High obesity rates are sparking a host of alternative approaches for weight loss. Some offer valid results whereas others are still in the preliminary stages of research. NHS Heroes The use of coconut oil for weight loss is one such conundrum. Coconut oil weight loss outcomes sit on both sides of the fence to date.
What It Is
Coconut oil is edible and harvested from mature coconuts. It is derived from the dried fruit, or nut, of the coconut palm tree. The oil preserves well and is an alternative type of oil to traditional frying varieties with increased fat content. One serving contains 117 calories and 13.6 grams of fat, which are mostly saturated fatty acids in the form of medium-chain triglycerides. However, some coconut oils are highly hydrogenated with trans fatty acids, which are not favorable for those with a high risk of heart conditions.
Coconut oil is used largely in preparation of ethnic foods containing curry and it appears in many packaged food pastries and snacks. You can find regular coconut oil in local markets or health food stores and many manufacturers tout it as a miracle weight loss supplement. According to the claims, coconut oil has thermogenic effects to speed up your metabolism and burn energy in the form of calories faster.
The catalyst to its effects is the medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which are not stored by the body as fat but instead burned quickly as energy. A 2002 study in the “Journal of Nutrition” found that compared to other vegetable oils, the coconut variety boosted metabolic processes in lean and obese subjects by 48 to 65 percent over those study participants eating traditional forms of vegetable oil. Although these results are favorable, replicable research is few and far between. This study suggests that regular use of coconut oil might have a beneficial effect on weight loss but does not indicates for certain that it will result in weight loss.
Coconut Oil Diets
Diets incorporating coconut oil propose to use three servings per day but the calorie and fat content are high and when it comes to weight loss the key is in the calories. Some diets with coconut oil offer a lower calorie meal plan altogether, which offsets the high calories in the oil. Other diets incorporate the oil in stages but limit the nutrients you consume from other foods essential in your diet.
Costs and Benefits
The benefit of coconut oil is that it might benefit people with high cholesterol problems by helping to lower total levels. It also contains beneficial acids that promote immune system functions. However, coconut oil is not for everyone and in order for it to work you have to not just incorporate it into your diet but change the other negative aspects of your diet. As with any alternative forms of diets or remedies, it is best to consult a physician first to ensure safety.