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8 reasons to use coconut oil for weight loss

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Coconut oil for weight lossIf you’re looking to lose weight, here’s a great tip for you: add coconut oil to your regular diet.

You’re probably wondering how an oil full of saturated fats can help you slim down your waistline?

The truth is, eating fat to lose weight may seem strange, but not all fats have the same effect. There are good fats and bad fats.

The fat in coconut oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids that effectively boost metabolism, burn calories, burn belly fat and provide a lasting feeling of satiety.

Overview of the fat in coconut oil

fat in coconut oilOne tablespoon of coconut oil contains 14 grams of fat, including 12 grams of saturated fat.

For years, doctors and other health professionals have been warning people to avoid this type of fat, on the grounds that it could be a direct cause of numerous illnesses such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypercholesterolemia and so on.

However, in the light of new scientific research, it has been shown that saturated fats do not have all these harmful effects.

According to many researchers, the fatty acids found in coconut oil are beneficial thanks to the presence of lauric acid, also known as N-dodecanoic acid which is considered an extremely healthy medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA).

Before reviewing the health benefits of MCFAs, you should know that the most common vegetable oils are made up of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). These are difficult for the body to digest. They are mainly stored as body fat and can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

On the other hand, MCFAs are easily digested. They are also immediately converted into energy, which means they won’t be stored as fat.

What’s more, MCFAs help boost metabolism, which in turn leads to weight loss.

Over the years, several studies have been carried out to determine the effect of MCFAs on weight loss, and researchers say the results are promising.

In one study [1] two groups of rats were overfed separately with MCFAs and LCFAs.

After six weeks, researchers found that rats fed MCFAs recorded 20% more weight loss and 23% more body fat loss than rats fed LCFAs.

Based on these results and those of other studies carried out in the same context, the researchers suggest that MCFAs have the potential to combat human obesity.

Why add coconut oil to your diet for weight loss?

– It boosts metabolism and burns calories

Since coconut oil is digested differently from most other fats, it’s not surprising that the body reacts to it differently.

When you consume thermogenic oil, medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are sent directly to the liver, where they are converted into energy.

In other words, the fat content of coconut oil will not circulate freely in the bloodstream and will not be stored as body fat.

Numerous studies have shown that the MCFAs present in coconut oil increase energy expenditure and thus fat burning to generate energy.

In one study [2] conducted by the University of Geneva, researchers fed eight healthy young men one to two tablespoons of MCFAs or LCFAs before meals.

At the end of the study, the researchers found that the men who ate MCFAs recorded a 5% increase in energy expenditure, for a total loss of around 120 calories per day.

In another study [3] 17 obese women were given daily meals rich in SCFAs or LCFAs. After 27 days, the researchers found that when the women replaced the fats they usually ate with MCFAs, they burned more calories.

– A natural energy boost

Let’s continue talking about calories. You probably know that to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume.

One of the best ways to do this is to become physically more active.

Regular physical activity burns a lot of calories and therefore helps you shed pounds.

Sounds good, but when it comes to actually doing it, many people are lazy and lack energy.

Another benefit of coconut oil is that it gives the body a boost.

In one study [4] researchers found that consuming MCFAs can actually help boost energy and endurance.

In a six-week clinical experiment, researchers fed mice a diet rich in either MCFAs or LCFAs.

Then, they had these mice swim in a pool until they were too exhausted.

In the end, the mice fed MCFAs showed significantly greater endurance and were able to swim for a longer period of time.

Imagine how many calories you could burn if you could work longer during your workouts!

– It controls blood sugar levels

The reason coconut oil can naturally boost energy is because it can control blood sugar levels.

While this is extremely important for those battling diabetes, blood sugar levels also have a direct impact on your ability to lose weight and keep it off.

For some people, simply controlling the peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels can help them lose and stabilize weight.

– It’s satiating

Are you always hungry? Need a snack only an hour or two after breakfast?

No need to remind you that an extra snack won’t help you lose weight.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should starve yourself! Instead, re-evaluate your diet.

Eating foods rich in protein, fiber and healthy fats is a better way to help you stay full for longer.

If, for example, you eat oatmeal for breakfast, you’re already getting a good dose of fiber and protein. But if you add a spoonful of coconut oil, in addition to enhancing the flavor of your dish, you’ll get a considerable dose of the MCFAs that will help you curb the urge to snack before lunchtime.

In one study [5] conducted over a two-week period, researchers examined how the consumption of MCFAs affected appetite.

They fed six healthy men a diet rich in MCFAs and found that these volunteers immediately ate 256 fewer calories per day.

So, in the long term, adding coconut oil to your meals helps to reduce daily calorie intake and curb snacking cravings.

If oatmeal isn’t your favorite breakfast dish, there are other options.

Add coconut oil to your morning cup of coffee or on top of your eggs. You can even replace spreadable butter with coconut oil, or add it to your smoothie. The possibilities are endless, so use your imagination!

– Helps burn belly fat

coconut-oil-and-belly-fatWhen you put on your jeans, does your belly spill out, looking like a muffin top?

Besides the uncomfortable feeling of having a tire around your waist, belly fat is dangerous to your health.

When your body retains fat in your midsection, it accumulates between your organs, such as your stomach and intestines.

This type of fat, also known as visceral fat, has been linked to a number of health complications, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.

While getting rid of this fat can be a daunting task, researchers say coconut oil can help.

In one study [6] 40 women aged between 20 and 40 were given daily supplements of soybean oil or coconut oil.

They also followed a low-calorie diet and walked for 50 minutes a day.

After 12 weeks, both groups had lost weight.

However, only the coconut oil group experienced a reduction in belly fat. Women who ate soybean oil had a slight increase in belly fat.

And this is not the only study to reach such conclusions.

– It can increase thyroid activity

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that releases hormones that control your metabolism.

If you have a lazy or underactive thyroid, you may experience weight gain.

Unfortunately, most of the oils we use in our daily cooking can be detrimental to our thyroid health.

According to Dr Joseph Mercola, when a person consumes an oil containing VLCFAs, they quickly oxidize.

This process can damage cells and put stress on the thyroid.

This is not the case with coconut oil, which is more stable and does not stress the thyroid.

In this respect, it even compares favourably with known powerful antioxidants.

– And finally, coconut oil improves digestion

For decades, researchers have recognized the ease with which coconut oil can be digested.

As mentioned above, this is due to the fact that MCFA molecules are smaller than LCFA molecules, and therefore require less effort to digest.

This means that coconut oil puts less pressure on the pancreas and the whole digestive system.

What’s more, coconut oil combats inflammation.

For both these reasons, patients with Crohn’s disease, colitis and other gastrointestinal problems have reported significant improvements in their digestive health after adding coconut to their diet.

While digestive problems are extremely uncomfortable, did you know that a slow digestive system is closely linked to weight gain? This is mainly due to the fact that the body doesn’t break down food properly, and toxic waste is then stored in the intestines.

Today, the average adult has many kilos of stool trapped in their intestines, and they don’t even know it.

What’s more, when your digestive system isn’t working properly, your intestines won’t be able to absorb all the nutrients and minerals contained in the food you eat.

In other words, the nutrients that can stimulate weight loss can’t be absorbed.

As you can see, improving your digestion is another way coconut oil can help you lose weight, feel lighter and be healthier!

How much coconut oil should I take to lose weight?

While coconut oil offers the body many benefits, including fat and weight loss, it’s important to note that you should consume it in moderation.

Taking spoonful after spoonful of coconut oil on top of other fats is likely to give you undesirable results. As a result, you run the real risk of gaining a few pounds.

So, instead of simply adding coconut oil to your existing diet, try replacing some of the fats you currently eat (butter, olive oil, soybean oil, canola oil, … etc.) with coconut oil.

So how much should you consume in a day to lose weight? According to Dr Bruce Fife, nutritionist, naturopath and author of the book “The Coconut Oil Miracle“, you should eat between one and three tablespoons of coconut oil a day to reap its health benefits.

Which to choose: solid or liquid coconut oil?

coconut-oil-solid-or-liquidIf you’ve never used coconut oil before, this question may confuse you.

Here’s what you need to remember:

When coconut oil reaches a temperature of 24°C, it becomes liquid.

So, if you leave coconut oil in your kitchen for a while, you’ll notice that its shape changes.

When it’s hot, it will be liquid and when it’s cold, it will look solid.

Don’t worry, though, because coconut oil’s powerful nutrients remain intact, regardless of its form.

So, whether it’s liquid or solid, it’s always beneficial.

How to choose your coconut oil?

It’s important to choose a high-quality oil.

Before making your purchase, be sure to look for the following words: unrefined, extra virgin, and/or pure.

This means that no chemicals have been added to the oil and that it has not been bleached.

Furthermore, the oil has not been exposed to high levels of heat during the extraction process, as is the case with refined oils. This is essential, as heat can alter some of the good nutrients it contains.

And like other foods, even though it has a longer shelf life than most other fresh oils, coconut oil expires too. So remember to check the presumption date.

Last updated on 19 January 2024.
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