The notion of ‘healthy fats’ is becoming increasingly acknowledged. The idea that some fats may actually help you loose weight is a little further-fetched, yet It appears this seeming paradox is indeed the case. As will be explored, both coconut oil and omega-3 oil can speed up metabolism and accelerate the burning of fats in the body.
Distinguishing between fats is imperative for optimum health and weight. Saturated animal fats are notoriously linked to obesity, heart disease and cancer. Hydrogenated fats as found in many processed foods, bakery products and margarines are even worse and contain trans fats, the most harmful fats of all. Refined cooking oils are also detrimental, with harsh processing methods altering oil molecules and creating toxins and free radicals.
Natural cold-pressed oils such as nut, seed, olive and fish oils, contain healthy essential fatty acids, monounsaturated fats, nutrients and phytochemicals that serve the body.
Coconut oil is also supremely healthy; a saturated fat structurally different from animal saturated fats containing medium-chain as opposed to long-chain fatty acids. These molecules are small enough to be absorbed directly into the liver and used as an immediate source of energy by the body. They place no strain on the digestive system and their availability for metabolism means they are not likely to be stored as fat (unlike high-calorie cholesterol-heavy long-chain animal fats).
Coconut oil has a plethora of noted health benefits. It houses lauric acid, an antimicrobial fatty acid that fights bacteria, viruses and fungi. Some more surprising benefits include an ability to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease and actually stimulate weight loss. It has also been found to benefit conditions such as diabetes, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, digestive disorders and thyroid imbalances.
Dr. Weston A Price, the Darwin of nutrition writes: ‘Replacing the fats you now eat with coconut oil may be the wisest decision you can make to lose excess body fat…Yes, there is a dietary fat that can actually help you take off unwanted pounds. Coconut oil can quite literally be called a low-fat fat.’
In the 1940’s farmers discovered that attempts to fatten up their animals with coconut oil produced the opposite effect; they became leaner and more active. Ironically, with the demand for leaner meat today, they are now using coconut oil for this very purpose.
Raymond Peat MD, author of Coconut Oil and Its Virtues concludes, ‘The anti-obesity effect of coconut oil is clear in all of the animal studies, and in my friends who eat it regularly.’
Omega-3 oil is another virtuous fat that can actually speed up the burning of fats in the body and hence aid weight loss. Omega-3 oil serves numerous bodily processes and is particularly beneficial to the immune system and heart as well as arthritis, skin conditions, pre-menstrual tension, mental function, improving memory and reducing depressive symptoms.
One of the main reasons omega 3 oil increases fat metabolism is because of its effects on insulin, significantly reducing it’s levels in the body. Insulin inhibits the enzyme lipase which breaks down fat for use as energy and activates an enzyme that converts carbohydrate into fat. Insulin promotes the use of fat for storage and reduces the use of fat for fuel, hence lower insulin levels mean a greater conversion of fat for energy rather than storage.
Omega-3 oil is found in cold-water fish such as sardines, salmon, herring and mackerel as well as plant sources such as flax seeds (the richest plant source), walnuts, pumpkin seeds, mustard seeds, green-leafed vegetables and spirulina.