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Myths and facts about the effectiveness of coconut oil for weight loss

Among the latest 'fat removers' that have broken into the world of obesity and weight loss is coconut oil, on which they plan contradictory messages from the scientific field.
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Losing weight is one of the most common desires, and it is not surprising given the unstoppable epidemic of obesity and overweight that humanity suffers. But the kilos cling tightly to the body in which they are installed and it is very difficult to expel them from there, which contributes to understanding the good reception that the proposals that promise (now do) end the fat mass surplus.

Among the latest 'fat removers' that have broken into the world of obesity and weight loss is coconut oil, on which they plan contradictory messages from the scientific field.

In its favor, it should be noted that coconut oil is rich in medium-chain fatty acids that, according to different research, offer certain health benefits, although experts advised to consume it in moderation.

But what prevails in the popular imagination is that they favor weight loss because it can decrease the feeling of hunger. The origin of this belief is that half of the coconut oil fat corresponds to medium-chain fatty acids, whose digestion and absorption are easier than long-chain fatty acids and the body uses them directly to produce energy.

The predominant fatty acid in coconut oil is lauric, which is not absorbed as fast as other medium-chain acids and does not produce the feeling of satiety of others. So where does the belief that helps you lose weight come from?

Some research has found that medium-chain acid oil increases the sensation of fullness, but these are oils with a high content of capric and caprylic acids and low in lauric acid; that is, a composition other than that of coconut oil, so "it cannot be promoted that coconut oil has effects similar to medium-chain acid oil on food intake and satiety," concludes a study of Oxford University.

However, there are more and more defenders of not completely suppressing fat intake in weight-loss diets, because they increase gastric volume and cause a greater feeling of fullness than fat-free meals. And other studies go further and show that foods rich in saturated fats fill more than those containing monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil).

Thus, it is not clear that choosing coconut oil instead of other fats will report a greater feeling of satiety. An investigation in obese women (BMI greater than 37) published in 'European Journal of Nutrition' compared the effect of having 25 ml of coconut oil for breakfast with the same amount of olive oil and found that it was less effective in reducing hunger at Four hours after the meal.

Compared to corn oil, coconut oil does not improve thermogenesis and satiety concludes the work of Columbia University (New York).

Coconut oil does not impose itself on butter in terms of weight loss, according to an analysis by the University of Cambridge, although it is healthier and does not increase LDL (bad) cholesterol as does butter.

Entering the benefits of coconut oil, it seems that it can reduce abdominal fat and the effects of obesity on metabolism.

The scientific evidence does not support, for now, that coconut oil is an effective strategy to reduce appetite or promote weight loss. It is true that it is not a proscribed fat from a healthy point of view, which does not mean that it should be included in the usual diet since its lipid profile is also not the best.

And what is indisputable: its high caloric value (862 calories per 100g), not recommended when establishing the balance between intake and caloric expenditure.

So far, what has proven to be clearly effective for weight loss is the caloric deficit. Bluntly: less food and more movement.
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