Coconut oil is often advertised as the newest and greatest of fat burners. Learn the truth about coconut oil and its real possibilities.
Author: Cathy Coles, Master of Science, nutritionist, certified personal trainer
Will coconut oil help to lose weight? If you've ever searched for information about "coconut oil" in Google, perhaps in combination with "losing weight" or "burning fat," the question is likely to seem decided. Coconut oil producers and journalists writing about health advertise it as the newest superfood, accelerating melting fat. Today, people already take it as an additive and even talk about "losing weight on coconut oil." They add it to popcorn instead of the usual oil, use it in baking, even drink coffee with coconut oil – all in the hope of a thin waist.
But what is the real state of things: is it fat or fat burner? Do you need it, and should you "take" it? We will tell the bare truth about unrefined coconut oil!
Myth 1. You will lose weight by simply adding coconut oil to a normal diet
To understand, where does this idea grow legs, you need to have some basic knowledge about oils and fats. Almost all edible fats and oils consist of triglycerides, part of whose molecules are fatty acids with side chains of various lengths. Vegetable oils and animal fats contain long chain triglycerides (LCT, long-chained triglycerides). Coconut oil is characterized by the fact that 60-65% consists of triglycerides with medium-length chains (MCT, medium-chained triglycerides). Your body digests and processes the shorter chains of MCT much faster than LCT. As a result, you get more power compared to LCT. In addition, in one gram MCT slightly less calories, namely 8,3 calories per gram MCT vs. 9 calories in gram LCT.
Simply put, rich MCT coconut oil can for some time accelerate your metabolism and contains fewer calories than other fats. It sounds like a real find for losing weight, but do not forget about one important nuance. You must replace the coconut oil with an equal amount of fat already present in the diet. Replacing a certain amount of fat with a high content of LCT on coconut oil, rich in MCT, you will get a little less calories, and burn a little more. But if you just add coconut oil to your diet, you will get extra calories from which even the potential thermogenic effect will not save.
To take advantage of the thermogenic effect and less caloric content of coconut oil, you must replace other sources of fat with the same amount of coconut oil.
Myth 2. Coconut oil speeds up metabolism and helps burn fat
The rapid metabolism of MCT coconut oil really increases energy consumption to a slightly greater extent than other fats. But the main question is different. Is the difference large enough to noticeably accelerate weight loss?
To study this issue, a team of scientists from Switzerland gave healthy men 30 g fats with LCT, 30 g MCT or 15 g of those and others, evenly distributed over several small meals, and measured the thermogenic effect. Compared to 30 g pure LCT, a diet with 15 g mixed MCT / LCT fats on average resulted in the burning of additional 40 calories for 24 hours. When the subjects received pure MCT, they spent more than 114 calories per day. For clarity – 114 calories you get about with nine salt crackers.
But let's look at the whole picture. Although coconut oil is called "fat-burning fat," it contains calories and is not exactly a product with "negative caloric value." The only plus of thermogenic activity is that you consume a portion of excess calories that you get from coconut oil. And all the calories of coconut oil should be considered in the total caloric intake.
Once again, to remind you to get an advantage when burning fat, you need to replace the coconut oil with a similar amount of other fat – and the portion should be impressive! Coconut oil does not consist entirely of MCT. For 60-65% MCT, the dose of 15 or 30 g MCT used in the Swiss study corresponded to 25-50 g of coconut oil, which is equivalent to 210 and 420 calories.
It turns out that in the best case, burn more 40-114 calories a day, you have to replace with coconut oil, almost all the fats of the daily diet. Moreover, scientists believe that in women the thermogenic effect of MCT is less pronounced, and after a few weeks of admission, it can at all come to naught. All this makes the prospect of losing weight with the help of coconut oil even more foggy.
Even large portions of coconut oil have very little thermogenic effect. It is proven that this effect disappears in a few weeks, which in the long run makes a significant weight loss unlikely.
Myth 3. Coconut oil goes to the synthesis of energy and is not stored in adipose tissue, and this prevents weight gain
If you are looking for a source of instant energy, it makes sense to look at coconut oil. Since it consists predominantly of MCT, most of the fat immediately enters the portal vein system and is quickly delivered to the liver, where it goes to the synthesis of energy. For comparison, fats from LCT undergo more complex transformations. After absorption, they are captured by transport particles, called chylomicrons, and enter the lymphatic system bypassing the liver. Before returning to the liver, chylomicrons make several stops and leave some of the fat in the adipose tissue for storage.
Unlike long-chain fat, most coconut oil instantly turns into energy and is not stored in the form of subcutaneous fat. For this reason, many believe that if they eat coconut oil, they will not gain weight. And really, why would they gain weight if MCT coconut oil can only be a source of energy?
Unfortunately, this logic does not correspond to the real state of affairs. Why? Because your diet consists not only of the MST! You also get a lot of carbohydrates, protein and fats from other sources. Although most coconut oil fats are a great source of instant energy that is not stored as fat, they interfere with the targeted use of other energy sources. While your body generates energy from the MCT, it does not have to remove the reserve fuel from the fat stores.
The rich MCT coconut oil is an excellent source of instant energy, which in itself is not deposited in adipose tissue, but prevents the utilization of other fuel resources. Remember, to avoid weight gain, you must eat fewer calories than you consume. You can not fool biology through tricks with nutrients.
Myth 4. Coconut oil suppresses appetite and helps to lose weight without too much effort
I think this is the weakest argument in support of coconut oil. The activity of ketones as natural suppressors of appetite is the main reason for this myth. Ketones are formed as a result of rapid metabolism of MCT of coconut oil. They are an excellent source of energy and tell the brain that you are full. The synthesis of ketones intensifies against the background of an extreme low-carbohydrate diet, and is suppressed by the consumption of sugars. This can be one of the reasons why diets with an extremely low carbohydrate sometimes give a better sense of satiety than diets with a low fat content.
Theoretically, the production of ketones caused by coconut oil should help you curb your hunger and allow you to get fewer calories without too much effort. But again, this is a too simplistic view of nutrients. Everything is much more complicated in the body. Consumption of calories and other features of the diet have a significant effect on the amount of ketones formed during the decay of MCT.
If you are sticking to a low-carb diet or experiencing a huge calorie deficit, then replacing most of the fat with coconut oil can lead to some suppression of appetite at the expense of ketones. But if you are not different from most people and stick to a diet with a moderate amount of carbohydrates, the production of ketones will be insignificant, as will their satiating effect. To date, there have been too few studies in humans confirming the anorexic properties of coconut oil.
The ability of ketones formed from coconut oil to suppress appetite is extremely insignificant in comparison with other factors of the diet of an ordinary person. If only you do not stick to an extreme low-carb diet, do not expect a special effect.
Coconut oil – an advertising trick?
I have no purpose to set you up against coconut oil. I just want you to clearly understand why it is worth – or why not – to put this product in your pantry. To clarify, I will list some useful properties of this popular oil:
- Not as quickly spoils as other popular fats for cooking.
In other words, coconut oil is a good product. But the key word is: it's a product! If you want to take advantage of the beneficial properties of coconut oil, you will need to include it in the diet along with other healthy foods, rather than look for a magic pill to burn fat in it. Otherwise, you will only give out wishful thinking.
Coconut oil, like all saturated oils, is not as susceptible to oxidation as sunflower oil, which is its plus. In general, sunflower is useful only super-fresher, but where can I get it?
I'm also very curious to know why coconut oil heals the thyroid gland?
READ on the Internet and turn on the brain. Only species nutrition will provide you with health. Do not be fooled by the myths about the benefits, for example, of milk – ostensibly, we do not have enough calcium, or that without meat, we will not have essential amino acids, etc., etc. Or some other HERNI. Open your eyes and look at the world. Once again – read the Internet, but without prejudice. Everywhere advertising, doctors – bitches are not interested, that you were healthy, they would vparit you some expensive medicine and get a rollback. There is no panacea! The organism heals itself.
And how is the mechanism of the effect of oil on the thyroid?
Whatever is said in this article, but unrefined coconut oil helps to improve thyroid function in hypothyroidism!