Coconut oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the albumen of the coconut. If its protective and softening properties are widely recognized to take care of the skin and hair, coconut oil would have other equally interesting health benefits: regulation of cholesterol levels, brain health, weight loss…
Does Coconut Oil Really Help You Lose Weight? We explain the benefits of coconut oil to slim down and stay healthy.
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is obtained by cold pressing coconut albumen. Its whitish color and solid texture are very characteristic. When not deodorized, coconut oil has a mild coconut taste and smell. Widely used in certain cuisines around the world, coconut oil is also used in cosmetics to nourish the skin and hair.
What is coconut oil made of?
As its solid appearance may suggest, coconut oil is extremely rich in saturated fatty acids. Indeed, it contains almost 90%, a little more than butter and 6 times more than olive oil.
Among these saturated fatty acids, lauric acid is the major constituent of coconut oil. This fatty acid from the medium chain triglyceride (MCT) family would explain a large part of the health and slimming benefits of this oil. We also note the presence of certain micronutrients and antioxidants in particular, in coconut oil.
Consuming coconut oil to lose weight is often recommended by followers of this product. Some studies show that MCTs are not metabolized in the same way as most saturated fatty acids and that they are used by the body instead of being stored.
On the other hand, the consumption of coconut oil would have the effect of increasing thermogenesis and stimulating the basal metabolism.
Other health benefits of coconut oil
From a health point of view, coconut oil would also have many benefits. Among other things, its composition would help to:
- regulate blood cholesterol levels;
- reduce inflammatory processes;
- prevent certain neurodegenerative pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease.
- By extension, coconut oil would also make it possible to:
- prevent cardiovascular disease;
- maintain a good level of energy and good vitality.
Coconut oil: a slimming and healthy superfood?
In fact, even though using coconut oil for weight loss can have some advantages, it is essential to be very careful. This product remains a major source of lipids which, consumed in excess, can have many negative effects on health.
Among other things, an excess of coconut oil could promote weight gain and the development of body fat. Some studies highlight the fact that moderate consumption of coconut oil does not promote fat storage, which does not mean that it allows you to lose weight.
Coconut oil, to be consumed in moderation
If coconut oil can increase the level of good cholesterol (HDL Cholesterol), its consumption also increases the level of bad cholesterol (LDL Cholesterol) in the same way as the lipids contained in butter or cold cuts.
Finally, the effects of coconut oil on inflammatory processes and in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases remain to be demonstrated. For good reason, the conclusions of the studies remain for the moment too vague to be able to draw precise information.
Coconut oil is therefore not a slimming superfood and its consumption must remain moderate and controlled to avoid the health disadvantages of overconsumption of this fat.
However, a small consumption is absolutely not to be avoided. On the contrary, it is considered that the balance is found above all in the diversity of food sources.
How to use coconut oil in cooking?
Integrating coconut oil into your diet for weight loss purposes is quite possible. For this, here are some preparations in which coconut oil can be slipped subtly:
- fried vegetables;
- Vegetable and chicken curry;
- Homemade spreads;
- Salad dressings;