Does coconut oil burn fat

Does coconut oil burn fat? (working title)

If there is one debate that has latest decades, it’s the healthy fat debate. 30 years ago, it was frowned upon to eat saturated fats, particularly those from animals. This was thought to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease in efforts to reduce cholesterol. Now, In 2014, the latest saturated fat to enter the debate is not from animal origin, but from the plant kingdom. That oil is coconut oil. 

High in calories (as all fats are), and particularly high in saturated fats, Coconut Oil is was often thought to be an unhealthy fat. But are these claims true? And what does the traditional and scientific information bring us?

To start from the beginning, I’d like to share that I do not believe that fat is particularly “unhealthy”. Although some from the dietetic circles will argue otherwise, fat and even healthy levels of cholesterol are in fact needed for normal biological process. These include hormone production, storage of energy and cell membrane function. Although fats are the highest in calories when compare to proteins and carbohydrates, reducing your overall calorie load, increasing plant intake and also exercise are the best for weight loss (read more here). 

Fats are not unhealthy.

But some are healthier than others. 

Low fat products have been marketed for years in order to trick you. They really should include “high in sugar” which is far more honest, however sugar is far more dangerous that simple honest fats. Olive, avocado oil and fish oil are wonderfully good for you. Unprocessed, these plant oils are high in mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated oils. 

But what of unsatured fats? 

Most people associate saturated fats with the animal kingdom.

Until now.

Coming from the tropics, Coconut Oil is gaining popular interest with health stores and now pharmacies selling kgs worth. There is a difference in how the saturated fats from coconut oil or meat are processed. 

Fats come in chains, short medium or long chains. The chains of fats in beef, chicken or pork are long chains of saturated fats. However Coconut Oil contains medium and short chains of saturated fats. These beware differently in the body to long chain fatty acids and can affect things such as weight loss, energy production and heart disease.

Because it is medium chain fatty acid, when coconut oil is eaten it is not taken to the body and stored which it may be for say, beef. Coconut oil is though, taken to the liver and stored as energy.

Coconut oil produces energy, not fat. 

What this means is that coconut oil increases your metabolic rate. This is because when the oil is burned as energy for metabolism, it uses energy in this process. This may contribute to weight loss. As long as the calories taken in are not more than energy burned out. 

Coconut oil can be part of a weight loss program. 

But only part.

Coconut oil is also far more stable than other oils, reducing free radical damage. This has benefits on other areas, including heart disease.  Coconut oil also has a lower calorie load than other oils, even though it tastes just as good and also has benefits such as anti-viral properties. 

This is to name but a few of the benefits of coconut oil, which was known in the tropical islands as “the tree of life”.  We know understand many of these benefits first hand, and can understand why the fruit was, and now is worship.

Your’s in health,

Final:

By Jeremy Brown

Naturopath & educator

Advanced Diploma of Naturopathy

Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

The fat debate

If there is one debate that has latest decades, it’s the fat debate. 30 years ago, it was frowned upon to eat saturated fats, particularly those from animals. This was thought to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce weight. Now, In 2014, the latest saturated fat to enter the debate is not from animal origin; but from the plant kingdom.

That oil is coconut oil

High in calories (as all fats are), and particularly high in saturated fats, coconut oil is was often thought to be an unhealthy fat, but does coconut oil increase weight or reduce weight?

 Coconut oil and fat burning

To start, I’d like to share that I do not believe that fats are particularly “unhealthy”. Although some will argue otherwise, fats and healthy levels of cholesterol are in fact needed for normal biological process. These include hormone production, storage of energy and cell membrane function. Although fats are the highest in calories when compare to proteins and carbohydrates, reducing your overall calorie load, increasing plant intake and also exercise are the best for weight loss (read more here).

Fats are not necessarily unhealthy

But some are healthier than others

Low fat products in the supermarket

Low fat products have been marketed in order to trick you. They say low fat, which many think “fat loss”. Really should include “high in sugar” which is far more honest. Sugar is far more dangerous that simple honest fats. Olive, avocado oil and fish oil are wonderfully good for you. Unprocessed, plant oils are high in mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated oils.

Low fat products are not “low weight”, but are actually high in sugar

Where coconut oil fits into the picture

Most people associate saturated fats such as those in coconut oil with the animal kingdom. Coming from the tropics, coconut oil is gaining popular interest with the public. Pharmacies and health food stores are selling kgs worth. Though there is a difference in how the saturated fats from coconut oil or meat are processed in your body.

Saturated fats from coconut oil vs meat are processed differently in our bodies

Fats come in chains; short, medium or long. The chains of fats in beef, chicken or pork are long chains. Coconut Oil though contains medium and short chains of saturated fats. These can affect things such as weight loss, energy production and heart disease.

Not all saturated fats are the same

Because it is medium chain fatty acid, when coconut oil is eaten it is not taken in and stored as fat which it may be for say, beef. coconut oil is though, taken to the liver and stored as energy. 

Coconut oil produces energy, not fat

What this means is that coconut oil increases your metabolic rate. This is important because when the oil is burned as energy for metabolism, it also uses energy in this process. This may contribute to weight loss. As long as the calories taken in are not more than energy burned out.

Coconut oil can be part of a weight loss program

But only part

Coconut oil is also far more stable than other oils, reducing free radical damage. This has benefits on other areas, including heart disease.  Coconut oil also has a lower calorie load than other oils, even though it tastes just as good and also has benefits such as anti-viral properties.

Coconut oil tastes amazing and has many benefits

This is to name but a few of the benefits of coconut oil, which was known in the tropical islands as “the tree of life”.  We know understand many of these benefits first hand, and can understand why the fruit was, and now is worship.

Enjoy it today! 

This advice is of a general nature, if you are require detailed advice on Nutrition or weight loss, click here.

Yours in health,

Jeremy Brown

| Naturopath | Educator | Writer | 

Supporting evidence:

Fife, B., 2013. The coconut oil miracle 5e. Piccadilly books: Colorado Springs: CO

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