Currently, one of the most significant health problems in the world population are changes in weight, such as overweight and obesity. These disorders can increase the risk of suffering from other types of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases or type 2 diabetes. That is why a large number of people look for diets aimed at losing weight, to achieve an adequate weight that cannot cause damage to their health in the medium and long term.
Within these diets there are experts who advise including certain foods that can provide extra help. But there are also some products that can create confusion, since depending on the professional, it is considered beneficial to include in the diet or, on the contrary, it is classified as harmful to achieve the goal of losing weight. One of the foods that causes these doubts in a large number of people is coconut oil.
Properties and composition of coconut oil
In order for us to understand why coconut oil helps or hinders weight loss, it is necessary to analyze its composition and characteristics.
Coconut oil is a source of fat, as are other oils, such as olive, sunflower or corn. And yes, all of these products provide the same amount of calories per gram: 9. No matter which one you choose, they will all give you the same energy. So, why are there professionals who recommend that we take olive or sunflower oil, before coconut or palm oil? They defend that the first two are healthier than the rest, but they are not based on the number of calories, but on the composition of each one.
Olive oil is rich in unsaturated fats. These types of fats are considered beneficial for health, since they are essential for our body to function properly (provided they are taken in moderation) and help prevent certain heart diseases, also lowering LDL cholesterol (also called bad, because it accumulates in the arteries). That is why it is advisable to use this oil over palm or coconut oil, which contain saturated fats, which do accumulate as fat in our body, increasing LDL cholesterol.
But it is necessary to indicate that, despite the fact that coconut oil is made up of saturated fats, the molecules are presented in a medium chain, not in a long one as saturated fats usually appear. In this way they will not be stored as is normally the case with this type of fat, but instead go directly to the liver, to be used as an energy source.
Coconut oil to lose weight: YES or NO
Indeed, coconut oil can be a good complement to a diet aimed at losing weight, but always using it in a moderate way and including it within healthy eating habits. This product has certain characteristics that can be beneficial in reducing body weight.
First of all, it is considered a food with satiating properties. This means that its consumption in a moderate way, a spoonful a day for example, causes us to be less hungry during the ingestions that we make later. If we include a little of this oil in food, we will not have that feeling of hunger and anxiety at snack time and dinner, so it will be more difficult for us to eat more than we should in both.
There are a large number of studies that support that coconut oil is a food that can slightly influence our metabolism, increasing it. In this way, the number of calories we burn per day will be greater. Products that have this characteristic are called thermogenic.
How to include coconut oil to lose weight?
It is essential that you include coconut oil in a healthy way in your weight loss diet. Do not take an example of some recommendations that can be very harmful to your health, such as taking two tablespoons of coconut oil on an empty stomach and not eating anything else until lunch or snack time. This food is a complement to meals, not a substitute.
We advise you to add it to your salads (a tablespoon or one and a half), as it will give it a different and more tropical flavor. Also to your sautéed vegetables and chicken. Take advantage of its sweet touch and add foods such as pineapple to your kitchen, daring to make some turkey and pineapple tacos seasoned with coconut oil. You can also use it in your rice with curry. You have many ways to include this food in your diet.