coconut oil on keto

How to Use Coconut Oil in the Keto Diet

Coconut oil offers many health benefits. In fact, it is so good for you, it’s regarded as one of the so-called superfoods.

Coconut oil contains healthy fatty acids that boost heart health, help your body to burn fat, help raise your good cholesterol (HDL) levels in your blood, moisturize your skin and do wonders for hair.

But to be honest for you I started using coconut oil 2 years ago when I started the Keto diet. I have to say I love the taste and it’s health properties are to die for but before we start let me explain to you what coconut oil really is.

What is coconut oil?

Coconut comes from the white flesh or meat inside a mature coconut, which grows on a coconut palm. At room temperature coconut oil is solid with a similar consistency to butter.

Apart from the oil, you also get coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut butter, coconut flour, desiccated coconut and shredded coconut.

What are the benefits of coconut oil on the keto diet?

  1. Coconut oil can help you get into ketosis.

People go on a keto diet to get into ketosis. Ketosis happens when your body doesn’t get enough carbs from what you eat for energy. Then the body uses fat for energy. In the process, it makes what is called ketones that it can burn for fuel.

Including coconut oil in your diet can boost your efforts to get into ketosis. The reason for this is the special medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are the short fatty acid chains in coconut oil. MTCs are quickly absorbed and used for energy by the body.

There are several types of saturated fatty acids in coconut oil. The primary type is lauric acid – up to (47%). Lauric acid is not an MTC. Lauric acid is absorbed more slowly and is metabolized like other long-chain fatty acids, so it is thought that it can help people to stay in ketosis for longer.

learn how to use coconut oil in keto
  1. May reduce appetite

Oils are naturally satisfying and the MCTs in coconut oil also seems to help people to eat less because they feel satisfied after ingesting coconut oil.

Studies have shown that people who ate MCTs at breakfast, ate less food at lunch. 

  1. May help with fat burning

The MCTs in coconut oil can increase the number of calories your body burns, but just adding coconut oil to your diet won’t necessarily let you burn fat. 

Scientists have looked at the effect of coconut oil on weight loss, and have found that where the use of coconut oil was part of a reduced-calorie diet and exercise plan, it did help with weight loss. But again, it won’t help you to lose weight if you simply include it in your diet. Remember, coconut oil is very high in calories.

Scientific research doesn’t support the idea that you’ll lose weight if you simply add coconut oil to your diet.

  1. May help reduce belly fat

Belly fat, also called visceral fat, accumulates around your organs and is very bad for your health. 

The MCTs in coconut oil may help to reduce this harmful fat.

Several scientific studies have found that when research participants took 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day, there was a noticeable decrease in Body Mass Index (BMI) as well as waist circumference.

Still, these were small studies. Don’t start taking spoons full of coconut oil indiscriminately. We need more research. Scientists warn that people should use coconut oil sparingly as it’s high in calories. It may be that you’ll lose a bit of weight if you replace other cooking oils with coconut oil, but don’t bargain on it.

How to use coconut oil on the keto diet

Experts suggest that you should start slowly, especially if you are not used to ingesting high amounts of fat on a daily basis. If you have not used coconut oil before, your digestive system might need time to adjust. You can start with one teaspoon per day and have a little more every day until you have 2- 3 tablespoons full by the end of a week.

Coconut oil is versatile and can be incorporated in many of your existing recipes.

Because of a high smoke point, coconut oil is great for baking, frying, and to sauté food. 

Coconut oil on the keto lowcarb diet (4)

You can add it to shakes and smoothies. You can also make healthy desserts with it.

Best of all, you can skip breakfast and have a cup of bulletproof coffee with a tablespoon of coconut oil and butter. 

What is the best coconut oil for keto, refined or unrefined?

You can use both refined and unrefined coconut oil in your diet as they have different qualities and benefits. However, unrefined coconut oil is far superior in terms of nutritional value.

Unrefined or virgin coconut oil is obtained from pressing the fresh coconut meat in the kernel of the coconut. In this state, the oil retains all its nutrition and health benefits derived from MCTs.

Refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat that has been subjected to a refining process. This oil has a long shelf life and is used by people who don’t like a strong coconut flavour. Actually, it’s a bland, flavorless oil. 

Unrefined coconut oil has a smoke point of 350 degrees and is good for baking and sautéing, but not for frying.

When buying the refined version, check on the label how the oil was refined. Some processes are harsh and destroy the oil’s health benefits. The oil that has been cold-pressed is better than those refined by using heat and chemicals.

Refined coconut oil has a smoke point of 400 degrees F and is suitable for frying.

When buying refined coconut oil make sure it’s organic and naturally processed. If you can’t see from the label how it was processed, contact the manufacturer directly.

Best brands of coconut oil found on Amazon

  1. Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

This oil is cold-pressed from fresh, organic coconuts, and is rich in flavor and nutrients.

You can use is for cooking frying, spreading and sautéing. 

  1. Garden of Life Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

This unrefined coconut oil is not hydrogenated, bleached, refined, or deodorized. It is cold-pressed, making it healthy to use for cooking and baking as is.

  1. Nutiva Organic, Unrefined, Virgin Coconut Oil,

Nutiva is made by a cold press extraction process that results in a light-tasting, nutrient-rich oil containing 63% medium-chain triglycerides and 50% lauric acid.

  1. Nutiva Organic, Steam-Refined Coconut Oil 

This has been the number 1 selling coconut oil in the US for over 10 years. The oil is steam-refined using non-GMO, sustainably farmed coconuts. It has a neutral scent and flavour, which many people prefer. It’s ideal for recipes that doesn’t call for a coconut flavour.

How much coconut oil should I consume per day?

Studies have found that 2 tablespoons are beneficial for losing weight, especially belly fat. Two tablespoons of coconut oil will give you around 18 grams of medium-chain triglycerides. 

You can make up your quota of healthy fats for the day with other healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil.

As mentioned before, start slowly. Start with one teaspoon per day and gradually work up to two tablespoons per day over a week or two.

Ways to use coconut oil on keto

You can use coconut oil for baking, frying, and to sauté food. 

You can add it to shakes and smoothies. You can also make healthy desserts with it.

Coconut oil recipes for keto diet

I have found a great resource for keto recipes that use coconut oil. Check it out. There are recipes for breakfast treats, dinner dishes and healthy desserts. 

Conclusion

Coconut oil is a healthy fat to add to your keto diet. It can help you to stay in ketosis.

The little research that has been done on it seems to indicate that coconut oil can help you to lose weight, especially around your waist. 

However, scientists warn that coconut oil is very high in calories and you shouldn’t add too much of it to your diet. Use it to replace other healthy fats that you are already eating and don’t ingest more than 2 tablespoons per day.

Enjoy your coconut oil and happy weight loss!

coconut oil on the keto diet
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