labeling canola as dangerous because of human altercation doesn’t necessarily make it bad.

          • Goga Montana

            GMO is Monsanto’s product. Enough said. But if you like your GMOs, good luck but don’t promote it to people. And GFY.

        • Tyler Dresser

          Hey Fid, there appear to be some discrepancies in your data. Safflower is only about 14% polyunsaturated fat, not 75%; it is, however, 75% monounsaturated fat. So it is not a horrible choice in the least. Also, Omega-3 and Omega-6 are both types of polyunsaturated fats; it has to do with the number of carbon-hydrogen bonds present after the final carbon-carbon double bond present. I have not seen any support for your argument as coconut oil being the “true star.” Eggs are much higher in Omega-6 than Omega-3, so I am not sure what that claim is all about; meats and dairy are filled with Omega-6. Monounsaturated fats should make up a significant part of everyone’s diet as it is crucial to the fluidity and functionality of the phospholipid bilayer. Also, the way our brains are able to interpret the shape of the fat will either stimulate or sedate fat storage, metabolism, and a sense of fullness. Monounsaturated fats, as well as polyunsaturated fats, have been proven to stimulate fat burning, metabolism, and fill you up quicker; saturated fats have done the complete opposite.

          • a

            grass fed beef is about half and half monounsaturated and saturated fats. grass fed animal products vs. grain fed (conventional) have different fat compositions. polyunsaturated fats are the worst for you, not saturated – they do indeed go rancid easily, and even fresh they contribute to the free radicals in your system, an overabundance of which can lead to disease including cancer (some of course is fine and the body can handle, but recommending ppl cut out saturated fat and replace with polyunsaturated leads to too high intake of polyunsaturated and therefore health problems.-monounsaturated is of course very good for you)

          • Tyler Dresser

            I’m not saying to entirely cut out saturated fats, but just that they tend to not have the best effects on the body. Omega’s 3, 6, and 9 are all polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are, of course, what you would want most of your fat intake to be; about 15% should be polyunsaturated, less than 15% should be saturated fats, and trans fat should remain as close to 0% as possible. Different sources of fats should also be considered as the structure of the fat can vary. In example, coconut oil has a different structure of saturated fat than does a saturated fat you will find in a dairy product like butter. Coconut oil also contains some beneficial acids that are not in other energy sources. Also note that small amounts of trans fats are naturally occurring in meat and dairy with cows being notably higher in content. It is arguable that the trans fat that is naturally found in meats may not be as bad as a partially hydrogenated vegetable oil used to top popcorn.

        • കേരളപുത്രന്‍

          Safflower and sunflower oil need to be avoided from food due to their highly skewed ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

      • munchy

        why his colesteral has droped lol.

      • Perry Piluden Gayman Page-et

        Canola sunflower is toxic they being Processed. sereach how they make your favorite oil

  • Fid

    Inreresting to compare these two oils since coconut and olive are the best two oils out there. i use both plus grass-fed butter for all my cooking, flavor, and dietary needs. a more interesting head to head would be comparing coconut oil to a crappy oil like canola.

  • S Balan

    Both are very good in different ways. Extra virgin coconut contains almost 50% lauric acid. Breast milk is the only thing that does have such level of lauric acid. Traditionally we use lot of coconut oil. In out childhood we use home made extra virgin coconut oil to massage babies, on hair even to drink some. There were no issue of Cholestrol or heart issues at that time.

  • Kris

    Olive is probably great for you, but polyunsaturated fats and even monounsaturated fats are not necessarily better for you because they are more prone to oxidation which enables heart disease.

    Folks in Sri Lankan especially the rural areas do not have high rates of heart disease, since folks in rural areas are more likely to eat traditional food, I do not necessarily buy the hypothesis that saturated fat is bad for you since they use coconut oil all the time which is high in saturated fat. There may be other problems with coconut milk in particular pollutants and other ingredients.

    You should not follow that standard American recommendation for diets, the nutrition facts indicate that women should eat 300 grams of carbs and men nearly 400 grams of carbs, a teaspoon of sugar is 4 grams of carbs and its half glucose, while fruit is mostly fructose, although fruit has great ingredients it also has sugar which is normally not great for you.

    Of course we can argue over which diet is good for you and bad for you, the we forgot the debate, the debate is “NOT WHETHER A DIET IS GOOD OR BAD” rather whether a “DIET IS RECOMMENDED FOR FOLKS WITH A SEDENTARY LIFESTYLE UNLIKE OUR ANCESTORS WHO HAD TO TOIL IN THE FIELDS AND GENETICS”.

    Humans have been eating honey for centuries, is it bad, not necessarily, is it bad in large quantities? The answer depends on your physical activity and genetics.

  • Jack

    There has been a lot of recent information saying that coconut oil is good for people and that the fats are healthy fats not bad fat. However, the saturated fat content is very high and even the American Diabetes Assoc has coconut oil on their list to avoid. So it is a bit confusing all this push to consume coconut oil as healthy choice. Health food stores push coconut oil along with other “medical” sources. It seems whenever we make a choice to eat something there is conflicting information from all types of sources that it is bad or good. Not to mention olive oil industry has been under scrutiny because of certain companies marketing extra virgin olive oil that contain olives tantamount to the kind used for kerosine. It’s becoming a crap shoot as to which is the better alternative.

  • Julie W


    Anyone who thinks canola is perfectly safe and healthy, maybe you should read the process used to make it, and then ask yourself if you’re still okay eating the stuff. This is from the Canadian Canola board directly, not the opposers.
    Keep in mind that the rapeseed plant (the one that was genetically modified to fake the canola ‘plant’), and the canola plant itself, are rancid when heated to reasonably low heating points and are at that point toxic, and can cause many health issues which an easy search will reveal.
    Look at all the heating in the process, all the chemicals used… And maybe start to consider how ‘healthy’ all that can really be…

  • Amy

    I thought switching to Coconut Oil was going to benefit me, so I started scrambling my eggs with it, eating all things made with coconut oil, etc. Well after a routine doctor visit, my already high triglycerides (600) (before changing from olive oil to coconut oil note) has now shot up to 1300!!! I don’t know what to think, it is upsetting thinking you are doing the right thing and learning your not.!

    • Adrian Molenaar

      check your source of oil, many are degraded before sale

  • salem

    hi everybody…is there anyone could help because i have a diffecult question and i didn’t find the answer, i already finshed my research and i got my result and the method of my reseach was divide into 5 groups, the first group normal diet and the second only high fat diet and the third high fat diet with 1ml/kg/day of extra virgin olive oil and the fourth was high fat diet with 2ml/kg/day of extra virgin olive oil and the five group was high fat diet with 3ml/kg/day of extra virgin olive oil and my one of my variable was IL-6.In IL-6 outcomes the treatment of 3ml/kg/day of extra virgin olive oil was higher than control positive(only high fat diet) i am confusing about why it’s high…..(the high fat diet and extra virgin olive oil were giving in the same time from the start until the end of experimental)# i wish i can find someone who can help me and thank u so much

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  • saveourskills

    Supposition is Saturated fats are unhealthy… you have to accept that for this arguement to be valid

  • http://healmony.com/ Healmony.com

    Very useful information. we need to keep an eye on this


  • J GM

    that’s a very simplistic comparison. peddling outdated research and passing it off as ‘gospel-truth’ is just as bad as passing off false information. please update your information, several new evidence-based studies have been done to debunk the myth perpetrated by the soya, corn and canola oil lobby machinery that destroyed the reputation of coconut oil from way back the 1980’s which effectively killed the coconut industry. you will also find that soya and canola are seen as the worse forms of cooking oil. while i do not refute that olive oil is healthy (i use it a lot), cold-pressed coconut has its own health uses that merits a second look. It has long been used in ancient ayurdevic practices and has many other medicinal uses.

  • Adrian Molenaar

    Failed, didn’t check out the new research re short chain sat. fats

    • Adrian Molenaar

      a better response is that both are good

  • yo

    Completely wrong about cooking. Olive oil shouldn’t be used for frying or baking. Coconut oil is also not ‘medium’ smoke point same as olive oil, it is clearly higher

    • Doug

      Please look up Free Fatty Acid in relation to smoke point. Very good olive oils can be .1 to .2 FFA which gives them a very high smoke point. When using olive oil for cooking you want know what the FFA is. The cheap olive oils are around .7 to .8 and thus not good for heating. The best possible oil for cooking is low FFA and high polyphenol (antioxidant) olive oil. Coconut oil doesn’t have the antioxidants that a high polyphenol olive oil contains. When you couple a high smoke point with high antioxidants you get the best possible cooking oil. Please research this further.

  • Avi

    Well, I came here because I wanted to check why my fruit crumble recipe suggested mixing olive oil and coconut at a 1:1 ratio. I was thinking about using solely coconut oil. Reading this article, I’ll stay with the 1;1 mix :)

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      Thanks Avi – your fruit crumble sounds delicious! I just spoke to one of our dietitian chefs about the oils – and he said that you should always prepare food in the best way possible for your health. Depending on the type of crumble – If you feel like experimenting – you can also substitute part of your oil with applesauce. betsyRN

      • Avi

        Thanks B.E.T, applesauce sounds a swell idea worth a try.

  • Maria

    I disagree, olive oil for salads is fine but for frying is transformed in high heat and not beneficial. VCO is better for frying and cold pressed up to 2 tbsp/day is way more beneficial in more ways than olive oil.

  • Maria

    My father has taken VCO for years. He is diabetic & hypertensive and last month he had an LDL of 70 HDL 60, sugar reading of 4 and his reading through the years have been awesome. He eats regular food with rice twice a day and binges and has lost weight. The doctor cut back his insulin for the 6th time to a minimum and pulled out other meds. I think the VCO is a fabulous supplement.

  • munchy

    I have read a lot about coconut oil and unlike in the 50.s where people though it was bad due to soya and sunflower company’s trying to sell their products, then 20 years later science I believe though research proved the lauric acid or something is actually very good for you, (basicly the good fats) i fry my egg in it. . If you search google there is a lot of information about it. yes you do loose some of the benefit of it if you heat it but its still beter than not.

  • Sandie Williams Prater

    well, I got startling news today from my Dr. My cholesterol has jumped way up. I get my blood work done every year. WELL. this year was different. My Dr. discussed with me eating habits . While chatting i mentioned i have been good ! only use Olive Oil and have added in Coconut oil this last year as it is so good for you. Whoa hold the phone. Dr says no no on coconut oil. It is bad on the LDLs . and sure enough my blood work has proven it. Not only were my LDL way up from the last 3yrs,. Will get my blood panel done again in 3 months and will see where those numbers go. Thank you for the comparison , it helped me alot and blew my mind after reading all the things coconut oil is suppose to be good for. LDLs is not one of them.

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      Sandie – good luck with your cholesterol numbers. Sounds like your doctor is looking at the whole picture. You may be interested in a video chat we are having this month with a chef and our dietititan to talk about diet, cooking, and food prep. http://www.spreecast.com/events/heart-healthy-diet-and-cooking betsyRN

  • ted

    I add a spoon of both to my fruit and veggie smoothies to give it some calories and good fat (about 2:1 ratio favoring veggies)

    The buzz about coconut oil is high levels of MCT’s which the can pass the blood brain barrier for people with such disorders or just good prevention should the body at any time need it.

    Thing about that though they destroy easy. Cold press,extra virgin check. Thrown in the skillet though….tch got to wonder how frailty handles heat thats why you buy them in the raw to begin with no?

    I cook with olive and use it as the all around kitchen lube/ hand cream. Coconut on salads and smoothies only being that its special traits are frail like that. On paper olive is best but nothing is truly that. Whats a strong heart coupled with a weak mind? In all things regarding healthy treat it like trail mix.Cherry berry muscle confusion.

  • Chinmayi

    You haven’t heard that not all saturated fat is bad. Coconut oil is high in Lauric acid which is extremely beneficial for health. Coconut oil is also less volatile when used for cooking.

  • Nina Jordan

    Amazing Article – very simple with all the important information there. Is it possible to borrow this picture? Naturally with proper reference to this page

    • The_Beating_Edge_Team

      Nina – can you contact me at heart@ccf.org – I will need more information and then can request permission – thanks! betsyRN

  • Niknar

    Coconut oil is healthier. It reduces abdominal fat – the most dangerous kind of fat deposits and it has a HIGH smoke point. Olive oil has a low smoke point and becomes rancid and carcinogenic when cooked at high temperatures. Coconut oil is mostly filled with Medium chain fatty acids, which is in fact healthier than unsaturated fat. Don’t listen to what mainstream media tell you about saturated fat. Obesity levels in America have risen quickly since the 1970s, which was the introduction of the low fat, unsaturated fat diet. We are being told lies. Don’t believe them, read for yourself online, there is so much information. I’d recommend a book called ‘Futureproof your skin’.

  • pd

    My husband has heart disease and takes blood thinners, he wad told vitamin k thickens blood as I soon found out to be true after surgery

  • Perry Piluden Gayman Page-et

    Saturated fat from the coconut is healthy it is not same as in animal fat. why do we always depend on the american heart study? While in fact there are very less death in terms of heart disease in asia who everyday eat coconut and use coconut oil in thier daily cooking. Comparing in america who use olive oil canola corn oil.thereare more death percentage of heart disease in american than in asia

  • Jeff Allen

    doesdan work for the olive oil industry?