A recent study revealed how daily consumption of extra virgin coconut oil can improve cholesterol levels and slim down waist measurements and overall weight in just a few months! This makes coconut oil a fantastic proponent of healthy weight loss and great heart health.
The Waistline Problem
Fat accumulated around your belly and waist, also known as abdominal obesity, is a serious risk factor for heart attacks, heart disease, and poor cardiovascular health. In fact, a 2007 study showed that abdominal obesity was a bigger risk factor for cardiac events than abnormal lipids and even smoking! Being overweight is also associated with:
- coronary heart disease
- high blood pressure
- type 2 diabetes
- cancers of the breast, colon, and gall bladder
What the Research Says About Coconut Oil
The new study evaluated the health effects of extra virgin coconut oil on HDL cholesterol and a range of measurements including body weight, size, and waistline measurements. All participants were hypertensive (had high blood pressure) and 94.5% had abnormal blood lipid. Moreover, every participant had been previously prescribed a conventional drug treatment for lowering their cholesterol.
After completing a 3 month nutritional intervention that made healthy changes to their diets, participants were divided into two groups: the first group remained on their new healthy diet, while the second group stuck to the diet and took 1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil every day for 3 months.
Results showed that the coconut oil group showed significantly better improvement in weight, BMI, waistline measurement, blood pressure, and neck measurements than the standard diet group. What’s more, the coconut oil group saw an improvement in good cholesterol levels that the other group didn’t.
Coconut Oil: A Good Fat?
Before scientists knew better, coconut oil was once considered a “bad fat” since it contains saturated fatty acids which nutritionists failed to distinguish from synthetically produced ones such as margarine. Now, we understand that saturated fats have no connection to stroke or cardiovascular disease, and in fact are associated with a number of great health benefits!
Coconut oil health benefits also include:
- Strengthens immune system, thanks to lauric acid
- Promotes healthy brain function (which rely on mostly saturated fats to work!)
- Protects liver from alcohol and toxins
- Helps lower lipid levels
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Acts as an antioxidant
How to Take Coconut Oil
So, you’ve decided to use coconut oil for weight loss and a healthy heart. Where do you start? In the 2015 study, those amazing results were achieved with only 1 tablespoon of coconut oil per day! There are a number of ways you can incorporate such a small amount of coconut oil into your diet (without having to choke down a spoonful of oil).
- Cook with it (frying something? Coconut oil.)
- Add it to smoothies (You won’t even notice it!)
- Stir it into a hot drink (we like to do half a tablespoon in the morning, and half in the afternoon)
- Bake with it (Check out these great coconut oil recipes: here and here !)
- Take coconut oil capsules
- Mix it into almond butter (or other spreadable goodness)