Are you looking for a healthy cooking oil, but can’t decide between flaxseed oil and coconut oil?
I’ve got you covered! In this article, I’ll compare and contrast flaxseed oil and coconut oil to help you decide which one is right for you.
Comparing flaxseed oil vs coconut oil
|Flaxseed oil||Coconut oil, Virgin/Unrefined||Coconut oil, Refined|
|Solid or Liquid?||Liquid||Semi solid||Semi solid|
|Smoke Point (Fahrenheit)||225 degrees||350 degrees||400 degrees|
|Good for Cooking…||Raw||Raw, low heat, moderate heat||Raw, low heat, moderate heat|
|Allergens||Flaxseed/linseed||Coconut, tree nut||Coconut, tree nut|
Differences between flaxseed oil and coconut oil
Flaxseed oil is typically cold-pressed from flax seeds, while coconut oil comes from the flesh of the coconut (coconuts are technically a fruit!). Coconut oil can be extracted via a variety of methods, including cold-pressing, expeller-pressing, and solvent extraction.
One of the biggest differences between these oils is their consistency. Flaxseed oil is a liquid at room temperature, while coconut oil is semi-solid due to its higher saturated fat content.
Flaxseed oil also has a very low smoke point (the point at which is starts to smoke/burn) compared to coconut oil and other cooking oils. So, don’t make the same mistake I did and use flaxseed oil to season your cast iron pans… you’ve been warned.
Virgin/unrefined vs refined coconut oil
What about the difference between unrefined (virgin) coconut oil and refined coconut oil?
Virgin coconut oil is made from fresh, mature coconuts, using methods such as cold-pressing or fermentation. It retains its natural flavor, aroma, and nutrients.
Refined coconut oil, on the other hand, is made from dried copra (coconut meat), which is often treated with chemicals to extract the oil. It is then bleached and deodorized to remove any impurities, resulting in a neutral flavor and higher smoke point.
Baking and cooking with flaxseed oil vs coconut oil
Flaxseed oil has a low smoke point and oxidizes quickly, so it’s best used cold in salad dressings, smoothies, and dips rather than heated.
Refined coconut oil is a better choice for high-heat frying, and unrefined coconut oil is somewhere in the middle – good raw, for sautéing vegetables on low-moderate heat, or for adding moisture to cake and cookies.
Flaxseed oil has a robust nutty flavor, but some people say it has a fishy taste if too much is used. Coconut oil has a mild, sweet flavor that pairs well with both savory and sweet dishes.
Can flaxseed oil and coconut oil be substituted for each other?
Flaxseed oil and coconut oil are not interchangeable. You can cook and bake with coconut oil, but flaxseed oil doesn’t hold up against the heat.
Substituting one oil for the other can significantly alter the taste, texture, and nutritional profile of a recipe. However, you can use both oils in the same recipe, such as using a mixture of flaxseed and coconut oil in a vinaigrette or drizzling over roasted vegetables.
Nutrition: Flaxseed oil vs coconut oil
Flaxseed oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fats), antioxidants and lignans.
Coconut oil is higher in saturated fats, but it is also the highest natural source of lauric acid, a medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
So which oil is healthier? If you’re looking to boost your omega-3 intake, flaxseed oil is a great choice. If you’re following a ketogenic diet or looking for a natural source of quick energy, coconut oil may be more beneficial. Both oils can be healthy additions to your diet in moderation, but it’s important to consider the context of your overall diet and lifestyle.
|Per tablespoon (15mL)||Flaxseed oil||Coconut oil, Virgin/Unrefined||Coconut oil, Refined|
|Polyunsaturated||9.2 g||0 g||1 g|
|Monounsaturated||2.5 g||1 g||1 g|
|Saturated||1.2 g||13 g||12 g|
|Trans||Trace amounts||0 g||0 g|
|Total Fat||13.6 g||14 g||14 g|
The primary fat source is bolded.
How to store flaxseed oil and coconut oil
Flaxseed oil oxidizes quickly, so it must be kept in a dark bottle in the fridge to prevent it from going rancid. It’s best to use it within a few weeks of opening for optimal freshness.
Coconut oil, on the other hand, can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dark place. It has a long shelf life (2 years) and doesn’t require refrigeration. Just be sure to keep it away from heat and light, which can cause it to spoil more quickly.
Flaxseed oil vs coconut oil: Which is better
So, which oil is the winner in the flaxseed oil vs coconut oil debate? Well, it ultimately depends on what you’re looking for in an oil.
If you’re looking for an oil with a high smoke point, long shelf life, and versatile cooking applications, coconut oil is the clear winner. It’s great for frying, sautéing, and baking and can be used in a wide range of dishes.
However, if you’re looking for an oil with a high omega-3 content and anti-inflammatory properties, flaxseed oil takes the cake.
My personal advice? Keep both oils in your pantry and use them according to their strengths. Flaxseed oil is great for cold dishes like salad dressings, while coconut oil is a versatile choice for cooking and baking. Happy cooking!
It depends on the specific health benefits you are looking for. Flaxseed oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, while coconut oil is high in saturated fat and lauric acid, which may have some health benefits but also potential drawbacks.
Yes, you can mix coconut oil with flaxseed oil. Doing so will increase the amount of saturated fats and tone down the flavor of flaxseed oil.
I recommend olive oil, avocado oil, and fish oil as healthy oil options.