Is Coconut Oil Used for Weight Loss?

Is coconut oil beneficial for weight loss? Will it help us lose weight? What does scientific research say about the subject? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.

Is coconut oil used for weight loss?

Coconut oil is widely used for weight loss. While the promises of coconut oil benefits seem great, the research isn’t all that clear.

Several studies have looked at the benefit of coconut oil for weight loss, and the results have been compared. Some studies reported a reduction in participants’ body mass index and waist size, while others did not.

All of the studies have been short-term, and it’s important to note that the studies considered coconut oil as part of a low-calorie diet and exercise plan. There is no evidence that coconut oil will have a beneficial effect for weight loss if you simply add it to your diet.

Coconut oil is obtained from the dried fruit of the coconut tree. Despite being called oil, it is essentially solid at room temperature. Coconut oil is almost 100 percent fat, of which 82 to 92 percent is saturated fat. One tablespoon of coconut oil contains 11 grams of saturated fat.

Not all oils are the same

Fats can be characterized as saturated or unsaturated. Saturated fats can be further broken down into short, medium and long chain fatty acids. These types of oils have different effects on the body. Unlike long chain fatty acids, medium chain fatty acids are absorbed directly into the bloodstream. They do not raise blood cholesterol as much as long-chain fatty acids and do not appear to be stored as easily as long-chain fatty acids in the body’s adipose tissue.

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Coconut oil is of interest because it contains both medium-chain and long-chain fatty acids. That’s why coconut oil is famous for weight loss. The primary ingredient, however, is lauric acid. Depending on its structure and function, lauric acid stays in the middle acting as a medium-chain fatty acid and in some ways as a long-chain fatty acid.

Many studies of medium-chain fatty acids and their health benefits have been done with manufactured oils that do not contain lauric acid, which are partially derived from coconut oil or other vegetable oils. Therefore, it is important not to draw conclusions about the benefits of coconut oil based on studies with oils called medium-chain triglyceride oils.

Other research findings

Researchers examining coconut oil for weight loss also looked at the effect of coconut oil on blood cholesterol levels. Coconut oil appears to raise low-density lipoprotein (LDL-bad) cholesterol, but not as much as foods containing long-chain fatty acids, such as meat or full-fat dairy products.

Some research shows that coconut oil may increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL-good) cholesterol, but it is not known whether this has a beneficial effect on heart disease.

All the evidence on dietary fats supports the use of unsaturated fats such as olive, canola, safflower or sunflower oil instead of saturated fats or coconut oil for the management of cardiovascular risk factors.

Coconut oil also adds calories to your diet, adding about 120 calories per tablespoon of coconut oil. For this reason, coconut oil will not work for weight loss if it is not used with a calorie-controlled diet and physical activity.

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As a result

Research on the potential benefits of coconut oil raises important questions, but it’s too early to draw any firm conclusions. More research with larger study groups and long-term follow-up is needed to understand the effect of coconut oil on weight loss, blood cholesterol, and cardiovascular risk factors. These results need to be compared with general information on nutrition and health.

While consuming coconut oil in moderation will not harm your health, coconut oil alone will not help you lose weight. If you enjoy the aroma of coconut oil, you can use it sparingly as part of an overall healthy diet. Stick to the basics for successful, long-term weight loss. Effective things to lose weight include regular physical activity and overall calorie control, a healthy eating plan, fruits and vegetables.

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