Health Factor Face-Off: Olive Oil vs. Coconut Oil (Infographic)

olive oil versus coconut oil

You’ve probably heard quite a bit about how both coconut and olive oil are chocked full of all sorts of healthy goodness. But have you ever wondered about the benefits of coconut oil versus olive oil, and which is the better option? We decided to compare the two side-by-side in the following categories to help you make the right choice for you and your family:

  • Effects on heart health
  • Impacts on weight and waistlines
  • Advantages for skin and hair
  • Most useful for multiple uses with cooking

Without further ado, here are the results!

benefits of coconut oil versus olive oil

The Benefits of Coconut Oil Versus Olive Oil Explained

For Your Heart

Winner: olive oil

Because olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat and is shown through extensive research to benefit cardiovascular health, it remains the winner for your heart. While some small studies have shown that the saturated fat in coconut oil could be less harmful than other saturated fats, until this is proven in larger studies, you should not simply replace olive oil with coconut oil to maintain a heart-healthy diet.

For Your Waistline

Winner: olive oil

Both olive oil and coconut oil are relatively high in calories. Virgin coconut oil contains about 60% medium-chain fatty acids, which increase calorie burning and may promote weight loss. With that said, coconut oil contains much more saturated fat than olive oil. Some researchers believe coconut oil is not as harmful because the main source of saturated fat in it, lauric acid, raises both high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol. Further research, however, is still needed.

For Your Skin/Hair

Winner: Both appear to be winners here

These two oils boast some pretty great beauty benefits that bolster your skin and hair. They are also much cheaper to buy than pricey moisturizers and beauty treatments. While olive oil may give you the biggest bang for your buck, coconut oil may add even more thickness and body to your hair. Mix them together and benefit from the best of both oils!

For Your Kitchen

Winner: Both, depending on what you’re preparing

The smoking point of olive oil varies based on the type of oil used. Extra virgin olive oil is on the lower end, around 325 degrees Fahrenheit, while virgin olive oil has a higher smoke point at around 390 degrees Fahrenheit. The smoking point of coconut oil is 350 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it can withstand cooking at moderate temperatures. Cooking above the smoking point of an oil isn’t recommended, as it can cause the formation of compounds that could be harmful to your health. Use less-expensive olive oil for cooking and save the higher-quality extra-virgin oil for seasoning or salad dressing. Coconut oil works nicely for flavoring baked goods, where the taste of olive oil might not be as palatable.