By Mel Batterman
It seems daily I have people contacting me about my thoughts on coconut oil… Is it a good oil? I am sure that you have seen coconut oil be more prominent in nutrition articles and other nutritional information. You may have also seen in be incorporated into nutritional shake recipes and specific nutritional plans.
Since I get questions often and there is so much information flooding all aspects of media, I thought I should set a few things straight by providing some proper information.
Coconut Oil…Is It a Good Oil?
Coconut oil is one of the only oils that could be classified under the “Superfood” Category. Coconut oil has a unique combination of fatty acids, which have been found to have positive effects on the body, brain function, and more.
In the past coconut oil has been classified as not being a nutritionally sound food because it is 90% saturated fat. Recently studies have changed this thought process because these saturated fatty acids are so different from the standard saturated fats found in red meat, cheeses, and other high saturated fat foods.
The saturated fats in coconut oil are actually MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglycerides). Since they are medium versus long, like most other saturated fats the body processes and metabolizes this fat differently. Which means that when digested they go directly to the liver to be used at energy versus being processed just as a fat that could potentially cause artery clogging issues.
Knowing that coconut oil metabolizes into energy and may potentially increase your overall energy expenditure by 5% over a 24 hour period makes this oil a cut above the rest. Research has also suggested that this overall heightened energy expenditure may help the body burn off more stored fats both in the adipose tissue (external fat), as well as the visceral fat (internal fat).
Another interesting feature that has been found with coconut oil is that is seems to have a hunger suppressant quality to it. In a recent study done of men consuming a teaspoon of coconut oil at breakfast per day over a fourteen day period, found that on average their consumption of calories decreased by 256 calories per day.
Both of these studies can be very promising when many nutritional plans are starting to implement coconut oil into the overall plan.
The truth is coconut oil can really provide some extra advantages when added appropriately to your nutritional plan, and is clearly a much better oil choice overall for cooking and consumption.
These reasons and more is why you may see coconut oil in some of our Beachbody nutrition programs that are associated with some of our top fitness programs. A couple of examples of programs that you will see coconut oil in the nutrition plan is the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme. In the 3-Day shred portion of the 21 day fix, coconut oil is consumed 4-5 times per day. In the 21 Day Fix Extreme Count Down to Competition you will see coconut oil as a part of the program daily.