The Coconut Craze - Should You Jump On The Bandwagon?


Yes you should. End of post.


But why exactly is coconut oil healthy? How can you use it? And which type is best? Let’s dive into some of the fascinating research and find out.


Coconut oil is a special kind of fat


Coconut oil is a fat and is extracted from the "meat" of the coconut. It is a white solid at room temperature and easily melts into a clear liquid on a hot day.


Coconut oil contains the same 9 calories per gram as other fats. But not all calories or fats are created equal.


Coconut oil contains a unique type of fat known as “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCTs). In fact, 65% of the fat in coconut oil are these MCTs.


What makes MCTs unique is how your body metabolizes them. MCTs easily absorbed into the bloodstream by your gut, where they go straight to the liver. Here, they are burned for fuel or converted into "ketones."


This metabolic process, unique to MCTs, is what sets coconut oil apart from other fats.


Coconut oil MCTs may help with fat loss


Coconut oil’s MCTs have been shown to have a few different fat loss benefits.


First, MCTs can help to increase feelings of fullness, which can lead to a natural reduction in the amount of food you eat.


Second, because of their unique metabolic route, MCTs can also increase the number of calories you burn. This happens when you compare the calories burned after eating the same amount of other fats. In fact, a few studies show that coconut oil may increase the number of calories you burn by as much as 5%.


Third, some studies show that eating coconut oil can help reduce belly fat (a.k.a. “waist circumference”).


Just remember not to add coconut oil to your diet without reducing other fats and oils!


How much coconut oil should you eat?


Many of the studies that showed people experience increased fullness, increased metabolism, and reduced belly fat with using only 2 tablespoons per day.


You probably don’t need any more than that.


How can you eat coconut oil?


The key to effectively add coconut oil to your diet is NOT to add it to what you already eat. You need to substitute it for some of the (possibly) less healthy fats you may be eating now.


I use coconut oil as a base for sautéing (vegetables, meat). If my smoothie is low on healthy fats, I add 1 Tbsp to the mix. And I bake with it. Many paleo (a.k.a., grain free) recipes call for coconut oil in lieu of butter.


What kind of coconut oil is the best?


There are so many coconut oil options available in grocery stores these days that it’s difficult to know which is best.


I recommend you stay away from "refined" ones and opt for "virgin" coconut oil. That is because it is processed at lower temperatures and avoids some of the chemical solvents used in the refining process. This helps to preserve more of the oil's natural health-promoting antioxidants.


Pro Tip: Always (and I mean ALWAYS) avoid "hydrogenated" coconut oil - it contains the infamous "trans fats."


One thing you should also consider is that each oil has a specific high temperature that you should avoid surpassing (e.g. its "smoke point"). For virgin coconut oil, that temperature is 350F. That means you can safely use it on the stovetop on a low-medium setting, as well as in most baking.


Conclusion:


Substitute some of the fat you eat with virgin coconut oil; this may help you to lose weight and belly fat by naturally helping you to eat less, as well as slightly increasing your metabolism.


Oh, and it tastes great too!


References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

https://authoritynutrition.com/coconut-oil-and-weight-loss/

https://authoritynutrition.com/20-most-weight-loss-friendly-foods/

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/encyclopedia/food/coconut-oil/

http://neurotrition.ca/blog/your-brain-coconut-oil

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DISCLAIMER: Please read the following disclaimer carefully. Vanessa Bond is not a doctor and does not diagnose or treat disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice or recommendations of your primary health care provider and is not intended as medical advice. The information is intended as a complement to existing therapy - not as a substitute. The focus is to educate on how to make better decisions in order to build and maintain better nutritional balance. She and this web site encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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