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It may seem funny to some people to suggest that coconut oil for weight loss can work, as coconut oil in itself is high in fat. In fact 90% of coconut oil is made up of saturated fats.
This seems to go against all that we have been told about fats and in particular saturated fats. We are told that even thinking about eating this type of fat will pile on the pounds.
However, according to proponents of coconut oil, not only does coconut oil work for weight loss, it has other amazing health benefits. Here is what they are saying.
How It Works
While trans fats (found in margarine, shortening, many fast foods, and processed snack foods) cause weight gain and other health issues, saturated fats in general are actually needed by the body and can aid in weight loss and improvements in health.
As for coconut oil, the saturated fat in coconut oil is mainly made up of medium chain fatty acids, which are easily broken down, sent directly to the liver, and used almost immediately for energy. Therefore unlike bad fats like trans fats, these fatty acids don’t get easily stored in your body, and as a result won’t add to your weight problem.
In addition, these medium chain fatty acids increase the rate of metabolism in the body. The thyroid which controls metabolism therefore works at its optimum level. This means that the body will burn off more energy. We all know of people who can’t seem to get fat no matter what they eat. The reason for this is often that they have a high metabolic rate. In contrast to this, people who have a low metabolic rate will tend to get fat because energy is burnt off at a far slower rate.
With coconut oil, the presence of medium chain fatty acids in the diet will mean that you will burn off food at a faster rate and it will even cause the body to slowly use up the fat reserves around your organs and under the skin. In other words, you will start to lose weight.
Another great benefit of coconut oil is that it contains lauric acid which aids in increasing the body’s immune system through its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties.
Here is a great news coverage on the healing power of coconut oil, even for a serious disease like Alzheimer’s.
Another factor in the diet equation is how hungry you feel when you are on a diet. Reduced fat diets often end up making people feel a lot hungrier in general. This will mean that they will tend to feel hungry between meals and there is a great temptation to snack. Overall these feelings of hunger can be too much to keep under control and as a result a lot of people will quit their diet and return to their usual eating regime.
The opposite is also true in that, if you have fat in your diet you are less likely to feel these hunger pangs. The fat tends to lie in the stomach and this will make you feel full for longer. You will be less likely to snack and less likely to quit your diet. Obviously this would be like walking a tightrope because the fats you consume to stop you feeling hungry will just end up adding to your weight problem when the body decides to store them.
However, if you substitute the fats with coconut oil, the situation is different. You get the appetite reducing effect of the fats in your stomach but these fats are then readily used up to provide energy and more of the stored fats are used up because of the higher metabolic rate created by the effect of the medium chain fatty acids in the coconut oil.
How to Use Coconut Oil
Probably the best and easiest way to supplement your diet with coconut oil is to use it instead of any vegetable oil that you would normally use in cooking. There are also foods such as curries and stir fries where coconut oil is really a more natural thing to use. Where these dishes originate from, coconut oil would often have been used anyway. The use of other vegetable oils in these dishes is often due to a westernization of the original recipes.
The key to getting the most out of coconut oil and the lauric acid is to add it to your diet in relatively small amounts. The metabolic increasing effect of consuming virgin coconut oil can last up to twenty four hours after initially eating it. This means that it is best to consume coconut oil regularly to maintain the effect.
You have to realize that even the fats in coconut oil contain a lot of stored energy. This is the reason that it is best to just substitute it for your usual vegetable oils rather than gulping down jars of the stuff as if it were medicine! Coconut oil could enhance the effects of any diet regime that you might choose and it certainly could make being on a diet easier to stomach.
Finally, make sure you choose coconut oil that is organic, not bleached, and not made with any heat processing or chemicals. Dr. Mercola’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is one brand you can try; it meets all the criteria above according to his website and is reasonably priced.