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 The Low-Carb Coconut Weight-Loss Phenomenon 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Healthy Tips for High-Level Wellness by . View all columns in series
Low-carb diets such as Atkins and South Beach are currently the hottest weight loss programs on the market. But for many people the low-carb diet could work faster and more effectively with the addition of one ingredient—coconut oil.

Coconut oil has a unique ability to facilitate weight loss. A study conducted in Yucatan, where coconut oil is a staple, showed that metabolic rates of people living there were 25 percent higher than in comparable test subjects living in the United States. Increased metabolic rate is a key to healthy weight management and may account for the leanness of people living in areas where coconut oil is consumed on a daily basis.

In the 1940s, farmers tried dishing up coconut oil to fatten their animals but instead discovered that it made them lean and more active. Those who use coconut oil consistently for several weeks often report an increase in energy, better sleep patterns, an improved sense of well-being, and weight loss—often when nothing else has worked. Thousands of people have found that a low-carb diet is important to follow, but adding coconut oil has made the difference in the weight coming off and staying off.

Why Is Coconut Oil Effective?
Simply explained, most oils from animal and vegetable sources are composed primarily of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), whereas coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). This means that the fatty acids in coconut oil are not packaged into lipoproteins and do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats, but instead are sent directly to the liver where they are immediately burned up and converted into energy. It’s like adding kindling to a fire, rather than a big, damp log.

Coconut oil yields fewer calories than any other oil because of the MCFAs, unlike the LCFAs in vegetable oils, which tend to get stored as fat. MCFAs actually speed up metabolism so we can more efficiently burn the calories we eat.

Coconut oil is also shown to enhance thyroid function. This in turn stimulates the conversion of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol into the anti-aging hormones pregneonolone, progesterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). These valuable hormones not only aid in weight management, but also in preventing heart disease, senility, and other degenerative diseases. It is believed that coconut oil helps convert thyroid hormone T3 to T4, a big bonus for the thousands of people who have sluggish thyroid function that causes weight gain and inhibits weight loss.

Ray Peat typifies the thousands of reports from people who have used coconut oil with huge benefits to their health and weight management. He writes:

    When I first used coconut oil I saw an immediate response that convinced me that my metabolism was chronically inhibited by something that was easily alleviated by dilution or molecular competition. I put a tablespoon of coconut oil on some rice I had for supper and a half hour later I noticed I was breathing more deeply. I saw that my skin was pink and healthy looking. I increased my daily consumption of coconut oil to about an ounce. I kept eating the same foods as before except for adding about 200 to 250 calories per day of coconut oil. Over the next few months my weight slowly decreased. It had been steady at 185 pounds for twenty-five years, but over a period of six months it dropped to about 175 pounds. I found that eating more coconut oil lowered my weight another few pounds and eating less coconut oil caused it to increase.
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