Curejoy Expert Dipti Mothay Explains:
Coconut oil is naturally present in coconut meat (higher amounts in mature coconuts) and is extracted using a variety of processes. The oil is also available in solid form (known as coconut butter). Coconut milk, created by mixing grated coconut meat with water, also contains coconut oil. Coconut oil, milk and flesh (wet and dry forms) are widely included in traditional cuisines across Asia, South America and the Caribbean.
Though coconut oil has high saturated fat content, it is said to be good for weight loss. That’s because coconut oil has a uniquely high proportion (about 65%) of Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) or Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT).
According to Medium Chain Triglycerides: An Update, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
- MCTs are transported, absorbed and digested more easily as compared to Long Chain Triglycerides
- MCTs are oxidized rapidly and have low tendency to deposit as body fat
- MCTs are a source of abundant and rapidly available energy
Coconut oil is also naturally sweet with a low percentage of fructose and higher percentage of glucose. Excessive fructose consumption has been linked with increase in belly fat, cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease. As per this study conducted by Lane MD at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore,US, because they are metabolized in different ways, fructose increases food intake whereas glucose suppresses food intake.
Given its unique combination of beneficial sugars and fats, coconut oil therefore, lends itself very well for inclusion in weight loss diets. Here are a few ways in which you can add the weight-loss benefits of coconut oil to your diet:
One of our experts, Julie Pecarski suggests including some Toasted Coconut Butter in your daily diet:
- Add a few scoops to a smoothie for a nutty, creamy texture and taste
- Use as a naturally sweetened dip for fruit or veggies
- Spread on top of toast with a little bit of coconut oil
- Just eat by the spoonful
Coconut butter is also a great option for those who are looking to add nutrition and taste to a gluten-free, dairy-free diet. Check out this Vegan Strawberry Bars recipe which heroes coconut butter!
With its subtle aroma and taste and silken texture, coconut milk makes for a great base for all kinds of pastes, gravies and curries. Its no surprise that coconut milk is a staple of coastal cuisine across the world. There is plenty of scope for innovation too – take this vegan coconut hummus recipe, for instance.
Coconut flour is a soft flour produced from dried coconut meat. It can be used as a gluten-free, fiber-rich and protein-rich alternative to traditional grain-based flours. Try baking your crepes, cakes and bread with these Healthy Recipes using Coconut Flour.
If you are feeling lazy, shredding is the way to go. Shred a generous portion of fresh or dried coconut meat on top of your vegetable or rice preparations to add that sweet, crunchy element with all the benefits of coconut oil thrown in.
- Coconut oil doesn’t oxidize as quickly as other oils (e.g. olive oil) and is therefore safe for cooking at high temperatures. Heat up a handful of spices (curry leaves are a traditional favorite) in a spoonful of coconut oil and add this mixture to your curries, gravies or salads to get a burst of aromatic flavor.
- Drizzle some coconut oil on your salads. Alternate with olive oil to get your supply of all the good fats your body needs.
- Take a tablespoon of coconut oil twice a day around meal times.
- Add hot water or herbal tea to a tablespoon or two of coconut oil in a mug. Stir it well and consume regularly.
- Take some lemon juice in a glass. Add a teaspoon of organic coconut oil and fill the glass with warm water and stir it well. Sip it slowly, early in the morning on daily basis.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of green tea leaves, hot water and coconut oil in a glass. Steep it for few minutes and strain the tea. Sip it slowly and regularly.