Despite the proclamations that coconut oil is a saturated fat that’s bad for you, coconut oil is a bona fide fat burner. The reason is that it’s rich in medium-chain triglycerides. Most vegetable oils are made up of long-chain fatty acids that are stored as bodyfat. Medium-chain triglycerides aren’t stored and are burned almost immediately as fuel. They require little digestion and are quickly absorbed by the body, which also heightens the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins—A, D, E and K—and many minerals, especially calcium and magnesium.
In addition, coconut oil curbs the appetite, and because it contains a lot of lauric acid, it speeds up the body’s thermogenic rate—that is, how fast you burn calories. Lauric acid is responsible for many of coconut oil’s benefits. The most abundant source of lauric acid besides coconut oil is breast milk, with which it shares health-giving properties.
There is also evidence that coconut oil can accelerate fat-burning activities by stimulating the thyroid gland, which controls all of the body’s metabolic activities. Current data suggest that coconut oil raises the body’s basal metabolic rate, which is how well you burn calories at rest, while improving overall metabolism. The bottom line here is that when you take medium-chain triglycerides instead of long-chain triglycerides, you turn into a fat-burning machine and store a lot less fat.
Coconut oil has fewer calories than most other fats and oils. So you don’t have to use as much oil as you would when cooking with other oils.