Raw coconut is the world’s healthiest fat source. It is great for people trying to lose weight in an effective way or that are trying to maintain weight and become healthier.
This post will focus on two common ways you can eat raw coconut for weight loss and bonus information on a coconut product that can help with weight loss.
Raw coconut oil for weight loss
Coconut oil nutrition facts:
One tablespoon of coconut oil contains:
- 117 calories
- 0g protein
- 0g carbs
- 13.6g fat
Little to no vitamins and minerals.
How does raw coconut oil help with weight loss?
Coconut oil contains a high amount of medium chain fatty acids (MCTs). This specific type of fatty acid is hard for the body to store as fat, although they are more easily converted to energy in the body to be burned off when compared to other fats.
These medium chain fatty acids are metabolized in the digestive system differently than long chain fatty acids.
Medium chain fatty acids from coconut oil go to the liver from the digestive tract right away. Then the energy from the fat is used up immediately or it is converted into ketone bodies.
The ability of coconut oil to not be stored right away and create fat cells and to be used as a more effective form of energy for the body is great for weight loss.
Another key benefit of eating coconut oil is that it is “thermogenic”. Thermogenic foods increase fat burning compared to the same number of calories compared to other fats.
In a study 1-2 tablespoons of medium chain fats per day lead to increased energy expenditure by 120 calories per day! (1).
Along with burning more calories, coconut oil can help suppress a person’s appetite by making them feel fuller. This will lead to a reduction of calorie intake.
It is believed that the ketone bodies produced by the liver have powerful appetite reducing effects.
In a study of 6 healthy men, they are a high amount of medium chain fatty acids which caused them on average to consume 256 fewer calories per day! (2).
People who add medium chain fatty acids to their diet start eating fewer calories overall and they have a reduced appetite. These factors are crucial for lowering calorie intake to help the person lose weight over time.
In a study done on obese men where they consumed 30 grams or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for 4 weeks and their waist size decreased by about 1.1 inches (3).
This is incredible considering these men just changed one small aspect of their diet and saw these results.
Coconut oil is particularly powerful against visceral fat or abdominal belly fat. Belly fat is the most dangerous fat in the body. A high amount of belly fat around vital organs can cause inflammation, heart disease, diabetes and other problems over time.
A reduction in this belly fat will drastically decrease the likelihood of a deadly disease and will beneficially impact the longevity and overall health of the person that loses belly fat.
Other ways coconut oil can help burn fat is by helping to balance hormones, stabilizing blood sugar, and allowing the body to absorb nutrients more efficiently. (4)
It is not about adding fat calories to your diet from coconut oil, to reap the benefits of coconut oil you need to replace other fats with coconut oil.
It is also important to not go overboard and consume too much coconut oil. The studies with proven results the obese men consumed around 30 grams or 2 tablespoons.
Coconut oil is not a miracle overnight weight loss hack that will make you lose a ton of pounds by itself.
However, combined with a healthy diet and a fitness plan over a long duration of time coconut oil can help shed pounds (5).
Coconut oil has earned its top spot as our #1 spot out of our nutrition superfoods for athletes.
Effective ways to use coconut oil:
My favorite way to use coconut oil to make a nice vegetable stir fry with it. I will put about 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil on a pan and add the vegetables of my choice. Sometimes I will add meat and it makes for a nice healthy meal with nutritious macronutrients needed to maintain a healthy weight.
Cooking in an oven:
Whenever I cook meat or vegetables in the oven I use coconut oil. For instance, if I cook chicken I put coconut oil under and on the chicken. Coconut oil has a high temperature before the medium chain triglycerides break down making it a great oil to cook with at high temperatures while not sacrificing nutritional benefits.
Sometimes I will make a superfood smoothie and add in a small amount of coconut oil. Usually around 1 tablespoon. Not only does this add the nutritional benefits of coconut oil, it also adds a smoother consistency to the smoothie which is more pleasant to drink compared to a watery consistency.
Coconut oil can add a nice flavor to a cup of hot tea or coffee. If I do this I tend to add about 1 tablespoon or less because if too much is added the flavor of the coconut oil can take over depending on how strong the flavor of your hot drink of choice is.
There are many recipes for cookies, brownies, and more that include coconut oil instead of other fats like butter. These deserts are generally much healthier than the alternatives.
What is the best coconut oil to use for weight loss?
Organic extra-virgin coconut oil that is unrefined and cold-pressed.
Other types of coconut oil will not have nearly as many beneficial medium chain fatty acids that you want to help lost weight. When the coconut oil is not made in a natural way the fats are heated and loses beneficial properties. Also, many conventional coconut oils have other ingredients added that are fillers which provide no nutritional value and can be bad for weight loss.
Coconut meat for weight loss
Raw coconut meat nutrition facts:
One cup of raw coconut meat contains:
- 283 calories
- 26.8g fat
- 7.2g fiber
Minerals include manganese, potassium, and copper
How will raw coconut meat help with weight loss?
First off, like coconut oil, raw coconut meat contains medium chain fatty acids. As stated before, medium chain fatty acids have many benefits for weight loss because they are used and digested more efficiently by the body compared to other fats.
One key benefit from eating raw coconut meat is that it has an extremely high amount of dietary fiber. Fiber is essential for helping to move food through the digestive tract by adding bulk to the stool.
A high amount of fiber in a diet can also make you feel fuller, which can help with losing weight. At 7.2g of fiber per cup raw coconut meat contains a higher amount of fiber compared to most other foods.
Raw coconut meat also has a high amount of the trace mineral manganese. One cup of coconut meat provides 67% (women) and 52% (men) of the daily recommended amount of manganese.
Manganese helps a person metabolize fat and protein. Having a proper fat and protein balance will help the body be efficient and can help with losing weight. (6)
Along with these benefits coconut meat shares many of the previous benefits listed for coconut oil. The coconut oil is derived from the meat so it makes sense that they share many benefits.
Ways to get Coconut meat into diet:
Coconut meat can be used in for almost anything. Popular ways to use coconut meat include:
- Used instead of flour
- In oatmeal
- In smoothies
- Baked goods
- And much more! (7)
What is the best kind of coconut meat to eat?
Unsweetened raw organic coconut is the best type of coconut to eat for weight loss.
The problem with much of the coconut in stores today is that they have preservatives and sugar added to them. Some of the preservatives used can cause weight gain. Also, a high amount of unnatural sugar is correlated with weight gain as well.
Bonus: Coconut aminos for weight loss
What are coconut aminos?
Coconut aminos are a liquid sauce from the sap of coconut blossoms and salt. It is a great alternative to soy sauce with a similar, but sweeter taste.
Coconut aminos are low-glycemic, gluten-free, and vegan. Coconut aminos generally have 65% less sodium than soy sauce and the sugar in the aminos is much more natural than sweeteners used in soy sauces. (8)
Coconut aminos nutrition facts?
One tablespoon of coconut aminos includes:
- 5 calories
- 0 fat
- 90mg sodium
- 1g carb
- 1g sugar
- 0g protein
(These nutrition facts can vary depending on the manufacturing process and also the company that makes the coconut aminos)
Coconut aminos do contain sugar, however coconut sugar is one of the most natural and easily absorbed sugars in the world.
How can coconut aminos help with weight loss?
Coconut aminos and other coconut products can increase the adiponectin levels in the blood of the body.
Adiponectin is a protein in the body that is correlates with fat levels. The more adiponectin in the body the less fat content the person will have.
Additionally, coconut aminos can help with weight loss is using it as a sweetener instead of other sauces. Many other sauces like soy, or store-bought sauces have many additives and unwanted unnatural sugar. By substituting coconut aminos instead of these sauces it can make a small, but meaningful effect on weight loss efforts.
One study showed that people consuming coconut products like coconut aminos helped to regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol and decrease sugar levels in the body. (9) These factors help to contribute to overall weight loss.
Different ways to use coconut aminos?
- Stir fry (tastes great with vegetables!)
- In salad
- As a marinade
What is the best type of coconut aminos to use?
Organic liquid coconut aminos is the best option for weight loss.
Some brands have added sugar or are not organic which would not be as useful for weight loss purposes.
Key factors for eating raw coconut for weight loss:
Coconut will not solve all weight problems – Coconut is a very weight loss friendly food, however if other aspects of a person’s diet are not handled properly it may be hard to reap the benefits of eating coconut for weight loss.
Moderation is key – Coconut contains a lot of fat. In moderation coconut can help with fat loss, however if a person is chugging an entire jar of coconut oil a day or a while tub of shredded raw coconut flakes then it could lead to weight gain.
Adding raw coconut for weight loss is a for sure way to get healthier and reach your fitness goals in life.
Please comment if you have questions or share this article if you think someone you know may benefit from taking advantage of coconut in their diet.