I would have had no idea this product was at the supermarket if a reader hadn't asked me to look into it. Coconut anything is on-trend, so I guess it was only a matter of time before a coconut spread was produced.

Pam's Coconut Spread. $3.49 for 500g

Ingredients (greatest quantity first):

Vegetable oils (coconut (31%), canola)

You're not actually getting a lot of coconut oil in here at 31 per cent.

Some people believe coconut oil will boost your metabolism, aid digestion, control your weight and control sugar cravings, but none of these claims has been proven.

One thing that is a definite is that coconut oil is high in saturated fat - higher than butter - and for years health professionals have blamed it for increasing rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

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It should be noted that a recent article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine written by cardiologists says that reviews have shown no association between consumption of saturated fat and heightened risk of these diseases.

The fatty acids found in coconut oil raise LDL (the bad cholesterol) just like other saturated fats, such as butter.

And though coconut may also raise HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) it doesn't do this as much as unsaturated fats do. Pro coconut oil eaters will say that it has unusual blend of short- and medium-chain fatty acids not seen in other saturated fats, which may offer some health benefits. However, research is yet to confirm this.

You will get 3.5g of fat per teaspoon of this spread of which 1.5g is saturated fat which is quite low probably because most of the fat is actually canola oil. Butter will give you 2.7g of saturated fat per 5g.

Canola oil is a popular oil because it is cheap, plant-based and low in saturated fat.

Water
Salt

This is a low salt product with just 18mg of sodium per 5g serve.

Emulsifiers (471,476,322 (from soy))

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These are in the spread to help keep it spreadable as coconut oil is solid at room temperature, and to prevent the oil and water from separating. They are mono and diglycerides of fatty acids (471), polyglycerol polyricinoleate, which is produced from polyglycerol and castor oil (476) and lecithin (322) which is a natural substance, in this case taken from soy.

Natural flavour

This has a gentle coconut flavour.

Preservative (202)

This is potassium sorbate which is neutralised sorbic acid.

Acidity regulators (500,330,270)

These are sodium bicarbonate commonly known as baking soda (500), citric acid (330) and lactic acid (270) all natural acids.

My recommendations:

Unlike some spreads on the market this one does not have artificial colour or flavour. It looks and tastes as you would imagine coconut oil would look and taste like if it was spreadable and not solid at room temperature.

If you're mad on coconut oil you can make your own spread simply by pouring a packet of desiccated coconut into your food processor and turning it on for about 10 minutes until the oil is released and it reduces down into a spread consistency. You will have to warm it every time you want to put it on some toast however as coconut oil is solid at room temperature. This way you will have just one ingredient instead of the 12 that go into this product.

Highlights:

• Only 31% coconut oil.
• No artificial flavours or colours.
• Contains additives to keep it spreadable at room temperature.