Coconut oil is the world’s most weight loss friendly fat.
It contains a unique combination of fatty acids with powerful effects on metabolism.
Several studies show that just by adding coconut oil to your diet, you can lose fat, especially the “dangerous” fat in the abdominal cavity
Coconut oil is vastly different from most other fats in the diet.
Whereas most foods contain predominantly long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil consists almost entirely of Medium Chain Fatty Acids.
The thing with these medium chain fatty acids is that they are metabolized differently than the longer chain fats.
They are sent straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are either used for energy right away or turned into Ketone bodies.
These fats are often used by epileptic patients on a ketogenic diet, in order to increase ketone levels while allowing for a bit more carbs in the diet.
There is also some evidence from animal studies that medium chain fats are stored less efficiently than other fats.
In one study, rats were overfed with either long chain or medium chain fats. The rats fed the medium chain fats gained 20% less weight and 23% less body fat.
One important property of coconut oil is that it is “thermogenic” – eating it tends to increase energy expenditure (fat burning) compared to the same amount of calories from other fats.
In one study, 15-30 grams (1 to 2 tablespoons) of medium chain fats per day increased energy expenditure by 5%, totaling about 120 calories per day.
Several other studies confirm these findings. When humans replace the fats they are eating with MCT fats, they burn more calories.
Therefore, a calorie from coconut oil is NOT the same as a calorie from olive oil or butter (although these fats are perfectly healthy too).