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Old 06-10-2013, 02:14 PM   #1
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Coconut Oil Success Stories?

I bought my first jar of coconut oil Saturday: Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil. I purchased it because of the health claims, specifically the one that it reduces abdominal fat.

Based on this holistic wellness class that I took Saturday and a Dr. Oz link (The Surprising Health Benefits of Coconut Oil | The Dr. Oz Show) I found afterward, the recommendation is 2 tbsp each day. I do not feel inclined to consume that much - 28g fat (24g saturated), 0 carbs, 240 calories - without more reason that I have right now. I am willing to do up to 1 tbsp because even though I'm a happy low carber, I still try to keep my saturated fat under 10% of what I consume each day.

Granted, I did no research beforehand so I'm playing catch-up now, but here's what I found on trusty WebMD (http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/c...l-and-health):
  • Cholesterol Free even though it is 92% saturadated fat because it's a tropical oil and not animal fat
  • Liquid Consistency at Room Temperature
  • MCTs are an unusual blend of short and medium chain fatty acids, primarily lauric (44%) and myristic (16.8%)
  • Raises HDL (good cholesterol) but also raises LDL (bad cholesterol)

I don't know what to make of the info above, but at least have it lol.

So to make a long story short (too late), has anyone gotten any health benefits from it? Of course I'm most interested in the belly fat but I'd be most of appreciative of any feedback, positive or negative, and how much you actually consumed.

Thanks!
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Old 06-10-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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I take 2 tbsp CO and 2 tbsp HWC per day with my morning coffee and it helps with regularity, it helps me stay full for hours (my coffee is my breakfast) and my weight loss has been pretty good so far. I have always been an apple shape and I've dropped froma size 18 to a size 12 (mainly due to belly fat loss as I never have much of a butt!!).

I think it is a good addition to the LC lifestyle. However, as with everything, YMMV! Good luck!
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
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Thanks Julie! Wow, so you loss even though that's where you normally carry your weight.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:09 PM   #4
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I love coconut oil. I use it to cook my meat in. I eat lean meat like turkey burgers, fish and baked chicken, so I do not consume much fat. Sometimes I eat a small spoonful of coconut oil right out of the jar just to get my good fat oils in my body. I also notice that since I moved from butter to coconut oil and ghee my skin is very healthy, soft and shiny.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:26 PM   #5
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I use coconut oil primarily because it is ketogenic and that is quite desirable for me!
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:59 PM   #6
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SweetSugaree, I eat mostly fish (around 5 times a week) so I've been using olive oil to up my fat intake. For the other 2 days it's usually beef so depending on the cut, it takes care of itself. Healthy skin from taking it internally? Nice one!

Thanks for the feedback Clackley!
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:13 PM   #7
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I use coconut oil, butter and olive oil in that order, depending on what I'm making, cooking, or baking. I try and keep my fats up in general. Some days I'll have 1 tbsp because of cooking, some days 3, depends on what I'm cooking for the day, but my fats are usually over 100 grams a day, and I eat between 1300-1600 calories depending.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:17 AM   #8
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I know this isn't what you're asking, but coconut oil raised my LDL significantly, and my endo told me to avoid it. I use mainly EVOO, as I've always done. During the 4 months that I used CO, I didn't notice any benefits.

This may be a YMMV situation, but I'm hypothyroid, so I have regular bloodwork done, and it was obvious that the CO had raised my LDL. All my doctors agreed that any substance that elevated the LDL that dramatically (50 points in 4 months) should be avoided.

As my stats show, I do fine without it.

I just mention this because people using it may not be getting the regular lab work that I do and may not be aware of the effect of the CO (if any).
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Old 06-11-2013, 03:05 AM   #9
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Leo, do you mind me asking how your LDL was to begin with?


Edit - I only ask because I am concerned about "ruining" my cholesterol (which has always been good). Also wondering how long it took for yours to rise??

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Old 06-11-2013, 03:11 AM   #10
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I eat a lot of coconut oil, and my LDL is fine. My cholesterol has always been good, and it didn't change when I added significant amounts of coconut oil.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:09 AM   #11
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Hot Potato-

My LDL had been elevated because of undiagnosed hypothyroidism, and it was coming down slowly. I was within 20 points of acceptable range when I began using CO.

I have labs every 4 months, and by coincidence I began using CO right after one of my check ups. At the next check up, 4 months later, my LDL was up 50 points. My endo was surprised because it had been coming down slowly but regularly, and he asked me if I'd made any dietary changes in the previous months. I immediately thought of the CO and told him about it. He told me to eliminate it. I did. Four months later, my LDL was down those same 50 points, so it obviously was the CO.

I'm not saying that anyone else will react this way, but I want to share my experience because some people may not be getting checked as regularly as I am.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:08 AM   #12
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Leo, I appreciate your post very much and yes, I definitely want to hear not just good but bad.

I saw that it raises not just HDL but LDL too (fourth bullet point in my OP). So, it went up 50 points after only 4 months? Wow! Did it actually raise your HDL too and how much were you consuming?
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:28 AM   #13
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This is really another issue all together but it seems to be intricately involved in diet and that includes things like coconut oil. On the subject of lipids (ldl, hdl, and triglycerides), it is interesting to note that it is called the 'lipid hypothesis' for a reason. It is a hypothesis and not fact and having said that, there are many who think it is poorly understood. Here is just a tidbit of an opposing view that I think is quite well thought out and also moderate. By Chris Masterjohn of the daily lipid blog....

Quote:
Genes, LDL-Cholesterol Levels, and the Central Role of LDL Receptor Activity In Heart Disease
Are high concentrations of LDL-cholesterol a major cause of heart disease? If we are a proponent of the "lipid hypothesis," we say yes. If we are a "cholesterol skeptic," we say no — total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, LDL particles, triglycerides, and other blood lipids have little or nothing to do with heart disease.


I believe both of these positions are wrong.


I think the evidence for the central role of the of the LDL particle in the development of atherosclerosis is overwhelming. However, I believe the evidence is very strong that the LDL particle is a victim rather than a perpetrator in the process, and that it is the oxidative destruction of the particle itself rather than the concentration of cholesterol within it that is the culprit. In this post, we will explore some important pieces of this evidence, and consider whether measuring blood cholesterol is meaningful. In the next post in this series, I will consider the possibility that leptin signaling and thyroid hormone are central governors of the risk of heart disease.
It is also pretty well established that people who are in active weight loss can have high readings of ldl and that the #'s return to a more 'normal' range when weight loss and returns to normal once weight loss is done. It is just something that needs to be understood that the hypothesis is still in evolution.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:03 AM   #14
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SouthernBelle- It did not seem to affect my HDL--which is normally quite high (95-110) and remained at a similar level during this period.

As to 'amount,' it wasn't very much but I never measured it. I used it mainly for cooking--making omelets or grilling meat. It was my major source of fat apart from that contained in the foods I was eating.

And my LDL did not go up while I was losing weight. It was elevated due to my undiagnosed hypothyroidism, but once I was diagnosed and medicated, my LDL went slowly down just as my weight did.

Again, this may simply be how my body reacts to CO.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:58 AM   #15
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:52 PM   #16
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Your dietary saturated fat percentage is pretty low to begin with. If you are not ready nor willing to raise your saturated fat percentages you could try replacing the oils you currently use with CO. That being said, initially into LC my cholesterol increased both hdl and LDL then went down . My doctor couldn't be happier with my cholesterol yet i eat a high percentage of saturated fats mostly from animal sources. I use coconut oils for cooking and baking. Clackley directed you to some great resources. Still, each body is different and you will have to make a decision based on your health goals, beliefs and body reaction. As you can see, it's individual.
A lot of people thrive on coconut oil and find improved cholesterol levels using co as a fat source.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
SouthernBelle- It did not seem to affect my HDL--which is normally quite high (95-110) and remained at a similar level during this period.

As to 'amount,' it wasn't very much but I never measured it. I used it mainly for cooking--making omelets or grilling meat. It was my major source of fat apart from that contained in the foods I was eating.

And my LDL did not go up while I was losing weight. It was elevated due to my undiagnosed hypothyroidism, but once I was diagnosed and medicated, my LDL went slowly down just as my weight did.

Again, this may simply be how my body reacts to CO.
I understand that the effects may not be the same for everyone but it still good to know. I'm not sure what to think about it not raising your HDL. (I honestly know if when you said it was already high that it tops out or something.)

I don't have any ailments and just get tested during my yearlies, but I do try to stay on top of things that might cause problems in between. (Well, my cholesterol was raised a few years ago when I went through this organ meat eating phase - don't ask lol.)

Thanks again!
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:13 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spanilingo View Post
Your dietary saturated fat percentage is pretty low to begin with. If you are not ready nor willing to raise your saturated fat percentages you could try replacing the oils you currently use with CO. That being said, initially into LC my cholesterol increased both hdl and LDL then went down . My doctor couldn't be happier with my cholesterol yet i eat a high percentage of saturated fats mostly from animal sources. I use coconut oils for cooking and baking. Clackley directed you to some great resources. Still, each body is different and you will have to make a decision based on your health goals, beliefs and body reaction. As you can see, it's individual.
A lot of people thrive on coconut oil and find improved cholesterol levels using co as a fat source.
Hi Spanilingo and thanks for responding. Did your cholesterol rise and fall without any dietary changes or did you add CO?

My levels are fine; I'm just macro sometimes lol. I could not use it as a replacement because there's no room even on a day with it as my only saturated fat as I don't go over 10%.
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Old 06-11-2013, 01:53 PM   #19
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You might want to read this: Volek and Phinney: The Sad Saga of Saturated Fat
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:07 PM   #20
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I eat a lot of coconut oil, and my LDL is fine. My cholesterol has always been good, and it didn't change when I added significant amounts of coconut oil.
Mine too. And I have hypothyroidism too. I treat it with daily meds. I have as much as 3 TBL of coconut oil daily, my cholesterol could not be better. Still is! I don't take statins--the thyroid med is the only prescription I am on. So, yes YMMV.

Oh, and as to the benefits--when I religiously take 3 TBL per day, I had no illnesses whatsoever. I was the healthiest I had ever been. I didn't get anything the kids brought home from school, anything any one else was suffering from. I have to get back to taking that much once again. I got away from it because the WOE I am on currently is low fat. But soon enough I will be allowed that fat. And am so looking forward to it.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:20 PM   #21
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Oh, yes, I'm hypothyroid as well. After several years, we're still working to get my thyroid meds at the correct level, but luckily it hasn't affected my cholesterol levels.
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:41 PM   #22
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May I ask why you need to keep your fat so low? There are LC diets that are not high fat so no judgement here. Just curious.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:02 PM   #23
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May I ask why you need to keep your fat so low? There are LC diets that are not high fat so no judgement here. Just curious.
I think also that some of the fat calories in coconut don't count. I know that when I was having 4TBL in a day, I didn't count calories. I was able to have great immunity!!! No colds, no illnesses and being a preschool teacher that is a big thing. I was changing diapers and wiping noses all day long. I got not one cold. That alone was worth it!!! I have to get back to that. It seems that alot of my family is getting sick all of a sudden. Don't want that to happen to me.

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Old 06-11-2013, 05:02 PM   #24
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I thought she was asking the OP.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:04 PM   #25
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I thought she was asking the OP.
Thanks! I edited my answer above to reflect that. I see now where she says she is low fat (10%). Probably from that class she took. You know how those go

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Old 06-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #26
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Quote:
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I eat a lot of coconut oil, and my LDL is fine. My cholesterol has always been good, and it didn't change when I added significant amounts of coconut oil.
What's good Ntombi! I missed your post earlier.

So it's great that the coconut oil has not done you any damage. Have you gotten any benefit(s) from it?
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:16 PM   #27
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Mine too. And I have hypothyroidism too. I treat it with daily meds. I have as much as 3 TBL of coconut oil daily, my cholesterol could not be better. Still is! I don't take statins--the thyroid med is the only prescription I am on. So, yes YMMV.

Oh, and as to the benefits--when I religiously take 3 TBL per day, I had no illnesses whatsoever. I was the healthiest I had ever been. I didn't get anything the kids brought home from school, anything any one else was suffering from. I have to get back to taking that much once again. I got away from it because the WOE I am on currently is low fat. But soon enough I will be allowed that fat. And am so looking forward to it.
Hi dawnyama! Well, this is a good one - it boosted your immune system. How long after you stopped did things go downhill?
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:28 PM   #28
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May I ask why you need to keep your fat so low? There are LC diets that are not high fat so no judgement here. Just curious.
My total fat is not low. I'm still in induction so my fat goal is 65%, but I still keep my saturated fat <= 10%.

Now, did your cholesterol rise and fall without any dietary changes or did you add CO?
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Old 06-12-2013, 04:38 AM   #29
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Hi dawnyama! Well, this is a good one - it boosted your immune system. How long after you stopped did things go downhill?
It has been a while. Not sure about time frames. I just mentioned this to my husband last night as he is battling a cold or worse. Have to get him to take some coconut oil without him knowing it
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:14 AM   #30
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CO had no effect on my cholesterol. My cholesterol was always in the normal range though ". Higher normal" for one blood test . I am experimenting adding co to my diet in larger quantaties. I am not concerned about saturated fat.
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