Coconut oil is continually being recommended for use in just about every part of our lives: skincare, haircare, general health, and even weight loss. Due to its availability and use in the increasingly popular keto diet, its use as a replacement for other oils like olive and vegetable oil in cooking and baking is becoming more widespread. Coconut oil has even made its way into the coffee industry!
Coconut coffee is easy to make, and if you’ve tried it before, you’re well-acquainted with how delicious it is. You may not know that a cup of coconut coffee each morning can have some pretty impressive health benefits, all of which are backed by scientific research! We’re discussing six health benefits of adding coconut oil to your coffee so you can guiltlessly indulge.
1. It Boosts Your Energy
Of course, any coffee drinker will be able to tell you that caffeine is a natural stimulant and gives you a nice boost of energy in the morning. However, coconut oil in your coffee can actually amplify the energizing effects.
That’s right! This research study suggests that compounds referred to as medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are abundant in coconut oil. It notes that these healthy fats are used by your liver as a rapid source of energy. Consumption of MCTs leads to a boost of energy from metabolized fat molecules.
Combine this metabolic surge of energy with the stimulating effects of caffeine, and you’ll find yourself speeding through every task on your to-do list!
2. It Helps You Lose Weight
Both coconut oil and caffeine have been proven to aid in weight loss and obesity prevention, so enjoying a delicious cup of coconut coffee each morning can be an easy step toward a thinner and lighter you.
Its weight-loss benefits work on a few different levels, but first, caffeine goes to work as a natural appetite suppressant, according to the Mayo Clinic. As a compound that suppresses your appetite, caffeine will reduce your feelings of hunger, which often leads to smaller meals and less snacking.
In addition to this, the MCTs in coconut oil have been linked to a decrease in body weight in this study, published on PubMed. MCTs naturally boost your metabolism, which in turn leads to more calories burned throughout the day. If your metabolism remains in high gear, you’ll naturally burn more calories, even without any additional dieting or exercise. It’s certainly not a magic solution, as it only offers a small boost to your metabolism, but every little bit helps!
SEE ALSO: Watching your weight? Try our simple coffee calorie calculator!
3. It Can Help You Stay in Ketosis
If you’re concerned about your weight or are looking to drop a few pounds, you may have tried the increasingly popular keto diet. Coconut oil is keto-friendly, meaning coconut coffee can be a great morning option to keep you satisfied while maintaining a state of ketosis.
This research study suggests that maintaining a state of ketosis forces the body to turn to fat stores into energy. It goes on to say that this shift in your body’s energy source can lead to increased weight loss, more normal blood sugar levels, and a decreased risk of heart disease.
Coconut oil fits well into a keto diet, so it’s an excellent option for making your coffee delicious without needing to add sugar, milk, cream, or creamers, none of which are keto-friendly.
4. It Reduces Your Risk of Heart Disease
Losing weight is great, but some of the most significant benefits of shedding excess fat are the additional health benefits that come with weight loss, like reducing your risk of heart disease. Coconut oil can not only help you shed those extra pounds, but it can reduce the risk of heart disease as well!
Consuming coconut oil and the beneficial MCTs it contains each day can lead to raised levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. According to this research article, HDL is known as the “good” kind of cholesterol, and increased levels have been linked to a decrease in heart-related issues and heart disease.
So, not only can putting coconut oil in your coffee help you lose weight and reduce your risk of heart disease, but the oil itself can bring down your risk levels as well.
5. It Keeps Bowel Movements Regular
Most coffee drinkers know that a daily cup of coffee can be quite…stimulating in the way of bowel movements. Well, here’s more good news: adding coconut oil to your morning coffee can have a compounded effect.
Like we mentioned before, the MCTs found naturally in coconut oil can help boost your metabolism, which will, in turn, lead to more frequent bowel movements. This research study further confirms that the caffeine in coffee has a profound effect on speeding up what they call “gastric emptying.” We’ll spare you the details, but know that coconut oil and coffee are a great combo for keeping bowel movements regular and frequent.
6. It Leaves You Feeling Satiated
If you haven’t tried coconut coffee yet, we’re here to tell you that it’s delicious and wildly refreshing. The taste alone will satisfy your morning cravings for something yummy and silky.
Coconut coffee will also keep you satisfied as far as hunger goes, too. Many people who drink this concoction every morning replace their usual breakfast with a fresh cup of black coffee and a tablespoon or two of coconut oil. According to this research article, medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil lead to a higher level of satiety than long-chain triglycerides, which comprise the fats found in many breakfast foods.
Replacing your typical breakfast with a cup of coconut coffee can be just the change you need to get you past late-morning and early-afternoon snacking. No more eating your lunch hours early!
Are There Disadvantages to Drinking Coconut Coffee?
There has been a lot of research done on high-fat diets, so many of us know that consuming large amounts of fat generally isn’t a good thing. As with all things that boast many health benefits, there are some potential downsides to putting coconut oil in your coffee-related specifically to the fat content.
Not a Balanced Breakfast
The first potential issue is that coconut oil is a single food and won’t offer a balanced breakfast as you would typically eat. Replacing breakfast with coconut coffee can decrease hunger pangs and aid in weight loss and digestion. Still, it won’t offer the kind of balanced breakfast that many doctors and health professionals recommend.
High Fat Content
Secondly, coconut oil is high in fat. In fact, it’s mostly fat — one tablespoon contains around 120 calories, all of which come from 14 grams of fat. Most recipes call for two tablespoons per cup of coffee, which would equate to 240 calories and 28 grams of fat. This is a lot of fat, even for breakfast, and those looking to maintain a low-fat diet for weight loss or health reasons should probably avoid coconut coffee or limit their use of coconut oil.
Given the calorie density of coconut oil, the weight loss effect it can have on your body can actually be reversed if the calories aren’t accounted for in other meals. Weight loss is, at least in part, a numbers game, and if you consume more calories than you expend, your body will store the excess as fat. If you add coconut coffee to your regular diet or replace a breakfast with fewer calories with coconut oil, it can actually lead to weight gain.
Of all the borderline questionable coffee concoctions we’ve heard of recently, coconut coffee is probably the most delicious. More importantly, the combo of coconut oil and caffeine has been linked to myriad health benefits like weight loss, decreased risk of heart disease, and improved digestion and energy levels.
As is the case with anything, there is the potential for some downsides to this mixture as well. Too much coconut coffee can lead to weight gain, less nutrition from your morning routine, and an abundance of fat in your diet that could be problematic. While it’s not a perfect beverage, there are some amazing health benefits associated with coconut oil in coffee that are substantiated by scientific research. You’ll likely find that the benefits — and tastiness — far outweigh the potential negative aspects!
Featured Image: Cegli, Shutterstock
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