coconut oil

Nutrition information

Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from coconuts. This oil contains high level of saturated fat.  Therefore, generally high quantity consumption is not recommended. Besides providing 862 calories of energy in 100gm. oil, it contain 100gm. total fat (153% Recommended Daily Amount) and 87gm saturated fat (435% RDA). The oil does not contain any vitamin or mineral.  The moot point here is that the fat content of coconut oil is medium chain triglycerides called MCT. This particular type of fatty acid is differently metabolized in comparison with other types of fatty acids present in dairy products or meat.

Coconut oil for improving metabolism

Coconut oil is considered to be a supplier of beneficial saturated fatty acids. It has the potential to boost the metabolic rate and the fat in coconut oil is turned into energy which burns fat quickly. Because of this particular phenomena, the blood sugar in the body is prevented from rising. Protein digestion is slowed down by unsaturated fatty acids whereas such digestion is enhanced by saturated fatty acid in coconut oil.

Even though coconut oil itself is a high calorie diet, it has the ability to boost metabolism rate due to MCT present in it.

Benefits of coconut oil
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Coconut oil to reduce appetite

In any weight loss program, the predominant concern is about the calories intake and calories burnt. That is calories in and calories out. Coconut oil is effective in reducing appetite. Intake of calories is restricted on consumption of the oil automatically. When coconut oil is consumed, the liver in the body produces ketone which reduces appetite. The active burning of calories by coconut oil helps reduction of weight. The harmful belly fat which causes obesity is burnt by coconut oil with its ability to convert fat into energy and preventing accumulation of fat in the abdomen.

Since coconut oil detoxifies the body, weight loss happens. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil eliminates the craving for food. Coconut oil is considered to be thermo genic as it increases the spending of energy by burning fat.

How to use coconut oil for weight loss?

Having understood the properties and beneficial function of coconut oil in reducing weight, the moot question is how to use it for losing weight. Various methods of consumption of coconut oil are adopted for losing weight. Some of them are:

  1. Consume one or two teaspoons of coconut oil at least half an hour before regular meals, preferably twice a day.
  2. Regular consumption of the oil mixed well with hot water or with any other herbal tea can facilitate weight reduction.
  3. Coconut oil can be added to lemon juice with hot water and consumed daily in early mornings for better results.
  4. The oil is mixed with almond milk or coconut water itself and consumed regularly.

Consumption of appropriate quantity of coconut oil regularly is based on the present body weight and the reduction in quantum of weight proposed to be achieved.

What is the ideal dosage of coconut oil to reduce weight?

Based on the excess weight or obesity level of each individual,  from a minimum of three teaspoons to a maximum of six teaspoons of the oil consumption is considered safe. Excess consumption must be avoided as coconut oil is a high calorie diet.

Frcoconutoil
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Oil pulling with coconut oil

Using coconut oil for oil- pulling is also recommended in Ayurveda for reduction in weight. Since coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties when used for oil-pulling, it cleans unwanted bacteria, toxins and mucus from the mouth. Because of its ability to make the thyroid glands function properly, coconut oil is additionally beneficial in weight reduction. This is because malfunctioning of thyroid glands can negate any weight loss program.

Coconut oil consumption increases energy, decreases hunger, burns fat expeditiously, balances the hormones and helps the body efficiently absorb the nutrients from other foods consumed.

Guidelines

Only pure and unprocessed coconut oil is to be used for weight reduction. Refined oil is to be avoided. Cold pressed virgin coconut oil is the best form as it contains many anti-oxidants.

Consumption of coconut oil alone cannot reduce weight significantly. It has to be consumed along with appropriate weight reduction strategies.

It must be remembered that coconut oil is fat with high calorie. Hence just consuming coconut oil as a top up with other food cannot help in reducing weight. On the contrary it may only facilitate weight gain. In view of the possible opposite effect also, coconut oil must be used only as a substitute diet in place of other high calorie diets.

There are no clinical studies so far available that confirm the use of coconut oil for weight reduction.

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.