A study from Brazil suggests that two tablespoons a day of coconut oil can not only help you drop inches, it can also raise protective, HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
I’ve sung the praises of coconut oil for a long time. The fat in coconut oil- a form of saturated fat known as MCT (medium chain triglycerides)– is among the healthiest fat in the world. It contains fatty acids such as lauric acid and caprylic acid known to be anti-viral and anti-microbal. And medium-chain-triglycerides are more likely to be burned for energy than stored as fat, leading to their popularity in the bodybuilding community.
But the actual ability of coconut oil to help with weight loss has not been thoroughly investigated.
In the present study, 40 women aged 20-40 years old with abdominal obesity were given daily dietary supplements of either soybean oil or coconut oil over the course of 12 weeks. All subjects followed a “balanced” diet with the same number of calories and were told to walk for 50 minutes a day.
By the end of the study, the coconut oil group had significantly higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol and an improved LDL: HDL ratio. While both the soybean oil group and the coconut oil group had similar reductions in BMI, only the coconut oil group saw a reduction in the circumference of their waists. (Meanwhile, for the record, the soybean oil group saw their HDL go down and their cholesterol ratio go up!)
A very interesting- and unexpected- finding, was that those consuming the coconut oil spontaneously reduced their consumption of carbohydrates and increased their consumption of protein and fiber over the course of the study.
“Supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity”, write the researchers.
For my money, the best coconut oil on the market is Barlean’s extra-virgin organic coconut oil. It’s inexpensive, organic, and comes from hand-selected coconuts. I use it for everything, including sautéing vegetables and making eggs.