A friend of mine does the cooking on a yoga retreat in Ibiza, and was recently extolling the virtues of Coconut Oil for a healthy diet, and more interestingly, for weight loss. Now I’m no scientist, so please excuse the slightly anecdotal tone of this post. However, there have been several studies carried out into the weight loss claims of coconut oil with findings such as this;
“Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.”
It’s very versatile, and can be used on salads, for cooking, as a substitute for butter, and even as a body moisturiser or hair mask, straight from the tub. People living in the Indian sub-continent have been using it for centuries as a moisturiser for hair and body. It actually feels amazing on the skin, it literally melts in, is deeply hydrating and leaves you smelling like a coconut macaroon. I realise this is not for everyone, but I love it (as does Miranda Kerr apparently). I’ve decided to replace all other oils in my diet with this as an experiment, and I’ll be reporting my findings.
The benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, vitamins E & K and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial etc. Although it is a saturated fat, “it is often preferred by athletes and body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains lesser calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps in boosting energy and endurance, and enhances the performance of athletes.”
Pure Coconut Oil available from Holland & Barrett at £14.99 for a whopping 453g
You can read more about the benefits of coconut oil here: