Coconut oil is a fatty acid that has a slimming effect. It contains a unique combination of fatty acids that have a great effect on metabolism.
The research results show that if you add coconut oil to your diet, you can effectively reduce fat, especially the “dangerous” fat in the abdominal cavity.
So how does coconut oil reduce belly fat?
Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, which are fatty acids that promote metabolism
The fatty acids of coconut oil are different from those of most edible oils.
Most foods contain long-chain fatty acids, but coconut oil consists almost entirely of medium-chain fatty acids. These medium-chain fatty acids are metabolized differently than long-chain fatty acids, and they are sent directly from the digestive tract to the liver, where they are either converted to energy or become ketone bodies.
In the treatment of ketones in patients with epilepsy or Alzheimer’s disease, these fats are often used to increase ketone levels (1). Through experiments on animals, the results show that the probability of medium-chain fatty acids staying in the body and converting into fat is lower than that of long-chain fatty acids.
In one study, one group of mice was over-fed with long-chain fatty acids and one group was over-fed with medium-chain fatty acids. Mice fed medium-chain fat gained 20% less weight than long-chain fatty acids and had a 23% reduction in body fat (2).
Summary: Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids, and medium-chain fatty acids are metabolized differently than long-chain fatty acids, which are good for metabolism.
How coconut oil promotes metabolism, which also burns calories at rest
Different foods have different metabolic pathways in the human body. The different types of food we eat can have a huge impact on our hormones and metabolic health. Some foods are metabolized more efficiently or faster than others, and some foods require more energy for digestion and metabolism.
One of the important properties of coconut oil is that it has a “heating” function. Compared to other fatty acids in the same calorie intake, coconut oil consumption increases energy consumption (burns fat) (3).
Studies have shown that daily consumption of 15-30 g (1-2 tablespoons) of medium-chain fatty acids increases energy expenditure by 5%, which means that they consume about 120 calories more per day (4).
Other studies have also confirmed that when people use MCT oil derived from coconut oil instead of the edible oil they eat, they burn more calories (5).
Therefore, the calories obtained from coconut oil are not the same as the calories in olive oil or butter, although the latter is also healthy.
Summary: Many studies have shown that medium-chain fatty acids can promote metabolism and increase energy consumption by 120 calories per day.
Coconut oil can reduce appetite, causing people to eat less inadvertently
“The key to losing weight is reducing calorie intake and increasing calorie consumption.” Although this conclusion is somewhat absolute, it is basically correct.
The more calories a person consumes, the more fat they burn. It is difficult to accurately calculate calorie intake in daily life.
Coconut oil has the effect of reducing appetite, so that people inadvertently reduce the intake of calories.
The results of the research show that the same amount of medium-chain fatty acids provides far greater satiety than long-chain fatty acids, which is why coconut oil naturally lowers calorie intake (6).
In addition, the metabolism of medium-chain fatty acids is also different from that of long-chain fatty acids. When you eat coconut oil, the liver produces ketone bodies, which can cause loss of appetite. (7, 8, 9)
Through an experiment conducted on six healthy men, the results showed that when they ingested large amounts of MCT oil, they could automatically reduce their intake of 256 calories per day (10).
In another experiment with 14 healthy men, the results showed that those who ate MCT oil for breakfast had significantly reduced their calorie intake during lunchtime. (11)
Summary: The experimental results show that adding medium-chain fatty acids to the daily diet can help people inadvertently reduce appetite and automatically reduce calorie intake.
Coconut oil can help lose weight, especially “dangerous” belly fat
Belly fat, also called visceral fat, usually accumulates around internal organs, causing inflammation, diabetes, and heart disease.
Any reduction in visceral fat may have a very positive effect on the health and longevity of metabolism and greatly reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
The results of the study showed that 40 women were divided into two groups. One group took 30 grams (2 tablespoons) of coconut oil, one group took in the same amount of soybean oil, and walked daily for 28 days.
The final result is:
Both groups lost their weight (about 2 pounds). In the coconut oil group, the waist circumference (fatty fat) decreased, while the soybean oil group had a slight increase in belly fat. (12)
The coconut oil group increased the level of high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol), while soybean oil lowered the level of high-density lipoprotein and increased the level of low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol). (Please note that cholesterol is not good and bad, high and low density lipoprotein imbalance will affect human health, in order to facilitate understanding with the word “good or bad”)
The above experimental results show that coconut oil does not cause more weight loss than soybean oil, but it can significantly reduce belly fat.
In another study on obese men, 30 grams of coconut oil were taken for 4 weeks and the waist circumference was reduced by 2.86 cm. (13)
There are other studies that show that medium-chain fatty acids can cause weight loss, waist circumference reduction, and improve the body’s metabolic health. (14, 15)
In addition to the obvious effect of reducing abdominal fat, the effect of coconut oil on other parts of the body is not obvious.
Therefore, coconut oil is suitable for those who achieve diet control through diet control.
Summary: Coconut intake has a good effect on reducing abdominal and visceral fat.
Coconut oil is fat. Every gram of fat must produce 9 calories. Coconut oil is no exception.
Therefore, if the calorie intake is fixed, and then add extra coconut oil, then it will only gain weight, not weight loss. So instead of adding extra fatty acids to your diet, use coconut oil instead of other cooking oils.
It is also important not to go to extremes. To get the benefits of coconut oil, add a lot of coconut oil to your diet. The above study of visceral fat reduction refers to using 30 grams per day, equivalent to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.
(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19049583 Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) ketogenic therapy.
(2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6849272 Overfeeding with medium-chain triglyceride diet results in diminished deposition of fat
(3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8654328 Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and urinary catecholamines of humans consuming low-to-moderate amounts of medium-chain triglycerides: a dose-response study In a human respiratory chamber
(4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12532160 Medium- versus long-chain triglycerides for 27 days increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure without resulting in changes in body composition in overweight women
(5)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12532160 Medium- versus long-chain triglycerides for 27 days increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure without resulting in changes in body composition in overweight women
(6)https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/132/3/329/4687297 Physiological Effects of Medium-Chain Triglycerides: Potential Agents in the Prevention of Obesity
(7)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23632752 Ketosis and appetite-mediating nutrients and hormones after weight loss
(8)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18175736 Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum
(9)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22357971 The ketone body β-hydroxybutyric acid influences agouti-related peptide expression via AMP-activated protein kinase in hypothalamic GT1-7 cells
(10)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8696422 Covert manipulation of the ratio of medium- to long-chain triglycerides in isoenergetically dense diets: effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men
(11)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9701177 Influence of medium-chain and long-chain triacylglycerols on the control of food intake in men
(12)https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11745-009-3306-6 Effects of Dietary Coconut Oil on the Biochemical and Anthropometric Profiles of Women Presenting Abdominal Obesity
(13)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3226242/ An Open-Label Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Virgin Coconut Oil in Reducing Visceral Adiposity
(14)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20473577 Medium- and long-chain triacylglycerols reduce body fat and blood triacylglycerols in hypertriacylglycerolemic, overweight but not obese, Chinese individuals
(15)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19786383 A good response to oil with medium- and long-chain fatty acids in body fat and blood lipid profiles of male hypertriglyceridemic subjects.