Coconut Oil- Is All Fat ‘Bad’?

The myth that lots of fat in the diet causes us to have more body fat has been totally debunked in recent years. While it is true that fats are more calorie dense than carbohydrates (9 calories/gram compared to 4 calories/gram), many report feeling more satiated and less ‘sluggish’ eating fats than when consuming large portions of carbs, especially at times of the day away from the workout window.

What makes coconut oil so special?

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Coconut oil is an especially in trend way to meet fat macro requirements right now. Coconut oil is about 90% saturated fat, a higher percentage than butter (approximately 64% saturated fat), beef fat (40%), or even lard (40%) which may shock low-fat dieters! Coconut oil seems particularly potent at raising HDL cholesterol, associated with reducing the risk of heart disease. This is attributed to MCTs (medium chain triglycerides), fatty acids naturally found in coconut oil, palm oil and ghee.

How to use it

Coconut oil is extremely versatile. It can be used to replace your usual oil of choice to fry meat and vegetables, as a spread, as a dressing, mixed into coffee or to add volume and flavour to oats. Not to mention natural coconut oil is extremely moisturising to the skin and/or as a hair treatment!

So…high fat or high carb?

Many modern dietitians are beginning to favour a high fat diet over high carb for weight management in line with the increase in sugar related diseases such as type two diabetes and less cases of illness associated with too much fat in the diet, such as coronary heart disease. It is fair to say that the traditional British diet, high in butter and full fat dairy products, has lost popularity in recent years, while more and more people are trying Ketogenic and Paleo diets.

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The data still tends to suggest that, for athletes, carbohydrate dominant meals around the training session are the most efficient way to provide the body with easily accessible energy and replenish diminished glycogen stores. Fats can slow digestion and, therefore, cause a heavy feeling in the stomach if eaten too close to a session for some. But, if a person consumes six meals a day for example, that leaves four meals to experiment with!

Dr Zak's Organic Coconut Oil:

  • 100% Organic
  • High in MCTs
  • Extra Virgin
  • Versatile
  • Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans

About the Author

Savannah Westerby, BSc Sport and Exercise Nutrition. IG:@savannahwesterby
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