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The Myth of Cold-Pressing

Leland Lo Coconut oil mythbuster science


Cold-pressing or low temperature processing is often thought of as superior or better than its alternatives. From cold-pressed juice (how else would you press juice?) to various cold-pressed oils, cold-pressed products are marketed as being more natural and therefore, implied to be better or more beneficial.

The truth, however, is more complicated. While it is true that cold-pressed products are closer to its natural state, there are many cases where being closer to the natural state is less nutritional or beneficial than the heat-treated version.

For example, traditional heat-treated coconut oil is found to contain more antioxidants than virgin coconut oil. Another example is black seed oil, where traditional heat-processed black seed oil is found to have much more anti-cancer activity than cold-pressed versions. 

When you think about it, this research isn't that anti-intuitive. After all, we do cook our food before we consume it, increasing our ability to digest and absorb the nutrients within. Cooking eggs increase the digestibility of the proteins in it from 40-50% to 95%.

In a nutshell, the common argument that cold-pressed or cold-processed is superior because it retains all the nutrients is often an incomplete picture. In many cases, heat actually makes the nutrients more digestible and more beneficial for use. Therefore, it is important to evaluate each item on a case-by-case basis and rely on good solid evidence when making a smart decision.




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