Coconut oil is widely promoted for weight loss. It seems like coconut oil has a lot of benefits, but the scientific evidence is limited. Coconut oil has been the subject of a few studies that have examined its effects on weight loss. While some studies have decreased participants’ body mass index (BMI) and waist size, others have not.
All of the studies have been short-term. It’s also important to note that better-designed studies have evaluated coconut oil in conjunction with a low-calorie diet and exercise program. If you include coconut oil in your diet, there is no evidence that you will lose weight.
The coconut palm tree produces coconut oil from its dried fruit (nut). Despite its name, it is essentially solid at room temperature, similar to vegetable shortening in texture and consistency. Coconut oil contains about 100 percent fat, the majority of which is saturated fat. It contains 11 grams of saturated fat in one tablespoon.
Coconut Oil as a Food Supplement
Use it as a cooking oil
Coconut oil stays solid at room temperature. As a result of its saturated fatty acids, it is stable at high temperatures, which makes it an ideal cooking oil.
Canola oil and soybean oil have higher smoking points, which are higher than that of coconut oil at 339.8°F (171°C). Hence, continuous deep frying may cause carcinogens to accumulate.
Coconut oil has a low smoking point, so people should think twice before deep frying foods in it. Instead, cooking with canola, corn, or soybean oil has a higher smoking point.
For uses other than deep-frying, replacing traditional cooking oils with coconut oil is easy to incorporate more coconut oil into the diet.
Bake with it
Making baked goods such as cookies, cakes, and brownies with coconut oil is possible. Coconut oil can be substituted for the oil that the recipe calls for at a 1:1 ratio.
Mixing coconut oil with milk or eggs at room temperature will help prevent the batter from clumping.
Add it to drinks
In addition, you can add a small amount of coconut oil – about 12 teaspoons (tsp) – to your coffee, tea, and smoothies.
- Put the coconut milk and coconut oil in a pan and warm them on medium to high heat.
- Boil the water. Mix the matcha powder into a mug and serve. Add the water to the matcha when it comes to a boil and whisk until smooth.
- Stir in the sweetener of choice with a milk wand or whisk when the coconut milk and coconut oil mixture begins to bubble. Pour the mixture over the matcha.
- Serve immediately.
People can take coconut oil in capsule form. While coconut oil supplements offer convenience and easy dosage control, they are not the best way to consume coconut oil.
Most supplements contain 1–3 g per capsule, and a person would have to take 13 pills to get the equivalent of 1 tbsp of coconut oil. You might try baking or cooking with coconut oil instead.
All fats are not the Same
Fats can be characterized as saturated or unsaturated. Short-, medium-, and long-chain fatty acids are the three types of saturated fats. All of these fats have different effects on the body. Long-chain fatty acids cannot be absorbed into the bloodstream, but medium-chain fatty acids can. There is no evidence that they raise blood cholesterol as much as long-chain fatty acids do, and they are not stored in the body’s fat tissue as readily as long-chain fatty acids are.
Coconut oil has been studied for its ability to contain both medium-chain and long-chain fatty acids. The primary component, however, is lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid that behaves in some ways like a medium-chain fatty acid and in other ways like a long-chain fatty acid, based on its structure and function.
Many studies of medium-chain fatty acids and their health benefits have been conducted using synthetic oils derived from coconut oil or other plant oils without lauric acid. Therefore, it’s important not to conclude the benefits of coconut oil based on studies with medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oils.
Coconut oil contains a high concentration of medium-chain fatty acids, especially lauric acid. Consuming coconut oil from a coconut oil supplier may be beneficial to health. Although coconut oil is naturally fat-free, it contains high levels of saturated fats and calories.
Getting less than 10% of your daily calories from saturated fats is recommended. Stick to 1–2 tbsp of coconut oil per day to obtain the health benefits of coconut oil while minimizing any adverse effects.