Can Coconut Oil Help You Lose Weight?

Science indicates that consuming coconut oil may temporarily boost your metabolism, which can help you lose weight. Your body burns around 10 percent of the calories you take in during the digestion process. For instance, if you consume 1000 calories your body would burn around 100 of those calories to turn food into energy to fuel your body. However, a theory suggests that if the fat of this 1000-calorie meal, such as the fat you would consume from eating butter, were replaced with coconut oil, it would boost the metabolism so you could burn 15 percent or around 150 of those calories.

The molecular structure of the fatty acids in coconut oil called MCT (medium-chain triacylglycerols) has a more water-soluble, short structure than other cooking oils. This means they can be routed to the liver more directly so they can be burned more efficiently instead of being stored as fat. There is not yet scientific evidence that consuming this oil will directly lead to weight loss, but a recent study has indicated that consuming similar oils can contribute to the process. During this study, a group of overweight men and women were placed on an identical low-calorie diet that included a dose of either MCT oil or olive oil. The doses were just over a tablespoon for the females and just under two tablespoons for the males. After four months those that had been given olive oil lost three pounds but those using MCT oil lost around 7 pounds.

In spite of the indications that using coconut oil can help people lose weight, experts do not recommend consuming a great deal of this oil because it is very high in saturated fats. It appears as though the benefits gained from consuming coconut oil are only helpful if you eat less of something else throughout the day to make up for these excess calories.

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