It’s no secret that coconut oil has long been revered by health advocates and dieters of every caliber. What’s not to love, it has a flavorful coconut taste and is also the world’s most weight-loss-friendly fat that can also have powerful effects on the body’s metabolism.
In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about this important keto-friendly food so you can get started losing weight and belly fat while also staying healthy.
Fight Fat with Fat
One thing fat diets like keto, Atkins, paleo, and the like have in common is their heavy emphasis on healthy fats and kicking refined carbs to the curb. But how does it work, exactly, and how does the body burn fat with fat?
Without carbs, your body will naturally begin to convert fat into ketones which are then used as energy by your body. Coconut oil contains something called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which easily convert into ketones by the body.
Ketones are more stable than sugar as an energy source and so your body will produce them from fat. An excellent weight loss tool, ketones are also a fantastic way to boost mental focus while crushing inflammation.
Additionally, the keto diet has been shown to fight a variety of ailments, such as diabetes and even cancer. More and more studies are emerging about how a ketogenic diet can positively benefit people in a variety of ways.
Coconut Oil for Weight Loss & Ketosis
So now let’s break down how it can help you lose weight and reach ketosis: MCTs are easy for the body to digest and are an excellent source of instant energy as they do not need to be broken down before use, unlike many other fats.
MCTs are converted into ketones in the liver. These ketones are responsible for moving the body into the metabolic state of ketosis which is the crux of the keto diet.
Research has shown MCTs to have fat-burning effects (thermogenic). Studies have also shown that ingesting MCTs right before a workout will give the body a fast boost of energy and will also put your body in an even greater fat-burning state.
MCTs, like those found in coconut oil, have marked effects on ketone production and ketosis. They have been shown to have a greater energy expenditure than long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) found in fats like olive oil.
Understanding Coconut Oil, Cholesterol, and Saturated Fat
Like most people, you’ve more than likely have had your cholesterol tested at some point and perhaps have even been told to stay away from saturated fat.
While this has been a common misconception for quite some time, research has actually shown that saturated fats, especially those from plant sources like coconut, are not bad for your health.
Overall, health professionals and scientists have come to agree that consuming coconut oil and some saturated fats can increase HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease LDL (bad cholesterol).
You just want to avoid inflammation (the true villain to heart disease) and foods that can cause it, such as sugar, vegetable oil, fried foods, refined flour, artificial sweeteners, and artificial additives, to name a few.
Benefits of Coconut Oil
There is simply no shortage of health benefits when it comes to coconut oil.
● Increasing HDL — AKA “good” cholesterol — can lower risks of heart disease
● Controlling blood sugar levels
● Reducing stress due to its antioxidant and anti-stress properties
● Makes hair shinier since it penetrates better than mineral oils
● Gives healthy skin due to its anti-inflammatory effects
● Improves satiety and leaves the body feeling full
● Weight loss
Let’s see what the nutrition found in coconut oil has in store for us. According to the USDA’s National Nutrition Database, one tablespoon (or 15 ml) of coconut oil contains the following:
● 120 calories
● 0 g of protein
● 12 g of saturated fat
● 1 g of monounsaturated fat
● 0.5 g of polyunsaturated fat
● 0 mg of cholesterol
Coconut oil is essentially all fat and doesn’t contain any fiber or vitamins and minerals.
Many of the health benefits coconut oil boasts are due to its high MCT content, which many other fat sources do not contain.
Coconut Oil vs Olive Oil
So what about olive oil, how does it hold up compared to coconut oil? In the fight between coconut oil and olive oil, both are winners!
Both of these oils offer some excellent health-promoting qualities that make them stand out. So feel free to consume both on your diet!
Extra virgin olive oil is packed with antioxidants as well as a robust flavor. It’s unrefined and minimally processed, making it a staple for dieters.
Due to its high smoke point, this oil is great for low-heat cooking, making dips, and even dressings. It pairs well with veggies, meat, and eggs, perfect for the keto diet!
There are simply tons of reasons why coconut oil is good for you. It protects your brain, immune system, helps lower risk of heart disease and stroke, and adds a whole lot of flavor to meals!
It is also abundant in MCTs which are easily converted into ketones, making it an excellent oil option for keto dieters looking to achieve ketosis.
Coconut oil deserves a place in every pantry, so stock up!