Gone are the days where we avoid fats and oils like the plague. More and more of us forgo low-fat options to include a range of healthy fats in our diets.1
Coconut oil is one of our favourite healthy fats, thanks to its plant-based origin and reported health benefits.2 And it’s not just limited to our kitchens either. As we find more and more ways to use coconut oil, you might be wondering if this ‘miracle’ ingredient is worth adding to your shopping basket.
However, picking up a tub of coconut oil isn’t as simple as it seems. With more and more brands producing the coconut oil and lots of different varieties to choose from, it can be tricky to find the right one for you. If you’ve seen fractionated coconut oil on the shelves, you might be wondering what that means. We’ve got everything you need to know below.
What is fractionated coconut oil?
We probably don’t have to tell you that fractionated coconut oil comes from coconuts. The ‘fractionated’ bit of the name means it has been processed to separate out certain fatty acids.3 By doing so, the lauric acid in coconut oil is removed, and capric acid and caprylic acid (known as medium-chain fatty acids or MCTs) remain. It’s thought that these MCTs provide more significant health benefits, although the evidence is unclear at the moment.4
Fractionated coconut oil is also pretty much always liquid, which makes it easier to work with. Unlike regular coconut oil, the fractionated version stays liquid in the fridge.5
Benefits of fractionated coconut oil
There are a lot of different ways to use fractionated coconut oil. Some people use it in their cooking, as a supplement or in their beauty routines. Its reported benefits really depend on the way you choose to use it.
Some of these benefits might include:
- Reduced hunger6
- Weight loss7
- Skin health8
- Reduced sensitivity9
- Anti-bacterial properties10
- Anti-oxidant properties11
- Skin hydration12
It’s worth bearing in mind that many studies are limited to animals and haven’t been tested out on humans yet. With this in mind, it’s worth taking the benefits of fractionated coconut oil with a pinch of salt. Like with any health concern, talk to your doctor before trying to treat it at home with a natural remedy.
There are lots of different natural beauty products that contain coconut oil. However, many people choose to use pure fractionated coconut oil for cooking and their beauty routines. It’s worth doing your research to decide which is right for you.
Who should avoid fractionated coconut oil?
Coconut oil is generally thought to be safe for most people, whether consumed or applied to the skin.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that consuming too much could lead to weight gain and may have other adverse effects.13
People with sensitive skin might want to proceed with caution too. Sometimes, applying oils to broken or dry skin can exacerbate symptoms. If you find your skin reacts badly to using coconut oil, always stop use immediately.14
Last updated: 9 December 2020