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~ A Quick Look At How Coconut Milk Can Help You Lose Weight... ~

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Quick Look At How Coconut Milk Can Help You Lose Weight And Improve Your Cholesterol

~ By Brian Rigby, Clinical Nutrition Writer... March 26th, 2012 ~


If you drink coconut milk, and have looked at the label, you're probably aware that it is high in saturated fat. This may seem worrying to you. After all, we've been bombarded with public health messages saying "Avoid saturated fat at all costs!" The truth is more complicated, however. As it turns out, not all saturated fats are created equal.

There are four commonly consumed saturated fats:

1. Lauric Acid
2. Myristic Acid
3. Palmitic Acid
4. Stearic Acid

The difference between them lie in their lengths. Lauric acid, common only in certain foods like coconut, is the shortest saturated fat we commonly eat, and is designated a "medium-chain fatty acid" (MCFA). This is opposed to the short-chain fatty acids, which are very uncommon in food, and the long-chain fatty acids, which are the most common.


It is true that lauric acid and myristic acid (two of the saturated fats in coconut) raise total cholesterol levels. One fact which is usually ignored, however, is that lauric acid raises the good HDL cholesterol to a greater extent than LDL cholesterol.1 The result is that your total cholesterol to HDL ratio (TC:HDL) goes down, which correlates with a decreased cardiovascular risk.

Myristic acid raises cholesterol without affecting the TC:HDL ratio, making the effects it has more or less neutral. In case you were curious, trans fat increases the bad LDL cholesterol more than HDL, which is why it is the worst fat to consume for cardiovascular risk.

It's also important to consider that diet is only one factor increasing cardiovascular risk. For most patients with a high risk of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and obesity are much greater risk factors. Both of these factors drive up our body's production of cholesterol, which causes a much steeper rise in total blood lipids and cholesterol than diet does.


Coconut milk, despite its high saturated fat content, can help the body burn more energy and lose weight more easily.2 The unique structure of the MCFAs found in coconut milk allow them to be burned more readily for energy, and increases total energy expenditure over the day. Additionally, they have been shown to be more satiating than longer-chain fats, filling you up better and helping prevent hunger.

So, despite coconut milks potential to raise total cholesterol, the effects it will actually have on your body are likely to be far different. Coconut milk has more potential to help you lose weight and feel satisfied than cow's milk or any other milk substitute. Furthermore, coconut milk is more likely to positively affect your TC:HDL ratio, increasing your good HDL cholesterol more than LDL cholesterol.

If you currently suffer from cardiovascular disease, then you should always consult your physician before making dietary changes, and more drastic changes may need to be made. If you are looking to feel better, have some more energy, and lose weight, on the other hand, then coconut milk is a great move in the right direction. Over time, you are far more likely to experience improved cholesterol levels than worsened levels.


NOTE: So far I have:

- coconut milk
- coconut cream
- coconut oil
- coconut flakes (unsweetened)
- coconut butter

.... did I leave anything out emoticon

~ Dee emoticon

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SUPERTAM 4/15/2013 9:45AM

    Thanks!! This has been very helpful!! I've started eating coconut/peanut butter & almond/coconut milk. Delicious & nutritious!! Yum!! emoticon emoticon

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    This was really interesting and answered a lot of questions I have had.

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MRS_TOAD 3/30/2013 8:23AM

    Another great article. Thanks for sharing this information.

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IRP1114 3/29/2013 2:21PM

    Coconuts are awesome. Also coconut water! I love buying whole coconuts and young coconuts are delicious too! emoticon

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USMAWIFE 3/28/2013 12:38AM

    I use coconut oil spray and cocunut soda

also found coconut soap last week

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 3/27/2013 4:27PM


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MARTY728 3/27/2013 2:56PM

    I love coconut, so I have to try it. Maybe like the late, great Harry Nilsson's hit song in the 1970's entitled "Put The Lime In The Coconut", I will add some lime!

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ALISHAB3 3/27/2013 12:18PM

    Coconut anything is spectacular for boosting the metabolism even in those with hypothyroidism. I like to get at least 2 tbsp of the oil a day, usually 1 at breakfast (in oats instead of butter or with butter) and 1 at lunch (drizzles on stir fry). If you suffer from cold hands/feet it will relieve that pain. I try to not have it at dinner, it tends to keep me awake.

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-LINDA_S 3/27/2013 10:45AM

    I think we're talking the canned-type stuff, right? Nice and thick? I tend to doubt that the ones marketed as "milk" substitutes have much good stuff in them since they are considerably diluted. Been thinking of coconut manna recently--not sure if it's another name for on of the products you've mentioned.

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CLASSYLADYMAY 3/27/2013 10:13AM

    Thanks for info. Now to find it. Lol

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SENATOR9 3/27/2013 9:34AM

    great info emoticon

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LILY_SPARK 3/27/2013 8:36AM

    I switched to cooking with coconut oil about 2 years ago. I still use EVOO but try to only use it as a dressing.

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ANDRIANA11 3/27/2013 5:22AM

    Very informative. I might actually use coconut milk to increase my fat intake. I am on almond milk atm and I love it. Thanks for sharing this !!!

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HEALTHY4UNI 3/27/2013 2:19AM

    That is great to know! I had heard that coconut was not good because of something which I don't remember but I have heard more and more saying it is good for you! As for whether you list is complete there is also Coconut sugar! It is supposed to be on the low glycemic index which makes it a healthy all natural sweetener!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EXOTEC 3/27/2013 1:50AM

    And not only that - I've read some reports which state that "high" cholesterol is actually linked with LOWERED cardiovascular risk *in women*. I think this isn't intended to mean sky-high range! but we've been misdirected. Good for you for doing your own "independent study", even if just a metaanalysis! and thanks for sharing it. We need to see the truth.

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SEEINGCLEARLY53 3/27/2013 1:45AM


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CIERAPOET 3/27/2013 1:07AM


I'm drinking almond and coconut milk blend. I've been hearing great things about drinking coconut milk for the longest. I tried some once out of a can and I didn't like the watery down taste. I guess I need to try plain almond milk next time I go replace my almond and coconut milk blend. This is a great article with much needed information.
Enjoy your Wednesday!

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ARNETTELEE 3/27/2013 12:49AM

  I love Silk coconut milk. I also have coconut oil. I also love Naked Coconut Water.

Have you tried coconut vinegar?

Comment edited on: 3/27/2013 12:50:16 AM

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