Boost your energy levels and promote fat burning with coconut oil
01/20/2022 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Boost your energy levels and promote fat burning with coconut oil

From keeping skin soft and supple to reducing inflammation, coconut oil has been associated with many health benefits. Weight loss is one of those health benefits, which is why many people looking to shed excess weight add coconut oil to their meals, snacks and beverages like coffee, teas and smoothies.

Read on to learn more about how coconut oil can help you lose weight.

Coconut oil is a weight-loss-friendly ingredient

Coconut oil used to have a bad rap because of its high amount of saturated fats, which are considered unhealthy fats. But as it turns out, saturated fats are actually the secret behind coconut oil’s weight loss benefits. In particular, coconut oil contains a type of saturated fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).

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Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in our bodies. A triglyceride consists of a glycerol molecule that’s bound to three fatty acids. These fatty acids are made up of carbon atoms linked in chains that vary in length.

Most fatty acids in dietary triglycerides have chains that contain more than 12 carbon atoms. These are called long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). In contrast, the fatty acids in MCTs contain only six to 12 carbon atoms.

The chain length of the fatty acids is important because longer chains would require enzymes or bile acids for digestion and absorption. MCTs don’t require those enzymes and acids, which is why they can go straight to your liver, where they are rapidly digested and either used for energy or turned into ketones.

Ketones are compounds produced when the liver breaks down a lot of fat. Your body can use them for energy instead of glucose (sugar). To effectively lose weight, some people may want to go on a low-carb, high-fat diet to force the body to start turning fats into ketones. After several days on such a diet, their bodies become very efficient at burning ketones for fuel instead of glucose. This may eventually lead to weight loss.

What’s more, because the calories contained in MCTs are more efficiently turned into energy and used by the body, they’re less likely to be stored as fat than other triglycerides.

In a review of 13 studies, researchers found that MCTs can help promote weight loss when they replace LCTs. Meanwhile, a study that appeared in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that MCTs increase 24-hour energy expenditure by as much as five percent. This means MCTs can help you burn an extra 100-120 calories a day. While that might not sound like much, that amounts to over 36,000 extra calories burned in a year.

Coconut oil is the richest natural source of MCTs. As such, this incredibly healthy oil can help support weight loss and boost energy levels. But take note of the fact that because MCTs are digested differently than other fats, consuming MCT-rich foods in excess can lead to gastrointestinal issues. To avoid those issues, consume MCT-rich foods in moderation and as part of a well-balanced diet.

How to use coconut oil

While you can use coconut oil for cooking, there are other ways to incorporate it into your daily routine. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Swap it for butter – You can use coconut oil to replace butter when baking. Just follow a 1:1 ratio. But take note that it might slightly change the flavor of the pastry or bread you’re making.
  • Add it to hot beverages – Stir a teaspoon or two of coconut oil into your morning coffee or tea.
  • Add it to smoothies – Add melted coconut oil to your breakfast or post-workout smoothie.

When consumed as part of a balanced diet, coconut oil can help you lose weight naturally. Incorporate this oil into your diet to enjoy its weight loss benefits.

Sources:

NaturalHealth365.com

Healthline.com 1

Healthline.com 2

Healthline.com 3

JANDOnline.org

PubMed.NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

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