Fighting Fat with Fat?

Don’t fill your plate with oily bacon just yet. We are not referring to that kind of fat. We are talking about beneficial fat.

Like coconut oil for instance. There are many uses for this oil, but can it help you lose weight.

According to Joyce Hendly of EatingWell.com, there is "science" indicating that tropical oil such as coconut oil may cause a "slight (temporary) boost in your metabolism."

When we eat, the process of digestion burns 10 percent of the calories we consume. For instance, if you eat a 500-calorie meal, the body will use 50 of those calories to process food. So how does using coconut oil figure in all of this? Well, if you use coconut oil instead of your usually cooking oil or even butter, your metabolism will burn around 15 percent of the calories. So instead of burning 50 calories, you toast 75.

It has something to do with oil’s molecular structure and how the body processes it. Coconut oil fatty acids (medium-chain triacylglycerols, or MCT) are shorter and more water-soluble than those in other oils, such as canola, or even olive oil. According to Peter Jones, Ph.D., professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, this makes them "more directly routed to the liver, where they’re readily burned for fuel." Thus, their opportunity to be deposited in fat stores is a lot slimmer.

But before you gulp down coconut oil, remember that there is no scientific evidence that taking coconut oil can help you lose weigh. However, one study which used MCT oil, suggests that coconut oil may work just as well. The study had 31 overweight participants follow a low-calories diet that included just over a tablespoon for women and under two table spoons for men each day of either MCT of olive oil. After four months, the MCT oil group lost an average of 7 pounds; whereas the olive oil group lost only 3 pounds. Researchers suggest that this may be due to the metabolic boost that MCT oil does.

However, even if coconut oil is does help people lose weight, experts do no recommend it. Coconut oil contains too much saturated fat to be good for you: 12 grams in 1 tablespoon versus 7 grams in a tablespoon of butter.

Source: MSN Health