Coconut oil has been all the rage lately, and for good reason. Not only is coconut oil tasty and a great replacement for other oils or fats such as butter, it has a wide variety of health benefits that range from weight loss to a better immune system.
Luckily, you don’t have to eat much of this superfood a day to reap its many benefits. Having just one tablespoon a day can have powerful effects, including these five health benefits that have been proven by science.
1. It Can Increase Your Energy
Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) fatty acids, which unlike other longer-chain fatty acids, are used directly for energy rather than stored as fat. Studies have found that these types of fatty acids can increase energy expenditure by 5 percent in a 24-hour period.
2. It Can Boost Your Immune System
Lauric acid, one of the major components of coconut oil, helps naturally fight off bacteria and viruses in your body, including candida and the flu.
3. It Can Help Keep Your Appetite At Bay
MCTs are also responsible for suppressing appetite, as studies have found that people who consume breakfasts high in MCTs end up eating fewer calories at lunch. Eating foods high in fat can help keep you satiated, and this seems to be the case with coconut oil.
4. It Can Improve Cholesterol Levels
The type of saturated fat in coconut oil actually improves good cholesterol levels (HDL) while lowering bad cholesterol levels (LDL). Studies have found that consuming coconut oil over something like soybean oil reduced bad cholesterol and even helped fight obesity.
5. It Can Help Burn Fat
It may sound counterintuitive that consuming fat can actually help burn fat, but eating coconut oil can help reduce abdominal fat as well as waist circumference. Additionally, MCTs have been found to be more successful at fat reduction than fats found in other types of oil.
A Watch Out
Remember, too much of anything isn’t always a good thing. Coconut oil is high in calories and too much of it can hinder your weight and fat loss. Just three teaspoons of coconut oil contains 117 calories, so as with anything, use in moderation.