How Many Calories In Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil comes from the white, fleshy core of the mature coconut kernel. It's harvested from the coconut palm and is the primary source of fat for many people living on tropical islands. Coconut oil is commonly used as cooking oil in South Asian cuisine, and it's also used in snack foods.

Coconut oil may be extracted at home by shredding the coconut kernel and mixing it with a little water. The oil may then be extracted mechanically from the pulp with an oil press. The resulting extract is then set aside for up to 24 hours. The coconut oil will separate from the coconut milk and may then be skimmed off of the milk.

Coconut oil has a number of properties that make it useful as cooking oil. It is a pure white solid with a relatively high melting point due to the high saturated fat content. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees Fahrenheit into a clear liquid. It's also very heat stable and doesn't begin to smoke until it reaches a temperature of 360 degrees Fahrenheit. This stability also gives coconut oil a shelf life of up to two years.

One serving of coconut oil is 1 tbsp. This quantity weighs approximately 14 grams, or half an ounce. A serving of coconut oil has about 122 calories, all of which come from fat. Coconut oil has no significant proteins or carbohydrates. A serving of coconut oil has about 6.1 percent of the daily value (DV) calorie requirements, based on a daily diet of 2,000 calories.

A serving of coconut oil contains 13.6 g of fat. Each gram of fat contains 9 calories, so a serving of coconut oil contains 13.6 x 9 = 122 calories from fat. Saturated fats account for 11.76 g, and unsaturated fats provide the remaining 1.84 g of fat.

What Are the Benefits of Coconut Oil for Weight Loss?

Coconut oil is a tasty, pleasant-smelling weight loss supplement that's also easy to use in everyday recipes. It poses few side effects, but one possible adverse reaction could defeat its intended purpose: coconut oil could cause you to gain rather than shed pounds. Anecdotes and observational studies about coconut oil's role in weight loss abound, but scientific evidence is slim.

Coconut oil is a medium-chain triglyceride that goes directly to your liver and is used as energy. Most fats, including butter and margarine, are long-chain triglycerides that burn slowly and are most often stored as fat in your body. As a medium-chain triglyceride, coconut oil boosts metabolism, which provides support for its use in weight loss.

Although coconut oil is a saturated fat, it contains no cholesterol and is less likely to clog your arteries than butter. Unlike margarine, it also contains no trans-fat, which has been linked to cancer. Coconut oil also contains essential amino acids that may protect against infection as well as boost your metabolism.

Matt Lovell, nutritionist for Britain's national rugby team, added coconut oil to players' diets and found that coconut oil helped them burn fat and gain more than 4lbs. of muscle. There is also scientific support for coconut oil's ability to reduce abdominal fat. M. L. Accuncao and other Brazilian scientists discovered that adding 2 tbsp. of coconut oil to the diets of obese women helped them lose significant amounts of belly fat. The study, reported in "Obese" was a randomized, double-blind clinical study involving 40 obese women, half of whom were given soybean oil instead of coconut oil.

A chief benefit of taking coconut oil as a supplement is that it's easy to use. Coconut oil responds well to high heat, so you could substitute it for other cooking oils in sauteing vegetables or as a pan coating when you're making omelets or pancakes. Coconut milk is also rich in coconut oil---a 10 oz. can contains 3.5 tbsp. of oil---so you could use coconut milk in smoothies or baked goods. Some users say it tastes good enough to eat by the spoon while others dissolve it in warm water.

Coconut oil contains about the same amount of calorie as other oils, so if you merely substitute it for other oils in cooking and baking, you wouldn't be adding calories to your diet. But, in order to get the metabolism-boosting effects needed for weight loss, proponents say to take 3 to 3.5 tbsp. daily. This would add 350 to 400 calories to your diet, and it is not known whether coconut oil boosts metabolism enough to offset its calories. If you're on a calorie-reduced diet of 1500 calories a day with a weight loss goal of a pound per week, you'd be giving up more than 25 percent of your allowed calories to coconut oil. Advocates say their eat-fat-to-lose-fat philosophy works even it seems counter-intuitive. Critics say there are simply too many calories in coconut oil to make it worth trying.

Cooking with Coconut Oil

Create healthier meals and boost energy with an alternative cooking oil harvested from natural, organic coconuts.

While the mention of coconut oil typically conjures images of sunbathers or stretch mark prevention, coconut oil is gaining popularity in the kitchen. Versatile, light, and creamy, coconut oil takes on the roles of corn oil or cooking shortening in frying and sautéeing foods and combines with other oils to reduce unhealthy fat.

Like saffron and sunflower oils, coconut oil is hailed as a healthy substitute for traditional cooking oils, but coconut oil possesses additional benefits. From energy boosts to weight-loss properties, this natural oil has a wealth of positive health promises.

Coconut Oil Weight Loss Properties

When taken in its natural form or as an additive, coconut oil boosts metabolism, helping the body burn calories more efficiently. It also boosts energy, encouraging users to be more active and feel less fatigued by day-to-day activities. Users should choose natural and organic varieties of coconut oil, avoiding any versions that contain hydrogenated oils or trans-fats, which defeat the purpose and benefits of coconut oil.

Because of its traditional healing properties when used externally, coconut oil is often ingested to encourage healing for joint pain, skin conditions, and certain physical ailments. Many users use coconut oil for a twofold purpose: to help promote weight loss and fitness through energy and boost performance by treating physical obstacles that slow fitness routines.

Frying and Baking Substitutions

Use coconut oil in place of corn oil, shortening, and even olive oil for frying meats and vegetables. The oil melts and heats quickly (be careful, it has a low smoke threshold), with a texture similar to melted butter. Unlike frying oils, coconut oil doesn't change its molecular properties when heated, meaning fewer harmful fats are ingested when used to cook foods.

Coconut oil can also be used to grease sheets or pans for baking purposes. Mix with butter to form a substitute fat combination for toasted bread or muffins as a butter substitute. The combination can be refrigerated and used as a healthier bread spread in place of margarine or pure butter.

Coconut Oil as an Energy Booster

Up to three tablespoons of coconut oil per day before meals help boost energy and metabolism; taking too much, however, can result in mild symptoms of nausea or indigestion-related symptoms. For users who prefer not to add coconut oil to their recipes, the oil can be taken mixed with other foods, such as peanut butter, for a quick spoonful. Other users melt the virtually-tasteless substance and add to coffee.

The many health-related properties of coconut oil have helped encourage its reputation as a recipe substitute. Pair or rotate with other healthy oils or use as an additive to boost physical energy and wellness.

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