Saturday, March 23, 2013

Can Coconut Oil Help You Lose Weight

Have you ever asked the question, "are saturated fats bad for you?" Most people without a moment's hesitation would repeat the mantra that saturated fats are bad because they cause the clogging of the arteries and weight gain. But what if there was a saturated fats that actually may be good for you and could, in turn, help you with weight loss? This possible "good" saturated fat is coconut oil.

Despite the claims that coconut oil is a saturated fat that is bad for you, coconut oil might be a fat burner and help you increase your metabolism in the right circumstances. They key reason is that it's rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Most vegetable oils are made up of long-chain fatty acids that are stored as bodyfat. MCTs aren't stored and are burned almost immediately as fuel. They require little digestion and are quickly absorbed by the body, which also heightens the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins--A, D, E and K--and many minerals, especially calcium and magnesium.

In addition, coconut oil has been know to put up some mechanisms in place to help you cut your appetite, and because it has a lot of lauric acid, it speeds up the body's thermogenic rate--that is, how fast you burn calories. Lauric acid is the key to many of the benefits in coconut milk.

However, many people are not familiar with Lauric acid, but the body's most abundant source of it is in breast milk, with which it shares health giving properties.

There is also evidence that coconut oil can accelerate fat-burning activities by stimulating the thyroid gland, which controls all the body's metabolic activities. Current data suggest that coconut oil raises the body's basal metabolic rate, which is how well you burn calories at rest, while improving overall metabolism. The bottom line here is that when you take MCTs instead of long-chain triglycerides, you turn into a fat-burning machine and store a lot less fat.

Coconut oil has fewer calories than most other fats and oils. So you don't have to use as much oil as you would when cooking with other oils. Coconut oil does have roughly 120 calories in a tablespoon, so the key to losing weight using coconut oil may be in substituting it in place of other oils, not in addition. But again, it comes down to how well your body uses the benefits of the coconut oil. If you have a poorly running metabolism and digestion system, the benefits of taking coconut may be muted anyway.