Ask S.C.

Need help with using coconut oil? Ask me anything about virgin coconut oil, refined coconut oil or MCT oil. You're also welcome to help others by sharing your experience. But before you post, read these...

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1,073 chats on “Ask S.C.

  1. I always eat coconut oil, but recently increased my intake- doing a more strict ketogenic diet. Today, (TMI alert!!) I had white chunks/spots in my poop. Upon investigation (toilet brush prodding), it did not appear to be mucus, but kind of dissolved & looked to be very soft coconut oil. Is it possible that I ate too much coconut oil & it is in my stools?

    • Hi Joiedevivre, if the water in the toilet is cooler than 76 °F (24.4 °C), which is the freezing point of coconut oil, then those soft white spots might be undigested coconut oil. Otherwise they could be some weird by-products from your ketogenic diet.

      Consuming too much coconut oil may result in excessive oil passing out along with the stool. This means that your body cannot absorb the amount of coconut oil you take in.

      What you can do is try avoiding taking 2 or 3 tablespoons in one sitting. If you aim for 6 or even more tablespoons per day for your ketogenic diet, spread out the amount evenly. Our body can only absorb that much stuff at any one time. So, allow at least a couple of hours for your body to fully absorb one or two tablespoons of the oil.

  2. I started taking Fish oil and getting constipated. I already see some benefits with fish oil so, do not want to quit. But, I need to resolve my constipation problem. I started taking coconut (two teaspoon) yesterday, but did not see any improvement. I'll bump it up to 1 Tablespoon and may be two tomorrow. I think my body is trying to get rid of bad bacteria or parasite / toxin since I started introducing these oils. BTW, my digestive system is not great.

    • Hi Soham, since your digestive system is not great, you should try to avoid introducing more toxic substances into your body at all costs.

      Fish oil may pass on its toxic dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to you. These toxic stuff may not be high enough to kill you now, but the cumulative effect of toxic buildup can be disastrous. You're safer and better off with organic flax oil instead. Flax oil should help ease your constipation better with coconut oil. Just my two cents.

  3. Hi Soon Chai,

    Great information. I have never seen it said so well all in one place. Very informative. Thank you. I have been cooking with coconut oil for years but recently have been experimenting with MCT oil and also with Nutiva Coconut Manna. I have removed other fats from my diet and limit some others, like seeds, so that I don't get too much of them. So often I am looking for something fatty to get me to the next meal. I have found that Nutiva Coconut Manna does the job very well and makes me feel good, and not overloaded like other fats. I have recently understood that it is made from dried coconut flesh at 170 degrees F. I've started to consume more virgin oil (Nutiva) and felt a great benefit from it. I do like the taste and consistency of the manna much better and feel that it is more satisfying, and part of me likes that it is the whole food. I often eat 4-8 tablespoons at a sitting. Can you comment on the coconut manna and it's health and about the quantity limit per day? Thanks

    • Hi Bradley, Nutiva coconut manna is essentially a coconut puree made from grinding dried coconut meat into a very fine powder form.

      I used it as a spread for bread. I ate it straight off the jar too. It didn't match well with a lot of what I ate, unlike coconut oil. So I stopped buying after finishing a few jars.

      But that doesn't mean you should stop as well. Since you like it so much, it does serve as a good supplement to your diet that has already included coconut oil.

      If we look at its nutritional profile, coconut manna has:

      • Protein: 7%
      • Carbohydrate: 21%
      • Saturated fat: 57%
      • Fiber: 14%
      • Sugar: 7%
      • Iron: 9%
      • Sodium: 36%

      That's all. Comparing to taking the whole coconut (including its water), coconut puree has relatively lower nutritional value. This is because coconut puree is processed without coconut water, which carries a lot more minerals, vitamins and amino acids.

      But still, coconut manna has 57% saturated fat and some fiber that you can benefit from.

      Your intake of 4 – 8 tablespoons of coconut manna seems okay to me. You can eat as much as you like as long as you don't get any adverse reaction from it. Unlike coconut oil, if you take too much it can loosen your bowels quite easily and give you the trots.

      • Great, thanks Soon Chai. I have not yet experienced the loose bowels. I am up to about 4 tablespoons a day of virgin coconut oil. Since you know so much about coconut oil, I was wondering how much you know about cocoa butter. I have searched a lot and not found much at all out there on the web. I eat cocoa butter wafers from mountain rose herbs every morning. A whole mouth full or two, as soon as I get up. I love the texture and how satisfying they are. And they seem to give me great energy and brain power and help me last until lunch. It would be great to see a whole section on your website with some in depth info about cocoa butter. I have a feeling that it is somewhat like coconut butter in that it is an undescovered healthy thing that has been past over due to lack of knowledge, availability, etc. But I am not sure about the type of fats in it and all of that. I just know it makes me feel great and satisfied and that all I read about it is good.

        • Hi Bradley, cocoa butter is actually the oil extracted from the beans of Cacao tree. Some companies label it "Cacao butter" instead.

          I noticed that many have exaggerated its benefits, particularly on its fat-soluble vitamin E.

          100 grams of cocoa butter carries only about 1.8 mg of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol). That's 0.0018%, which only constitutes 9% of our daily requirement, which is 20 mg. (Of course, different people may require different quantity of the vitamin depending on their size and overall health.)

          If each wafer weighs about 5g, you would need to gobble up 20 pieces just to get that 9% of what you need per day. My opinion is, cocoa butter may help with skin but it's definitely not as rich in vitamin E as many have claimed, unless you really consume a whole bang lot.

          Another fat-soluble vitamin cocoa butter provides is vitamin K. 100 grams contain about 24.7 mcg (micro-gram). It's about 70 times less than that of vitamin E. But fortunately, our body needs only 122 mcg for women and 138 mcg for men, as a guide. I won't go into details about the benefits of vitamin E and K. You can easily find them on the web.

          I also found that cocoa butter has about 0.1% omega-3. Not a good source of omega-3. But still, a little bit is better than none. Some say cocoa butter has minerals as well. Sad to say, zero minerals actually.

          You found cocoa butter satisfying because it holds the high-calorie long-chain fats:

          • Saturated fat: 60%
          • Monounsaturated fat: 33%
          • Polyunsaturated fat: 3%

          But since all of them are long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs), they don't convert to energy as efficiently as medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in coconut oil.

          I wonder if you're taking coconut oil or MCT oil as well for your breakfast, besides cocoa butter. If yes, then it could be the metabolizing effect of coconut oil or MCT oil on cocoa butter that together, give you great energy and brain power.

          MCFAs help to burn up the LCFAs as well via elevating your metabolism.

          From the perspective of health, cocoa butter does not offer much health benefits. It's simply an oil or fat mechanically pressed from Cacao beans. Just like coconut oil, it does not have much vitamins and minerals as well. So, don't expect cocoa butter to have lots of these nutrients. It's a fat, after all.

          But if you talk about dark chocolate alone (without any additives) that comes entirely from Cacao beans, then the health benefits are huge. That's why I love dark chocolate.

          Well, despair not. I still consider cocoa butter wafer a healthy snack as long as nothing artificial is added to it. You might like to try out Sunfood organic Cacao butter wafer after finishing yours (which is not organic).

          Another thing I forgot to add previously was you should try also Artisana coconut butter. It's named differently from Nutiva coconut manna, but they're just exactly the same product. They taste pretty much the same except that Artisana feels finer and smoother on my tongue. That's my take.

          • Hi Soon Chai,

            Thank you for the reply. I am consuming virgin coconut oil in the morning also. I think it is so satisfying to me because I am low on weight and need fat so much right now. I hear you that it doesn't have as many nutrients. I think I may just use it temporarily until I gain back some more weight. The Mountain Rose Herbs cocoa butter wafers are organic. Thanks for the links to the other options. I have tried the Artisana butter but favored the Nutiva one....I will try it again. Since we last talked, I searched the internet for a raw organic product and found this great company - Original Living Coconut. They produce raw coconut butter that ferments, they have cultured coconut water keifer and they have virgin oil also. The story of Renee the co-founder is on the website and quite remarkable. Seems like she came back from a very serious life threatening situation by using raw coconut stuff. I'm ordering some of the products today.

            I'm also interested in your take on avacado. I have been eating a lot of them and feel like it is another great fat. Also, I'm interested in what you eat to stay balanced. You mention that you have a meat free diet and have no trouble staying balanced with all of your numbers, fat-types, etc. It would be nice to understand how you do that a little more as I am understanding how important the balance of everything is. Thanks!

            • Hi Bradley, yeah you're right. Mountain Rose Herbs cocoa butter wafers are organic. Sorry, I overlooked that.

              The other day I was frying cooked brown rice with avocado and some natural ingredients like carrot, mushroom, green peas etc. Of course, using my yummy virgin coconut oil as usual. The combo tasted super delicious.

              We love eating avocado for its high nutritional value. It is indeed a great natural fat that contains various vitamins, minerals and amino acids. You can get its nutritional profile easily on the web, so I won't go into that.

              It's practically an unsaturated long-chain fat. Since you're looking to put on weight, it's good for you as long-chain fats cause weight gain easily. But it oxidizes and turns brown quickly. So, discard the oxidized portion if it's too dark. Intake of oxidized food does no good to your health.

              What is a balanced diet actually? It's not simply to eat more of this or less of that. But rather, to make sure what you eat does not burden your digestive system. That's the bottom line.

              For example, I will keep my satiety levels for breakfast, lunch and dinner at around 70%. Yes, you'll feel hungry in 2 hours or so. Which calls for a snack in between the main meals twice a day. Or even one more after dinner. When I eat this way, I feel perky the entire day.

              If you take too much food in one sitting, you'll always feel heavy, lazy and clumsy. You'll become less productive.

              And what do I eat every day? That's important, of course.

              I don't blindly follow the so-called recommended daily intake of this vitamin or that mineral. That's going to make you feel overloaded every meal. And you'll be busy counting nutrients rather than enjoying the nutrients from the food.

              You can never have all nutrients in a day. And you don't need to have them all in a day. In other words, you need no supplementation from pills or capsules.

              Our body is a super smart sophisticated entity. It knows how to compensate for the lack of nutrients for that day. So long as you don't stick to just a type of food every day and you'll have an all-round nutrients in a week.

              Take me for example. Yesterday morning I was having papaya and muskmelon (cantaloupe), organic soy milk (added with virgin coconut oil) and dark chocolate croissant.

              This morning I took banana, multigrain drink (mixed with virgin coconut oil) and butter croissant (with home-made strawberry pastry cream). I don't take croissant often. It just happened that I bought some the other day while passing by a bakery. So, I decided to eat that as breakfast.

              Tomorrow's breakfast is going to be different because tonight my wife will bake coconut bread for tomorrow's breakfast. We'll spread on it with organic raw coconut nectar. The beverage may be a green or fruit smoothie. Plus banana since we still have some left on our dining table.

              In short, I try to eat differently for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. And for every breakfast, you're sure to find at least a healthy beverage and a plate of fruits on my table. That's how I eat to stay balanced.

              My daily food intake must always have fruits, vegetables and other natural whole foods. I do take some refined foods, but not often though. Yes, refined foods have low nutritional value. But my overall diet still contains a lot more unrefined than refined foods.

              And not just eating, I work out every morning for about an hour. Whether you're trying to lose or gain weight, it's good to work out every day. It invigorates you. It makes your cells more active and more functional. Your agility and nutrient absorption efficiency will tremendously improve with exercise.

              Long story short, I eat cautiously but I don't want to get too obsessed with the concept of "I must fulfill this or that nutrients every day". That's gonna drive me banana.

              As long as your food choices include a variety of dark green leafy vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds as well, you should provide what your body needs in a week, not by the count of day.

              Of course, don't forget to work out. If you've not been exercising for a long time, kick off with just 5 minutes every morning. And build up your intensity, strength and the length of time from there.

              Additional tip for you, eat more tofu to build up your muscles and you'll gain weight easily. Muscle is denser than fat.

  4. I have been using 100% pure coconut oil non-hydrogenated zero trans fat for about 6 months on my skin all over my body after about a month my fingertips seem to be swelled and numb. if I stop for a few days the numbness seems to subside. my skin feels great the itching in my legs from dryness has gone away but the numbness drives me crazy. Any idea what this is?

    • Hi Tom, do all your fingertips feel swollen and numb? Numbness can be caused by B-12 deficiency, low thyroid, insulin resistance or multiple sclerosis that affects blood circulation. Of course, a damage to your nerve may trigger the numbness too.

      I'd suggest that you go for a blood test or full body check-up. In the meantime, stop putting coconut oil on your skin for 7 days and see if the numbness does really go away. If yes, you might want to consider switching to another brand or change to virgin coconut oil instead.

      • Hi there,
        Thank you responding so fast, you have good insights as I do have MS and I do take B-12 regularly. I have not had any issues or reason to suspect nerve damage; however I can say without a doubt that stopping applying the oil for 3-4 days relieves the swelling and numbness. I had a full check up with blood work in December and all was fine except of course as usual they want my cholesterol lower and recommend Statins which I refuse to take. I am planning to try some Virgin Coconut oil. Can you recommend any brands that are odorless and readily available at say a pharmacy? Specialty shops are so expensive and online...well idk if I would try acquiring this product online.

        • Hi Tom, all virgin coconut oils should bear its coconut scent. If there is one without coconut odor, either that's not virgin coconut oil or perhaps a lower quality one.

          I got cheated once. The label shows "virgin coconut oil" but it ends up flavorless with a pungent smell. And it's super expensive. So, beware of such thing.

          Not all pharmacies are selling coconut oil, though more of them have started to sell. I couldn't advise you on that. I got mine online too because as you said, specialty stores are expensive.

          I just found a good RBD coconut oil for you. RBD stands for refined, bleached and deodorized. It's called Nutiva refined coconut oil (I'm using this for my skin) after reading the reviews. It costs only about 10 bucks.

          I chose for you because it's stored in glass container so it's safer for you to use on skin.