If you’ve been following my blog, or have ever heard me speak on nutrition then you already know I always always always recommend cooking and only cooking with organic coconut oil, reason being it has the highest flash point of any oil. By flash point I’m referring to the temperature the oil will breakdown at a molecular level. If you want to read more about how oils break down you can read my blog Good Fat Bad Fat. Today I am going to tell you about why recent studies show that the Saturated Fat in Coconut Oil are not made up like all other Saturated Fats.
It starts with the type of fatty acids or triglycerides coconut is made up of, which are Medium Chain Fatty Acids. Most saturated fats are made up of Long Chain Fatty Acids that contain about 12 or more carbon atoms. Let’s not get too scientific here, after all, we want the facts, how can this fat help us lose fat?!?
It’s all about how the Medium Chain Fatty Acids are broken down and metabolized. When they enter the body and get to the digestive tract, they are immediately sent to the liver and then either used as energy right away or they become what are called ketone bodies and actually help to speed up the metabolism with a thermogenic effect!
Not all food is created, or in this case destroyed equally, some foods are metabolized more efficiently than others, and in the case of coconut oil, is broken down easier in the body, with some recent studies showing the body burning more than 100 more calories per day, just from the metabolizing process!
So, we know that Medium Chain Triglycerides are broken down easier, and we know that the breakdown process can create a thermogenic effect. We’ve got two clear cut reasons coconut oil can help burn more calories, and more calories burned can lead to more fat loss, IF, and I repeat IF your daily meal plan has you at a caloric deficit.
Meaning the only way we lose weight is if we burn more calories per day then we consume, so can I am not saying coconut oil on its own is going to help you lose weight. Which leads me to one more thing that I learned about how Coconut Oil can help us lose weight, and that’s by helping to suppress the appetite because of how full it can make us. I quickly mentioned Ketone Bodies earlier, and what we do know is that when the liver creates ketone bodies due to the coconut oil, the appetite is suppressed.
All and all what I learned is the answer is YES, coconut oil can aide in weight loss, which brings us the most important question I am sure I will get and that’s how should I eat it, and how much should I eat? Let me start by saying, even though we’ve explained how the saturated fat is different in molecular make up, it is still saturated fat, so please consult your dietitian or doctor before trying anything, I am not recommending this for anyone, I am simply letting you know what I’ve learned.
Recent studies that have been in clinical trials had individuals eating 2 tablespoons per day, which is 240 calories and 24 grams of fat. It’s important to know that the body DOES need good saturated fats to be healthy and to function properly, so at 24 grams you’re safe (If your dietitian or doctor say so).
Some ways you can eat it, are
1. Right out of the jar, 1 Tablespoon at a time
2. Put it into a smoothie, or protein shake
3. Add it to your vegetables or even a sweet potato or anything like that
See what works best for you, everyone is different about how they consume foods so what works well for me, may be different for you. The most important thing to know is that most all studies I’ve read speak to the positive effects coconut oil will have on your body due to the Medium Chain Triglycerides.
I hope you found this helpful and that I’ve answered some of your questions!