By now, you have probably heard about the coconut oil craze. Coconut oil used to have a bad reputation as an unhealthy artery-clogger. These days, the known benefits of coconut oil are endless! If you’ve ever talked about nutrition with me- you’ll know that I use coconut oil on everything. I cook with it, put it in my shakes, use it as a moisturizer, on my hair and even polish my furniture with it. One use I recently discovered is using it as a coffee creamer. I’ve tried almond milk, but with the strong espresso I make, almond milk ends up tasting like water. In my search in finding a healthy and dairy free alternative- coconut did the trick! 0
If you think you’re going to get a fat by drinking this- think again. Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT), which means your body digests this type of fat differently than a regular fat such as olive oil, a long-chain triglyceride. Here are 5 ways coconut oil actually helps you burn fat:
1) Regular fats such as olive oil have to be transported through the lymphatic system, broken down, and then put away for storage. MCT’s like coconut oil, get transported right into the liver for rapid oxidation; meaning your body actually uses it for energy right away instead of putting it away in your sides (2). Another reason you should put the wine down and be nice to your liver- this is where your energy is metabolized!
2) Because MCT’s are readily oxidized by the liver, the greater rate of oxidation leads to greater energy expenditure. This means you are burning more calories (1)
3) Coconut oil can enhance satiety leading to a decrease in food consumption (3). By adding coconut oil to your meal, you will full faster and for a longer period of time.
4) Using coconut oil in your coffee or with other food, will balance out your blood sugar and insulin levels- the key to losing fat. Balancing your insulin levels helps balance other hormones that play a role in fat loss, such as cortisol.
5) Coconut oil is very beneficial for your intestines. Think of your intestines are the ‘heart” of your body. If your gut isn’t working properly, most likely you’ll begin to develop many other problems. Coconut oil helps to sooth any irritability and inflamed tissues, and helps eradicate any harmful bacteria. The more efficiently you can digest and utilize nutrients, the healthier your whole body will be. 0
To begin using coconut oil- make sure to use virgin, and unrefined. Begin with one teaspoon a day to make sure your body agrees with it.
Directions for coconut oil coffee: Add 1-2 teaspoons of unrefined virgin coconut oil to your coffee in a blender such as a “Magic Bullet” to really emulsify the fat. Blend for 20 seconds. If you don’t have a blender, stir in the coconut oil right into your coffee. Enjoy.
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1) Marie-Pierre St-Onge and Peter J. H. Jones Physiological Effects of Medium-Chain Triglycerides: Potential Agents in the Prevention of Obesity.J. Nutr. March 1, 2002 vol. 132 no. 3 329-332
2) Babayan, V. K. (1987) Medium-chain triglycerides and structured lipids. Lipids 22:417
3) Stubbs, R. J. & Harbron, C. G. (1996) Covert manipulation of the ration of medium- to long-chain triglycerides in isoenergetically dense diets: effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men. Int. J. Obes. 20:435
More research supporting MCT:
St-Onge MP, Jones PJ.Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Dec;27(12):1565-71.
St-Onge MP, Jones PJ. Greater rise in fat oxidation with medium-chain triglyceride consumption relative to long-chain triglyceride is associated with lower initial body weight and greater loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2003 Dec;27(12):1565-71.