Coconut oil is a fantastic natural way to make your hair and skin soft, radiant and healthy.

 

Toss out your expensive creams and lotions, you don’t need them. Just rub coconut oil all over you!

 

However, how much of a good moisturiser or conditioner coconut oil is isn’t the focus of this article but while you’re here you might as well read on and pick up some knowledge on why you should eat the stuff.

 

If you’ve been reading to the news lately there has been a explosion of articles and on the internet about coconut oil and for good reason too, it is an ideal source of dietary fat.

 

I know that people have been lead to believe consuming fat is bad, but there are many reasons why it isn’t as clear as that. It depends on the type of fat and in what amount they’re being consumed, so it requires a bit of moderation; because in reality too much of anything can be bad!

 

I don’t want more fat though, I want to get rid of it! Why would I want to take in fat in my diet?

 

You see my good friend, fat has many important functions as a nutrient. It is a source of energy and provides essential (meaning our body can’t produce it on it’s own, so it’s essential that we get it from our food) building blocks for the cells in our body. Fat is also a carrier for fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K and it contains essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6).

 

It is also needed by the body to support growth and development of various different systems, such as your brain, visual, and most importantly of all hormonal systems. If you want to have optimal levels of testosterone, you should consume fat — ladies this means you too.

 

Fat also tastes good, which is enough reason alone in my books, and if you consume the correct types of fat in moderation it should never hinder but help you to achieve your goals, so without further ado lets get into it.

 

Coconut oil is largely made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), one of which is lauric acid.

 

Medium-chain triglycerides... Medium-chain.. Wha? Okay let me break it down. A triglyceride is an ester derived from glycerol and three fatty acids. You don’t need to know most of that, just remember that it contains three fatty acids, and each one of these fatty acids has a chain of carbons attached to them at the end.

 

Still with me? Excellent. So, we’ve established that each of these fatty acids have a chain of carbons attached to each one of them, and the number of carbons in this chain can vary. The way your body breaks down these fatty acids can vary depending on the length of the carbon-chain.

 

For example, long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) need to be broken down by enzymes in your gut before they can be absorbed through the walls of your intestine. They then bypass the liver (as bundles of lipids — called lipoproteins) and enter the blood stream through the lymphatic system. As they then circulate throughout the body the fatty components (long chain fatty acids — LCFAs) are either burnt or stored for energy.

 

However, MCTs do not need to be broken down in your gut by pancreatic enzymes. They can in fact be broken down almost immediately by enzymes in your saliva and your stomach into their fatty acid components (medium chain fatty acids — MCFAs), and they can be absorbed immediately through the walls of your intestine (via the portal vein) and straight to your liver, where they can be burnt for a quick form of energy.

 

MCFAs are metabolised much more like carbohydrates instead of fats and this is why MCFAs can be utilised as such a good source of energy unlike LCFAs. LCFAs are distributed throughout the blood stream and are usually directed towards fat stores, whereas MCFAs under normal circumstances are burnt off to produce a readily available form of energy.

 

Because coconut oil has a high percentage of MCTs it makes it an ideal form of energy, especially those that are dieting and don’t have that many carbohydrates in their diet and are lacking energy.

 

Low carbohydrate diets can be very effective for fat loss, because of their ability to keep insulin quiet (carbohydrates raise insulin the most) throughout the day and encourage lipolysis (breakdown of triglycerides — resulting in body fat being utilised as energy) to continue. Using coconut oil can be a great form of energy without needing to worry about it storing fat or causing much of an insulin response. Because coconut oil is also resistant to high temperatures it can be great to cook with.

 

So why not at least start your day with a breakfast comprised of protein, healthy fats, veg and coconut oil?

 

It is a fantastic way to get a quick source of energy while keeping insulin quiet, thus allowing lipolysis to continue, and get in healthy fats all while having a delicious breakfast. You can have a breakfast comprised of protein and fat all year around too, no matter your goals.

 

At the moment I am going through a bulking phase and I am using it to stimulate my appetite in the morning to make it easier to consume all the food I need to consume to grow.

 

I’m having two whole free range eggs, 100 grams (uncooked) of sirloin steak trimmed of fat and a nice helping of spinach. I find it works very well and I don’t think I can ever get sick of eating steak and eggs!

 

Another idea you can play around with is having a meal comprised of protein, fats and veg also as your last meal at night.

 

This will keep insulin quieter for longer before your breakfast meal in the morning to allow the maximal fat loss to happen over night. 

 

However, most importantly the fats in your meal will slow down the release of protein and will help to hold onto all that precious lean muscle tissue you’ve worked so hard to earn, and it’s a great excuse to eat steak before you go to bed. I like to cook steak and asparagus in coconut oil with crushed garlic, coarse sea salt, and pepper. Food doesn’t have to be boring!

 

I hope that was helpful, check back next time on our blog to find more posts to help you achieve your goals.

 

You can also find me at www.facebook.com/DavidYoungJourney and @bluntforcedave on Instagram and twitter — feel free to follow!

Thanks for reading,

David Young — Sponsored Athlete

UN Sports Nutrition