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Coconut Oil


veganMT
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Hi forum,

 

I am really confused with whats the deal with coconut oil. Is it a 'healthy' fat or is it bad (because its a fat)?

 

I am currently 14%bf trying to get down to 10%bf, doing weights and cardio and want to make sure theres nothing in my (vegan) diet thats holding me back.

 

People like Fuhrman, Esselstyn, Mcdougall, Dr. Greger, Doug Graham (80/10/10) all say coconut oil is bad, and do go down the 'no oil' route as much as possible. Then theres people like Brendan Brazier (Thrive) and Rich Roll, who admittedly more active than the other guys, recommend cooking with coconut oil.

 

Currently not using much oil at all, maybe some canola oil in my evening meal (usually rice and legumes/beans of some sort). Otherwise getting my fats from nuts and seeds (almonds, flax, pumpkin, sunflower seeds).

 

Can people tell me about their experience of coconut oil e.g. have you got ripped/lost body fat using it? Will I put fat on if I start using it (as its high in saturated fat) or is it an improvement on the canola oil?? Is it only useful for guys like Brendan Brazier and Rich Roll who are doing long endurance activities?

 

please do telleth!

 

p.s. As a side note I have read some comments hinting at criticisms towards Brendan Brazier's advice in Thrive, which I'm using basically as my training bible. I would love to hear these too.

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I eat coconut oil as much as I can afford to. It is healthy, it digests easily and you can buy it cold pressed. Canola oil is bullshit, it is made from rancid plants oils, deodorized and coloured and sold as 'healthy' even though it is full of free radicals and has zero proven health benefits except "it isn't animal fat".

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Here's some pretty good reading for reasons to use coconut oil

 

http://www.streetdirectory.com/food_editorials/health_food/fruits/reasons_you_should_be_using_coconut_oil.html

It is a common misconception that coconut oil is bad for you. People all over the world are experiencing the healthy benefits of using coconut oil. It is actually one of the healthiest oils you can consume. Here are the top seven reasons why you should use coconut oil as an alternative to other common cooking oils.

 

1. Coconut oil doesn't turn to fat in your body.

 

Unlike many other common oils, like soy (vegetable) and corn, coconut oil won't make you fat. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are an easy fuel for the body to burn, without turning to fat. Most other cooking oils and fats contain long-chain triglycerides (LCT). LCT's are usually stored as fat. Since coconut oil is a MCT, it is more easily absorbed and converted to energy quicker.

 

People in the tropics have relied on coconuts as a traditional staple in their diet for centuries. They consume large amounts of coconut oil every day. Instead of getting fatter, it helps them stay healthy, lean and trim. When they switch from coconut oil to our modern oils, they develop obesity and the health problems that our modern society faces.

 

Some other people who have known this truth for a long time are people who are in the animal feed business. When livestock are fed vegetable oils, they put on weight and produce more fatty meat. When they are fed coconut oil, they become very lean.

 

2. Coconut oil increases your metabolism.

 

Not only does coconut oil convert to energy quicker in your body, it increases your metabolism, which promotes weight loss. Because it boosts your metabolism, it helps your body burn fat more effectively.

 

Coconut oil may triple your calorie burn. Since coconut oil is a MCT, it is converted to energy so quickly that it creates a lot of heat. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, MCT's burn three times more calories for six hours after a meal than LCT's.

 

The February 15, 2005 issue of Woman's World magazine stated that coconut oil is the "underground high-metabolism secret."

 

This is great news for people who have thyroid problems, since coconut oil improves sluggish thyroids by stimulating the production of extra thyroid hormones. Most other common oils, like vegetable (soy) and corn have been shown to inhibit thyroid function.

 

3. Coconut oil has omega 3 fatty acids.

 

Most cooking oils contain omega 6 fatty acids, something we get way too much of in the United States. Our omega 6 to omega 3 ratio should be 1:1 but it is more like 50:1. We need to drastically cut back our omega 6 oils and consume much more omega 3 oils to be healthy. And coconut oil is filled with these healthy omega 3 fatty acids.

 

4. Coconut oil gives you energy.

 

Because of the healthy omega 3 fatty acids and the fact that it increases the metabolism, most people that switch to coconut oil feel a burst of added energy in their daily life.

 

This is because coconut oil is nature's richest source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT's), which increase metabolic rates and lead to weight loss. MCT's promote thermogenesis, which increases the body's metabolism, producing energy.

 

This is because coconut oil is nature's richest source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT's), which increase metabolic rates and lead to weight loss. MCT's promote thermogenesis, which increases the body's metabolism, producing energy. Many people with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia have found that adding coconut and coconut oil to their diet was helpful to them.

 

5. One of the best things you can use on your skin and hair is coconut oil.

 

Coconut oil one of the best things you can apply directly on your skin and hair. It gives temporary relief to skin problems like rashes. It aids in healing and restoring skin to a younger appearance. It has also been known to help with people who suffer from yeast infections in the skin, as well as many other skin problems.

 

Not only does is soften and smooth your skin, coconut oil has antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radical damage. Coconut oil makes excellent massage oil too.

 

6. Coconut oil has healthy benefits that most other oils do not.

 

Evidence is mounting that coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects when both consumed and used topically on the skin.

 

Most oils oxidize and turn rancid very quickly causing free radical damage in our bodies. Coconut oil is not easily oxidized and does not cause harmful free radical damage like polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Free radical damage is thought to be responsible for many ailments in our body from arthritis to increased susceptibility to cancers.

 

Coconut oil also helps our bodies absorb other nutrients more effectively, such as Vitamin E.

 

7. Coconut oil is one of the best oils you can use for cooking.

 

It has a higher smoke point than olive oil, which means it can take higher temperatures better. There are several healthy omega 3 oils we can choose to consume, such as flax and olive oil, but they don't do well under the high heat we use for cooking. Coconut oil can be used in higher cooking temperatures.

 

It is harder for coconut oil to go rancid, unlike other cooking oils, which are usually rancid long before you even bring them home. Rancid oils cause free radical damage in the body, which is a leading cause of cancer. Coconut oil is stable for over a year at room temperature.

 

Because of the misinformation we have been given for years, we have lost out on the healthy benefits that coconut oil has given the people of the tropics for centuries. But now it has been rediscovered! Coconut oil is so effective, it won't be long before we see coconut oil supplements promoted, but you can get the jump on the popular crowd and start consuming and cooking with coconut oil today!

Personally, I use it for cooking because I use less of the stuff compared to olive oil. I'll use maybe a tea spoon on my big pan and I don't add anymore during cooking, I love the stuff. I have another non-stick pan that's not really non-stick anymore (it's old) and if I use coconut oil, stuff tends to not stick as much compared to using olive oil.

 

It is quite expensive, so when it's on sale, I go a little nuts and buy a bunch of them

Edited by endcruelty
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Awesome thanks. Does it matter what type of coconut oil you use or is it ok to use the cheap stuff?

 

Also why is it that all these nutrition doctors/gurus, recommend avoiding it? Don't want to undo all my hard training work!

Links? I'm no expert, just curious what they say

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Coconut oil can still make you fat as it has a large amount of calories per serving. I think it is technically just the lesser of the evils in the case of oils. The omega 6 to 3 ratio is good which is why it is mostly a solid at room temperature. I say if you are going to use oils to use coconut but dont fo overboard as too much caloric intake vs expenditure will still lead to fat storage.

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I was wondering in that case, if one is gonna use oils would it not be better to use canola (rapeseed) oil? it has similar calories to coconut oil but omega 3 to 6 ratio is better, according to nutritiondata.self.com:

 

coconut oil:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/508/2

 

calories per 1cup (218g): 1879

omega 3: ~

omega 6: 3923mg

 

(100% non-hydrogenated) canola oil:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/621/2

 

calories per 1cup (218g): 1927

omega 3: 19921mg

omega 6: 40646mg

 

Just trying to get to the bottom of this as I'm finding it really difficult to believe coconut oil is a good 'healthy' fat and better than canola oil

 

Trying to find the lesser of evils with oils is the goal...and get ripped in the process

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Just based on personal experience, I actually began to shed fat when I switched over to coconut oil. I find that cooking with it tastes a lot better and that I feel an incredible amount better after eating coconut oil than I did after eating any other kind. (of course I mean cooking with it.)

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I will try to be as brief as possible, because I think the topic has been debated to death.

 

 

1. Coconut oil is an oil, AKA a food extract. It is certainly not as healthy as 'whole food' fats, like olives, avocados, nuts, and seeds. It is, however, healthier than some other, more refined oils, such as canola, soybean, and corn oils.

 

2. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, which could potentially help testosterone production, but is also unhealthy for you if you are sedentary and/or consume too many calories already. Different types of saturated fats have different effects in the body, and the distinction between those types is not clear at this point.

 

3. Olive oil is higher in monounsaturated fats, making it a better choice for lightly-cooked foods like salad dressings. The saturated fat in coconut oil helps prevent it from breaking down during high temperature cooking, which makes it useful for vegan baking, frying, etc.

 

4. Like nearly every other food extract, and even many whole foods, it is best consumed in moderation.

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Fallen Horse to the rescue, good posts.

I agree, coconut oil surprisingly does tend to be heart healthy although due to a having a saturated fat content of more than 90% I personally wouldn't go crazy on it. For a while now I've been of the opinion that people really shouldn't try and give out advice on Omega oils unless they have a comprehensive understanding of them. Even though they sound simple they really are very complex, and recently there's been a fair few new findings from scientific studies that make some of the common known facts slightly incorrect. Basically most people today are extremely out of balance between their Omega 3 & Omega 6's, further compounding the problem is the fact that consuming Omega 6's (plentiful in todays foods) essentially lowers our Omega 3 levels. Add to that again that there are different versions of them (HUFA's, short chain, long chain etc) and different components - the obvious two being EPA and DHA. If you're going to use coconut oils go for virgin cold pressed; coconut oil is one of the best oils you can use for both consuming and using for cooking, oils such as soy, canola and corn oil are nowhere near as healthy.

Happy to go into more technical detail if anyone wants, there are a few great algae sources of Omega 3 out there nowadays speciasly for vegans which is great.

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Thank you Fallen Horse and Mini Forklift, this is the bit i'm interested in more science on:

 

It is, however, healthier than some other, more refined oils, such as canola...

 

As along with the links earlier in this thread, this book:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vegetarian-Sports-Nutrition-Enette-Larson/dp/0736063617

 

and this book

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Plant-Based-Nutrition-Health-Stephen/dp/0907337260

 

all suggest coconut oil is bad and to stick with canola (rapeseed) oil. Also as far as I know, isn't there more omega 3s in canola than coconut oil?

 

As a side note, my long term goal is to be lean but ripped i.e. A Muay Thai fighter physique (if that makes sense), so not huge. So shall I be using canola (less calories) or coconut oil (both used sparingly and getting other fats from a variety of flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower, etc)?

 

Your wisdom (of all forum members) is greatly appreciated.

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I guess it makes sense coco oil being better for you as its less processed but I'll have to test it. Since mid-november I'm trying no other oils but coco oil in my diet til xmas, then if I gain fat, (all other variables more or less constant), then I'll go back to canola (rapeseed). I'll let you know how I get on!

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  • 2 weeks later...

3 weeks in, eating no other oils but coconut oil and i've put on (unwanted) fat weight. I accept there are a billion other variables but i'll be sticking with getting my fats from limited canola oil and nuts and seeds from now

 

conclusion: canola>coconut oil (for me trying to a achieve a low body fat physique e.g. a muay thai fighter physique)

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If you know that you have gained bodyfat from the coconut oil, it's simply because you are eating too much of it.

 

After doing a lot of my own research on it and reading up a lot about it, I've been using it regularly for about a year. My energy and skin are both great, the dandruff I used to get has nearly gone and my bodyfat has decreased down to around 6-8%. It needs to be used in moderation for sure, but then again so does Canola oil; there's still better/healthier oils to be using than that IMO.

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Thank you Mini Forklift, appreciate the input. What are the better/healthier oils you're referring to?

 

Heres my (i)logic;

I understand many people see canola(rapeseed) oil as rancid, due to it processing (very high heating, denaturing the rapseseed), but it has higher omega 3 content than coconut oil. Whereas coconut oil is pressed (more natural processing), has MCT and is touted as good for weight loss but is high in artery-clogging saturated fat.

 

So today i did some research and figured that a better oil would be pressed (not destroyed in processing) and lower in saturated fats, which led me to think a high fat nut or fruit oil, would be best for cooking e.g. virgin macadamia oil or virgin avocado oil.

 

I'll admit, i dont fancy going back to canola now from what I've read but i don't want to clog my arteries up either with coconut oil. So does anyone use these, macadamia or avocado oil? Tim Ferris mentions macadamia oil in 4 hour body and avocado oil seems to have a better 'fats' profile than macadamia.

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3 weeks in, eating no other oils but coconut oil and i've put on (unwanted) fat weight. I accept there are a billion other variables but i'll be sticking with getting my fats from limited canola oil and nuts and seeds from now

 

conclusion: canola>coconut oil (for me trying to a achieve a low body fat physique e.g. a muay thai fighter physique)

I'm of the opinion that canola is one of the worst there is, any health benefits is purely down to clever marketing. Polyunsaturated fats are the worst oils to use for cooking because of the heat damage to them. I'll try and link to an article from the Mercola website that explains this better for you.

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