As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist I’m often asked, “What can I eat to lose weight?” I know it’s shocking but my answer always includes eating healthy fats like coconut oil. Too often, people associate eating fat with being fat. Which isn’t the case at all! Healthy fats are essential for nutrient absorption, muscle growth and increasing satiety which means more fat loss. What’s even more special about coconut oil is that most foods contain long chain fatty acids, whereas coconut oil consists mostly of medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s).
So what’s so special about these medium chain triglycerides when it comes to weight loss? Simply put, they metabolize differently than the longer chain fatty acids. The MCT fats found in coconut oil break down quicker to be used as energy rather than being stored as fat compared to the long chain fatty acids found in most other fats, including olive oil. Studies show that people that consumed MCT oil lost more than double the amount of weight than those that consumed olive oil apart of a calorie controlled diet.
Coconut oil has even more proven weight loss benefits! MCT’s found in coconut oil…
- Have 2.6% few calories per gram compared to other fats. It doesn’t sound too drastic but all calories add up over the days, weeks, and months which can contribute to weight gain.
- Require more energy to digest which leads to increased energy expenditure and a faster metabolism.
- May suppress appetite since fats tend to keep us fuller longer. Which means less food intake over the course of the day.
Include coconut oil in your weight loss plan by spreading it on whole grain toast and sprinkling cinnamon on top or add it to your favorite smoothie. My favorite green smoothie recipe can be found below:
- ½ fresh avocado
- ½ banana
- 4 oz. frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1-2 handful fresh baby spinach
- ½ Tbsp. coconut oil
Method: Place all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth and enjoy!
-Megen L. Erwine RDN, LDN