You have probably seen across the internet hundreds of sites telling you that coconut oil is able to help you lose fat.
Dr Oz promotes it, you find it promoted in all the health stores and YouTube has hundreds of videos telling you to eat it daily to lose your belly fat and increase you metabolism.
This is all very well but what I want to discuss is the way it works. Have any of these claims of weight loss actually got any real proof ?
So first of all lets discuss the properties of Saturated fats.
It is known that coconut oil is a saturated fat and saturated fat gets a bad rap!!
So what is Saturated fat ?
Well fat molecules are made up of one part glycerol and three fatty acids hence the term Triglycerides.
The saturate term relates to the amount of hydrogen to each carbon atom.
Saturated fats have all of their carbon atoms saturated by hydrogen and have no double bonds. So it stands to reason then that monounsaturated fatty acids are going to have one double bond (mono) and polyunsaturated fatty acids will have two are more (poly)
The easy way to tell if a fat is saturated or unsaturated is its that saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature whilst unsaturated fats are more liquid.
So you could say that butter is a mostly saturated fat and olive oil is a mostly unsaturated fat.
Now until recently Saturated fats haves been labelled as bad for you. They have been blamed for causing clogged arteries due to raising LDL bad cholesterol levels.
Well yes this can be said for hydrogenated fats (Saturated or not) which have been blasted by hydrogen by food manufacturers to make them more solid and extend shelf life.
The result of this hydrogenation process is trans fatty acids (Trans Fat)
Trans fatty acids have been proven to raise the LDL bad cholesterol levels and lower the HDL good cholesterol levels in the blood increases risk of heart related diseases.
So we have established so far that not all fats saturated or unsaturated are bad for you.
How are the fats in Coconut oil different to most other saturated fats we eat ?
Most of the saturated fat we eat from meat and dairy products contain long chain fatty acids, these are fatty acids made up of a chain of more than 12 carbon atoms.
60 % of the saturated fats in Coconut oil are actually medium chain fatty acids and usually have 8 to 10 carbon atoms.
Medium chain fatty acids are absorbed by the body differently to long chain fatty acids.
Long chain fatty acids are absorbed into the fatty walls of the intestine then reassembled in triglycerides coated in cholesterol and distributed throughout the lympthatic system then into the bloodstream where the triglycerides are either used for energy or stored in fat cells
Medium chain fatty acids are not broken down like long chain fatty acids but are sent directly to the liver where they are metabolised quickly. This quick metabolism means an increase energy utilization and at the same time slowing down of fat storage.
So we now know that Medium chain fatty acids in Coconut oil not only speed up the metabolism but they are also used as energy more efficiently and are not as easily stored in fat cells.
Other Properties of coconut oil that help with fat loss.
Coconut oil has other ways it helps in weight loss besides not being stored as fat in the body.
When the Medium chain fatty acids are metobolised in the liver they produce keytones,
Scientific research suggests that keytone’s have a direct effect on your appetite. In fact it is suggested that they actually reduce your appetite.
So we now know that ketone production from the burning of medium chain fatty acids reduces appetite
Studies carried out on a group of people showed that after ingesting medium chain fatty acids their metabolism increased by as much as 60 %.
It is also known that the fatty acids in Coconut oil Lauric acid has anti-inflammatory, anti bacterial and antiviral properties.these properties keep your digestive system by enhancing the body’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients.
The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil help in the production pregnenolone. This is one of the main precursors for the human body’s production of hormones.With good levels of this your body can make hormones responsible for thyroid health. Research has shown that those with low thyroid function also have low pregnenolone levels. The thyroid hormones regulate the metabolism.
Good Cholesterol HDL
It is now known that Coconut oil when consumed increases HDL good cholesterol and lowers LDL bad cholesterol. This is not only beneficial for the cardiovascular system but also help maintain good metabolism of long chain fatty acids.
Lets sum up what we have learned about how coconut oil can help weight loss.
Coconut nut oil :
Increases energy levels by way of being quickly metabolised.
Is much less likely to be stored as fat in the body.
Helps your bodies digestive system.
Helps to produce the hormones that maintain a healthy thyroid and metabolism.
Reduces your appetite.
Improves cholesterol levels
How to use coconut oil as part of your weight loss plan.
Only use pure unrefined Virgin coconut oil.
I take one tablespoon before each meal, That is three Tablespoons per day,
I take mine straight from the spoon but if you like you could use it in a drink of say lemon tea or really any beverage you like.
Remember that coconut oil has a high calorific content of about 850 kcal per 100 gm so be sure to count these if you are on a calorie controlled diet as part of your daily allowance.
1 tablespoon of oil is equal to 14gm of oil and that’s equal to 120 kcal per meal.
3 servings per day is 360 kcal per day.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments box below.
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