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Thinking about dieting for a new resolution?

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Monday, January 3, 2011

Thinking about dieting for a new resolution?

I heard from someone about the coconut oil diet on New Years Eve....I had never heard of it before, and seeing as I am so obsessed with all things coconut, I had to look into it.  And, at this point I think that you all know my thoughts on "diets" but I really wanted to look into possible benefits that the coconut oil might have from a medical standpoint.

What's the deal?
You add three tablespoons of coconut oil to your diet every day (one tablespoon contains 117 calories and 13.6grams of fat)  Some people just eat a tablespoon after meals OR just add it to their diet as a base for salad dressings or stir fry (anywhere that you would normally use an olive oil), and as a supplementation for their regular fats.  Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT) unlike animal fats which are long chain triglycerides and the length of the chain denotes how your body will break it down.  MCTs are able to be broken down almost like carbohydrates by the body, and are rapidly broken down vs long chains which slow down digestion and tend to be stored in fat cells.

How does it work?
The theory is that you are eating fewer calories despite taking in more fat, which fat slows digestion and makes you feel full faster so you tend to eat less.  Some people have made statements that it regulates your thyroid gland (there is no legit science behind this) to increase your bodies temperature to burn calories.  Your body naturally will increase its temp as it works harder to burn calories, so that has nothing to do with coconut oil.  From what I have read and all of the science, really you are increasing your low calories fats and making yourself feel satiated faster by adding it to foods.

Is it good for you?
Honestly, it probably isn't horrible BUT you are adding fats to your diet and as we all know saturated fats increased your cholesterol level and can lead to heart disease. And, coconut oil has higher saturated fats than lard AND butter!! So, this diet is a horrible disease if you are a woman in (or after menopause), if you have a family history of stroke or heart disease, or increased cholesterol (or family history).

Does it actually work?
People who use the coconut oil supplementation claim that they have more energy, feel better, and lose weight over time.  One staunch supporter claimed that he lost 20 lbs over six months with no other changes to his diet than adding coconut oil.  My issue is that many of the diets tend to promote colon cleansing and low carb diets as well, so no one can really say that the coconut oil is the source of their weight loss, most likely their lifestyle/diet changes.  There is no research to support the claims of the diet.   And, on a personal note, I have heard directly from people who have done it  that the coconut oil shooters three times a day make you want to throw up.

I stand by my previous statements that a healthy diet and regular exercise are the BEST way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and the ONLY way that you will lose weight and keep it off!!  If you have a resolution to lose weight, maybe hire a personal trainer for a few sessions, go see a nutritionist, or email me with questions!  You know what to do, you just need to change your lifestyle and do it :)

Yours in Good Health
B

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