Health Benefits Of Consuming Coconut Oil

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Even though it was previously shunned by the health and wellness community for high saturated fat, coconut oil has experienced an increase in sales. It can be found not only in specialty health food stores, but at most local grocers as well.

Cardiovascular disease

In a clinical trial, 40 participants were given either 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or 2 tablespoons of soybean oil once a day for 12 weeks. The soybean oil group saw their HDL (good cholesterol) go down and their LDL (bad) go up, both markers of an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The coconut oil group did not experience a significant change in their cholesterol numbers but were more likely to have higher HDL levels.

Diabetes

Diets high in MCTs (65% of coconut oil’s makeup) have shown to improve glucose tolerance and reduce body fat when compared to diets high in LCTs. MCFAs have also been shown to preserve insulin action in, and insulin resistance in rat studies.

Coconut oil may also improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics. Researchers observed that study participants who followed a diet in which 40% of calories came from fat, comprised either of mostly MCTs or of LCTs, the MCT group improved insulin-mediated glucose metabolism by 30% when compared with the LCT group.

Weight loss

In the coconut oil versus soybean oil study, both groups lost weight however only the coconut oil group saw a decrease in waist size.

Another study had participants consume 18-24 g of MCTs per day as part of a 16-week weight-loss program, which resulted in more weight loss and fat loss when compared to olive oil. When compared with other fats, coconut oil contains 2.6% fewer calories. However, all high-fat foods and oils are calorically dense and adding in more calorically dense food to a diet already ample in calories will not result in weight loss.


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