Secret sauce to success – coconut oil

The cat is out of the bag on this one in the past few years, the secret food here is coconut oil. This stuff has been around for ages, but its true potential is only now being realized. Coconut oil is awesome! You need and should put this into your nutrition plan and daily habits – mainly for cooking and adding some flavour to veggies.

Coconut oil is a good, healthy, natural saturated fat. I can hear you now “But saturated fat is bad!” I can tell you with 100% certainty that is a myth. The reasons why you have heard this falsehood over and over is that people confuse man-made and natural saturate fats. There are trans fats and there are saturated fats and they are not the same thing. Trans fats are man-made garbage fats and are toxic to humans. The safe level of trans fats in the diet is zero.

Coconut oil has some serious benefits when it comes to fat loss, skin health and boosting metabolic rate. First off, its fat is primarily composed of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) – most fats are long chain.

This is significant for several reasons:

1. The likelihood of MCTs being stored as fat is near zero.

2. MCTs are preferentially used as a fuel in the body and require no conversion to be used almost instantly (signaling your body to switch its fuel source from carbs to body fat).

3. Coconut oil has been proven to elevate metabolism, increasing the number of calories burned per day significantly.

4. Coconut oil has been shown to optimize the thyroid and even reverse thyroid dysfunction.

5. Coconut oil seriously blunts appetite.

6. Coconut oil puts your body in a ‘fat burning mode.

It is worth noting that the one of the fats in coconut oil is called auric acid. This is also the primary fat found in mother’s milk. There are piles and piles of other benefits too, but that goes beyond the scope of this guide.

If you wish (we recommend it) – here is how you will be using coconut oil: You will be taking two to four tablespoons of the awesome stuff per day in divided doses. Organic is best.

When to take coconut oil:

1. After you wake up – boosting metabolism and telling your body to use fat for fuel, setting the tone for the day.

2. Twenty to 30 minutes prior to your workout – boosting metabolism and telling your body to use fat for fuel for the workout (and beyond).

3. Twenty to 30 minutes prior to any meal blunting a portion insulin response.

You do not have to take it at every one of those times, but first thing in the morning and prior to the workout are the most important. (If you work out in the morning this could be just the one to two teaspoon dose, but then definitely take it another time day.)

How you will take it – straight from the bottle (any brand of virgin coconut oil). It tastes like a creamy Mounds candy bar, just not as sweet. Some people like to put it in a mug of water and place in hot water, warm it up and drink it. If that’s too much – just go for a spoon. Keep it at room temperature for best consistency and texture.

On a side note, a very small percentage of users may experience some ‘gastric distress’ when consuming coconut oil – this is largely due to killing off the bad bacteria in the gut. The simple solution is to start with a smaller dosage (one teaspoon) and work your way back up.

Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer.

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