Consuming 15 to 30 g of coconut oil in the daily diet can reduce belly fat, recent research finds.
Coconut oil can also reduce hunger pangs and appetite and this can help with weight loss.
A meta-analysis of different studies suggests that replacing long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) over the long-term can lead to weight lost and reduce belly fat.
Coconut oil, palm kernel oil, desiccated coconut and raw coconut meat contain good amount of MCTs.
Most fats and oils in our diet, such as soybean, sunflower oil, and olive oil contain LCTs.
MCTs, though, can increase the body’s ability to burn calories since they break down easily and are absorbed by the cells rapidly.
As a result MCTs are not stored as fat in the body and are sent quickly from the digestive tract to the liver to turn into energy or ketone bodies.
Visceral fat lies deep in the belly and is wrapped around the organs including the stomach, liver, pancreas, and intestines.
Visceral belly fat is also called “active fat” since this type of fat can build up in the arteries and also lead to dangerous health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
This fat is different with the subcutaneous fat that is stored under the skin and you can feel it in different parts of your body, such as the arms and legs.
If the belly is sticking out then it is likely that you have stored visceral fat.
If a man’s waist measures 40 inches or more and if a woman’s waist measures 35 inches or more that indicates an excess of visceral fat and health-related issues.
Making changes to diet and lifestyle towards losing weight can help get rid of this active fat.
About the author
Mina Dean is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
The study was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Mumme & Stonehouse, 2015).