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Coconut oil use is rumored to be able to provide many miraculous health benefits, one of the most popular being the ability to slow aging. The oil is made from pressing the fat from the white “meat” found inside of coconuts, and although it may not be able to live up to many of the miraculous claims people make for it, coconut oil has been proven to be very beneficial for heart health and weight loss.

The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

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Some people may be confused as to how using coconut oil for weight loss can possibly be good for you. After all, it’s almost pure fat isn’t it? Well it may be true that coconut oil gets 84% of it’s calories from saturated fat, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it will make you fat.

The saturated fat content found in coconut oil is made up mainly of medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs). Your body processes this type of fat differently than the kinds found in liquid vegetable oils, dairy products and fatty meats. For one example, many studies found that MCT-saturated fat boosts levels of your HDL or “good” cholesterol. This makes it a much healthier source of fat than most animal-based products.

Not only do MCTs help to improve your heart health, but they can also assist in your weight loss goals as well. One study recorded in the European Journal of Nutrition found that eating meals that contain high amounts of MCTs increases diet-induced thermogenesis by over 50%.

Thermogenesis, simply stated, is the production of heat within the body. This assists with weight loss as thermogenesis raises your metabolic rate. Since your metabolism determines the amount of calories you use for daily energy expenditure, raising your metabolism will ensure that the food you eat will get burnt off throughout the day rather than stored as fat.

How to Get More Coconut Oil in Your Life

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So, now you know that eating more coconut oil is incredibly beneficial for you weight loss and heart health goals. But how are you going to go about eating more coconut oil? Eating chunks of it off of a spoon doesn’t seem like the most appealing way to go about it, so I searched the internet for some recipes using coconut oil and found a bunch of good ones from The Restless Palate. Enjoy!

Almond Butter Banana Fudge

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup of raw honey
  • 1/2 of a banana, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a small pot over low heat.
  2. After 30-60 seconds, once all of the ingredients become somewhat melted blend with an emulsion blender until smooth.
  3. Pour mixture into a 3 x 5 small loaf pan lined with parchment paper. Place in the fridge and allow to cool until solid.
  4. Slice into desired pieces.
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It is advised to keep this fudge in the fridge as it will melt if let out at room temperature.

Coconut Oil Chocolate

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons of raw honey (or sweetener of choice, maple syrup, yacon powder, stevia etc.)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Melt coconut oil so that it is in liquid form, add honey and mix very well.
  2. Whisk in cocoa powder. Whisk occasionally while pouring mixture into silicone ice cube tray or muffin tray.
  3. Place tray in the fridge and let cool for 30 minutes.

Coconut Oil Almond Power Bars

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond butter
  • 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 150 grams of dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon of non-melted coconut oil
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Instructions:

  1. Blend the almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and almond butter in a food processor for about 10 seconds.
  2. Mix honey and vanilla into melted coconut oil.
  3. Combine the coconut oil mixture to the nut mixture in the food processor and blend until well-mixed.
  4. Place the mixture in an 8×8 baking pan lined with parchment paper. Pat down the mixture using either your hands or the back of a spoon to even out the layer.
  5. Place the pan in the freezer for around 30 minutes, in the mean time melt the remaining coconut oil in with the dark chocolate over a saucepan on low heat.
  6. After the nut mixture is finished freezing, pour the chocolate mixture over it and spread it out evenly. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Coconut Oil Date Power Bars

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Ingredients:

  • 10 pitted dates
  • 1 and a half cups of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil

Instructions:

  1. Blend walnuts in a food processor until they get very crumbly.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until well mixed.
  3. Firmly press the mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  4. Place in refrigerator and let cool for at least 30 minutes.

Coconut Oil Maple Pecan Bars

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of toasted and chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup of almond flour
  • 1 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of almond butter
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Mix the chopped pecans, almond flour, rolled oats and salt in a large bowl.
  2. In a pan, melt the coconut oil and pecan-almond mixture together and mix.
  3. Add maple syrup and vanilla and stir them into it.
  4. Press the mixture into a 9 x 9 baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  5. Place in the freezer and allow to cool for 15-30 minutes.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/coconut-oil-and-health?page=1

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23179202

http://www.ninacheriephd.com/you-your-body-and-your-health/how-the-thermogenic-process-can-help-you-lose-weight

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/metabolism/art-20046508

http://restlesspalate.com/5-irresistible-recipes-to-help-you-eat-more-coconut-oil/

Image Source: 

http://www.carebodyhair.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/How-to-Strengthen-Your-Heart-and-Lose-Weight-With-Only-1-Tbsp-of-Coconut-Oil.jpg

http://333oee3bik6e1t8q4y139009mcg.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/CoconutOil_HealthBenefits.png

 

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