Posted October 01, 2018 09:25:06 Coconut oil has been on the rise in popularity for years.
Now, research suggests it could be fuelling the obesity epidemic.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that people who consume a diet high in coconut oil are 20 per cent less likely to develop obesity and are 20 to 40 per cent more likely to lose weight.
Coconut oil is rich in healthy fats and is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the development of healthy blood lipids.
The study analysed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of over 5,000 adults aged 18 and over.
Researchers found that people with a high intake of coconut products had a lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, a measurement of body fat, than those who consumed a lower intake.
The findings suggest that coconut oil could help slow the rise of obesity.
The coconut oil in coconut flour contains a fatty acid called linoleic acid which is a fatty substance found in the human diet.
It is also present in other oils such as sunflower oil, olive oil and palm oil.
Coconut flour has been a popular ingredient in the diet of some developed countries such as Brazil, Malaysia, India and Mexico.
The Australian study found that the average BMI of people who consumed coconut flour was 21.6 and that of people consuming non-coarse coconut flour the average was 20.6.
It was found that coconut flour contained more omega-6 and omega-5 fatty acids than coconut flour alone.
Dr Joanna Brown, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Sydney, said that the results showed that coconut can play a role in reducing obesity.
“There is a huge appetite for coconut oil and its health benefits are well known, but it’s important to understand that these results are a consequence of coconut being incorporated into the diet,” Dr Brown said.
Dr Brown also said that there were some health benefits of coconut flour.
“It contains a good number of polyphenols, which have been shown to improve blood lipid levels,” she said.
“They may have an anti-inflammatory effect, so people can have an improved cardiovascular health.”
There is some evidence that coconut might be more palatable to some people than the traditional oils that are used in cooking, which might be an advantage.
“If you look at a whole number of countries in the world and the results are all coming in the same direction, then you can make a case that coconut is a really good thing for people who want to reduce their obesity.” “
This is a very important finding that we were able to replicate,” Dr Michael Stoddart, a professor of clinical nutrition at Queensland University of Technology, told ABC Radio Brisbane.
“If you look at a whole number of countries in the world and the results are all coming in the same direction, then you can make a case that coconut is a really good thing for people who want to reduce their obesity.”
The research was carried out in conjunction with the National Institute of Health and the Australian Centre for Food Safety and Research.
Dr Stoddard said that although coconut flour is not a food source of the omega-4 fatty acids found in coconut, it does have some nutritional benefits.
“You don’t get that much omega-9 in coconut either, so if you eat it regularly, you get some omega-7s,” he said.
‘I think we should all be doing better’ There are some encouraging signs, however, for those who eat a high-fat diet.
A 2016 study published by the journal Obesity found that those with the highest intake of refined carbohydrates, like white bread, had lower BMI and waist-to-hip ratio.
This suggests that the higher the carbohydrate intake, the lower the body fat.
Dr Stephen Sillitoe, director of the Institute for Health and Physical Activity at the Australian National University, said there was a growing body of evidence that suggests eating more carbohydrates can help you burn fat and maintain a healthy weight.
“We are really trying to look at all kinds of things, including whether it’s fat-burning, the effect of fibre on fat loss, whether it is a way of reducing inflammation, whether that’s even something we should do to increase our cardiovascular health,” he told ABC Brisbane Breakfast.
“So, I think we all should be doing a better job of looking at these things, but I think at the moment we all seem to be doing just fine.”