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January 2017

Will coconut oil help me lose weight?

Posted in Nutrition + Health
on January 17, 2017

Coconut oil is often touted as healthy or even that it helps “burn fat” because it has a high percentage of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs).  However, this statement isn’t necessarily true.  Why is that? Well, bear with me for a quick biochem lesson ya’ll.  The research done with MCTs uses mostly refined MCT oil preparations from capric and caprylic acids. The MCTs found in coconut oil are predominantly lauric acid. Therefore, we can’t extrapolate from studies using refined MCT oil preparations to coconut oil.  Still with me? OK good…  Studies that have tested coconut oil’s effect (not pure MCT oil) on cholesterol show that coconut oil actually causes an increase in total and LDL (AKA bad) cholesterol.

Believe it or not, coconut oil actually contains more saturated fat than butter!  There is some recent research looking at how the type of saturated fat found in plant based foods may be different than the saturated fats found in animal products, but until more research is done and this theory is confirmed, coconut oil should be treated like any other saturated fat.  So in a (coco)nut shell, if you enjoy the flavor of coconut oil, go right ahead-just remember moderation is key.  Also, using the less processed (virgin) coconut oil is a better choice, as the fatty acids will be closer to their original form, and the oil will contain more of the beneficial plant chemicals.