The Most Delicious Way to Burn Fat

I’ve sung the praises of coconut oil for a long time.

The fat in coconut oil — a form of saturated fat known as MCT (medium chain triglycerides) — is among the healthiest fat in the world. It contains fatty acids such as lauric acid and caprylic acid known to be anti-viral and anti-microbial.

And medium-chain-triglycerides are more likely to be burned for energy than stored as fat, leading to their popularity in the bodybuilding community.

A Brazilian study even suggests that coconut oil might have a role in weight loss…

Can Coconut Oil Help You Lose Weight?

In the Brazilian study, 40 women aged 20-40 years old with abdominal obesity were given daily dietary supplements of either soybean oil or coconut oil over the course of 12 weeks. All subjects followed a “balanced” diet with the same number of calories and were told to walk for 50 minutes a day.

By the end of the study, the coconut oil group had significantly higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol and an improved LDL: HDL ratio. Meanwhile, the soybean oil group saw their HDL go down and their cholesterol ratio go up!

While both the soybean oil group and the coconut oil group had similar reductions in BMI, ONLY the coconut oil group saw a reduction in the circumference of their waists.

A very interesting — and unexpected — finding was that those consuming the coconut oil spontaneously reduced their consumption of carbohydrates and increased their consumption of protein and fiber over the course of the study.

“Supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity”, write the researchers.

And researchers in the International Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders stated that “MCT consumption has been shown to increase energy expenditure and lead to greater losses of the adipose (fat) tissue in animals and humans.”

Island Studies Prove the Value of Coconut

The good news on coconut actually started with research back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It’s long been observed that people from the Pacific Islands and Asia whose diets are very high in coconut oil are surprisingly free from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases. A long-term, multidisciplinary study was set up to examine the health of the people living in the small, idyllic coconut-eating islands of Tokelau and Pukapuka.

And what it found was astonishing.

Despite eating a “high-fat” diet (30 to 60 percent of their calories were from fat, mostly saturated fat from coconuts), the Pukapuka and Tokelau islanders were virtually free of atherosclerosis, heart disease, and colon cancer. Digestive problems were rare. The islanders were lean and healthy; there were no signs of kidney disease, and high blood cholesterol was unknown.

Yet when these native people moved to the “big cities,” changed their diets, and gave up eating coconut oil in favor of the refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils that are believed to be “healthier,” their incidence of heart disease increased dramatically.

But What About Saturated Fat?

Well, what about it? As I’ve written before, the “evidence” against saturated fat is falling apart all over the place. Two major papers published in the last few years completely vindicated saturated fat as a culprit in heart disease. And the type of saturated fat in coconut—something called MCTs (medium-chain-triglycerides)—is actually used by the body for energy, much like carbohydrates. The body prefers to burn MCTs for fuel rather than store them around your hips. That’s one reason bodybuilders use MCT oil as a supplement—they need the calories, but don’t want to put on fat.

Another Great Benefit of Coconut Oil

If all that weren’t enough, coconut oil is great for the immune system. Fatty acids in coconut oil-specifically lauric acid—is known to be anti-microbal, helping to fight bacteria and viruses. And caprylic acid—another fatty acid in the oil—is widely used to help keep Candida albicans in check.

I love coconut oil. It’s delicious, healthy, and helps keep your waist size in check. My  favorite coconut oil on the planet is Barlean’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

It’s inexpensive, organic, and comes from hand-selected coconuts. I use it for everything, including sautéing vegetables and making eggs. It’s spectacularly delicious!

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  • Adam


    I notice in the artice the group taking coconut oil reduced their intake of carbohydrates and increased their intake of proteins and fiber. And the result was a reduction in the circumference in their waist. If I was not taking soybean oil nor coconut oil, would my waist size be reduced if I had a reduction in my carbohydrates and an increase in fiber and proteins? I would think so. Could you expand your reasoning as to what the coconut oil and its effects have on why we would be inclined to have a reduction in the intake of carbs and an increase of fiber and protein. Thanks!

    • I would expect a reduction in waist size anytime you reduce carbs and increase fat and protein without going higher in calories. I think the coconut oil helps in that it is a great source of energy while not adding to any increase in body fat. I also suspect that the coconut oil helps make it easier to reduce carbs.

    • Rustybeth

      Satisfaction! Having a rich source of fats helps you feel fuller and more satisfied with your food intake. Thus, you naturally cut down on the foods your body would normally seek out to find that satisfaction (carbohydrates). Thus the dominoes fall: less carbs, less insulin, less fat storage, smaller waistline.

  • Janet

    Jonny, Would you give us further info on how to incorporate coconut oil into our diets? Most recipes I’ve found are to use in baking. I have tired of my old routine of mixing it with nut butter and using as a spread. Need ideas! Thanks!

  • The article praises coconut oil supplementation. I would like a suggestion of daily recommended quantity. Also, I have a mild cold or something similar. Settled in bronchia for now. Anti-viral benefits are appealing now. Again, I wonder how much is suggested.
    Thanks so much.

  • Guillaume

    Can we expext similar benefits from eating coconut meat?

  • The benefits of adding more coconut oil in the diet sounds spectacular, really dig the anti-microbial aspects of it! It can basically replace butter in any baked goods, right? Thanks!

  • George McLendon

    Dear Mr. Bowden,
    Ice cream for breakfast, indeed. I just returned from the fiftieth reunion of the class of 1963, USNA in Annapolis, MD. In those days long ago, the naval academy had its own dairy farm. Ice cream was a stable on the breakfast menu, usually with fresh strawberries. We had a buffet breakfast at the reunion and many commented, “Where’s the ice cream?”
    George McLendon

  • Lauretta Wolf

    Is coconut milk…full fat, not fat free…as usable and healthy as using coconut oil?

  • When someone writes an paragraph he/she retains the image of a user in his/her mind that how a
    user can know it. Therefore that’s why this piece
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  • I think so!!!! but coconut oil have a less benefits in losing weight to compare then broccoli and Green tea.. the best option are diet and exercise.. weight loss supplements are also helpful on some ways…

  • Justin

    I take 1/3 cup a day of coconut oil daily. Is this safe? Oh my HDL is 104 total cholesterol 241!

  • Barlean’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil link is not working.

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