With our huge diet and fitness frenzy, everyone seems to be trying to incorporate coconut oil into their diet. But should they?
Coconut oil is not a miracle fat, but has been touted for its many potential uses: preserving lean body mass, decreasing body fat, nutritional support for athletic training, improving absorption and antiviral properties.
Some research has shown that it can aid in decreasing waist circumference, increasing energy expenditure and even reducing trunk mass (1-5).
These studies have limitations, and of course more research is needed.
The bottom line is that it is a fat, and should be treated as a fat; eaten in moderation, while it replaces other fats in your diet. There can certainly be space for it in your diet, and as more research emerges, more health professional may be willing to change their position on this tasty oil.
Here is a quick and easy recipe to get you started:
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. agave syrup
|Place ingredients in a small bowl.|
|Mix well until well combined.|
|Spread on whole grain toast, bagels, French toast, pancakes (you get the picture). Top with grated coconut just for fun.|
Check out these articles for more information:
1. Liau KM, Lee YY, Chen KC, Rasol AHG. An open label pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of virgin coconut oil in reducing visceral adiposity.ISRN Pharmacology. 2011;1-7.
2. Ogawa A, Nosaka N, Kasai M, Aoyama T, Okazaki M, Igarashi O, Kondo K. Dietary medium and long chain triacylglycerols accelerate diet induced thermogenesis in humans. J of Oleo Science. 2007; 56:283-287.
3. St-Onge MP, Bosarge A. Weight loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. American J of Clinical Nutrition. 2008; 87:621-626.
4.Onge MP, Bourque C, Jones PJH, Ross R, Parsons WE. Medium versus long chain triglycerides for 27 days increases fat oxidation and energy expenditure without resulting in changes in body composition in overweight women. International J of Obesity. 2003;27:95-102.
5. Clark M. Once a villain, coconut oil charms the health food world. New York Times. March 1, 2011.