Coconut oil is extensively promoted to lose weight. Although the claims about coconut oil’s benefits sound appealing however, the evidence isn’t than clear. Some studies have examined the impact of coconut oil in weight loss, but the results are mixed. Some studies have revealed an improvement in the weight (BMI) or waist circumference, other studies haven’t.

The majority of studies are only short-term. It’s also important to remember that the most well-designed studies have examined coconut oil as a component of a low-calorie diet and exercise program. There’s no evidence that coconut oil has an effect beneficial to weight loss when you only add it to your daily diet.

Coconut oil comes from the dry fruit (nut) that grows on the coconut palm tree. While it’s often referred to as oil, it’s really a liquid at room temperature, closer to the consistency and texture of shortening made from vegetable. Coconut oil is almost 100% fat and between 82-92 percent comprises saturated fat. A tablespoonful of coconut oil is eleven grams saturated fat.

All fats are not the same

Fats are classified as unsaturated or saturated. Unsaturated fats can also be divided into short- medium- and long-chain acids. These kinds of fats can are different in their effects on the body. In contrast to long-chain fatty acids medium-chain acid fatty acids are absorbed in the blood stream. They don’t cause an increase in cholesterol levels in the same way that long-chain fatty acids do and they’re not believed to be stored in fat tissue as quickly as long-chain fats are.

Coconut oil is sought-after because it has medium-chain as well as long-chain fats. The main component is called lauric acid. According to its form and functions, lauric acid falls in the middle, and behaves in some ways similar to medium-chain fatty acids as well as in other ways like an extended-chain fat acid.

A number of studies on medium-chain fatty acids and their health effects have been done using manufactured oils derived partly from coconut oil and other plant oils that do not contain lauric acid. It’s crucial not to draw conclusions about the advantages of coconut oil based solely on studies conducted with oils known as medium chain triglycerides (MCT) oil.

Other research findings

Researchers have also studied the impact the coconut oil has on cholesterol levels in blood. Coconut oil is believed to increase lower-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol — also known as the “bad” cholesterol — but not as much as other foods that are rich in long-chain fatty acids like meat and dairy products that are full-fat. A few studies have shown that coconut oil could boost the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol -which is cholesterol that is the “good” cholesterol — however whether it can have a positive effect on heart disease is not clear.

The whole body of research regarding the effects of dietary fats favors the use of unsaturated fats such as canola, olives and sunflower oil instead of saturated coconut oil or coconut oil for weight loss of cardiovascular risk factors.

Coconut oil can also add the calories in your food. It’s around 120 calories for a spoon of coconut oil this is the reason it will probably not help you lose weight in the absence of an calorie-controlled diet and regular physical exercise.

The bottom line

The research on the potential benefits of coconut oil poses crucial questions, but it’s not yet time to draw any definitive conclusions. More research is required, with larger study groups as well as longer-term follow-up in order to better understand the effects the coconut oil has on blood cholesterol and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. These findings will have to be evaluated against the entire body of data regarding diet and health.

Even though taking coconut oil in moderation won’t be likely cause any negative effects on the health of your body, it’s certainly not likely to help you shed weight, either. If you like the taste from coconut oil make sure to use it only sparingly in an overall healthy diet. For long-term and lasting losing weight, adhere with the essentials: regular physical exercise and a calorie-controlled overall balanced diet that is that is rich in vegetables, fruits and other plant foods.

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