March 14, 2024

What's the best type of coconut oil: Refined, Virgin, Cold-Pressed, or Centrifuge Extracted?

After the big ban on canola oils, we all know that seed oils are OUT. One of the healthiest oil swaps you can make is to switch to coconut oil.


But how do you choose the best type of coconut oil?

Here's everything you need to know about the different types of coconut oil processing methods, what you should look for when choosing a coconut oil, and the top brand recommendation.


Methods of Coconut Oil Extractions

Refined Coconut Oil

Refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat (copra) that undergoes refining, bleaching, and deodorizing processes.
While refined coconut oil has a neutral flavor and higher smoke point, these processes strip away the oil's natural nutrients and antioxidants, reducing its overall nutritional value.

If you only have space to remember one thing today, remember that refined coconut oil comes from moldy coconuts that look like this!

Refined Coconut Oil comes from Moldy Coconuts

Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil is extracted from coconut meat using mechanical or natural methods, without the use of chemicals. However, virgin coconut oil still undergoes some level of heat processing, which can affect its nutrient content.

Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil

Cold-pressed coconut oil is extracted from coconut meat using a mechanical pressing process at low temperatures. However, cold-pressed coconut oil may lose some of its nutrients due to the high pressure levels in processing. Cold-pressed coconut oil also has a strong coconut scent making it less suitable for cooking because the coconut taste and smell may overpower your food.

Centrifuge Extracted Coconut Oil

Raw centrifuge extracted coconut oil is the purest and most nutritious form of coconut oil available. Centrifuge coconut oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat using a centrifuge machine, which separates the oil from the coconut milk by spinning it so that it doesn't use heat or chemicals. This gentle extraction process preserves the oil's natural nutrients making it the ideal choice for those seeking the highest quality coconut oil. In fact, centrifuge coconut oil has retains 4x the micronutrients as cold-pressed coconut oil!

Centrifuge extracted coconut oil also has a light coconut scent making it perfect for those who don't like coconut flavor. 


What To Look For When Buying Coconut Oil

Whenever you buy coconut oil, be sure it checks off these boxes!


Refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat (copra) that undergoes refining, bleaching, and deodorizing processes. These processes strip away the oil's natural nutrients and antioxidants, reducing its overall nutritional value. ALWAYS choose unrefined coconut oil.

USDA Organic

These days, so many labels are unregulated that it's hard to know which ones to trust. USDA Organic Coconut Oil ensures the type of fertilizer used during the farming process is the highest standard.

Packaged In A Glass Jar

Anything that comes in plastic carries the risk of leaching toxins into your food! Avoid the phthalates and chemical toxins from plastic food storage and opt for coconut oil that comes in a glass jar because it's safer for people and better for the planet.

Direct Trade

The coconut industry is known to exploit workers through coconut slavery leaving them vulnerable to sex trafficking. Choose a coconut oil that is vocal about their direct trade and community development initiatives with their farmers.

Direct trade with coconut farmers

What's The Best Coconut Oil Brand?

Based on the best type of coconut oil process and what to look for when buying coconut oil, the highest-quality coconut oil brand is Dignity Coconuts.

Dignity Coconuts Raw Coconut Oil checks all the boxes for quality in the areas of product, people, and planet.


Dignity's Raw Coconut Oil is:

  • Unrefined
  • Centrifuge Extracted
  • USDA Organic
  • Neutral Coconut Taste
  • Non-GMO
  • Chemical-Free
  • 4x more antioxidants than cold-pressed
  • Preserves 62% of its original MCTs
  • Bottled at the source
  • Less than 12 hours from cracking open the nut to sealing the lid


Dignity Coconuts holistic business model aims to end the coconut slavery that puts families at risk of trafficking.

Most coconut companies favor big plantations to cut costs, leaving small farm owners vulnerable to middlemen who consolidate their harvests and exploit them by offering high-interest loans. These loans often trap farmers in a cycle of debt, leaving them in poverty with no out. The lack of transparency in loan terms keeps farmers unaware of the exploitative nature of the system, leading to vulnerability and even trafficking, a phenomenon known as Copra Slavery due to the use of coconut products in the process.

By directly trading with 150+ farmers, Dignity has helped families pay off their debts and get them out of a cycle of poverty. Dignity helped farmers get their coconuts Organic Certified so they can charge a higher price for them.


Not all coconut oil suse sustainable practices and care for the Earth!

Dignity empowers their farmers to farm better and smarter. They've trained over 200 farmers in Certified Organic farming techniques, planted over 26,000 coconut trees and Organic certified 86,000+ trees.

They prioritize intercropping, the practice of growing two or more crops in proximity, and plant other crops between coconut trees in order to conserve land!

In order to reduce food waste, Dignity's goal is to use all 6 parts of the coconut. Globally, most coconut companies take the oil or the water of the coconut, and discard the rest. As much as 80% of each coconut is wasted - piled up to rot! Filipino engineers spent months researching the properties of coconuts and found there were creative uses for each part.

Dignity also cares about packaging their coconut oil in glass jars because it keeps the coconut oil fresher and provides a recyclable option.

Filipino woman farms at a coconut farm

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