I must confess that I've found the coconut oil idea simply brilliant. Since I've always loved the smell of coconut in cakes and cookies, when I read about the countless health benefits provided by coconut oil in coffee, I decided to give it a try.
You can find coconut oil jars pretty much everywhere around my house. I have them in the bathroom and the kitchen. I use coconut oil to address my dry skin issue, and I've been drinking coconut oil in my coffee for over one year already.
I've seen that there's a lot of controversy in the online environment regarding whether coconut oil in coffee is good or bad for you. I've decided to take a closer look at this, so I've come up with a series of facts for you to form your own opinion about coconut oil in coffee.
What exactly is coconut oil coffee?
The idea of putting coconut oil or other such fats in coffee or tea isn't new. However, it has grown in popularity over the past few years, thanks to the launch of "Bulletproof Coffee" by Dave Asprey.
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Asprey came up with this idea after spending some time in Tibet and trying their traditional drinks made with yak butter. He has developed a recipe based on his own brand of coffee beans, high-quality unsalted, grass-fed butter and a special oil he called "Brain Octane."
Many bulletproof coffee aficionados report multiple benefits such as weight loss and better cognitive abilities - hence the tremendous popularity of this drink among Silicon Valley employees and athletes. (1)
As the composition of coffee with coconut oil is very similar to "Brain Octane," the two drinks have multiple benefits in common.
If you can't afford to buy the branded product, you can always enjoy similar benefits by replacing it with coconut oil coffee. There's enough scientific evidence to support its health benefits, as well.
Main health benefits of coconut oil in coffee
1) It can help to boost your metabolism rate
Coconut oil is one of the so-called "thermogenic" foods. This means that eating it triggers an increase in your energy expenditure - your body burns fatter.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the facts. According to one of these studies, ingesting 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day can help you burn 120 extra calories.
There's also research that documents the effect of coffee on the metabolism. Apparently, coffee can help you burn about 80 extra calories per day.
This may not seem too impressive, but when you accumulate it with the effect of coconut oil, you may experience a noticeable difference.
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2) It helps you avoid overeating
Coconut oil can do more than helping you burn more calories; it can also help you eat less. According to some studies, even a small amount of coconut oil can make you feel full.
This will lead to eating less food and avoid munching on snacks between the main meals of the day.
This complex effect may be related to the fact that eating coconut oil determines the liver to produce ketone bodies. These ketone bodies are responsible for the satiety sensation, being therefore ideal for curbing appetite and food cravings.
A small study has shown that eating a small amount of coconut oil made the participants eat 250 calories less (on average).
Caffeine is also a well-known appetite suppressor. One study found that male subjects drinking coffee ate on average 21.7% fewer calories than subjects in the control group.
3) It raises your energy levels
The energy-raising effects of coconut oil coffee are due to the combined action of caffeine and the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil.
Other oils contain longer chain varieties of fatty acids. This is why the fatty acids in coconut oil are converted into energy much faster instead of being stored by your body in fat deposits.
4) It promotes digestion
Both coffee and coconut oil can stimulate the digestion process, thanks to their active compounds. Caffeine is already well-known for its stimulant properties that energize us and prevent us from falling asleep.
Nonetheless, it has the same action on the muscles - including the ones in your colon. Caffeine stimulates digestion, thus preventing constipation naturally and effectively.
Coconut oil also has laxative properties, as it lubricates the digestive system, promoting your intestinal transit.
5) It has antimicrobial properties
Lauric acid is one of the primary compounds found in coconut oil. It has excellent antimicrobial properties, being therefore effective in fighting a wide array of infections.
According to one study, lauric acid was effective against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
Another study found that fatty acids in coconut oil may be effective in the treatment of antibiotic-resistant fungal infections such as Candida.
The last study found that coconut oil has inhibitory effects on Staphylococcus Aureus, a difficult to kill a strain of bacteria.
6) It regulates your blood sugar
Insulin is the human hormone responsible for regulating the amount of sugar in your blood. Ideally, the level of insulin in your body should be stable at all times.
Insulin spikes and dips trigger low energy, exhaustion, cravings, and many other nasty symptoms. Unlike most of the foods we eat, coconut oil doesn't trigger insulin release.
Furthermore, it helps your cells make better use of existing insulin, leading to an optimized process. (source)
7) It can improve your brain function
According to may users, coconut oil coffee is best to drink before starting your work in the morning, as it can make you more productive.
This isn't your average myth that can be easily busted. First of all, we know that caffeine stimulates the brain and increases alertness. Apparently, coconut oil has the same effects on your brain.
Scientists are keen on studying the link between ketone bodies and the dreaded Alzheimer's disease. By feeding the brain cells, ketone bodies released by the fatty acids in coconut oil can effectively contribute to alleviating the symptoms of this medical condition.
Unfortunately, everything more than the above is pure speculation for the time being. Nonetheless, it can set a solid ground for further research. If there's even a slight chance that coconut oil can help me keep my brain healthy, I definitely want it!
Coconut oil in coffee: the main points of concern
There are a few points that trigger a controversy among scientists regarding the regular consumption of coconut oil.
I'll leave aside the coffee for the time being, as there's also controversy regarding its health benefits. For now, let's focus on coconut oil:
1) High in calories
Since it is a fat, coconut oil is high in calories. If you ingest a lot of coconut oil without making any other change in your diet, you'll probably gain weight.
Limit your daily intake to one tablespoon in your morning coffee. If you are actively watching your weight, ensure that you log your calories and adjust your diet to match your goals.
2) High in saturated fat
Most doctors and nutritionists recommend that we avoid saturated fat. Saturated fats may promote bad cholesterol in your blood, thus increasing your risk of stroke and heart disease.
Our modern western diet is rich in saturated fats coming from various foods such as cheese, bacon, fast food, red meat, and butter. Asian cultures tend to rely more on coconut oil, but they lack in all other sources of saturated fat.
According to the American Heart Association, you shouldn't exceed 13 grams of saturated fat per day.
This is just the amount of saturated fat in one tablespoon of coconut oil. If you want to drink coconut oil coffee, you'll have to give up all other foods that contain saturated fat.
As I like to be on the safe side, I didn't drink coconut oil every day (I limited it to three times a week, mainly when I didn't have time for a proper breakfast).
This should be good for me, as I can't eliminate all other saturated fats from my diet.
It's always good to have your cholesterol levels monitored by your doctor. By measuring them twice a year, you can notice if coconut oil coffee alters them.
Like this, you can quickly make adjustments to your diet.
3) Unhealthy meal replacement
This is a fact. Many people, particularly the ones who want to lose weight, tend to replace their breakfast with coconut oil coffee. This doesn't supply them with the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and protein their body needs to function properly.
If you don't skip any meal, but rather stick to a balanced diet, you should be just fine. I'm not a fan of skipping breakfast, anyway. Just have your coconut oil coffee with some eggs, and replace it with a full breakfast once or twice a week.
How to prepare coconut oil coffee
Preparing a delicious coconut oil coffee is easy, provided that you know how to do it. If you don't fancy a layer of fat is floating on top of your coffee, consider getting a blender.
Make your coffee as usual. I use a French press, but you can use anything you like. Once the coffee is ready, pour it into the blender and add a teaspoon of coconut oil. Blend it thoroughly until it starts to change its color.
You may add anything you like, just as you do with your regular coffee. Sugar, vanilla essence, or stevia would do. If you want your coffee cold, you can keep it in the fridge for a while.
What kind of coconut oil to use?
There are different types of coconut oil. Since you're going to ingest it, you should use virgin coconut oil, and purchase it from a reliable source. Avoid refined coconut oil, because it is chemically treated.
Now that you know all these, would you think coconut oil in coffee is a good idea or a bad one? If you want my take, I believe that moderation should be the main keyword in everything. Coconut oil makes no exception.
I believe that eating a lot of coconut oil every day will negatively affect your health. Nonetheless, the occasional teaspoon in the big scheme of a balanced diet can be good for you.
Last but not least, coconut oil in coffee is very tasty, so I'm keen on enjoying it for many years to come.