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Coconut oil has been around for decades, but it rose to prominence sometime in 2010. All of a sudden, people were using it with everything and switching out the products in their kitchen pantry and vanity. One of the most surprising switch-ups has to do with coffee—replacing the usual milk and sugar for coconut oil (not even coconut milk). Apparently, putting coconut oil in your coffee is good for the health, at least according to ketogenic diet experts.
Fat is not that Bad
Back in the day, fat had a bad reputation. Nutritionists, doctors, and researchers were preaching the health hazards of fat, which causes obesity, heart attacks, and many other diseases. This was followed by the demand for low-fat and non-fat options in supermarkets and restaurants. This went on many years—that is, until recently.
In recent years, with renewed interest in healthy lifestyles and diets, people have reconsidered this assumption. More research was done to analyze the effects of fat on the body—what types of fat are there, which ones are harmful, etc. New research emerged that certain types of fat can be good for the health (or are at least not as terrible as initially thought).
These days, people are actually gravitating towards fat—good fat. This is because people understand that there are differences in fats. While trans fats and saturated fats are still not great for one’s health, there is such a good thing as “good fat.” Coconut oil is one of the known sources of good fat. This is precisely why there was a surge in the demand for coconut oil all over the world. In the world of health and wellness, people started finding ways to incorporate it into their diet. One of these is by mixing it with coffee. When combined with the caffeine in coffee , the good fat from coconut oil makes it a healthier drink.
Why Coconut Oil?
As it turns out, coconut works in coffee as well, as it provides nutrients and benefits to the world’s favorite morning drink. In addition, it is a favorite among health enthusiasts because it is low carb, paleo, and keto-friendly.
MCT (medium-chain-triglycerides), found in coconut oil (about 50%), is linked to weight loss and regulates hormones. These benefits and clams were substantial enough that people started using coconut oil for everything. As it turns out, the answer to the question “why coconut oil?” is “why not?”. Coffee and coconut oil may seem like an odd couple, but combined create a “super drink” of sorts.
Benefits of Coconut Oil in Coffee
Brewed coffee and coconut oil, when combined, gives an all-around energy boost. The energy boost from caffeine is supplemented by the energy boost from the coconut oil due to speeding up the metabolism (more on this later). Too much coffee and sugar usually makes the body crash, but coconut oil helps prevent this by sustaining the release of energy throughout the day,
Most brewed coffees are strong, bitter, and acidic. People try to cover up the bitterness of coffee by adding milk, sugar, or syrup. Unfortunately, this adds additional calories and sugars that the body cannot metabolize well. Coconut oil has a strong aroma and taste; it can offset the bitterness without adding unnecessary stuff if you put the right amount.
Speed up metabolism.
Of course, this is good for those who wish to lose weight. This is also good for those with a slow metabolism. As we know, when people get older, metabolism slows down due to aging and changes in hormone levels. One way to manage this is by adding coconut oil to plain black coffee to get a double whammy of health benefits.
Regular bowel movement.
Black coffee is known to have a laxative effect due to caffeine. Likewise, coconut oil supports normal bowel movement, but it is by acting as a stool softener.
Aids weight loss.
Coconut oil is a good source of MCT, a type of fat that gets absorbed by the body quickly and is not stored as fat cells when consumed. Trans fats are bad and should be avoided for this reason, but good fats like MCT are fuel for the body.
Keeps you full.
Coconut oil is a source of calories and fat that the body uses as fuel. As such, it helps keep you feeling full. Moreover, it helps curb hunger pangs, fighting off that “hangry” (hungry + angry) feeling that one gets once in a while. Black coffee with coconut oil should not be used as a meal replacement.
Coconut oil helps fight harmful bacteria and viruses. MCT encases viruses in fat, which helps destroy viruses. The lauric acid content helps the body fight off toxins. Coconut oil also helps reduce candida (an overgrowth of which causes yeast infections). It also has a high antioxidant content which boosts mental capacity and promotes overall well-being.
How Much Coconut Oil in Coffee?
Those trying this drink for the first time can start with 1 tbsp. for a cup of coffee, then work your way up to 2 tablespoons if you like it. However, those who have digestive issues should be careful of the amount they use, as the drink can have a laxative effect if you put too much.
When coconut oil is added to black coffee, it might make the drink feel “heavier” and more nutrient-dense. Do not use this as a meal replacement. If anything, you should still eat a light breakfast to have a complete, healthful meal.
Black coffee itself is a low-calorie drink, which is why people who want to lose weight switch to black coffee when going on a diet. However, coconut oil is high in calories (about 120 calories per tablespoon), and some recipes recommend using as much as 2 tablespoons per serving! Those who follow the ketogenic diet do this but supplement this by doing regular workouts and having a different diet altogether. If you don’t follow the same diet or do intermittent fasting, be careful as this drink can make you gain weight with the amount of oil used.
Use coconut oil in moderation. Feel free to adjust the amount of coconut oil in your recipe, especially if it’s your first time trying. However, this drink is not suitable for people who need a low-fat diet, such as gall bladder-related concerns and pancreatitis. More importantly, coconut oil is not a cure-all, but it can help manage some symptoms and promote overall health and well-being.
More Research Needed
Although coconut oil has gained and maintained its popularity over the years, many scientists and researchers have voiced their concern over the lack of data to support the claims of health benefits. It seems that coconut oil’s popularity grew even before conclusive evidence could show a link between coconut oil and the health benefits listed above.
Coconut Oil Coffee Recipe
There are different recipes that use coconut oil in coffee. First, there’s the simple and straightforward combination of black coffee and coconut coffee, but there’s also bulletproof coffee, which requires other ingredients. Bulletproof coffee usually requires MCT oil, but okay to use coconut oil as a replacement as it is more readily available in stores. If available, use a frother or a blender to fully incorporate the oil into the drink. While the heat of the brewed coffee and milk can help melt the oil, it must be mixed well so that it won’t separate into layers.
Here are a few sample recipes:
- Simple. 1 cup black coffee and 1 tablespoon coconut oil. In a cup, put the coconut oil first, then add the hot coffee. Option to put a pinch of cinnamon. Mix well.
- Coconut Latte. 1 cup black coffee, ½ tablespoon coconut oil, ½ teaspoon unsalted butter, and almond milk to taste.
- “Bulletproof” coffee. 2 shots espresso, 1 cup hot water, 1 teaspoon coconut oil, and 2 teaspoons ghee (clarified)butter. Put all ingredients in a blender and mix well.
Individually, coconut oil and black coffee have their own benefits. Both are quite harmless on their own, but if combined, it can be a “super drink” that can assist one’s journey towards a healthier lifestyle. As with any new health food trend, people should proceed with caution. Before jumping in on this trend, check it is right for you. Coconut oil is high in fat and can have a negative effect on those who are counting calories and are following a low-fat diet. Those who have underlying health conditions should check with their physician or nutritionist. Lastly, The health benefits listed above might encourage you to go ham with the coconut oil and drink it every day. People need to use coconut oil regularly to feel any benefits—don’t expect miracles from trying it once.
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