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Coconut oil | Is it good for weight loss? Is it safe?

By Mr Protein | In Articles, Articles, Men's Articles, Mens, Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition Articles, Women's Articles | on June 2, 2014
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It is received wisdom that diet is a very important, if not the most important, part in the weight loss equation. Over the last couple of years you’ve probably been told to stay away from fats, as they are very bad for your health and will make you gain weight. On the contrary, you should just be choosing the right kinds of fat instead.

Nutrition is an area full of myths, largely because misinformed people tend to stay attached to the old nutritional clichés that, although they have been continually disproved by science, still persist.

The worst of these myths is that “Eating fat makes you fat”. The truth is not all fats are created equal. Some types of fat are, indeed, bad for your health and can make you gain weight. Others, however, have the opposite effect and should be added to your daily diet. Coconut oil is such an example.

What is coconut oil?

Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts and has been widely used as a healthy alternative for cooking as it is highly resistant to oxidation at high temperatures.

Some people regard coconut oil as a bad food due to its high saturated fat content. However, it’s worth noting that they are mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are very different from their related, and actually unhealthy, long-chain fatty acids.

MCTs are better absorbed by the body, specifically in the liver, and almost instantaneously converted into energy. This means that they are very unlikely to be stored as fat. That’s one of the reasons why coconut oil supports weight loss.

coconut-oil-weight-loss

Coconut oil benefits

As we’ve said before, not all fats are created equal. This means that consuming 15 g of coconut oil will produce a different outcome from consuming 15 g of butter oil. MCTs found in coconut oil are known to have thermogenic effect, therefore raising the body’s temperature and making it spend more calories (*1), (*2).

Scientific research has shown that when unhealthy fats are replaced by MCTs, like the ones found in coconut oil, the body burns more calories and so more fat is used for fuel (*3). On the other hand, they suppress appetite and lead to a natural reducing in calorie intake (*4).

Coconut oil reduces belly fat

All people struggling to lose belly fat should be consuming coconut oil on a daily basis as it will boost their metabolism and lead to an increase in energy expenditure.

This was confirmed by research published in 2009. Researchers analysed data collected from 40 obese women who had to consume either soy bean oil or coconut oil during a 12-week period. They found that, although women from both groups lost weight, only the coconut oil group had successfully decreased belly fat (*5).

Besides looking bad, belly fat is also bad for the health as it lodges around vital organs and can cause inflammation and metabolic disorders. Coconut oil can promote a reduction in abdominal obesity, thereby lowering the chance of chronic disease.

organic-coconut-oilIs coconut oil safe?

Coconut oil tends to have a bad reputation mostly because many products available in the market underwent extraction methods that eventually produced unhealthy coconut oil products. This is the case for refined, deodorized and bleached extraction methods.

This is not the case for organic virgin coconut oil such as Myprotein’s Coconpure, which is made from 100% organic coconuts and has been harvested from specifically farmed palm trees. The truth is high-quality coconut oils can help you achieve your overall health goals (*6).

How to take coconut oil?

Most of the studies made on coconut oil use about 30 grams per day, which equals to 2 tablespoons. You can either use coconut oil in your smoothies or as a replacement for your normal cooking oils. It can be used in cooking, baking or frying.

Conclusion

Coconut oil contains healthy fats that have been shown to have health-enhancing and slimming properties. When consumed as part of a balanced diet, it can increase calorie burning and feelings of fullness, therefore helping with weight loss.

Ensure you always pick up organic virgin coconut oils, such as Coconpure, as they didn’t undergo unhealthy extraction methods and don’t contain any GMO ingredients.

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References:
(*1) – Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Dec;27(12):1565-71
(*2) – Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Mar;50(3):152-8
(*3) – Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Jan;27(1):95-102
(*4) – J Nutr. 2002 Mar;132(3):329-32
(*5) – Lipids. 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601
(*6) – ISRN Pharmacol. 2011: 949686
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