Coconut Oil 101–What to look for and why.

This post was inspired from my Healthy Food on a Budget post.  Some people wanted to know what all the hubbub was about using coconut oil.  I completely understand! 

I remember going over to my friends house and seeing her little jar of coconut oil and thinking now why would I spend 3 times the amount on THAT oil instead of the other oils?? 

So began my coconut oil research………I’m not going to go into depth about everything you can do with coconut oil, but YES, when I’m not cooking with it, I have used it as a toothpaste, a deodorant, and as a fantastic body moisturizer!    I’m sure it sounds strange to a newbie, but this stuff is amazing!

Coconut 101 – Why?

1.) The main reason I use coconut oil is for it’s nutritious properties.  It is full of all the good fats, which isn't suppose to make me fat!  My friend just sent me this fantastic article How to Lose Weight Fast with Coconut Oil.

2.) It can withstand a higher heat without losing all the great nutrients in the oil.  (other oils once heated lose almost all the good attributes they have)

click for photo source

What to look for 101

Buy Extra Virgin coconut oil - unrefined and cold pressed. (extra virgin usually means unrefined).  Organic is very nice but not a necessity because with the coconut it’s not a “fruit” that will be full of pesticides like spinach. 

NEVER buy coconut oil that says RBD on the label.  It stands for Refined Bleached and Deodorized!  Crude coconut oil is first Refined, Bleached and then Deodorized. Basically it is stripped of everything that makes coconut oil good for you.  Look for preservatives that are added to coconut oils also. (Or to anything for that matter!)  I find that with any food, flour, sugar, anything, knowledge is power and hopefully I am making it a little easier to sort through all the junk and you can learn how to get the "right" stuff.

The "right" stuff would be the closest to raw and natural.  Processed, heated, bleached, deodorized, refined, taken to hell and back is not good.  Just stay away!!!  I have to tell you Wal-Mart is king  of selling the wrong kind of "healthy".  Read the labels and small print.  What you will find is they will almost always be filled with preservatives and made as inexpensive as possible  :-) 
After tons of research and actually calling up mega companies and ASKING what degrees they “cook” their coconut oil I have found that for me (being that cost AND quality is an issue ) Soapers Choice is the best source for coconut oil out there online. (for those that are dying to know what temperature they process their oil, it’s cold pressed at 116 degrees.)  Remember that the lower the temperature the more nutrients you keep in the coconut oil, of course in it’s raw form  (just scooping out and put into a smoothie etc.) is most beneficial. 

Let me review the above in a nutshell. (ha-ha!) 

Cold pressed - better than hot pressed  (hot kills nutrients.  The lower the temperature process, for ANY food, the better.
Unrefined - better than refined.  (refined takes it through yet another step meanwhile losing even more nutrients)
Unbleached - better than bleached.   (bleach is a chemical -right?  Do I really want my food going through a chemical?)
Not deodorized - better than deodorized (do I even need to say anything to that?  Deodorizing what goes into my mouth....why?)

Soapers Choice specs on their oil is this:

Organic - Check
Heated only to 116 digress (cold pressed) - Check
Not bleached, Not deodorized, and Not refined. - Check
Good stuff I'd say.  You can purchase a large 7 lb size for $35.99 with shipping!  That is less than 10.00 for a 32 oz container.  Half the cost at my local health food store. 

(Aren't blogs great - you let others do the research and you just get to take advantage of it!)

NOTE: It does come in a plastic container (wish it was glass but I can’t have everything!) so what I do is set in in lukewarm water (will turn liquid at 76 F) and than I pour it into my smaller glass mason jars.

They say to store in a cool, dry place (50 to 68° F) away from direct sources of sunlight, heat and oxidizers. I keep my extras in the back of my pantry and the one I am using at the moment on my counter.  My research says it has a 2 year shelf life.

WOW!  Surprised smile This post is way longer than I had intended and I just hope you guys got to the end!!!

Thanks you guys! Selina – Creative Juices Décor!! 
(good thing I have “juices” in my name so my blog can qualify talking about all this health food and recipes!)

Disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist and do not claim to know everything :-)   If you find something that might not be correct on this post please leave a comment to help us all out.  Thank you!


  1. Wow! Thank you for this post. I was just thinking about coconut oil and that I needed to do some research on it. THANK YOU I can't wait to purchase some. I have really enjoyed reading your blog.

  2. What a great post!! I had it on my to do list to research this myself. THanks for taking care of that for me!!

    AND Thank you for sharing this at Seasonal Sundays.. Its something I think many people will appreciate!

    xo, Brittany

  3. Selina,

    My husband and I will totally be putting this advice into use! I had a baby five months ago and and ready to get back into my normal clothes! My husband, Andrew, is a chef and although he knows how to make things taste good, they certainly didn't teach him the best nutrition at culinary school- after reading your blog to him, we are both VERY excited to get our hands on some coconut oil and try it out! Glad I happened on your blog via Kira on facebook- it certainly has been a while since I was babysitting your kiddos!
    -Bekah (Preston) Hawkins

  4. Congratulations Bekah!!! I didn't know you had a baby. I am so glad you liked the article. I love using it. Yes, Aria is 10 and almost babysitting age herself! You were a great babystitter. Bless you!

  5. I just found your blog and am really enjoying it (I guess I should be working not blog browsing....I am sending a link to home email so I can continue later guilt free:) I wanted to thank you for the coconut oil info. I use the oil to make soap and am going to check out your listed source to see if I can get a better price. I have used it as a moisturizer but not for cooking. I'll have to give it a try. Thanks again.

  6. I went to their site...I don't know if I can eat coconut oil from a soap making site. I know it is organic, but are the buckets they put it in considered food grade?

    1. Hi Shirley! I totally know what you mean :-) When I called them, I was sure to ask a bunch of questions and one of them was what you just stated above.....he assured me that a LOT of people order the coconut oil for their kitchen. Regarding the buckets they come in, I should ask specifically if the are BPA free (or give them a call too and let us know) I take the coconut oil and get it warm enough (won't take much at all!) and pour it into smaller glass mason jars to store. Hope that helps!

  7. Thanks for doing all the work and finding the greatest price out there for coconut oil! I ordered some and it IS great! ...small steps to a healthier and less guilty way of living & eating. I really enjoy your blog...SO creativity, stylish, and frugally savvy, love it!
    Than you again! I'm a fan! Keep it up!


Thank you for your comments! I read them ALL and appreciate them. If you are asking a question be sure and leave your email, it will help me be able to contact you if you need a response. :-)

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