Column: Coconut oil: The best fat fighter?


Commentary by Cory Black

Everyone has some body fat they want to lose. Adding coconut oil to your diet is one way to help drop pounds. So how can coconut oil help you lose fat?

Coconut oil is primarily made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Unlike the typical long chain triglycerides (LCTs) in our diet, MCTs are easily broken down immediately for use rather than stored, whereas, LCTs found in other dietary fats produce some energy but are more likely to end up as body fat.

It’s because the medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) found in coconut oil are rapidly absorbed that they help reduce fat stores. MCTs provide a rapid energy source that provide a thermogenic effect, which subsequently increases metabolism and helps burns your fat stores. One study, published in Metabolism, found that calories burned shortly after consuming MCTs were almost twice as high as from normal fat sources: 120 calories versus 66 calories.

Conventional dietary fat (LCTs), on the other hand, have the same chemical structure as body fat, which is why excess calories from conventional fats are very prone to being stored. Coconut oil and MCTs have a smaller molecular structure. It is easier for your body to absorb and transport MCTs directly from the small intestine to the liver by the portal vein. In the liver, some of the MCTs are turned into ketone bodies, which the muscles can use for energy. A portion is converted to ATP, the energy currency of the cell. MCT is processed in the liver and there is little left to be stored as fat.

Unlike hydrogenated coconut oils from the past, a virgin coconut oil is not hydrogenated and has zero cholesterol. In fact, coconut oil is one of the healthiest fats to have in your diet. It also has other health benefits, such as lauric acid, which has amazing antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal properties.

Add a little coconut oil to your diet and harness some natural fat loss benefits from MCTs.