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Is Coconut Oil the Same as the Actual Coconut Itself?

To answer this question, it's best to compare the nutrition facts of coconut oil against that of coconut cream since coconut cream contains almost everything from a coconut whereas coconut oil contains only the fat portion but in concentrated form. Let's find out now.

A whole (young) coconut composes of both meat and water (juice). As coconut matures, more meat gradually replaces water. This maturing process doesn't alter the fact that coconut holds all 3 macronutrients - carbohydrate, protein and fat.

But when you extract coconut oil from fresh coconut or dried coconut meat (copra), you get only the dietary fat. There isn't a trace of protein and carbohydrate left in coconut oil.

Which means, when you eat coconut oil, you do not obtain carb and protein from it. But you gain a high density of lauric acid which is the key component in coconut oil that benefits our health a lot. Lauric acid is the chief health-promoting component in human breast milk as well as infant formula so that newborns are strongly protected against harmful viruses, bacteria and parasites etc.

In other words, coconut oil is not the same as the actual coconut itself although coconut oil comes from the whole coconut. On the other hand, when you consume coconut cream (or milk) extracted from coconut meat, you obtain almost everything from a whole coconut since whatever the coconut contains will mostly pass on to its coconut cream or milk. Here's a comparison of quick nutrition facts between coconut cream and coconut oil to illustrate the difference:

Coconut Cream Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving (14g/15ml)

Total Fat 5 g

- Saturated fat 4.6 g

- Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g

- Monounsaturated fat 0.2 g

Total Carbohydrate 1 g

Dietary fiber 0.3 g

Protein 0.5 g

Sodium 1 mg

Potassium 49 mg

Calcium 2 mg

Magnesium 4 mg

Iron 0.3 mg

Vitamin C 0.4 mg

Coconut Oil Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving (14g/15ml)

Total Fat 14 g

- Saturated fat 13 g

- Polyunsaturated fat

- Monounsaturated fat

Total Carbohydrate 0 g

Dietary fiber 0 g

Protein 0 g

Sodium 0 mg

Potassium 0 mg

Calcium 0 mg

Magnesium 0 mg

Iron 0 mg

Vitamin C 0 mg

As you can see, coconut oil comprises predominantly saturated fat (92%) which I mentioned early on was health-promoting (much credit goes to the lauric acid inside), unlike the saturated fat found in animals and other vegetable oils.

However, coconut oil indicates zero on important minerals like sodium, calcium and iron and vitamin C. Coconut cream (representing a whole coconut), on the other hand, carries sodium, calcium, iron, vitamin C and dietary fiber.

It may seem, at first glance, that coconut oil is less beneficial, but due to its stability and resistance to oxidation and free radical formation, it's actually an antioxidant by itself. For this reason, coconut oil's benefits may far outweigh the actual coconut even though it may contain relatively less amount of minerals and vitamins.

Note: Coconut oil actually contains fat-soluble iron (0.004%), just that the amount is so little that upon rounding off in mgArticle Submission, becomes 0 mg.

Article Tags: Actual Coconut Itself, Actual Coconut, Coconut Itself, Lauric Acid, Whole Coconut, Coconut Cream, Nutrition Facts, Dietary Fiber

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