The coconut oil craze is getting a little out of control.
Yes – there are a lot of really great things about it, but just like many other fads in our industry certain facts are being cherry-picked out of the bigger picture which is leading to misrepresentation of how this food should be used.
What we all need to remember is that ultimately there is no magic food or magic answer that will help you to lose weight better than sustaining a healthy calorically restricted diet will over the long term.
What You Have Probably Read
When you Google “benefits of coconut oil” it becomes instantly apparent why we all think this food is the cure-all. This is exactly what bloggers make it out to be! Blogs are the place you might turn for “expert opinions”. However, have you ever stopped to question who it is that you’re trusting, and what makes them an expert? From just one article, here are their top 20 uses for coconut oil:
- Weight loss godsend
- Kills bacteria
- Personal lubricant
- Build and maintain muscle
- Curbs appetite
- Prevent Alzheimer’s
- Helps with memory
- Protect organ function
- Promote heart health
- Protects pancreas from working too hard
- Great for skin and hair
- Promotes digestion
- Improve oral health
- Balance hormones
- Repair chapped lips
- Prevent and treat cancer
- Prevent insulin resistance
- Reduce risk of seizures
- Treat inflammation and arthritis
Wow… Well, no wonder after reading that list people start adding coconut oil to everything. From those benefits alone it would be crazy for us not to! However, I urge you to do a little more digging before jumping on the coconut oil bandwagon.
Coconut Oil and It’s Impact On Weight Loss
Here’s what you need to know…
Coconut oil is made up of mostly MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) – which have been studied to shown that when you replace other fats in your diet with more MCT’s that you can increase the rate of fat loss over time.
However, replacing other fats in the diet with coconut oil will negate its fat loss effects if the number of calories you are eating after adding coconut oil is more than that which you were previously eating.
In terms of appetite suppression – we know that simply by including more healthy fats in the diet there is an appetite suppressive effect that comes from its slowed digestion and transport through the GI tract. There is not enough evidence to support a greater effect from coconut oil than from other fat sources.
Further, the claims of increased metabolic rate are only temporary at best. The initial increase from coconut oil consumption is short lived an unlikely to contribute to long term weight loss.
To read more unbiased information on coconut oil click here: https://examine.com/supplements/coconut-oil/
What Does This Mean For You
So I just shattered your coconut loving world, hey? Sorry, not sorry.
But the good news is that there is one magical thing about coconut oil! It’s tropical-ly-ness. It makes everything taste like the Caribbean and there is totally nothing wrong with that. I say – if you like using coconut oil, continue to use it.
BUT – I caution against adding it to everything without understanding the calories associated with how much you’re using. Just because it can be beneficial, doesn’t mean that you cannot get too much of a good thing.
This article was meant to emphasize a few things:
- That eating enough essential fats are important to your long term health and weight loss efforts.
- That getting a larger percentage of those fats from MCT’s could have a positive effect on weight loss (as long as total dietary intake is controlled for).
- There is nothing wrong with coconut oil – but there is a LOT of bullshit information out there about it too and that you need to be careful what you believe.