Can This Fat Make You Skinny?

For years, nutrition experts have been telling us that saturated fats are the enemy.

You have probably heard that they are contributing to our expanding waistlines, causing heart disease, high cholesterol, and a host of other problems ranging from Alzheimer’s to stroke.

What is strange about this is that research involving Pacific Island populations that get 35 percent to over 50 percent of their total calories from saturated fats have shown nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease.1

How is that possible?

Because one type of saturated fat is turning out to be a health miracle.

Research is now showing that some saturated fats help lower you risk of heart disease (more on that later)…

They can actually help you lose weight faster.


Here’s the proof…

In one study, researchers put 49 overweight men and women on a typical low-calorie diet. They also asked them to include in their daily diets, either:

  • 4 to 5 teaspoons of olive oil (an unsaturated fat), or
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons of (gasp!) saturated fats

Get this… after 16 weeks, the group that included the saturated fats lost over twice as much weight as the olive oil group! (Almost 6.9 lbs. vs. 3.1 lbs., respectively).2

What are these magical fats?

They’re called medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs. They are shorter and more water-soluble than the fatty acids found in other oils, such as olive or canola.

While most oils are broken down into fatty acids that circulate throughout your body after you eat them, MCTs are more directly routed to the liver.

So, instead of being deposited and stored by fat cells, MCTs are burned for fuel straight in the liver.

How do we get these awesome fats? The best way is through coconut oil, which is, yes, over 90 percent saturated fat. But it’s mostly MCTs.

But What About Heart Disease?

The types of saturated fats found in coconut oil have a different chemical structure than most saturated fats. Therefore they work differently in the body.

For example, coconut oil is rich in a relatively uncommon MCT called lauric acid. While lauric acid can increase blood cholesterol, the bump is mostly in the good stuff, HDL-cholesterol.3

In short, it helps bring your Total:HDL cholesterol ratio into a more heart-healthy zone.

And, a recent meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that examininged data from almost 350,000 people, found no relationship between the intake of any type of saturated fat and the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.4

Capitalizing on Coconut Oil

coconut oil on the wooden spoon

There are lots of great ways to use coconut oil. Roast vegetables with a mix of coconut oil, lemon juice, thyme and pepper. Spread it on toast instead of butter. Pop corn kernels in a pan full of coconut oil when the nighttime munchies hit.

When choosing coconut oil, look for natural or virgin oils. Pass on any oils that have been hydrogenated.

The hydrogenation manufacturing processs produces dangerous trans fats that can clog your arteries and harm your brain. As with any oil you choose, look for label terms such as “no hydrogenation” or “non-hydrogenated.”

You can also find pure MCT oil at almost any health food store. It is a great ingredient to put in your RealDose smoothies.

Just add a tablespoon and a scoop of RealMeal GF, mix it up and you have a tasty fat burning shake.

Do you have any ways to get some coconut oil into your diet? I’m always looking for new ideas. Please share them here!

Steve Sisskind, M.D.

Hi, I'm Dr. Steve Sisskind, Chief Medical Officer & Founder at RealDose Nutrition.

As a young physician, I struggled because my patients came to me with serious health issues, but I didn't have the right tools to help them. Medical school taught me how to put "band aids" on their symptoms with drugs and surgery, but not how to address the root causes of their problems.

Years later I discovered a better approach... based on the fundamental idea that the power of nutrition can transform your health and vitality. But there's a lot of confusion... What foods should I eat? Which supplements should I take? What does the science say?

I have dedicated my life to answering these questions... And I share this knowledge with you every day here at RealDose Nutrition.

I invite you to connect with me by joining my free private community. I've helped thousands of people and I know I can help you too!

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References:

1. Dayrit CS. Coconut oil and health. Philipp J Crop Sci. 1995;20(3):171-177.

2. St-Onge MP, Bosarge A. Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87(3):621-626. PMID: 18326600.

3. Mensink RP, Zock PL, Kester AD, Katan MB. Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;77(5):1146-1155. PMID: 12716665.

4. Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(3):535-546. PMID: 20071648.

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9 comments

  1. I have been using coconut oil in my tea for some time now. I drink rooibos with a little milk and either stevia or honey and 2 or 3 teaspoons of coconut oil on top. It is delicious, like drinking velvet.

  2. I use coconut oil to replace shortening in biscuits …….my husband loves them.

  3. I add a teaspoon of raw virgin coconut oil to my breakfast bowl of porridge.

  4. Greetings Dr. Steve

    3 months ago I went mostly organic and totally incorporated virgin, cold pressed pure coconut oil into my diet, my Lipid panel on 9/15 was, tot chol 208, HDL 90,LDL Cal 103, trigly 76 and that was on statins where the previous total chol was 239 so Dr. happy. I gave up the statins when i went organic and started coconut oil after much research.My new blood work has me confused and honestly worried. 8/16 was tot chol 308, HDL 113, LDL cal 171, trigyl 122. can you explain or suggest if I am going in the right direction, I see HDL has increased but the rest worries me.I would appreciate your input. I am not overweight, 5’7” 120 lbs and my only risk factor was my Mom also had high cholestrol and heart disease, athersclerosis and passed at 78 of this and metastatic breast/colon cancer. I am presently 64 and have done cardio since the 1970’s 3-4 times a week.
    Thank you so much.
    Sincerely
    Dee

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Denise,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns! I do understand your concerns, especially with your family history. But unfortunately, I cannot conclusively share an opinion on your blood work as there are other factors to consider. You may want to visit your personal doctor and get his thoughts as they are in a better position to evaluate your current condition. Virgin Coconut Oil, by itself, is a healthy fat and is a great addition to any diet however, it cannot actively work to lower your high cholesterol or triglyceride levels on its own. You may need the guidance of a health care practitioner at this time, as other causes may have to be considered such as your blood sugar levels and overall physique. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

    • If you try no grains or dairy I’d bet your numbers will come down w/o statins, try one month of this increasing fiber and veggies

  5. My husband buy me also from tropical tradition gold in gallon size . My cholesterol was 380 and have brought it down to 300 in one month and it’s still going down

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Susan,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us! Bringing down your cholesterol significantly in such a short time is truly amazing progress! I hope to hear more from you and keep up the great work! Have a healthy day!

  6. I buy tropical tradition gold label hand mixed coconut oil. The very best.

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