What is coconut oil made of?

Some thought coconut oil has fiber because it helps to loosen bowels. Several others say that coconut oil is rich in vitamin E and so it is good for skin. The fact is, coconut oil does loosen bowels but it does not have a least bit of fiber. It is good for skin but it has an extremely small amount of fat-soluble vitamin E only. Apparently, coconut oil's benefits on skin does not come from vitamin E.

Why not we take a good look at what coconut oil is exactly made of so that you have a solid grasp of its composition rather than making wild guesses like others.

As you already know, coconut oil is made out of 100% fat, just like any other dietary oils. But the key difference from them is, coconut oil has about 80–90% saturated fats and 8% unsaturated fats. In terms of the size of fats, coconut oil is made of 54–64% medium-chain fatty acids while the remaining are long-chain fatty acids and 0.5% short-chain fatty acids.

Because it composes of fat only, coconut oil can only accommodate fat-soluble nutrients and in trace amounts.

Take vitamin E. It only has about 0.00089%, which is almost zero in value. Vitamin K? Even worse, 0.0000006% only. That's way too insignificant to improve your vitamin K intake. Coconut oil contains also iron but only about 0.00005%. And that's all about its fat-soluble nutrients.

In other words, the health benefits of coconut oil do not stem from its super petty vitamins and minerals. It is the predominant saturated fats and medium-chain fatty acids that make coconut oil a super food.

How so?

Our skin is held firmly together by connective fibers. Free radicals are always attacking these connective fibers. If you don't stop free radicals, the fibers will break down eventually leading to a saggy and wrinkled skin.

Saturated fats in coconut oil stop free radicals dead in their tracks because saturated fats are antioxidants and so they can neutralize the reaction of free radicals and stop them from spreading their attacks on our skin tissues.

Next, medium-chain fatty acids that are exclusive to coconut oil and its relative, palm kernel oil, convert to energy as quickly as carbohydrates. This efficient energy conversion stimulates cellular metabolism, causing an effective break down of body fat tissues.

In other words, coconut oil helps to lose weight.

But not all coconut oils are made out of the same components. If you look around you'll see not just virgin coconut oil, but also various types of refined coconut oil such as RBD coconut oil, fractionated coconut oil and pure coconut oil on the market.

Virgin coconut oil is made of what I have stated above (I use virgin coconut oil as the reference).

RBD coconut oil may contain almost what virgin coconut oil holds except for the natural coconut odor, that's why it's called RBD (Refined, Bleached and Deodorized).

Fractionated coconut oil is made of only two components – caprylic acid and capric acid. Some companies may pump in a few percent of lauric acid to improve its nutritional value. In fact, fractionated coconut oil is a sub-type of RBD coconut oil because it has also gone through the process of refining, bleaching and deodorization.

Pure coconut oil is made of roughly the same components as in virgin coconut oil. But pure coconut oil is of lower quality because it is processed from dried coconut meat (copra) rather than fresh coconut meat. It is actually a type of refined coconut oil that still retains the coconut flavor but of yellowish color, so the nutritional value is definitely discounted due to the way it is processed and produced.

I guess now you have a better grasp of which type of coconut oil is made of what. And it's good to know about that so that you can get the correct type of coconut oil to fulfill your specific needs.