Coconut oil- the latest trend. I am sure you have heard so much about its benefits- “ use it for your hair” or “use to help you lose weight.” And as you know, I am a celebrity trainer and nutritionist so basically, I am all about learning whether these weight loss trends are real or not- because to be honest, sometimes they are just put out there to make money-there is no real science behind them. People are hopeful about them because they are “ in desperate need” of a quick-fix weight loss method and willing to try anything. Coconut oil usage is surprisingly controversial. You know that saying “there are two sides to every story”- I feel like that applies to Coconut Oil, so let’s go ahead and dig deeper into the controversial beliefs about Coconut Oil and its magical weight loss powers:
So, the big question, “is coconut oil bad or good for your metabolism”? Of course, companies that sell Coconut Oil say it is good for you. They claim that “Coconut oil boosts your metabolism by increasing energy expenditure, raising basal body temperatures, and accelerating the loss of other fats inside the body.” However, many trained nutritionists and those in the medical field claim this is a myth! It is coconut oil alone that causes weight loss, however it may aid in weight loss temporarily (quick-fix).
To understand the origins of this idea, you need to know a few basics about fats and oils. Nearly all dietary fats and oils are made up of triglycerides containing fatty-acid chains of differing lengths. Vegetable oils and animal fats are made up of long-chained triglycerides (LCTs). Coconut oil is different in that it’s made up of 60-65 percent medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Your body absorbs and metabolizes the shorter chain length of MCTs much more quickly than LCTs. The result is increased energy expenditure, compared to LCTs and temporary faster metabolic rates, but there is a massive catch! You must substitute the coconut oil for an equal amount of the LCTs that are already in your diet, and most people have no idea about this, or if they do,no idea how to calculate this. You see, if you’re simply adding coconut oil to your existing diet, you’re just adding extra calories that any potential thermogenic effect won’t make up for, and in this way, coconut oil may not be all that it is cracked up to be!