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Coconut Oil Vs Rice Bran Oil

Two oils, which have hit the scene recently for their supposed benefits are ‘rice bran oil’ and ‘coconut oil’. Why? Well you’re about to find out. Many different factors contribute to the healthy/unhealthy aspects of oils. So, this week’s battle is split into 3 rounds.

Round 1) The ratio of saturated (unhealthy) to unsaturated (healthy) fats.

Coconut oil is 86% saturated fat (SFA), 6% Monounsaturated (MUFA), 2% Polyunsaturated (PUFA). However, the saturated fat content is different from animal fats because most of them (66%) are medium chain triglycerides (which may not carry the same risks as other saturated fats). The most abundant fat in coconut oil is Lauric acid, which has antioxidant and antiviral properties.

Rice Bran oil is predominantly made up of Monounsaturated (47% MUFA, 33% PUFA, and 20% SFA) and is also a good source of vitamin E and antioxidants, which may help to prevent heart attacks.


Round 2) Smoke Point

Even plant based oils that are predominantly good fats can sometimes be an incorrect choice.

When fats or oils are heated to high temperature, decomposition occurs and finally a ‘smoke point’ is reached where fat is broken down. This process is called hydrogenation and turns healthy fats into unhealthy (TRANS) fats.

Smoke point of Rice bran oil = 254°C

Smoke point of Coconut oil = 177°C

Average temperature in a fry pan 175 -190°C


Round 3) Omega 6:Omega 3 ‘essential’ fatty acid ratio

Omega-3 (N-3) fatty acids are a family of PUFA. N-3 fatty acids are precursors to anti-inflammatory compounds in the body.

Omega-6 fatty acids (N-6) are also important for health. N-6 fatty acids are precursors to pro-inflammatory compounds in the body. Large amounts of omega-6 decrease the effect of omega-3.

Rice bran oil has a less than ideal N-6:N-3 ratio of 23:1 and is a major limitation of this oil.

Coconut oil however, contains 100% Omega 6 (no Omega 3 fats at all)


Other oils which can be used for cooking include –Avocado oil and Olive oil (due to their high smoke points)

Better oils to include in salad dressings are Olive/Canola or Safflower oil (due to their high N3:N6 ratio and ratio of healthy to unhealthy fats). Here are the facts…..OIL leave it up to you to choose your preference.

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