Eat Fat to Lose Fat!

. . .  especially coconut oil


As everyone is all too aware, Americans continue to get fatter and fatter despite our national obsession with low-fat diets and diet foods. Heavy people are particularly fearful of fat. Yet eating more fat can actually help in an effort to lose excess weight. Fats provide satiety, so even though fat is high in calories, you may wind up eating fewer calories overall. Fats also help to stabilize blood sugar. As fat consumption has decreased in the American diet, carbohydrate consumption has gone up, especially sugar and other refined carbohydrates. Perhaps the leading cause of obesity and overweight is blood-sugar disregulation caused by excessive and refined carbohydrate consumption.

Sources for healthy fats include real olive oil, fish and fish oils, flax oil, Udo’s choice, ghee (clarified butter), nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconut oil.

Coconut oil in particular helps to maintain a healthy weight and lose excess fat. In fact in 2002 it was recommended to prevent and treat obesity by scientists at McGill University. This team of researchers reviewed the scientific literature on coconut oil and weight loss and concluded that coconut oil increases energy, metabolism and thermogenesis (calorie burning), while it decreases food consumption (from reduced appetite), body fat and body weight. They found that you could lose up to 36 pounds a year just by using coconut oil in place of your regular oil, even if calorie consumption stayed the same!

People are sometimes surprised to find coconut oil on my list of healthy fats. Isn’t it a saturated fat? And hasn’t it been shown to cause heart disease?

Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat, but it’s unlike most saturated fats, which are found in the form of long-chain triglycerides. Coconut oil is made up primarily of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Because they’re shorter, MCTs are much easier to digest, and their physiological effects are quite different. MCTs are rapidly absorbed and quickly burned as energy; they are much more apt to provide high levels of energy, and much less likely to become stored as fat or contribute to arterial plaque.

Coconut oil was unfairly implicated in heart disease some time ago, and although studies since have found coconut oil innocent of causing heart problems, old rumors die hard. While saturated fat in the form of long-chain triglycerides is associated with heart risk, MCTs are not. One 2008 study, again at McGill, found coconut oil similar to olive oil (known for being a heart-healthy oil) in its effects on heart disease risk factors when each was used with a different group of dieters following a weight-loss program.

Of course if you get an incorrectly made coconut oil, all bets are off. Like any other oil, coconut oil must be handled properly to maintain its integrity and wholesomeness. Otherwise it can become just one more toxic, processed oil that is detrimental to health. To be sure you’re getting a high-quality coconut oil, buy yours at Beyond Health.

If you have blood sugar problems, and if you’re overweight, it’s safe to assume that you do, intersperse your fat servings throughout the day. For example, have an EFA Formula capsule with each meal, Udo’s Choice in a green smoothie at breakfast, olive oil on a salad for lunch, coconut oil with steamed vegetables for dinner and a tablespoon of cod liver oil before bed.  Snack on nuts, seeds, slices of fruit spread with coconut oil or dehydrated crackers spread with either coconut oil or avocado slices. By consuming small amounts of healthy fat throughout the day, you’ll keep your blood sugar stable and your appetite under control.

St-Onge M-P. Physiological effects of medium-chain triglycerides: potential agents in the prevention of obesity.  Journal of Nutrition. 2002 Mar;132(3):329-332.
St-Onge M-P. Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) consumption as part of a weight loss diet does not lead to an adverse metabolic profile when compared to olive oil.  Journal of the American College of Nutrition. October 2008;27((5):547-552.
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2 thoughts on “Eat Fat to Lose Fat!

  1. Ever since Raymond Francis told me about the benefits of coconut oil (many years ago), I have used it as a staple in my diet. I make 3 to 4 green drinks a week (for four people) and always put two tbls. in each batch. Often I spead it on toast. I also put a dollop on top of a bowl of fruit with Greek yogurt for an occasional dessert treat. I love the way coconut oil tastes. I have used Beyond Health’s coconut oil for years.

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