In the past few decades, as the popularity of the Mediterranean diet grew, so did the popularity of olive oil. When this oil is in its unrefined and raw form, it may be used in small amounts to enhance the palatability of meals. However, the health benefits of olive oil have been greatly misrepresented and over inflated. One thing that is for sure is that we should NEVER cook with olive oil. If one must cook with some oil, then a stable fat, meaning some saturated fat is the safest way to go. Unsaturated fats are unstable in the presence of heat, oxygen and light, and why many oils high in unsaturated fats are refined, which makes them even worse for our health.
Out of the saturated fats, there is only one obvious choice, this being coconut oil, which is highly stable under high heat (up to 350 F). This means it does not become denatured or produce harmful compounds or trans fats during the heating/cooking process. Aside from palm oil, which carries all sorts of health risks and environmental concerns, other saturated fats come from animals, which we are not going to consider as part of mindful and compassionate living. Animals are not commodities, which we can kill or exploit for our pleasures, especially given that today we have more than enough proof that plant-based diets are the best way to maintain our health, heal existing conditions and prevent new ones.
Despite its heat stable properties, even the health benefits of coconut oil have been greatly misrepresented and over inflated, as coconut oil is no health food either. It is primarily composed of various saturated fatty acids and that is it, without any of the amazing health and nutrition benefits of whole coconuts. Of course, like with olive oil, not all coconut oil is created equal. In this review, I would like to share with you about Nutiva’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.
About My Journey with Coconut Oil
I began using coconut oil in 2009, and have had a chance to try or research about many different varieties. So many of these I would not even consider buying or recommending, given the additives in them, or how they are processed. From various chemicals used to various animal product residues, there are all sorts of quality problems. When my journey first started with coconut oil, it was with a refined product, at which time I thought there was supposed to be no flavor to coconut oil. Thank goodness I learned about virgin coconut oil quickly and its delicious and rich coconut flavor and aroma, not to mention higher quality. However, as my research continued I realized that whether it is coconut oil or any other oil, no oil is any kind of health food, as it provides more harm than good where our health is concerned. This is why I stopped consuming coconut oil, and all oil in 2014. I still buy virgin coconut oil however, only since then I use it strictly as a skin moisturizer. You can read about the research and details that led to this choice in my How to Choose the Best Coconut Oil guide.
About Nutiva’s Coconut Oil
Nutiva is a California-based company founded by John Roulac, and dedicated to producing the most wholesome, organic and nutritious hemp foods, coconut oil and chia seeds. For more information on Nutiva, please see my interview with John Roulac.
Nutiva’s organic virgin coconut oil is as the name states first and foremost, organic (USDA & QAI certified). It is unrefined, cold-pressed and virgin. It is pure white and not deodorized or bleached. It is made without pesticides or hexane and comes from non-GMO sources. It is a product of the Philippines. The ingredients are: Organic, unrefined, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil.
The nutritional profile of all oils, not just coconut oil is not impressive, as we have to understand that these are isolated, extracts of the whole food and thus stripped of the food’s most valuable nutritional content. This is the primary reason why no oil is a health food. Each tablespoon of the oil provides 130 calories, which can significantly raise the caloric value of any meal. The calories are pure fat and each tablespoon of coconut oil provides 14 grams of fat, and out of that 13 grams are saturated fat. There is no fiber, no carbohydrates, no protein and no vitamins or minerals in coconut oil.
Nutiva’s organic virgin coconut oil can be used in both raw form and for cooking. As with all plant based fats, it is naturally cholesterol free. However, for the true health benefits of coconuts, we must go to the whole food, not its extract or any of its isolated parts. To use coconuts most optimally in your diet, read my guide about coconuts. As with all coconut oil, it is solid and white at room temperature, and melts at 76 F. Nutiva’s organic virgin coconut oil is also one of the best priced ones. Normally a high quality 15oz size of coconut oil can be around $20, and this one normally sells for just over $10.
Nutiva’s Raw Coconut Oil
In the past, Nutiva also offered a raw virgin coconut oil, but this is no longer available. To ensure this product’s raw quality, Nutiva used a 100% raw process that separated the protein and water by a centrifugal spinning technique, with a maximum temperature reached of 118 F. Normally, temperatures used to process oils are much higher than that. The flavor and aroma of this oil were more subtle and delicate than of the virgin coconut oil, so it was a great choice also for those who don’t typically enjoy the flavor of coconuts. The oil also came in a glass jar, and was a bit more expensive than Nutiva’s regular organic, virgin oil.
The oil comes in several sizes from small jars to bulk buckets. The various jar sizes come in either plastic or glass options. Please remember to recycle or reuse the containers once finished.
Price (as of this posting)
- Around $10.00 – 15.00 for the smallest size, prices go up from their based on size
- $13.99 CAD when not on sale, for the 444ml/15oz size from Well.ca (free shipping) with other sizes available
- $12.47 CAD for the 444ml/15oz size from Amazon.ca here
- 16.98 USD for 2 jars of 444ml/15oz size from Amazon.com here
- In Canada and the US at local health food and grocery stores, and online stores
- Excellent rich, naturally occurring coconut flavor and aroma
- Heat stable, ideal oil for cooking
- Certified Organic
- No additives
- No preservatives
- Pesticide Free
- Gluten free
- Hexane free
- Animal product free (vegan friendly)
- 1% of sales donated to sustainable agriculture
- Oils of any kinds are not health foods, and should be used sparingly, if at all.