Coconut Oil and Weight Loss

For more than four decades, coconut oil has had a bad reputation because of its high content in saturated fat. Yet, for thousands of years coconut has been a main part of the islanders' diet in the Tropics and still remains so today. Studies also show lower levels of heart disease and obesity among these populations as well. So why was coconut oil shunned for all of these years?

In the 70's and 80's inaccurate studies were done that led to the conclusion that coconut oil was way too high in saturated fat and should be avoided. What their mistake was, is that they did these studies on partially hydrogenated coconut oil, not organic. When a natural oil is hydrogenated, its whole composition changes and turns it into a trans fat. Trans fats are extremely unhealthy for you and should be avoided at all costs because they raise cholesterol levels and can lead to heart disease.

Though it is high in saturated fat, what people fail to realize is that not all fats are the same. Most of the foods and oils we use are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs) or long-chain triglycerides (LCTs). The large molecules in LCTs are not easily broken down by the body and end up being stored as fat. These large molecules also are what clog the arteries and lead to high cholesterol and heart disease.

 On the contrary, coconut oil is composed of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) or medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). The molecules are smaller and are easier to digest and immediately converted into energy and burned off.

With this in mind, it is clear to see how coconut oil can be a perfect aid to weight loss. Since it is an MCT, it is quickly turned into energy promoting a higher metabolism, thus giving you more energy. MCTs are quickly burned off and can even convert stored fat in your body into energy, leading to weight loss and a leaner body. Some people who have thyroid problems find it very hard to lose weight, but coconut oil can help boost thyroid activity. It can also curb your appetite and make you feel fuller faster, thus enabling you to eat less and still feel satisfied.

There has not been enough research or tests done to prove how effective coconut oil can contribute to weight loss, nor how much to actually take everyday. Though, a nutrition researcher named Sally Fallon of the Weston A. Price foundation recommends taking one tablespoon with every meal daily. Keep in mind that it is still a fat and high in calories, so you still want to use it in moderation. You definitely still want to maintain a well balanced diet and exercise routine.

It is crucial to make sure that you are using the right kind of coconut oil as well. It should be pure, virginand certified organic. Make sure it has not been hydrogenated, refined, deodorized, bleached, or contains any GMO ingredients. Make sure that it is also made from fresh coconut and not from dried or copra. You really can not go wrong as long as it meets these requirements. I strongly encourage that you try it because not only will it help you lose weight, but keep you energized and healthy.

Leilani Cardona specializes in natural health remedies. Check out her latest site at Benefit of Coconut Oil [] where you can also find more information on the Benefits of Coconut Oil on Skin [].
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