Yes you should. (end of post haha).
But you are probably wondering what exactly is it about coconut oil that makes it so healthy? And which type is best for you?
Let’s jump into some of the fascinating research and find out.
Coconut oil is a special kind of fat
Coconut oil is fat and just like other fats it contains 9 calories per gram.
It is extracted from the “meat” of the coconut. At room temperature coconut oil is a white solid and on a hot day it easily melts onto a clear liquid.
The idea of adding coconut oil to your diet is NOT to add on to what you already eat but to substitute it for some of the less healthy fats you may be consuming now.
The reason for this is because not all calories or fats are created equal.
Coconut oil contains a unique type of fat known as “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCTs). Amazingly, 65% of the fat in coconut oil are these MCTs.
What makes these MCTs unique is how your body metabolises them; your gut easily absorbs them into the bloodstream, where they go straight to the liver, and they are burned for fuel or converted into “ketones.”
This particular metabolic process is unique to MCTs and is what sets coconut oil apart from other fats.
Coconut oil MCTs may help with fat loss
The MCTs in coconut oil have been shown to have a few different fat loss benefits.
Firstly, it can help to increase feelings of fullness, which can then lead to a natural decrease in the amount of food you eat.
Secondly, MCTs can also increase the number of calories you burn because of their unique metabolic route; we know this because of the difference when you compare the calories burned after eating the same amount of other fats.
In fact, a few studies show that coconut oil can actually increase the number of calories you burn by as much as 5%.
Thirdly, some studies show that eating coconut oil can help reduce belly fat (a.k.a. “waist circumference”).
Don’t forget, you shouldn’t be adding coconut oil to your diet on top of what you are already consuming without reducing other fats and oils!
How much coconut oil should I eat?
Many of the studies that showed increased fullness, increased metabolism, and reduced belly fat only used about 2 tablespoons per day.
You probably don’t need any more than that.
What kind of coconut oil is the best?
We are so spoilt with choice in our supermarkets these days that it can make it difficult to figure out which coconut oil is best.
I recommend you stay away from “refined” ones, and opt for “virgin” coconut oil. The reason for this is that it is processed at lower temperatures and avoids some of the chemical solvents used in the refining process; this helps to preserve more of the oil’s natural health-promoting antioxidants.
Tip: Always (and I mean ALWAYS) avoid “hydrogenated” coconut oil. It can be a health nightmare because it contains those pesky “trans fats.”
One thing you should also consider will all oils that you use is that each oil has a specific high temperature that you should avoid surpassing (e.g. its “smoke point”). For virgin coconut oil, that temperature is 175 degrees. That means you can safely use it on the stove top on a low-medium setting, as well as in most baking.
Substitute some of the fats you eat with virgin coconut oil; this could help you to lose weight and belly fat by naturally helping you to eat less, as well as slightly increasing your metabolism.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, it tastes great too!!
Recipe (Coconut Oil): Homemade Healthy Chocolate
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup cocoa/cacao powder
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 dashes salt
4 tablespoons slivered almonds
- Melt coconut oil. Whisk in maple syrup, salt, and cocoa/cacao powder until smooth.
- Stir in slivered almonds until evenly distributed.
- Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.
- Store in fridge or freezer to avoid melting.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Substitute other seeds, chopped nuts, or dried fruit instead of the almonds if you wish.