Coconut Oil for Weight Loss and Thyroid
When it comes to using coconut oil for weight loss, it is not just another fad diet. There is science behind why it helps burn fat and we'll look at some of that below.
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The first thing to understand, as I described in Coconut Oil Benefits, not all saturated fats are created equal.
Unfortunately due to an aggressive advertising campaign run in the 80's by soybean farmers looking to increase their market share, we've come to believe that ALL saturated fats are unhealthy for us. But this is only true of long-chain fatty acids, not short- or medium-chain fatty acids.
Remember: Fats are NOT the same as fatty acids!
Using coconut oil for weight loss is beneficial because the oil consists primarily of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), the kind that are not only good for you, but essential for brain function, muscle function (including heart muscle!), healing, energy and more.
Coconut oil doesn't raise blood glucose levels and it is processed immediately by the body and turned into energy. It isn't stored in the body where it can be turned into fat. For this reason it boosts the metabolic rate. The MCFA's don't even require pancreatic digestive enzymes to break them down. According to Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. in his book The Coconut Oil Miracle, the metabolic rate stays elevated for at least 24 hours after eating, meaning more energy and fat burning throughout your day.
Coconut Oil for Weight Loss and Thyroid
Due to poor testing of the thyroid many people suffer from poor thyroid function (hypothyroidism) and don't even know it. When your thyroid is sluggish you can't lose weight no matter how little you eat.
Symptoms of a sluggish thyroid are:
- Weight issues
- Cold hands and feet
- Low body temperature
- Depression and anxiety
- Insomnia and other sleep problems
- Dry skin and brittle nails
- Allergies and asthma
- Hair loss
Unsaturated oils block protein digestion in the stomach which can leave us malnourished even while eating healthy foods striving for weight loss. Changes in hormones caused by unsaturated fats can damage the thyroid. They can also block thyroid hormone secretion and its regular functions through the circulatory system, and tissues in the body.
Refined unsaturated vegetable oils suppress thyroid function and can cause weight gain. Coconut oil is not unsaturated and doesn't have these negative effects on thyroid function. Instead, coconut oil helps the thyroid gland to function normally, and it helps people meet and stay at their ideal weight. Coconut oil also stimulates metabolism therefore promoting weight loss.
In 2009, a study was conducted on women with abdominal obesity and the effects of coconut oil supplementation. Forty women, from age 20 to 40 years who had a waist circumference greater than 34.6 inches, received a daily dietary supplement of either 30 mL of coconut oil or 30 mL of soybean oil. The study lasted 12 weeks. Upon completion of the 12 weeks only the coconut oil group had a reduction in waist circumference. The coconut oil group experienced no changes in cholesterol levels, but the soybean oil group experienced a decrease in HDL levels and an increase in both LDL levels and LDL:HDL ratios. The scientists concluded that coconut oil does not cause high cholesterol and triglycerides. This study demonstrated that the women taking coconut oil had a reduction in abdominal obesity while taking coconut oil.1
A previous study in 2003 observed whether a diet containing medium and long chain triglycerides (MLCT) like those found in coconut oil could decrease accumulation of body fat in a group of healthy people. The study lasted 12 weeks. The participants in the MLCT group were given bread for breakfast daily, made with 14 g of MLCT containing 1.7 g medium-chain fatty acids. The control group was given bread made with long-chain triacylglycerols (LCT). Upon completion the subjects experienced significant decreases of body weight in the MLCT group. As well as a decrease in serum total cholesterol was noted in the MLCT group compared with that of the LCT group. The scientists concluded that the daily consumption of MLCTs could reduce serum total cholesterol and could cause a reduction in body weight as well as accumulation of body fat.2
How to Use Coconut Oil for Weight Loss and Thyroid
The easiest way to start using coconut oil for weight loss is by eating it by the spoonful. Use a small amount until your body gets used to it.
To get a good amount of medium chain fatty acids researchers recommend adults consume about 3 1/2 tablespoons spread throughout the day. The easiest way to use it is to replace the unhealthy oils you may currently be using.
Where to Find the Healthiest Coconut Oil
The healthiest coconut oil for weight loss or thyroid is one that isn't heated in processing and is organic. The higher the quality of oil, the more properties and benefits you'll receive.
This is why we love and support our affiliate, Tropical Traditions. They offer so much research and information and many more natural, organic products for your health. Just poke around their site and you'll see what I mean.
Plus, new customers who purchase through our affiliate link here get a free book!
Their book, Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people's lives, and how it can change yours, includes the research behind coconut oil benefits, over 100 testimonials from coconut oil users and over 85 recipes to incorporate these health benefits into your life easily.
April Sheets is a peaceful parenting, babywearing and unschooling mom of three, an alternative medicine and natural immunity advocate, and raw food loving, juicing enthusiast. She is a lactivist, intactivist woman "altruistically trying to save the world from itself." Learn more from Sheets at Primitive Mommy: Instinctual Eating, Parenting and Living.