Substitutes for coconut oil are worth trying for a new flavor and added health benefits.
Undoubtedly, the first and best replacement for coconut oil is extra virgin olive oil. And if you still want more, there are a couple of alternative oils like avocado, almond, walnut, sunflower, or hempseed that you can try.
When you are looking for oil substitutes, your concern should be about nutritional value, health benefits, and saturated fat content in them. Of course, the flavor profiles of the oils must also be appealing to your taste buds.
What is coconut oil?
Coconut oil is extracted from the flesh kernel or copra (the dried meat or kernel) of the coconut. It is a healthy edible oil with relishing taste and flavor. Absolutely, it is a fantastic oil for cooking and baking.
It is loaded with medium-chain fatty acids, Vitamin E, and anti-microbial properties. Coconut oil is widely used as an ingredient in several home remedies for treating various hair and skin conditions.
In fact, you will find several beauty products with coconut oil as a base ingredient.
7 simple and healthy substitutes for coconut oil
After evaluating many studies and reviews, I have found 7 healthy oils that you can use instead of coconut oil.
1. Olive oil
Olive oil is the finest substitute for coconut oil. According to cooking experts, it is one of the most versatile and healthy oils to cook with and eat.
Extra virgin olive oil contains a good amount of monounsaturated fats and some polyunsaturated fatty acids beneficial for heart health.
Olive oil is excellent for hair and skin because of the antioxidants, minerals, and fatty acids contained in it.
Some of the chief benefits of olive oil include:
- rich in healthy monounsaturated fats
- contains a lot of antioxidants
- has strong anti-inflammatory properties
- protective against heart disease
- may help Alzheimer’s disease
- diminishes the chances of type 2 diabetes risk
- helps to treat rheumatoid arthritis
- has antibacterial properties
2. Almond oil
Almond oil is beneficial for heart health because of low in saturated fats and rich in monounsaturated fats. It is loaded with vitamins, including A, E, B, and D, and fatty acids that are excellent for skin, hair, and health.
The nutty taste of almond oil suits well for making dishes with complementary flavors. As this oil has a high smoke point, it is more suitable for baked goods like cakes, muffins, and cookies.
Some of the main benefits you can achieve from almond oil are:
- may help keep your heart healthy
- high in antioxidants
- useful for blood sugar control
- aids weight loss when paired with a reduced-calorie diet
- highly beneficial for hair and skin
3. Avocado oil
Avocado oil is very easy to use rich in nutrients, vitamins, and healthy fats. It is an excellent substitute for coconut oil because of its all-round health benefits such as:
- rich in oleic acid; a good fat
- reduces cholesterol
- helps to reduce the symptoms of arthritis
- privets gum disease
- high in lutein that improves eyes health
- boosts the absorption of nutrients
- heals wounds and improves skin health
- neutralizes free radicals
- a good hair conditioner
If you use avocado oil for cooking, then it works well for baking, grilling, sautéed dishes, and dressing salads.
4. Sunflower Seed Oil
Oil from sunflower seed is a great replacement for coconut oil. It is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and Vitamins D, A, and E. For this reason, it is good for heart health and improving immunity.
The carotenoids contained in sunflower oil are beneficial for protecting the skin from sun damage and for hair growth. You can use sunflower instead of coconut oil in a wide range of natural therapies of skin and hair care.
Please be warned, sunflower seed oil contains a lot of omega-6 fatty acids which have pro-inflammatory properties. For this reason, you need to balance the excess omega-6 with omega-3s for anti-inflammatory benefits.
5. Grapeseed Oil
Another good alternative to coconut oil is Grapeseed oil. It is a fat-soluble oil with light flavor suitable for salad dressings, fried, and sautéed dishes.
You can use it instead of coconut oil in skin treatments as it contains astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Just like coconut oil, it can very well moisturize your skin and reduce wrinkles and blemishes.
It contains healthy fatty acids like myristic, oleic, stearic, linoleic, and lauric good for heart health and cholesterol balance.
6. Hemp Seed Oil
You can comfortably replace coconut oil with hemp seed oil for many purposes. Similar to coconut oil, it is rich in several amino acids.
The astringent properties in this oil improve the elasticity of the skin and reduce wrinkles.
It is an excellent oil for cooking because of the healthy fatty acids, including omega-3, in this oil. As a cooking oil, it helps to improve energy production, improving brain function, and boosting the immune system.
Please note that overheating of this oil can result in a loss of nutritional value.
Hemp seed oil tastes great and gives a relishing flavor when used in salad dressing.
7. Walnut oil
Cold-pressed oil from dried and ground walnut is a nice substitute for coconut oil.
Poly and monounsaturated fats, omega-3s, astringents and antioxidants in this oil make it good cooking oil.
Regularly applying this oil on the skin helps treat wrinkles and fine lines and makes your skin look younger. Like coconut oil, it works great for fungal infections and inflammation on the skin.
Some studies suggest that potassium in walnut oil may help in the regeneration of hair follicles and may accelerate hair growth.
It has a nutty taste and a thick texture suitable for salad dressing and dips. Importantly, overheating can make this oil taste bitter.
The Bottom Line
The best option for replacing coconut oil is often to use another type of oil with similar qualities. Our choices of 7 healthy substitutions for coconut oil are:
- Olive oil
- Almond oil
- Avocado oil
- Sunflower oil
- Grape-seed oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Walnut oil
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