Recently, there has been a trend in the worlds of food and fitness of adding coconut oil to everything. One of the most popular things to add coconut oil to is of course, coffee. So is this merely a fad among the public that has no basis in real science? Surprisingly, it isn’t.
For a long time, everyone was told that “fat is bad for you” and that to lose weight, you needed to reduce your fat intake. However, in light of several studies and the rise of the ketogenic diet, the opposite may be true.
So what exactly is it about coconut oil in coffee that makes it a healthy weight loss beverage?
The Science behind MCT Oil
Coconut oil is a type of oil that contains what is known as medium chain triacylglycerols or MCTs. To make a long discussion short, your body can convert these medium length fatty acids into fuel more easily than long chain fatty acids. This is important because you have to be eating the right kind of fat for effective weight loss.
What makes MCTs superior to glucose (sugar) is the energy yield you get from metabolizing them. For a food source to be used as fuel, your body breaks it down into something called ATP, which is the body’s energy currency. When just one MCT molecule is broken down, it yields at least 108 ATP!
Coffee and Coconut Oil?
In comparison, when a glucose molecule is broken down, it only generates approximately 30-38 ATP; depending on which research you look at. To summarize, MCT gives you much more energy than glucose does.
An understanding of MCTs provides the basis for using coconut oil in your coffee. So, here are the 4 benefits of adding coconut oil to a weekday morning’s hot or iced cup of Joe.
#1 Coconut Oil in Coffee aids in Weight Loss
As initially insane as it sounds, adding coconut oil to your coffee, which contains mostly saturated fat, aids in weight loss. This flies in the face of about 50 years of everyone saying, “Reduce your fat intake to lose weight.” It does not, however, contradict scientific research. In a study on MCT oil and weight loss conducted in 2010, participants showed an increased fat mass loss.
Essentially, using MCT oils such as coconut oil in moderation will improve your weight loss diet. Adding just a tablespoon to your morning coffee will go a long way. This article includes some recipes for making the perfect cup later on.
#2 Coconut Oil in Coffee Reduces Long-Term Hunger
As previously stated, the energy you get from MCTs is much greater than glucose a.k.a sugar. Naturally, it follows that drinking coconut oil in your morning coffee will keep you fuller for longer. Also, being fuller for longer in the morning will improve your overall mood.
In a study published in 2007, participants who followed a high-fat diet reported decreased hunger and negative feelings than the low-fat diet participants. In layman’s terms, the high-fat diet participants experienced less “hangry” feelings than the low-fat diet participants. Nobody likes being hangry.
Another benefit from drinking coconut oil coffee is that you will probably end up eating less overall. A serving of coconut oil is only 117 calories. If you add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, an ingredient in many bulletproof coffee recipes, then the total equals 321 calories. So for 321 calories, you get a massive amount of energy, and potentially need to eat less for the rest of the day.
#3 Coconut Oil in Coffee Decreases Stress
An article written by Registered Dietitian Kathleen M. Zelman states that eating breakfast improves your concentration throughout the day. This is common sense, because it is hard to concentrate on things when you’re hungry. As previously stated, adding coconut oil to your morning coffee decreases long-term hunger. Even just having a cup of coconut oil coffee is a sufficient breakfast to reap the benefits.
Not only does the coconut oil coffee keep you full, it also decreases stress chemicals in your body. A study published in 2014 shows that consuming coconut oil reduced stress and inflammation in participants. This is because MCTs and fatty acids in general are a key component in anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants.
#4 Coconut Coffee Tastes Amazing
Aside from all the health benefits, coconut oil provides the perfect flavor to your morning coffee. Coffee has a strong bitter flavor, which may vary slightly depending on the blend. Coconut oil, in contrast, has a creamy flavor that provides the perfect compliment.
If you don’t want to just use the coconut oil by itself, no problem. There are numerous flavoring options that are delicious and won’t jack up the calorie count. Personally, I use vanilla extract and cinnamon. You can also use peppermint extract, honey, and even ginger for you adventurous types.
For those who want to get started with coconut coffee right away, here is a simple recipe for you.
If you’re just using coffee and coconut oil, simply stir in the coconut oil and enjoy. If you’re using more ingredients, especially the butter, use a blender for the best flavor. Simply combine the ingredients in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds. If you blend it hot, it will create a delicious foam on top reminiscent of a cappuccino or latte.
Coconut oil in coffee is a delicious breakfast drink. It is full of healthy MCTs that, contrary to conventional wisdom, aids in weight loss. It also keeps you full and improves your mood, and it’s flat-out delicious. So what are you waiting for? Head to the store, get some virgin coconut oil (make sure it’s high quality) and transform your life today.