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Coconut Oil: 5 reasons to include it in your diet

There’s no denying people are continuing to go loco for coconut oil.  No longer considered to be an artery-clogging fat, we now know coconut oil is actually amazing for our bodies! Coconut oil is metabolised differently to traditional saturated fats thanks to it’s medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs) and can have positive effects in enhancing the absorption of minerals and amino acids (protein).

So what does consuming MCFA fats in coconut oil mean for your body?

1. Boosted Metabolism

A study reported in the Journal of Nutrition found that coconut oil boosts metabolism. Researchers found that participants who consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil per day burned more kilojoules than those who consumed less. A speedy metabolism helps boost the body's immune system and keep weight off.


2. Weight management

The special fatty acids found in coconut oil are used to produce energy rather than packed into fat cells, so it can be awesome for those wanting to manage their weight. The fatty acids in coconut oil can also reduce appetite, which may positively affect body weight over time.

A 2009 study looked at the weight loss link between women's consumption of coconut oil and found that it reduces abdominal obesity. Researchers discovered coconut oil is easy to digest and also protects the body from insulin resistance. To try coconut oil for weight loss, start by adding one teaspoon to your diet and gradually work your way up to four teaspoons per day.


3. Immunity Booster

Coconut oil contains antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral prosperities to boost the immune system. One of the MCFA’s in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is known to kill bacteria and viruses. It can also help to prevent future infections. Fatty acids in coconut oil contain anti microbial properties, which have a soothing affect on bacteria, candida, or parasites that cause poor digestion. It has also been found to benefit digestive disorders including irritable bowel syndrome and microbial related tummy bugs.


4. Stops sweet cravings

Instead of reaching for the lollie jar for an afternoon sweet hit, try eating a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil to beat sugar cravings or try a delicious ball made with a Fit Foodie Protein Ball Mix.

Good quality fat is more satiating than carbs, so if you cut down on sugar you will feel less 'ravenous'. Most of us do not realize but constant hunger is a major clue that your body is not being fed correctly.  With the proper amounts of fats and protein, you can fuel your energy reserves properly, and come off the sugar roller coaster that many of us are on.


5. Increased Energy

MCFAs are easily digested by the body. As a result, our body can metabolise these fats in the liver, immediately coverting them into energy to fuel for the brain and muscle function, rather than storing it as fat. Adding coconut oil into your diet can help keep you alert and give you an energy boost to help with daily activities.


Stuck for how to use it in your diet?

Check out the recipes below:

Vanilla & Coconut Protein Ball Mix
Vanilla & Coconut Protein Ball Mix

Cacao, Cherry, Maca-Tahini Cups
Cacao, Cherry and Maca-Tahini Cups

Sally O'Neil - Editor in Chief

Sal is on a mission to prove that healthy and nutritious doesn’t have to be boring – and that even while staying in shape you can have your cake and eat it too. After losing 14kg from adopting a healthier lifestyle, she shares her journey with others on The Fit Foodie Blog. She also works as a commercial food photographer and stylist, is studying a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, and is the author of two cookbooks: Love Move Eat (Bauer Media, 2017) and Meal Prep Plan (Murdoch, 2019).


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