A single copy of this article may be reprinted for personal, noncommercial use only.
Coconut oil and weight loss: Does it work?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/coconut-oil-and-weight-loss/AN01899
- With Mayo Clinic nutritionist
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.read biographyclose window
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor for the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, Katherine is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She is active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition education related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
Weight-loss basics (8)
- Body fat: What happens to lost fat?
- Fast weight loss: What's wrong with it?
- Slow metabolism: Is it to blame for weight gain?
- see all in Weight-loss basics
Diet plans (8)
- The Special K diet: Helpful for weight loss?
- Coffee calories: Sabotaging your weight-loss goal?
- Cabbage soup diet: Can it help with weight loss?
- see all in Diet plans
Mayo Clinic diet (1)
- Weight loss: Better to cut calories or exercise more?
Diet and exercise (4)
- Can I use yoga for weight loss?
- Walking: Is it enough for weight loss?
- Negative-calorie foods: Diet gimmick or weight-loss aid?
- see all in Diet and exercise
Diet pills, supplements and surgery (14)
- Ear stapling for weight loss: Does it work?
- Coconut oil and weight loss: Does it work?
- Lipovarin: An effective weight-loss supplement?
- see all in Diet pills, supplements and surgery
Coconut oil and weight loss: Does it work?
Can coconut oil help me lose weight?
from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
The few small studies that have looked at coconut oil and weight loss suggest that coconut oil may help reduce waist size, but it doesn't lead to significant weight loss or improved body mass index (BMI).
Coconut oil is a tropical oil that's made from the dried fruit (nut) of the coconut palm tree. Proponents say that it contains a healthy type of fatty acid that your body quickly burns for energy. The oil extracted from fresh coconut contains medium chain fatty acids, which aren't stored in adipose tissue.
However, coconut oil is high in calories and saturated fat. One tablespoon contains 117 calories and 13.6 grams of fat. Coconut oil has more saturated fat than lard does.
Although eating coconut oil in moderation isn't likely to harm your health, it's not likely to help you lose weight either. For successful, long-term weight loss, stick to the basics — an overall healthy-eating plan and exercise.Next question
Lipovarin: An effective weight-loss supplement?
- Coconut oil. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed June 7, 2012.
- Duyff RL. American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. 4th ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons; 2012:99.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov. Accessed June 7, 2012.
- Liau KM, et al. An open-label pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of virgin coconut oil in reducing visceral adiposity. ISRN Pharmacology. 2011;2011:1.
- Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 7, 2012.