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Paleo Diet Primal Olive Oil Extra Virgin Fake Test Quality Label-min

Are You Using Fake Olive Oil?

Olive oil is one of the healthier oils around, because it’s full of nutrients and antioxidants. Using high quality ‘extra virgin’ olive oil is pretty standard on a Paleo diet. But just how good is the olive oil in your kitchen?

Apparently some olive oils are not all they seem…

Olive oil comes in different categories: ‘Extra virgin’, ‘virgin’, ‘fine virgin’, (normal) ‘olive oil’ and ‘pomace’. ‘Extra virgin’ is the label put on an oil containing less than 1% acid.

Recent research from the Olive Institute (University of California in Davis) revealed that more than half of the olive oils presently on the market are bad quality. Often, despite what they label says, it is not always ‘extra virgin’ olive oil and is sometimes mixed with cheaper oils like hazelnut oils or even soybean oil! Sometimes the oil can be made from overripe and rotting olives. This olive oil does not have any nutritional or health benefits and can even be harmful…

Olives are fruits, making it a very unique oil. Olives are drupaceous (stone fruits), like prunes and cherries. The oil is made with a simple hydraulic press, much like the one we use for fruit juices. This in contrast to the “vegetable” oils, which are made in a refinery with the use of solvents, heat and high pressure – not very natural!

Paleo Diet Primal Olive Oil Extra Virgin Fake Test Quality Label-min

Olive oil is made gently which is why it keeps the ‘extra virgin’ quality, full of antioxidants in the forms of polyphenols and sterols, and vitamins E and K. Olive oil contains large quantities of CoQ10, an antioxidant which is very effective in protecting our heart and fighting chronic inflammations.

Choosing a Good Quality Olive Oil

It’s really important to make sure the olive oil you use is good quality – and really is what it says it is only the label. There are a few ways you can get more certainty about the olive oil you buy:

  • Develop a taste for olive oil. There are course and tasting session run, which will help you get a feel for what it should taste like. This will help you identify if the oil you purchase is a good one.
  • Buy only brands that are certified by trustworthy organisations.
  • If possible, buy directly from the olive growers and producers.
  • You might have heard about the refrigerator test: when you put olive oil in the fridge, it should solidify. If it doesn’t solidify, you could be dealing with a mixture of oils. BUT! This test is not 100% trustworthy, as some very high quality olive oils will not solidify.

If you’re not happy with some olive oil that you’ve purchased – return it – and try another brand.

How do you choose a good olive oil and what do you use it for? Do you have any brands, which you’d recommend? Please share your olive oil hints and tips in the comments below!

5 ways to pick a good coconut oil-min

5 ways to pick a good coconut oil

Coconut oil is like wine – there are lots of great ones if you know where to look, just as there are some very disappointing ones out there! So make sure you get what you’re paying for.

We all know by now how good coconut oil is, it’s a great way to get more fat in your diet, it’s really stable at high temperatures and it’s really good for cooking in. But if you’ve recently searched for coconut oil, you’d be forgiven for feeling completely overwhelmed and confused at the choices available.

5 ways to pick a good coconut oil-min

So, what do you need to consider?

Choice One: Refined or Unrefined.

Coconut oil is either refined, or unrefined. A refined oil won’t have that coconut taste or smell, so it can be a good one to have on hand for cooking more delicate dishes, that you don’t want to take on that distinct coconut flavour. Refined coconut oils will still have a great fatty acid profile (and full of those great MCT’s). If the label doesn’t specify, assume it’s a refined oil. Of course to refine the oil is to process it. So if you can, stick with an unrefined oil – but this is great to have on hand for a particular recipe that demands it, or if you’re cooking for someone who can’t stand the taste of coconut.

Unrefined oil is a staple in my house. It does have the distinct coconut flavour, however, between brands there is a huge variation. Some taste way milder than others, so it’s best to try a few until you work out which is your favourite.

Choice Two: Virgin or Extra Virgin.

You’ll likely only see these labels on unrefined coconut oil and unfortunately there seems to be a lot of ambiguity about what they actually mean. As a base assumption, virgin and extra virgin should be a lot purer, and from the first pressing of the coconut.

Choice Three: Expeller-Pressed, Cold-Pressed and Centrifuged

Your next option is how the oil was extracted from the coconut. The less heat used in the process, the more raw the final product – the milder the flavour will be. If the extraction process did heat the oil, it’s not too much of a concern as coconut oil is so stable at high temperatures.

Choice Four: Bulk, Jar or Spray

Your next choice is how you buy the oil. If you use a lot of it, you’ll do far better buying in bulk, instead of individual jars. And as I’ve written about before – I strongly suggest you avoid buying a spray can of coconut oil!

Choice Five: Where to buy

I find it so expensive to buy coconut oil local unfortunately – it’s also hard to find it in bulk quantities. I buy mine from iherb, who ship internationally (get $5 off using code DUV741). It works out far cheaper and they’re got such a big range you can experiment with a few, to work out which you prefer.

And if you do buy a bad one? Don’t throw it away – there are loads of non-edible uses for it!

5 Ways to get more coconut oil in your diet paleo diet primal fat nutrition-min

5 Ways to get more coconut oil in your diet (I did number 4 today)

You know the health benefits of coconut oil by now. It’s loaded with MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglycerides) and is a wonderful source of healthy saturated fat. It’s antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-fungal, is excellent at improving gut health and even boosts your metabolism. There’s also a lot of research indicating it’s great for dementia/ Alzheimer’s patients.

If you’re not the greatest fan of eating it by the spoonful (personally, I love nothing better, but we’re all different!), then it can be tricky getting copious amounts of the stuff into your diet. I get a lot of emails from people really keen to consume it – but who hate the flavour. Whilst you can get refined coconut oil, with none of the taste, it is a refined product – far better to go for the purest oil you can find.

If you’re looking to up your intake of coconut oil in a delicious way, then check out some of the great ideas below.

5 Ways to get more coconut oil in your diet paleo diet primal fat nutrition-min

  1. Bulletproof coffee – I’ve covered Bulletproof Coffee before as it is a fabulous way to enjoy the saturated goodness of coconut oil in liquid form. To make a DIY Bulletproof coffee, put a generous spoonful of coconut oil into a black coffee, and enjoy the creamier, mellower beverage it creates. Bulletproof coffee is also a proven energy boost and is a great start to the day if you are practising intermittent fasting.
  2. Coconut oil chocolate – who doesn’t love chocolate!? Home made chocolate bites are a fantastic way to get a little more coconut oil in your life. Simply melt down 1 tbsp coconut oil, and mix in 1 tsp cacao powder and half a teaspoon of raw honey. Leave this to set in the freezer for 20 minutes, and you’ll have a delicious block of coconut oil chocolate to enjoy! It’s extra tasty with a couple of chopped macadamias or goji berries thrown into the mix too.
  3. Smoothies – if you’re making smoothies, why not add an extra dose of healthy fats by adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to the blender? You won’t notice the taste, but it will add a subtle creaminess to the mix.
  4. Roasted Veggies – As one of the healthiest oils to roast with, coconut oil is a fantastic choice for tossing your favourite veggies in before roasting. It’s flavourless when used in this way, so works brilliantly if you’re adding herbs and spices to the mix. My favourite mix is sweet potato and delicata squash, tossed in a generous amount of melted coconut oil then sprinkled with cinnamon, rosemary, thyme and black pepper. Delicious!
  5. Paleo baked goods – I’m not the biggest fan of Paleo baking, but when the occasion arrives, you could do a far lot worse than using generous amounts of coconut oil to make super moist muffins or melt in the mouth cookies.

These are just a few tasty ways to ramp up your coconut oil intake. Have I missed any?

Coconut-Oil-Spray-Whats-The-Point-paleo-diet

Coconut Oil Spray – What’s The Point?

Initially I was really impressed when I saw Coconut Oil Spray for the first time in Coles, my local grocery store.

But on reflection, Coconut Oil spray seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, don’t you think?

Why Spray Cans?

Spray cans of cooking oil became popular to enable the low-fat brigade to cook in as little oil as possible. The spray tin enables you to coat the bottom of the pan, using far less oil than you’d use if you poured it in. But we’ve moved on from low-fat, haven’t we? Chances are, given that you’re reading this blog, you’re careful to incorporate decent amounts of fat in your diet. Coconut oil is probably the most popular cooking oil amongst those who follow a Paleo diet. Most of my Paleo friends will use generous amounts of coconut oil in their cooking – and then pour the oil from the pan onto their plate when they’ve finished. You can’t so this with a spray can of coconut oil!

Added Ingredients?

The ingredients also include butane and propane which are obviously required to enable to spray mechanism to work – but I wonder if this has any impact on the oil – and whether there is any residue in the oil when it makes it onto your plate? Another reason I’d prefer to spoon my pure coconut oil straight into the pan, and not take the chance that any of the propellants come into contact with my food. The cans are also highly flammable, another plus for the humble jar of coconut oil!

Coconut-Oil-Spray-Whats-The-Point-paleo-diet

Who Buys It?

I find it odd that this particular store only stocks the spray and not the oil in normal jar form (my other local supermarket, Woolworths, stocks jars of coconut oil, but not the spray, which is far more useful). Given the choice, I’m sure almost everyone would opt for a jar of coconut oil, rather than the spray?

I can’t really see who the coconut oil spray is aimed at. Compared to the nasty seed oil sprays, it’s far higher in fat (this is a good thing); surely the conventional wisdom junkies would steer clear? And of course those of us in the know about coconut oil would find the small delivery of coconut oil frustrating? So who is it for? Answers in the comments, if you can offer some suggestions…

I can see that the can is convenient – but a jar of coconut oil and a spoon is hardly inconvenient?

Would you use Coconut Oil in spray form? I’d also be interested to read your comments (below) as to whether coconut spray is widely available where you live too?

Buying Coconut Oil in Australia & New Zealand woolworths coles aldi iherb cheapest supplier paleo diet-min

Buying Coconut Oil in Australia & New Zealand

Coconut Oil is a huge staple in my house.  I generally order a large tin in from my local health food shop, but having realised I’m getting through 700ml in under three weeks, I’ve started researching and comparing costs of coconut oil.  I’ve been spending $36 on a 700ml tin of Melrose Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil every three weeks – which is about $900 a year – If I could make savings on this it would make a big difference!  I’ve got no intentions of using less to save money, as Coconut Oil is such a great source of fat.  I’ve never seen Coconut Oil sold in any of the major supermarket chains in Australia, like Coles or Woolworths, but perhaps this will change as it gains popularity.

Having looked at various online sources, buying from health food stores isn’t as expensive as I expected.  It’s convenient in that I can buy some the same day I realise I’ve run out – but it is a lot to carry home from work.  I think I’m going to try ordering online next time.

I often visit Healthy Life which has stores across Australia.  They mainly stock Aclara Health Coconut Oil which is all Organic.  The Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Oil is between $10 and $24.95 for 250 to 700ml.    Their other variety is refined, which I used to buy as I didn’t like the coconut taste.  Now however, I don’t used refined, as I’ve got used to, and quite enjoy the Coconut taste.  Mainly though, I think refined is too processed and many of the benefits of the oil are lost in the processing.  Aclara Health Refined Coconut Oil is $17.95 for 700ml, or $65.52 for 4 Litres, which is actually one of the lowest prices I’ve found, at under two cents per ml.  The other brand Healthy Life stock is Fijian Gold, who make an organic Coconut Oil at $12.50 for 500ml.  I’ve still got a bottle of this at home, which I like taste wise, but to be honest it comes in a bottle and I find it really hard to get the solid oil out!  I realise I can warm it to make it liquid, but I’d much rather just buy a better packaged oil that I can spoon out!

Coconut-Oil-Paleo-Australia iherb special offer-min

I’ve recently found the “Pure Health” store in Sydney, which stocks Melrose, Spiral & Wild Harvest Coconut Oils.  This is where I order the Melrose Oil from.  Their smaller sizes work out really expensive on a cost per ml basis, but perhaps this is good for the very occasional user as 300ml starts at $7.95

You need to make sure you do your research before buying online.  I found one store, Chemist Direct charging between 6 and 16 cents a ml for Nui Wild Harvest Virgin Coconut Oil, including $7.95 shipping to Australia (shipping to New Zealand is an extra $19.91!)

I was expecting the online store Kokonut Pacific to be really expensive, but it actually works out at under two cents a ml, including shipping to Australia.  The draw-back however, is that to get the better deals you need to buy their large packs – up to 20 litres at a time!  Perhaps if you have a large family and an enormous amount of kitchen storage this might be an option for you?  Their shipping costs to Australia are reasonable (up to about $20), but for New Zealand the shipping is about double.

I’m going to order my next supply of Coconut Oil through iherb, as they seem reasonable, including shipping and have the best range I’ve seen.  Most of their Coconut Oil is shipped to both Australia and New Zealand for $4 or $6, which seems fairly reasonable (it’s calculated on weight).  They carry a lot of brands I’ve never seen in the shops in Australia, such as Artisana, Garden of Life, Harvest Bay, Jarrow Formulas, Jungle Products, Natures Way, Now Foods, Nutiva, Organic Fuji, Quantum Nutrition, Source Naturals & Spectrum Essentials.  When I finish the Melrose, I’m going to try the 858ml Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, which should work out at about $23 shipped to Australia.  I’ll let you know what it’s like!  Iherb also offer $5 off your first order using the code DUV741 , which just about equates to free shipping.

I would love to hear which brand you use and where you get it from?  I’m sure there must be lots of other sources of Coconut Oil that can be shipped to Australia or New Zealand for under two cents per ml – let me know if you’ve found one! Or perhaps you’ve found such a good brand that it is worth the extra cost?  Let me know your thoughts and I’ll update this post.

Buying Coconut Oil in Australia & New Zealand woolworths coles aldi iherb cheapest supplier paleo diet-min