“Everything is bigger in Texas,” they say. Though this expression points fingers at one specific state, some would argue that it can be applied to all of the states.
Bigger portion sizes and greater amounts of inactivity in the U.S. contribute to the obesity epidemic in the world’s most dominant country. While this superpower may have control over other countries’ economic and political systems, one thing they don’t seem to have control over is their own health.
Obesity: An American Crisis
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 34.9% of American adults are obese. The absence of essential nutrients in most Americans’ diets and their lack of exercise are culprits of this crisis.
Today, Americans are working less jobs that require any sort of physical activity, thus they are burning fewer calories than they did 50 years ago. In addition, easy access to fast food wherever you go makes it difficult to stick to healthy foods.
Symptoms and Causes
This can be a result of not eating a balanced diet, consuming too many foods that are filled with sugar, sodium and saturated fats or consuming more calories than you burn.
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Obesity can lead to other health issues, such as:
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Breathing problems and sleep apnea
- Some cancers
The key to losing weight is to do so slowly and to not get discouraged when the number on the scale doesn’t immediately go down. Making changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as consuming foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as exercising regularly and getting enough sleep are all necessary ingredients to shedding excess pounds.
It can be difficult to eliminate sweets or sugary foods from our diet once we’re already accustomed to them. However, if you do it gradually, it becomes easier. Incorporating coconut oil to our eating habits is a good way to begin. This natural sweetener gives you the flavor you crave and is considered a healthy fat that curbs your appetite.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has greatly proven to be beneficial to our health – both inside and out. Whether it is included in your beauty regimen, or added to your diet, this natural ingredient never fails to amaze. Some of the ways coconut oil is good for us include:
- Has anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
- Improves digestion
- Strengthens your immune system
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Prevents premature ageing
- Treats eczema and other skin problems
- Promotes healthy hair growth
- Aids in weight loss
Coconut oil and weight loss
When it comes to losing weight, coconut oil is your friend. The fat found in coconut oil consists of medium-chain fatty acids. These healthy fats are converted into energy rather than stored as fat in your body.
One study showed that rats that were fed medium-chain fats gained 20% less weight than the rats that were fed long-chain fats.
How to Add Coconut Oil to Your Drinks
Coconut oil can be added to both hot and cold beverages to help with weight-loss. Here are two recipes to get you started.
Indulge in this creamy milkshake-like drink.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
- 1 avocado
- 1 1/2 cups milk (or another type of milk, such as coconut or almond)
- 1-2 tbsp raw honey
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 ice cubes, or as needed
- 1-4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- Remove the avocado pit and scoop the flesh out into a blender.
- Add remaining ingredients except for coconut oil and begin blending while pouring coconut oil in a steady stream.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy.
For a hot beverage, try this:
Lemon Green Tea with Coconut Oil
Green tea on its own is already a natural metabolism booster. But when this energizing drink is mixed with raw honey, lemon and coconut oil, it makes for an even healthier drink, further helping you to trim down and allowing you to reap more nutritional benefits.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
- 1 tsp raw honey (optional)
- 1-3 tsp coconut oil
- 1/2 fresh lemon
- 1 serving green tea, bagged or loose
- boiling water (heated to 175 degrees Farenheit)
- Mix the honey and coconut oil together in a mug until well mixed.
- Add tea, water, and lemon juice and steep for 2 minutes or until desired strength is reached.
- Pour into a mug and enjoy.
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