Coconut oil is one of those foods that gets a lot of attention and sparks a lot of debates. While some health experts call it a superfood with a unique combination of fatty acids that support wellness, others have gone so far as to label coconut oil “poison.” How can you tell who to believe?
Well, like so many heated debates, the reality is somewhere in the middle. It is true that populations that eat a lot of it tend have a lower incidence of heart disease than those that don’t. However, it is also true that coconut oil contains about 80% saturated fat, more than even red meat at 50% saturated fat. Too much saturated fat in the diet leads to cardiovascular issues, including heart disease.
It’s really the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil that provide the health benefits. Once you understand how these behave in the body, you can decide if a daily coconut oil regimen is right for you. We’ll break down the good and the not-so-good things that can happen to your body if you eat coconut oil every day.
1. Increased Fat Burning
The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) in coconut oil are credited with increasing the number of calories you can burn. One study found that ingesting 15-30 grams of MCTs each day bumps up energy expenditure (calorie burn) by 5%.
When you’re trying to shed pounds, any extra burn can help. And that’s the key to making the best of a diet high in MCTs – it has to be done in conjunction with a reduction in carbs and even better, an exercise regimen.