We all know how to use coconut oil to maximize its benefits. But, little do we know about its composition. What are the components of coconut oil that make it so amazing? It isn’t just a great-tasting oil that you can use anywhere. It’s made up of minerals and nutrients that add to its awesomeness.
Coconut oil is extracted from a coconut kernel. It can either be refined or unrefined.
Most households keep a jar of coconut oil as it can be beneficial on numerous occasions.
Coconut Oil Physical Characteristics
Coconut oil is mainly made up of 85% saturated fat. You can shrug off the worry since experts have already claimed that these saturated fats aren’t as harmful as you think. It’s because most saturated fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides. They don’t stay long in our bodies and contain many beneficial properties. These medium-chain triglycerides or medium-chain fatty acids have different chemical constituents from other saturated fats.
Lauric acid is the dominant MCT in coconut oil, making it the second most attainable source of the acid next to a mother’s breast milk.
Fat and Calories
The calories in coconut oil come from fat. You may think badly about fats, but our body needs it. These fats will absorb vitamins, promote the production of hormones, protect your organs, and help keep your body temperature normal.
A tablespoon of coconut oil contains 13.5 grams of total fat. Note that each gram of fat is equivalent to 9 calories. So, a tablespoon of coconut oil contains about 120 calories.
Fatty Acid Content of Coconut Oil
- Type of Fatty Acid
- Lauric saturated, C12 48%
- Myristic saturated C14 16%
- Palmitic saturated C16 9.5%
- Decanoic saturated C10 8%
- Caprylic saturated C8 7%
- Oleic monounsaturated C18:1 6.5%
- Others (Polyunsaturated) 5%
Vitamins and Minerals
Coconut oil may not be too rich in micronutrients. But, it still contains a trace amount of them. The particular mineral found in coconut oil is iron. It’s important in the transportation of oxygen in the body. It also contains sufficient amounts of vitamin K, and E. Vitamin K helps in wound healing, while vitamin E works as an antioxidant that protects your skin cells from damage.
Here are the coconut oil’s nutritional values per 100 gram serving:
- Energy 862 kcal (3,607 kJ)
- Fat 100 g
- Saturated 86.5 g
- Monounsaturated 5.8 g
- Polyunsaturated 1.8 g
- Vitamin E 0.09 mg
- Vitamin K 0.5 μg
- Iron 0.04 mg
- Phytosterols 86 mg