coconut oil for cooking

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 19, 2012 at 9:27 PM


i'm new to paleo (brand new- have been reading up as much as i can and am starting tomorrow). i see a lot of people have been using coconut oil to cook with with rather than olive oil that i read can be used in moderation. i obviously wouldn't use tons anyway but is coconut oil seen as a 'free/ totally paleo' product?


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4 Answers



on August 19, 2012
at 10:01 PM

There is no Paleo Bible; everyone has different view points regarding the optimal human diet. With that said, most people who subscribe to a "Paleo" diet eat foods available before the agricultural revolution.

Both olive oil and coconut oil are generally regarded as acceptable, but they are structurally different. Olive oil is mainly monounsaturated, and susceptible to spoilage over time. Coconut oil, on the other hand, is almost entirely saturated, comprised of medium-chain-triglycerides, and extremely shelf-stable.

Neither is "free" - too much of anything is toxic or conducive to unwanted weight gain.

For high-heat frying, I recommend coconut oil over olive oil, due to the latter's susceptibility to oxidation in higher temperatures.

Both are "totally Paleo", but context and common sense are crucial.


on August 19, 2012
at 11:37 PM

Also, it should be be a virgin coconut oil if anything, otherwise they are highly processed.


on August 20, 2012
at 03:29 AM

I use coconut oil for some things but mostly when I cook I use saved bacon drippings. Gives you extra bacony flavor to your meals.


on August 20, 2012
at 01:32 AM

Coconut oil is not paleo of course. Coconuts grow in restricted areas around equator, they hardly were staple of the majority of hunter gatherers. Even if they were, coconut oil manufacturing was not possible with stone age tools.

I think coconut oil is "primal", and goes in the same category as dairy, which was not available during paleo either, but a lot of people recommend it.

While paleo products are less risky, primal products may provide some benefits, which were not available to hunter gatherers. To use them or not is your choice, based on your individual reaction (seems like my gut doesn't like fresh milk or coconut oil)

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