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This or That? When and Why to Use Coconut Oil vs. Olive Oil

Out of the kitchen staples, there are two oils that are beloved by the health community most of all: coconut oil and olive oil.

After all, both contain enough healthy fats that aid in good health, plus they offer a plethora of natural home and beauty remedies too.

Yet, people are still divided between these two superfoods. That’s why we’re here to finally settle the score once and for all. Which is better for your health and homemade beauty remedies: coconut oil or olive oil?

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty to find out if one oil is indeed better than the other.

Cooking: Coconut Oil vs. Olive Oil

Without a doubt, both coconut oil and olive oil are staples in most kitchens. But when stacked against each other, which one packs more punch when it comes to health benefits based on a variety of dietary patterns?

Before we can answer the question, we need to explore the fatty acid and antioxidant components that make up these oils.

Fatty Acids

Based on hard research, coconut oil is made out of about 90% saturated fat content. On the other hand, olive oil ranks a little lower with only 75% of the same in its content.


When broken down, there are about 36 different antioxidant polyphenols in olive oil. Meanwhile, coconut oil only has 6 of these. This is probably why olive oil is used in liberty in most diets such as the Mediterranean diet.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is linked to a healthy immune function, prevention of inflammation and coronary heart disease, lowers cancer, and so much more. The good news is that olive oil is packed with said vitamin. However, the levels of vitamin E on coconut oil is but negligible.

The verdict: The best cooking and baking oils

If we’re judging these two oils based on health benefits alone, we can simply hammer down the gavel and say that olive oil takes home the crown because it is rich in antioxidants and offers vitamin E that spells good health and a healthy heart.

However, we need to consider their uses as well. While both can be classified as healthy oils, the uses of these two are quite stark. For example, we use olive oil mostly for salad dressings and for sauteing food at low to medium heat. It is not meant for cooking or frying at high temperatures. On the other hand, coconut oil is better for frying at high heat and not meant for salad dressings.

This means that when it comes to baking and cooking, both serve different purposes and should not be pitted against each other. What seems to be an aged battle for the “best cooking oil” status seems hardly important because these two can’t be used interchangeably anyway.

DIY Hair Treatment: Coconut Oil vs. Olive Oil

Another age-old question that seems to plague the beauty community is whether coconut oil or olive oil makes our hair shinier and healthier. We weigh each of these healthy fats to get to the bottom of things. To answer the question, let’s explore one requirement of good and thorough hair treatment: its moisturizing and conditioning effects.

Moisturizing and deep conditioning

Coconut oil can repair your damaged hair and build it up so it can be protected against heat damages. It does so by introducing moisture into your hair and giving it a nice and beautiful shine. Unsurprisingly, the same benefits are touted by olive oil.

If you have dull and frizzy hair, you can make DIY hair masks and DIY hair serums to combat your hair issues.

The verdict: The best moisturizing and conditioning oil

While both introduce moisture to your hair, olive oil seems to have the upper hand when it comes to the amount of moisture that is introduced into your scalp and strands. Still, they both provide ample benefits as conditioners.

So, why stop with just one if you can benefit from two? There are plenty of DIY hair recipes that combine these two oils for maximum effects. Twice a week with these ultra-moisturizing combo and you should be able to enjoy sleek and healthy hair in no time.

If you were to ask us, each of these oils is beneficial in their own right. This leaves you then to decide which one to use and for what reason. If you’re up for a salad, then a douse of olive oil might do. On the other hand, if you want to fry your food, then using coconut oil will make better sense. In healthy amounts, both are beneficial to your heart health.

When it comes to DIY beauty, olive oil may offer more moisturization, but coconut oil will do a pretty good job of conditioning your hair as well.



Tara O'Doherty is Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of voxie. She's a global award-winning strategist, marketer, designer, author, speaker and educator who lives in Toronto, Canada with her two fat dogs. She is best known for her SickKids VS digital work which resulted in numerous global awards and helped secure over $700 million dollars in donations for the hospital. She is also the former co-Founder and CPO of JADEO and x-VP of Experience Strategy at Cossette Communications, and currently the VP of Design and UX at Akendi.


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