Coconut Oil is a regular feature in many homes. It has earned its place for so many reasons! It is a fantastic moisturiser, with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal in it’s unprocessed virgin state. But what if I told you that coconut oil can help with weight loss?
I can understand if you are dubious. How can a substance that is 100% fat assist with weight loss? TGH will explain all, with the following 8 benefits of coconut oil, that can actually help you to slim down.
Top of this list is the fact that coconut oil can actually curb hunger pangs and cravings for food. This is supported by a study which followed 12 healthy male volunteers. Each was kept in isolation with no time cues, and then observed following the consumption of various kinds of breakfast. They were given a high-carbohydrate breakfast with either a fat substitute, a monounsaturated long-chain triaglycerol fat (LCTs), a saturated LCTS or a medium-chain triaglycerol fat.
Coconut oil is a medium-chain triaglycerol or MCT.
Hunger was measured at regular intervals and the point at which the next two meals were requested was noted, along with the actual amount of food consumed.
It was found that including fats with the breakfast significantly delayed the request for the next meal compared to the low fat breakfast. In addition the lunch consumed after the MCT breakfast was significantly smaller than the meals following the other breakfasts.
This can be useful to know, as the simple inclusion of MCTs in our meals may reduce our overall calorie consumption throughout the day – without us even needing to try. This also shows us that all calories are not equal! Weight loss is more about the specific foods that we consume. The source of calories matters more than simply the numbers behind the foods.
Coconut oil, is classed as a thermogenic fat, which means that it may actually increase our energy expenditure when compared to other kinds of fat. This is also connected to the fact that it is a MCT.
It has actually been recorded that consuming 15-30 grams of a MCT such as coconut oil can increase energy expenditure by 5% in a 24 hour period. That equates to 120 calories per day!
When consumed, it is sent transferred to the liver via the blood for use as instant energy, or turned into ketone bodies. This is obviously preferable to simply being added to the fat stores.
Studies on coconut oil have shown that participants consuming the wonder fat over the course of 12 weeks display a reduced BMI and waist circumference over the course of 12 weeks.
Assunção et al studied 40 women with a waist circumference of more than 88 cms. They administered a daily supplement of 30 mls of coconut oil to half of the group and the others were given 30 mls of soybean oil.
The results were very promising for coconut oil, with these women experiencing a significant reduction in waist circumference and no change in cholesterol. Those women who took the soybean oil supplement demonstrated a decrease in levels of HDL, but an increase in both LDL levels and LDL:HDL ratios.
It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.
When you consider that this reduction in belly fat was simply attributed to ingesting coconut oil it is very exciting. If this simple step is taken alongside a balanced diet and moderate daily activity then it could be possible to enjoy from significant health benefits.
The fact that coconut oil is transformed into easy use energy and ketone bodies has another added benefit….namely that you will be more likely to feel up to running around and being generally active.
Exercise can be a real chore when you are feeling sluggish, tired and lethargic. So a quick boost thanks to coconut oil can inspire you to get your body moving, thereby burning additional calories. Bonus!
As if that weren’t enough, a study by McClemon in 2007 have showed that coconut oil may even enhance mood.
The researchers used the Atkins Health Indicator test to assess the mood of participants following various weight loss regimes. It was reported that those individuals following a ketogenic diet (like one including coconut oil) experienced less negative effects and hunger when compared to people on a low fat diet.
Our mood governs our behaviour to a large degree. Feeling happy is more likely to result in wanting to get active, which can in turn help with weight loss. Depression on the other hand can be connected to over eating and other behaviours linked with weight gain.
Coconut oil can assist the body in absorbing fat soluble vitamins, such as A,D,E and K. They help to regenerate cells, improve mood and brain function, aid digestion, build healthy skin and nails and much more.
Proper nutrition can help us to feel better! Reduced stress, reduced hunger and a well functioning body are all essential to help with weight loss.
Studies have shown that long-chain triaglyceride fats can have a negative impact on the hormone function of the body – leading to thyroid damage. Coconut oil can actually support healthy hormone production. This underpins the very framework of the functioning of our bodies.
Coconut oil can help us to keep levels of blood sugar stable. This is one of the holy grails of weight loss! Steady blood sugar levels = less insulin spikes = less fat storage.
The first thing is to be sure that you are buying the very best quality of coconut oil. Fortunately, The Good Human Guide to Buying Coconut Oil can help you there.
While you can of course eat a spoonful of coconut oil throughout your day, it may be more sensible to simply substitute it for other fats that you normally use. Being 100% fat, you will find 13.6g of fat in every tablespoon and 117 calories.
That said, it is not like many other fats, in that there is no link between coconut oil and heart disease. In fact, many of the healthiest populations in the world consume this oil on a regular basis, with far fewer cardiovascular problems than other countries. The Pacific Islands in particular have an extremely high intake of coconut oil, with 60% of their calories coming from coconuts. They are reported to have a very low occurrence of heart disease.
That said, many people feel that the best way to consume coconut oil is melted in hot water or herbal tea, with around 1 tablespoon eaten before every meal to curb hunger.
You can also benefit from coconuts by trying other coconut products including coconut water and coconut milk. Find out more here.
In my opinion, coconuts are a wonder-food! What are your thoughts?
Is coconut oil already a part of your daily routine, or do you try to keep away from fats of all kinds? We would love to hear from you!
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