Can Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil Really Reduce Belly Fat?

Coconut oil, essential oil from nature, a skin care that safe, rich vintamin, use in massage at spa, organic cosmetic on wooden background

Some superfoods really do seem to have super powers; others just aren’t worth the hype. When it comes to extra-virgin coconut oil, claims have been floating around that it has the wonderful ability to reduce belly fat – and wouldn’t we all like a magic potion for that? But other experts say that it’s just another cooking fat, albeit a healthy one.

So what’s the real answer? We went straight to the source: medical professionals. Here’s what we found out.

Coconut Oil Can Help Reduce Belly Fat

Naturopathic doctor Serena Goldstein says that coconut oil can, in fact, help reduce belly fat. But before you start slathering everything you eat in the stuff, listen to what she has to say next.

According to Goldstein, the consumption of coconut oil cannot successfully be the only tool used to reduce belly fat. “If someone is in the process of adapting a healthful lifestyle with good nutrition content, and exercise, for example, coconut oil is a wonderful addition,” she says. In other words, coconut oil alone is not enough.

Kristen Trukova, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC, CSO, Clinical Oncology Dietitian at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® at Midwestern Regional Medical Center, agrees. “Regardless of the type of oil or fat consumed, a well-balanced diet and exercise regimen will be your best ally for weight loss,” she says.

There is, however, something to be said for the power of coconut oil when it comes to the reduction of this dangerous and unpleasant fat deposit — after all, several studies, including one in the medical journal “Lipids,” have shown that coconut oil helps people burn more belly fat than other plant-based oils.

The secret of coconut oil’s success is multi-faceted.

Coconut Oil Is Made Up of MCFAs

“The reduction of weight has to do with the fat content of coconut oil, which is almost all medium chain fatty acids (MCFA),” Goldstein explains.

Medium-chain fats are either metabolized straight away for energy, or directly into the liver, where they’re turned into ketone bodies. In other words, MCFAs are less likely to be stored on the body as fat.

Coconut Oil is Thermogenic

Digesting extra-virgin coconut oil takes more energy for the body than digesting many other foods; eating coconut oil, then, forces the body to produce more energy, and energy is produced by burning fat. One study showed that eating 1-2 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil a day could increase energy expenditure by 5 percent, helping to give your metabolism that extra boost it needs.

How to Use Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil

There are several major types of coconut oil you’ll find in stores, so be sure you pick the right kind to reap all of the benefits. Choose extra-virgin coconut oil for the best effect. “Virgin works too,” says Goldstein. “As long as it’s unrefined.”

Once you’re armed with a jar of the unrefined stuff and you’re ready to try adding extra-virgin coconut oil to your diet, here are a few of our favorite ways to use it.

Goldstein loves it raw, in smoothies or salad dressings. “One can also consume about a teaspoon before a meal to help feel full sooner, and more satiated after the meal,” she says. This adds to its weight loss benefits too.

Coconut oil’s slightly sweet flavor makes it a natural topping for oatmeal, and it can even be stirred into your morning coffee as a vegan alternative to bulletproof coffee.

Coconut oil is great for cooking as well, as it can withstand temperatures of up to 350 degrees F. “Other oils, such as olive oils, tend to oxidize easily at high temperatures, meaning they can produce more free radicals, which can be harmful for the body,” explains Goldstein.

You can even bake it into your favorite desserts, like our vegan maple chocolate chip cookies.

Does Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil Have Any Other Benefits?

As though the belly fat burning properties (and tasty, tropical flavor) weren’t enough, coconut oil actually boasts a few other benefits.

A Great Moisturizer

Coconut oil can be used topically, to add moisture to hair and skin. Khara Lucius, ND, FABNO, Naturopathic Oncology Provider at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® at Midwestern Regional Medical Center, cites a few studies to this effect, particularly in the case of excema sufferers. It can even be used as a lubricant during sexual activity, according to Goldstein, so you may want two jars — one for the kitchen and one for the bedroom.

Promotes Healthy Teeth and Gums

Use coconut oil for “oil pulling” to promote healthy teeth and gums. “Poor oral health has been linked to heart disease, so taking care of our teeth and gums is very important, says Goldstein. “Oil pulling involves swishing 1 tablespoon of coconut oil around in your mouth for about 20 minutes, and then spitting it out.”

Anti-Fungal Properties

You can also use coconut oil to prevent against candida. “On the feet it can be applied to cracked skin,” says Goldstein. “And if someone’s health care practitioner suspects symptoms of an imbalanced gut flora that resembles Candida, then taken internally will also help heal their gut.”

The one thing to bear in mind, however: coconut oil, like everything, should be consumed in moderation.

The ketone bodies produced by digesting coconut oil can be toxic in large doses, and coconut oil also has a few disadvantages as compared to unsaturated fats like olive oil.

“Coconut oil has more saturated fat than butter and lard,” says Trukova. “Current nutrition research suggests that saturated fat intake should be less than 10 percent of calories per day, about 16gm daily for most women and 22gm daily for most men. One tablespoon of coconut oil has 12gm saturated fat.”

This level of saturated fat means that people watching their cholesterol should consult a doctor before adding coconut oil to their diets.

“Many studies have looked at the effects of coconut oil on cholesterol levels,” says Lucius, citing a 2016 review that found the coconut oil raised both total and LDL cholesterol more than unsaturated plant oils.

But these reasons shouldn’t dissuade you from giving coconut oil a try.

“I find that as soon as a food or fad becomes popular, people tend to use/eat it in high quantities, and then forget about it when another option becomes it’s replacement,” says Goldstein. “Coconut oil has so many wonderful benefits, and can certainly be worked into someone’s regular, healthful lifestyle.”

2016-04-14T10:17:58+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: I see also that you recommend a complete diet with these programs. I am guessing its a vegan diet right? I wanted to ask something on that is coconut milk and coconut oils ok for that? I personally had a very hard time trying to eat that many vegetables and many ph balance vegans seem to think fruits aren?t good either. I eat that many vegetables one it tears me up the next day and two I just cant consume enough calories that way. I can try and make up for it by eating things like almonds but I eat to many almonds I get the same problem the next day. Now coconut milk (unsweetened) and a digestive enzyme works for me for picking up extra calories.... but I hear very conflicting information about coconut and its saturated fat content. Is it ok to use daily as a part of the diet for cleansing? And your oxy-drops are those the same as the drop for ph balancing water?? Or is it something different? I am wanting to start lifting weights as I need to put on some muscle and I?m wondering if its something that would be beneficial in combating muscle soreness by increased oxygen in the body.

    A:

    The diet we recommend is vegan-based, and RAW FOODS. Fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds are ideal.

    Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil are excellent products to have in your diet. The healthy fats will keep you fuller.

    Oxy-Drops can help balance your electrolytes that need to be replenished after a workout in order to keep your body performing efficiently. 

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    Q: I have heard that there are tremendous benefits in taking coconut oil - three teaspoons every day before a meal. I have high cholesterol ( I just ordered your cholesterol herbs). Can I still take the coconut oil everyday or will this make my cholesterol go up?

    A: Coconut Oil has tremendous health benefits. You should absolutely include it as part of your diet regimen.

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    Q: I read that you do not recommend coconut oil, because of its thickness. Do you believe that coconut butter is healthy for human consumption? Thank you all the knowledge you generously share.

    A:

    Actually, coconut oil is healthier for human consumption than coconut butter. Both are derived from a natural food source - the coconut, and thus may be consumed. Now as far as what the most healthiest oil, I don't think we can say it's coconut oil.

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    Q: Yes coconut oil maybe natural but I go thru 3-4 jars per week, 1-1/2 a jar a day, not only is it making me broke out I do not think all that saturated fat is good for me. I know I lack a lot of protein and other vitamins in my diet. Could this lack of essential nutrition cause this weird craving? I don't know if it is the massive loss of blood due to the fibroids.

    A:

    I think you know the answer for yourself. Therefore, stop eating the coconut oil. Take some vitamins and minerals and see if this helps. Sounds like PICA, a nutritional deficiency which causes cravings. Blood loss most certainly will cause loss of nutrients.

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    Q: YOU ARE PROBABLY WELL AWARE RIGHTNOW THAT I'M 45 AND I HAVE FIBROIDS. FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS I HAVE HAD A COCONUT OIL CRAVING. DO YOU KNOW WHAT I MAYBE LACKING WHY I CRAVE COCONUT OIL. I LIKE TO FREEZE IT AND THEN CRUNCH ON IT IN ITS SOLID STATE. I KNOW IT SOUNDS STRANGE BUT I STARTED THIS HABIT ABOUT 3 YEARS AGO. I DO NOT KNOW IF IT IS THE MASSIVE BLOOD LOSS DUE TO FIBROIDS, THAT HAS RESULTED IN THIS WEIRD CRAVING. I JUST DONT TAKE ONE TBSP, I TAKE ALOT MORE AND I CANT, AFFORD IT AND I KNOW THAT THIS HABIT IS NOT GOOD FOR ME.

    A:

    I don't know the exact reasons why you are craving frozen coconut oil but clearly you are lacking something and your Body Intelligence instructed you to eat frozen coconut oil. The oil is perhaps serving as a vehicle for the fibroid debris so as to pull what debris it can out of your body. Coconut oil is natural so I don't see anything wrong with your newfound custom. As long as you're fine with it, keep doing it.

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    Q: I am an underweight but healthy 26 year old female. I would like to maintain my weight and I use organic canned coconut milk in my grain hot cereal. Is canned organic coconut milk acidic? If so, what brands are alkaline?

    A:

    Anything canned is going to be acidic. What ever you use for make, let it be raw. Raw coconut milk fresh from the coconut is alkaline.

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    Q: Is coconut oil a good cooking oil to use if a person has peripheral artery disease PID?

    A:

    I don't recommend coconut oil! Use olive oil instead!

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    Q: I just ordered the FULL BODY DETOX and I know there's a dietary regimen that I will have to follow. I was wondering if you would approve of a protein shake that consist of (raw hemp protein powder, raw almond butter, sea salt, flax seed, 100% young coconut water & meat inside the coconut, raw carob powder,) (optional soy or rice milk or soy or rice cream)

    A:

    Doesn't sound like it will mess up your FULL BODY DETOX. Go for it! But leave out the rice/soy cream! The rice milk is okay (but it is processed/cooked)!

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    Q: I purchased the children's detox and received it a couple of days ago. After reading the pamphlet that came with it, I was wondering where/what kind of milk can I purchase for my baby while she is on the detox? For example it said almond, soy, rice milk... can I buy the regular boxed almond, soy, rice milk? Or if I am going to use coconut milk, can I use the canned coconut milk?

    A:

    Yes, you can use almond, coconut, or any other nut milk. We do not reccomend soy.

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    Q:

    A:

    Coconut oil has numerous benefits for the body including lubricating the joints, providing the body with good fats and antioxidant properties in addition to boosting your metabolism. Joint cracking can be from a several things due to older age, lack of nutrients, or injury. We suggest trying the Joint Aid and MSM Sulfur to help rejuvenate your joints.

    Joint Formula -http://www.dherbs.com/store/joint-formula-p-42.html

    MSM Sulfur -http://www.dherbs.com/store/msm-sulfur-p-49.html

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    Q: I have the FIBRIOD BUSTER CLEANSE AND REGIME, but before I start, are there any dairy products I can have? i.e. Coconut Milk ?

    A:

    We do not advise you to take dairy products! Coconut milk is not a dairy product! Please read our article "Dangerous Dairy" in our articles section. It's a great read!

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    Q: I would like to know, if you have any skin care programs, for women age 50 and over. I am going to try the detox progarm as soon as possible. I truly believe that I am going to be very happy with the results. I am 51 years old, and I want to look and feel my best. I have a lot of belly fat, and that makes me feel uncomfortable, because some people will ask me, if I am pregnant. This seems very strange to me, because my stomach seems to be the main place, where all the fat is building up. I desire to have beauty inside and out. I want to be completely whole. If you have tips for skin care and body care, please let me know. Some people say that I look like I am in my forties, however, if I did not have all of this extra body fat, I could really believe what they are saying.

    A:

    The blood needs to be cleansed in order to enhance your skin and eliminate excess fat.

    We would recommend you perform the Full Body Cleanse which can help improve skin complexion, release weight, and detoxify, purify, rejuvenate, and strengthen the body and all of its eliminative channels.

    We also have a Facial Skin Kit that works to naturally restore the health of skin by helping to remove blemishes, hydrate skin, and even out complexion for resilient skin.

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    Q: Lunch is organic salad dressing allowed or maybe fresh lemon juice and some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) (cold pressed)

    A:

    Organic salad dressing is a healthy alternative, but because they're bottled they usually contain preservatives to sustain their condition on store shelves. We recommend sticking to raw and fresh ingredients like using extra virgin olive oil as a base for homemade dressings. Adding apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sea salts and other spices are common ingredients for homemade dressings.

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    Q: Hi there, I never got yeast infections before but I had my first one in March of this year (2015) and have been suffering ever since. I was first treated with fluconazole and the infection went a way for a few weeks and then came back to which I was treated with another dose... again, it came back. I was treated with one more dose of the fluconazole- 3 pills every other day, I'm not sure the strength.... and of course, it came back. I went back to the doc and said I wanted to try a different solution as this wasn't working. They sent my culture into the lab to test for a different strand of candida but it came back just a strong strand of candida albicans. I was sent home with a cream and told to try boric acid suppositories or get put on a weekly prescription of the fluconazole. I don't want to rely on perscription meds that seem to make it only come back stronger. If you have any advice, please please please help me I am so desperate. I have been taking probiotics, using coconut oil for relief and cutting out all sugar. Any help would be so much appreciated. Best, Rokki

    A:

    We always recommend starting off with the Full Body Cleanse to help eliminate the toxins and waste that often contributes to recurring issues in the body. You should move on to the 10 Day Candida Cleanse to specifically address the candida presence in your body. After cleansing you should avoid consuming a lot of sugar, dairy and processed foods. You can also continue to take the Candida Normalizer as a maintenance.

    We also recommend reading our article entitled Candida Albicans: Yeast Infection.http://www.dherbs.com/articles/candida-yeast-infection-144.html

    Product Links:

    Full Body Detox - http://www.dherbs.com/store/full-body-detox-kit-p-1.html

    Candida Normalizer - http://dherbs.com/store/candida-normalizer-p-13.html

    10 Day Candida Cleanse -http://dherbs.com/store/10-day- -candida-cleanse-p-395.html

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    Q: First of all hello and thank you for the FULL BODY DETOX. I completed the full detox August 5, 08 and found it extremely beneficial, again, thank you. Please let me know your opinion regarding the "Abgone" Extra Strength pill that reportedly promotes pot belly loss (the one issue I continue to confront). I exercise, I do yoga and I jog four times weekly 3 miles. Never the less I still have a "pot belly". I contacted "Biotech Research" and was advised that this is an all natural product. The ingredients are said to be Vitamin C, Zinc, Chromium Polynitic, Phofphatidylserine, Clabcaa, Dandelion Powder, 99% Caffeine, Green Tea Extract, The capsule is made of soybean, beeswax, gelatin, glycerin and red dye #40. Please respond at your earliest convenience.

    A:

    That product ABGONE is crap due to the ingredients. No product is your solution, but the mind (thoughts, attitude), diet, lifestyle, etc. Stop worrying about the pot belly and focus on your desired state. Only see your results in your mind and you will attract the results on the material plane. Please read through some of our articles, beloved!

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    Q: Dear herbalist, I would like to know if it's alright for me to alternate cod liver oil pill (omega 3) in between taking the blood and lymph cleanse. I use to have beautiful skin until spring of this year. Also I want to know if taking teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil is good for healing me of what I believe may be vitiligo, tenea vesicle or eczema (dermatitis). PLEASE HELP.

    A:

    Cod liver oil is crap! Olive oil is healthy and good for you. To repair the skin, focus on cleansing your blood (FULL BODY DETOX, vegetable juice, etc.). Check out our new article "SKIN DISORDER = BLOOD DISORDER".

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    Q: What would you recommend to use for belly fat? How do you feel about the superfood powders that are out here today that are using things like wheatgrass, barley etc? Lastly is there anything that can help hair growth? One more, weight training should it be done if so how and with what kind of resistance? Thank you

    A:

    1. FULL BODY DETOX 2. DHERBS 10-DAY SUPREME COLON CLEANSE Super foods are great! For hair growth, hey, read our articles on the subject! Visit â€ARTICLESâ€. In re weight training, that's up to you, Beloved! I don't advocate weight lifting.

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    Q: I am on day 17 of the Full Body Detox. It has been wonderful, although I have slipped up and made some bad food choices I have been able to stick to eating salads and Fruit and nuts. I have lost 5 pounds overall. I have Cogan's Syndrome. I stopped taking my azathioprine, Iron pill, and fish oils while on the Detox. I feel great aside from my Tinnitus in my left ear is ringing tremendously loud. Other than that I feel great. My skin looks so much better. My prednisone steroid hump in my back has gone away. My teeth look whiter. My eyes are whiter. Blemishes are gone. I just don't know what to do after I am done with this detox. I know that I need to continue with this particular diet because it is good to & for me. I can do that, however I just don't want to have low iron, tinnitus, or vertigo spells. What would you recommend I take after the full body cleanse. My mother has seen a difference in me and so has my husband. I love this, I can't wait to see my rheumatologist so he can tell me that my Cogan's Syndrome is in remmission. What should I do next?

    A:

    Thank you for sharing this with us. We're so happy to hear that the cleanse is going well for you. We suggest trying the Ear Oil to help bring relief from tinnitus. You can also try the Joint Aid and the MSM Sulfur to help specifically help address arthritis. If you're experiencing eye issues from Cogan's Syndrome we suggest using the Eye Formula. Continuing with a balanced diet is best as it is responsible for some of the success you were able to achieve with the cleanse. We suggest consuming two raw meals a day and one of your choice to help continue the healing process.

    Please take the time to read the article:

    Arthritis-http://www.dherbs.com/articles/causes-arthritis-34.html

    Product Links:

    MSM Sulfur -http://www.dherbs.com/store/msm-sulfur-p-49.html

    Joint Formula - http://www.dherbs.com/store/f-formula-p-42.html

    Eyes Formula -http://dherbs.com/store/eyes-formula-p-28.html

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    Q: I am in need of cleansing my body and weight removal! (Removal and not loss because I don't want to find it again)! I need to remove about 80 pounds of unhealthy weight from my body and would like to do so in a natural way. I looked at both your Female Cleanse and the Full Body Cleanse, but don't know which is a better option for me to follow right now? I eat a lot of organic foods, I juice (some) but need to increase my water intake (A LOT). I don't drink much soda at all and when I do it is organic carbonated lemonade. I realize carbonated drinks are not good for us and limit how much I drink. My body lets me know when I have eaten something that is not good for me by causing my hands and feet to swell. To reduce this I drink water. I am allergic to wheat and try to stay away from it as much as possible. I have few ailments and have started working out again (cardio and weight training). I also looked at your weight loss products, but thought I should maybe detox first. What do you think? Any assistance you can offer on your products and which ones I should take is of great appreciation.

    A: The best thing for you is the Full Body Cleanse. The Full Body Cleanse will allow you to remove unwanted weight, while also optimizing your entier body so that you can maintain that weight and live a healthier lifestyle.

     

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    Q: I was reading your article about vinegar being harmful to the body because of its acids and I was curious to know what you think of the Organic unpasturized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with mother? I saw that at the end of the article it stated that "if you must" use vinegar to use the organic apple cider vinegar but, I have read many places that it has many health benefits such as reducing bad cholesterol, regulating blood pressure, eliminating toxic waste from the body, fighting fungal and bacterial infections, helping relieve joint pains, breaking down fat which helps in natural weight reduction.

    A:

    I approve of apple cider vinegar for health purposes. Some good stuff!