Coconut oil contains saturated fat. Saturated fat is not the demon we’ve been led to believe it is. Whether or not you believe it’s part of some conspiracy is neither here nor there.
The fact is that Americans have been downing vegetable oil and avoiding the beneficial saturated fats that come from butter and coconut oil because they were believed to cause heart disease.
Well, that turned out to be a huge, fat myth. Just because they’re beneficial doesn’t mean you should start double-fisting them, though. You may not clog your arteries, but you’ll probably clog your toilet.
Fats are generally made up of long chains. The fats in coconut oil are mostly medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Here’s what you need to know.
Bile is produced to help break down the large fat molecules so they can move into your mucosa, where they get turned into larger molecules, are then delivered to your bloodstream and carried to your fat deposits.
Should you need energy from fat, your body makes a withdrawal and uses some of that fat. If that seems like an involved process to use the fat you’re eating, you are correct.
MCTs, on the other hand, bypass most of that. They don’t require bile to be broken down because they’re shorter than other fats and they’re transported directly to the bloodstream through your portal vein.
All this means is that you can quickly get energy from medium chain triglycerides and your body won’t add them to your love handles (unless you’re consuming an overabundance of calories).
It’s not a good idea to ignore the rest of the group, but lauric acid provides benefits above and beyond the rest of the medium chain fatty acids. Lauric acid is where coconut oil gets its strange anti-powers from – it’s antiviral and antibacterial in a way the other medium chain triglycerides aren’t.
Not coincidentally, lauric acid is commonly found in breast milk – for many of the same reasons you’d want to take it, but it’s there to help babies grow and survive the perils of, well, being a baby.
MCTs are also satiating. More specifically, lauric acid makes you feel full without having to add Meta to your drink. Lauric acid does this by affecting two of your gut hormones that signal whether or not you’re full.
Of course, the easiest way to get the benefits of lauric acid is to eat coconut oil because lauric acid comprises about 50% of the fat content. But instead of just sticking a spoon in a jar and licking it clean (which isn’t as bad as it sounds), why not add it to a benefit-laden drink to really ratchet it up?
This is a beverage you’ll want to have more than twice a day, but probably shouldn’t. There is an upper limit to the amount of MCTs you can take in without having to run to the bathroom.
For most people, that’s around 2 tablespoons at a single time. Some people can have 4 tablespoons of MCT oil or more in a day. It all just depends on how your body reacts to it.
Pro tip: if you’ve never had coconut oil or MCT oil before, work your way up to your desired amount. Don’t just dive in and expect your body to be able to handle all that awesomeness. Be sure to listen to your body and find out what works best for you.
You’ve got two options to experience the benefits of coconut oil in your coffee. The first is just to stir it in, which is nice. You’ll feel like you’re on a beach instead of just standing in your kitchen.
The other way is to put both in your blender (or use an immersion blender) and get it nice and frothy – so you can feel like you’ve got a personal tropical barista.
In addition to a quick energy boost, you’ll also get some ketones out of the deal, help improve nutrient absorption, and you’ll provide your brain with some much-needed fuel.
Optimized Coffee Recipe with Coconut Oil
● 8-12 oz. hot coffee
● 2 tbsp. coconut emulsified MCT oil
In the morning on an empty stomach for a quick energy boost. No blender required. Simply stir and go.
This drink is similar to a really thick coffee shake, but without all of those unknown additives. Traditionally it is topped off with condensed milk (like Vietnamese coffee), but it is totally optional, and adds little to the final treat.
For 2 large servings.
1 cup strong coffee