The Coconut Oil Craze – Should You Jump On The Bandwagon Too?

Yes, yes you should. End of post.

Seriously though, what exactly is it about coconut oil that makes it so healthy? And which type is best?

Let’s dive into some of the fascinating research and find out.

Coconut oil contains the same 9 calories per gram as other fats and it is extracted from the “meat” of the coconut (the white, fleshy inside). It’s a white solid at room temperature and easily melts into a clear liquid on a warm or hot day.

Like all things in life, not all fats are created equal.  Coconut oil is special. Wonder Woman special. And here’s why….

Coconut oil contains a unique type of fat known as “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCTs). In fact, 65% of the fat in coconut oil are these MCTs.

What makes MCTs unique is how your body metabolizes them;  they’re easily absorbed into the bloodstream by your gut, where they go straight to the liver, and they’re burned for fuel or converted into “ketones.” This metabolic process, unique to MCTs, is what sets coconut oil apart from other fats.

But wait, it gets better!

Coconut oil’s MCTs have also been shown to have a few different fat loss benefits. Can I get a WHOOP, WHOOP?!?

First, it can help to increase feelings of fullness, which can lead to a natural reduction in the amount of food you eat.

Second, because of their unique metabolic route, MCTs can also increase the number of calories you burn;  (when you compare the calories burned after eating the same amount of other fats). In fact, a few studies show that coconut oil may increase the number of calories you burn by as much as 5%. Without even moving a muscle!

Third, some studies also show that eating coconut oil can help reduce belly fat (a.k.a. “waist circumference” – and remember why waist circumference matters? ).

Just remember not to add coconut oil to your diet without considering the other fats and oils you may already be eating!

Now that you are totally on board with adding coconut oil to your diet, are you also wondering how much coconut oil you should eat?  Many of the studies that showed increased fullness, increased metabolism, and reduced belly fat only used about 2 tablespoons per day. You likely don’t need any more than that.

There are so many coconut oil options available in grocery stores these days that it can make it difficult to know which is best…And does it even matter what kind of coconut oil you use?

I recommend you stay away from “refined” ones, and opt for “virgin” or “extra virgin” coconut oil. That is because it is processed at lower temperatures and avoids some of the chemical solvents used in the refining process;  this helps to preserve more of the oil’s natural health-promoting antioxidants and keeps the oil pure.

Some of the brands that we use at our house are:

coconut oil

LEARN MORE HERE

nutiva coconut oil

LEARN MORE HERE

Tip: Always (and I mean ALWAYS) avoid “hydrogenated” coconut oil. It contains  “trans fats”, and you never want to be consuming those.

Tip: Coconut oil, has a high ‘smoke point’ of 350F. That means you can safely use it on the stovetop on a low-medium setting, as well as in most baking.

There are a ton of pros to including coconut oil in your diet. The idea of adding coconut oil to your diet is NOT to add on to what you already eat but to substitute it for some of the (possibly) less healthy fats you may be eating now. You now know that this may help you to lose weight, reduce belly fat, and increase your metabolism.

And it tastes AH-mazing too!

Recipe: Seductive Fudge

(after tasting this, anyone you share it with will do anything you ask….it’s that good)

Seductive Fudge
(Photo credit:honeyvillefarms.blogspot.com

Serves 12

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • sea salt to taste
  • 6 tablespoons slivered almonds

Directions:

  1. Mix together the coconut oil and almond butter
  2. Add cocoa powder and mix until combined.
  3. Pour in the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
  4. Stir in the slivered almonds.
  5. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop the mixture into the pan and spread out until even.
  7. Freeze for 1 hour or until solid.
  8. Slice into small squares and prepare to be seduced.
  9. Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Substitute other seeds, chopped nuts, or dried fruit instead of the almonds if you wish. All options are equally delicious!

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