How to eat coconut oil and how much per day?

Coconut oil has some very impressive health benefits.

It has been shown to increase metabolism, reduce hunger and increase HDL (the "good") cholesterol, to name a few.

However, many people are confused about how much to take and how to eat it.

This article explains how to include coconut oil in your diet and the optimal amount you should take.

Doses used in studies

Several studies have investigated the benefits of coconut oil, many of which are attributed to its high content of medium chain triglycerides (MCT).

Percentage doses

In some cases, the amount of oil supplied was a percentage of total calories, which varied from person to person.

In three similar studies, a combination of coconut oil and butter were the main sources of fat in a diet with 40% fat. Women of normal weight experienced significant temporary increases in metabolic rate and calorie expenditure (1, 2, 3).

In a study that compared the effects of different fats on cholesterol levels, a diet with 20% of the total calories of coconut oil raised HDL cholesterol in women but not in men. In addition, it was shown to raise LDL cholesterol less than butter (4).

In each of these studies, a person who consumed 2,000 calories to maintain weight would have included 36 to 39 grams of coconut oil per day as part of a mixed diet.

Fixed doses

In other studies, each participant consumed the same amount of oil regardless of caloric intake.

In one study, overweight or obese people who drank 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut oil per day for 4 weeks lost an average of 1.1 inches (2.87 cm) of their waists (5).

In addition, participants lost this weight without deliberately restricting calories or increasing physical activity (5).

In another study, obese women took 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of coconut or soybean oil while on a low-calorie diet. Their waist sizes decreased and HDL cholesterol increased, while the control group had the opposite response (6).

Bottom line: In studies, coconut oil has benefits when administered in fixed doses or as a percentage of total caloric intake.

How much coconut oil per day?

Studies have found that 2 tablespoons (30 ml) appear to be an effective dose.

This has been shown to benefit weight, reduce abdominal fat and improve other health markers (5, 6).

Some studies used up to 2.5 tablespoons (39 grams) per day, depending on caloric intake (1, 2, 3, 4).

Two tablespoons provide approximately 18 grams of medium chain triglycerides, which are within the range of 15 to 30 grams that has been shown to increase the metabolic rate (7).

Eating 2 tablespoons (30 ml) per day is a reasonable amount that leaves room for other healthy fats in your diet, such as nuts, extra virgin olive oil and avocados.

However, start slowly to avoid nausea and loose stools that can occur with a high intake. Take 1 teaspoon per day, gradually increasing to 2 tablespoons per day for 1 to 2 weeks.

Bottom line: The consumption of 2 tablespoons per day is enough to achieve health benefits, but it is better to reach this amount gradually.

How to eat coconut oil

There are several ways to include this oil in your diet.

Use it to cook

Coconut oil is ideal for cooking because almost 90% of its fatty acids are saturated, which makes it extremely stable at high temperatures.

It also has a high smoke point of 350 ° F (175 ° C).

Coconut oil is semi-solid at room temperature and melts at 76 ° F (24 ° C). So keep it in a closet, instead of in the refrigerator, to keep it flexible.

During the colder months, it can become very solid and difficult to remove from the container. This can be remedied by beating it with an electric mixer or in a blender.

Here are several cooking ideas:

  • Sautéing or skipping Use 1-2 tablespoons of this oil to cook vegetables, eggs, meat or fish.

  • Popcorn: Sprinkle melted coconut oil on popcorn or try this popcorn recipe.

  • Baking: Use to cover poultry or meat before rubbing with seasonings.

Use it in Recipes

Coconut oil can be replaced by oil or butter in a ratio of 1: 1 in most recipes.

Be sure to let cold ingredients such as eggs or milk reach room temperature before mixing them, so they mix gently instead of agglomerating.

It is better to melt it and add to the shakes and protein shakes gradually.

Here are some recipes that use coconut oil:

  • Sautéed Zucchini, Squash And Onions.

  • Thai Chicken Curry Coconut.

  • Strawberry milkshake and coconut oil.

Add to coffee or tea

Another way to take this oil is in coffee or tea. Point for a small amount, about one teaspoon or two. Below is a quick recipe for tea with coconut oil.

Chai Cocoa Tea for One

  • Chai tea bag (herbal or regular).

  • 1 spoonful of cocoa powder without sugar.

  • 1 spoonful of cream or half and half.

  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

  • Stevia or other sweetener, to taste.

To do this, pour boiling water over the tea bag and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the tea bag, add the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended.

Bottom line: Coconut oil can be used for cooking, in recipes and to add a delicious richness to hot drinks.

What about the supplements?

Coconut oil is also available in capsule form.

In a way it may seem more convenient, especially for traveling. However, there is a clear disadvantage to this method of delivery.

Most capsules contain 1 gram per capsule. To get 2 tablespoons (30 ml) per day, you should take approximately 30 capsules a day.

For most people, this is simply not realistic. Instead, try using coconut oil for cooking or include it in recipes.

Bottom line: The capsules of coconut oil must be consumed in very large quantities to achieve an effective dose.

Calories still count

Coconut oil provides valuable benefits, but there are limits to how much you should eat.

In fact, each scoop contains 130 calories.

And while medium chain triglycerides may slightly increase your metabolic rate, eating more calories than you need could lead to weight gain.

Research has shown that coconut oil is more effective when it replaces less healthy fats in the diet, rather than adding to the fat you currently consume.

Take about 2 tablespoons daily seems to be the best strategy to optimize health.

Bottom line: For best results, replace less healthy fats with coconut oil instead of increasing your current fat intake.

Bring the message home

Coconut oil is a natural source of medium chain triglycerides, which offer several health benefits.

Including 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day, in the kitchen or in recipes, is the best way to obtain these benefits.

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