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Coconut oil substitute means we need to find a cooking fat, which is as nutritious as coconut oil, safe for cooking, and offers some nutritional advantages.

But before we see a coconut oil replacement, let’s check first what makes coconut oil a popular choice for cooking. But even before that, we need to understand why cooking oil or fat is essential for healthy cooking.

Coconut oil substitute: What is the utility of using cooking fat?

Fats are essential for absorbing vital nutrients like vitamin A, D, E, and K. It keeps our heart-healthy. It supplies a different level of nutritional support in our bodies. Healthy oils are high in antioxidants, and their high smoke point helps us stay away from the free radicals in the body that prevent the risk of cancer. 

 Coconut oil: What makes it so popular for cooking?

 Coconut oil: What makes it so popular for cooking?

As the name implies, Coconut oil is taken out from the kernel of matured coconuts. It is the primary commercial product of coconut.

It is a versatile oil with a high smoke point (350°– 400° F). It is stable enough, and that is why it is recycled for high-temperature cooking like baking, deep-frying, slow cooking, etc. 

In short:

  • It has a high smoking point, thus ideal for high heat cooking, roasting, and baking.
  • The herbal oil is digestion-friendly.
  • It has natural moisturizing quality, hence works fine for maintaining skin and hair if added to the diet.   
  • It contains MCT, thus great for lowering abdominal fat/ natural weight loss on moderate consumption.
  • Due to the presence of MCTs, coconut oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
  • Coconut oil is rich in saturated fat. It may help in increasing HDL cholesterol on moderate consumption along with a healthy lifestyle. 

Controversies: Does Coconut oil affects health positively? Is it a healthy oil?

Many controversies are there regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using coconut oil in daily life. Considering the high saturated fat content (about 90%), coconut oil may not be a healthy oil choice, especially for CVD risk reduction. On the other hand, antimicrobial and antifungal properties are beneficial for health and wellbeing.

  • Coconut oil is high in saturated fat (around 90%).  Overdose of saturated fat in the diet is unhealthy because it may raise “bad” (LDL) low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Consumption of coconut oil increases serum cholesterol concentration. 
  • A common allusion about coconut oil is rich in Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) (60% of total fatty acids). The gastrointestinal tract rapidly absorbs medium-chain fatty acids. It plays an essential source of energy. It does not get stored in adipose tissue. 
  • According to the study done by the University of Cambridge, about half of the total fatty acids of coconut oil is comprised of Lauric acid (about 42%). However, Lauric acid, chemically categorized as MCFA, acts like long-chain fatty acids. It is re-esterified to triacylglycerol and either metabolized for energy or stored in adipose tissue. 
  • Moreover, about 25% of coconut oil fat consists of the long-chain saturated fatty acids (myristic acid (14:0) and palmitic acid (16:0)). All these together may increase body fatness on regular consumption of coconut oil.
  • Some studies suggest that due to the presence of MCT (42% lauric acid, 7% caprylic acid, and 5% capric acid), the coconut possesses antimicrobial and antifungal properties. It can counter pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and yeast. The feature gives coconut oil a health-friendly immunity-boosting property.  Because of the immunity-boosting quality, it is apprehended that coconut oil may reduce inflammation on body organs. Besides improving immune power, it can help in cognitive function too. 

Several clinical trials over the impact of coconut oil have concluded that coconut oil had no significant effect on easing inflammation, improving glucose homeostasis, and reducing adiposity.

So the critical concern is, what is a good substitute for coconut oil?

what is a good substitute for coconut oil

What is ghee clarified butter?

Ghee is the purest and clarified form of milk fat commonly used in India and Middle East countries in cooking. It has attracted the limelight recently in the course of balanced diets due to its nutritional benefits.

It has a typical Nutty aroma, slightly caramelized color, and creamy texture.  Being pure fat, ghee is inert to microbial spoilage. Moreover, low moisture content (not more than 0.3%) gives it long shelf life.

Therefore, it can be stored for up to 18 months without refrigeration at your pantry.

Grass-fed ghee contains not less than 99.6% fat.  It contains healthy fat and vitamins essential for the human body.

These are saturated fats, mainly short-chain fatty acids like butyrate and medium-chain fatty acids, Omega 3, essential fatty acids like linolenic acid and arachidonic acid, carotenoids, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. 

Moreover, ghee contains no lactose and casein as milk solids get removed in its preparing process. Therefore, it is mostly free from the risk of allergy to lactose and casein.

It is safe for individuals suffering from dairy allergies. It is a healthy choice for health-conscious people following the Keto diet or Paleo diet.

It contains a higher concentration of fat-soluble vitamins, CLA, loads of butyric acid or butyrate, and beta carotene (green grass feed of cows) when prepared from Grass-fed or Organic cow’s milk-butter/cream.

 The benefits of ghee clarified fat (ghee benefits):

benefits of ghee clarified fat (ghee benefits)

The nutritional advantage of grass-fed cow ghee) is versatile. You can use it for all cooking types, including low heat cooking, high-temperature cooking, raw consumption, etc.

  • Ghee in the diet takes care of health system detoxification. The CLA content and butyrate content of grass-fed ghee stand responsible for it. Ghee in the diet can flush toxins out of the body and keeps the digestive system clean. Ghee clarified butter promotes digestion.
  • A moderate quantity of ghee in the diet helps in natural weight loss.
  • Clarified butter contributes to developing brain health, bone health, eye care, skincare, and hair care.
  • The butyrate content of grass-fed ghee takes care of constipation, IBS problem, etc. 
  • The high smoke point of ghee (482 degrees F) makes it extremely suitable for high heat cooking, baking, frying, sautéing, and roasting. It makes ghee safer cooking fat than olive oil, canola oil, etc.
  • Ghee can be consumed as a spread on morning toasts or added to coffee or other beverages.
  • Ghee works as a healthy taste enhancer. It enhances the taste and flavor of food when added as a seasoning or used as cooking oil. 
  • It is suitable for the Paleo diet and ketogenic diet (high fat, low-carb diet) followers.
  • It is suitable for individuals allergic to dairy products.

Ghee clarified butter vs. coconut oil: similarity and differences

Ghee clarified butter vs. coconut oil: similarity and differences

Matches: If we compare coconut oil and ghee clarified butter for cooking, we will find some similarities like:

  • Both contain MCTs, which may help with natural weight loss programs: both are Keto-friendly.
  • It is assumed that if a healthy lifestyle is maintained, both coconut oil and ghee in cooking can help as an immunity booster.
  • Both are digestion-friendly and helps in maintaining a reasonable metabolism rate in the body.
  • Both have therapeutic benefits. 

Differences: Concerning Ghee nutrition, ghee clarified butter (grass-fed or organic) is superior to coconut oil.

When ghee is consumed in moderation,  it imparts several health benefits for consumers. These are:

  • Ghee clarified butter contains around 62% saturated fat, which is relatively lesser than coconut oil (90%). Excessive saturated fat in coconut oil increases lousy LDL cholesterol concentration in the human body over regular consumption.
  • Ghee clarified butter contains loads of butyric acid or butyrate. It is the primary short-chain fatty acid in ghee. Its medicinal support is known for improving the digestive system, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), decreased inflammation, diabetes, etc.
  •   Moderate ghee in the diet is beneficial for reducing the irritation of chronic constipation. In contrast, coconut oil does not contain butyric acid.
  • MUFA content in ghee clarified butter is around 28.7%, whereas coconut oil contains about 6%.   According to Dairy research, MUFA is considered healthy as it helps in biochemical processes associated with nerves, the brain, the heart, digestion, and cell maintenance.
  • Unlike coconut oil, ghee clarified butter is rich in fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin A and E content of ghee is around 3069 IU/100g and 2.8 mg/100g, respectively. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are essential for immunity, healthy skin and hair, improved eyesight, and calcium metabolism in the human body.
  • Ghee clarified butter is rich in beta-carotene, the antioxidant, and the precursor for vitamin A in the human body. Vitamin A is essential for retina function.
  • Ghee clarified butter is rich in omega-three fatty acids, beneficial to the heart, brain, eye, other tissue functions, and anti-inflammatory properties. Omega 3 is a proven supplement to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Coconut oil has some omega-six fatty acids but does not contain omega-three fatty acids. 
  • Ghee butterfat is the highest natural source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). It is essential for immunity enhancement, increasing lean mass of the body, and anti-inflammatory properties in the human body. In comparison, several studies have concluded that coconut oil had no significant effect on easing inflammation or reducing adiposity. 
  • Ghee clarified butter contains short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which can be rapidly oxidized, thus less conducive to fat deposition. In contrast, Coconut oil contains Lauric acid (42% of total fatty acids), biologically act like long-chain fatty acid. Moreover, 25% of coconut fat consists of the long-chain saturated fatty acids, i.e., myristic acid (14:0) and palmitic acid (16:0). This creates a problem of the fat store in the body and results in body fatness.  
  • Ghee clarified butter helps in metabolism and balances high blood sugar. At the same time, coconut oil had no significant effect on improving glucose homeostasis.

Grass-fed Organic ghee has immense importance in Indian Ayurveda.

It is used in Ayurvedic medicines or treatments or applied as a natural remedy for several health problems for centuries.

Ayurvedic medicine is globally acclaimed for its treatment of natural rejuvenation.

 

Grass-fed Organic ghee has immense importance in Indian Ayurveda

  • According to Ayurveda, Grass-fed organic ghee acts as a natural cleanser of the body. Regular practice of this ghee remedy will keep the digestive system clean. 
  • Coconut oil cleanses have become popular, but there’s no evidence linking them or any other detox regimens to improved health.
  • It is used in various ayurvedic medicines as a significant ingredient. This is because it acts as a carrier and improves the absorption and assimilation of ayurvedic drugs in the human body.
  • The combo of Grass-fed ghee and cow milk is one of the best ayurvedic medicines that help retain physical vigor, improve virility in men, and increase fertility in women.
  • Ghee clarified butter is identified as a wholesome, nourishing dairy. This is why it is prescribed for pregnant women in their diet to avoid the risk of malnutrition of the fetus.
  • In Ayurvedic treatment, Grass-fed ghee clarified butter is prescribed for regular eye care. Ghee in the diet helps maintain eye health and degenerative eye diseases. 

Advantages of Ghee clarified butter over coconut oil in culinary use:

  • Ghee clarified butter can be a nutritious replacement for coconut oil in cooking. You can use ghee in a coconut oil recipe, but you can hardly use coconut oil in a ghee recipe. Ghee is a healthy and versatile coconut oil substitute, but coconut oil is not a substitute for pure ghee. 
  • Ghee clarified butter has a high smoke point (482 degrees F) than coconut oil (350- 400 degree F), making it a better choice for high heat cooking, frying, baking, or confectionery.
  • Ghee clarified butter has a characteristic aroma and taste; these give it worldwide acceptance as a cooking essential. The sweet taste and oily flavor of coconut oil sometimes overpower the flavor of food. Instead, the nutty taste and caramelized aroma of ghee significantly improve the taste of cooked food.
  • Ghee clarified butter is used in seasoning food to increase the flavor and taste of various recipes from world cuisines. At the same time, coconut oil is used mainly in tropical cooking recipes. 
  • Grass-fed ghee is quintessential for Indo Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Thus, ghee clarified butter can be a healthy, flavorsome, versatile, and nutritious replacement for coconut oil.

The nutritional benefits and therapeutic properties of its healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins will further increase its use among consumers. 

Pure ghee butter is more shelf-stable than coconut oil. The storage friendliness of ghee is an advantage over the use of coconut oil in a kitchen.

Coconut oil substitute: How to replace coconut oil with ghee in cooking

  • You can use ghee as a Coconut oil substitute while baking a cake.  You can try Grass-fed Ghee as a healthy substitute for coconut oil in baking, which will add taste and ghee benefits at one go.
  •  Now you may wonder how to substitute coconut oil for butter. In making bulletproof coffee, you can easily use clarified butter as a coconut oil substitute.
  • While ghee adds a creamy taste and feel, coconut may leave an oily texture of the coffee. Hence ghee is a better replacement, as felt by many Keto diet followers.  
  • Ghee offers better seasoning, while coconut oil may not work well as a seasoning for your salads. In the deep-frying process, ghee offers a higher smoking point than coconut oil; hence, it is a healthy replacement.  
  • The smoke point of unrefined coconut oil is 350 ° F. In contrast, pure organic or grass-fed ghee offers 482° F.
  • Processed coconut oil provides a higher smoke point of about 400°F. Still, the catch is the health benefits of coconut oil are available primarily from its unprocessed variety.

Summing up:

Even though Coconut oil was a widespread choice, recently, coconut oil substitute is in high demand. Health freaks preferred this oil due to its MCT oil content, high smoking point, and high-calorie count. But it has some disadvantages too. 

  • Overdose of saturated fats may cause cardiac diseases if moderation is not maintained. 
  • It is not shelf-friendly as well and not perfect for versatile use in cooking.

 These are the premium reasons, and food freaks often look for coconut oil substitutes, so they prefer to use ghee clarified butter for their cooking needs instead of using unsalted dairy butter or coconut oil, or olive oil.

However, you may consider using pure grass-fed organic ghee to replace coconut oil in your diet.

  • Pure Ghee is a tastier and more nutritious choice over coconut oil. Modern dieticians call it a super-food, considering its beneficial effects and therapeutic usages.
  • Ghee contains less saturated fat than coconut oil. The significant saturated fat in ghee is butyrate. Butyrate is known for its health support. Coconut oil does not contain butyrate.
  • It contains more omega 3, which is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In contrast, Coconut oil does not contain omega 3.
  • Unlike Coconut oil, ghee is rich in fat-soluble vitamins. 
  • It is suitable for individuals with dietary restrictions (lactose intolerant/ allergic to casein)
  • It is suitable for high-temperature cooking.
  • Moderate consumption of ghee clarified butter and a healthy lifestyle improves immunity, memory power, perk up the energy level, provides the rejuvenating effect to the body, improves skin and hair, etc. It usually does not impose any harmful impact on people in general health.
  • You may go for Milkio Grass-fed ghee or organic ghee from Milkio Foods for the best quality grass-fed ghee. Made in New Zealand, Milkio ghee is produced from 100% grass-fed butter. It has no additives or preservatives. Milkio organic grass-fed ghee is certified “Non-GMO & Organic” by BioGro, New Zealand.
  • It is a natural product and does not contain lactose, casein, and sugar. It is a gluten-free product and a healthy alternative to regular butter.
  • Milkio grass-fed organic ghee is storage-friendly. You may store the ghee for 12-18 months at room temperature in your kitchen without refrigeration support. It offers high smoke points, and this premium quality ghee is Keto and Paleo-friendly. Milkio ghee is Halal and Kosher certified, and its 100% purity is certified by the USDA.

References:
Nithya Neelakantan, Jowy Yi Hoong Seah, Rob M. van Dam. The Effect of Coconut Oil Consumption on Cardiovascular Risk Factors, A Systematic Review, and Meta-Analysis of Clinical Trials,
https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.043052 Circulation. 2020;141:803–814
R A Matulka 1, O Noguchi, N Nosaka., Safety evaluation of a medium- and long-chain triacylglycerol oil produced from medium-chain triacylglycerols and edible vegetable oil.
Food Chem Toxicol 2006 Sep;44(9):1530-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2006.04.004. Epub 2006 Apr 25


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