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Do you suffer with irresistible carb cravings at night that plague you even after your head hits the pillow? I do too. No matter how well I stick to my nutrition plan during the day, I get the urge to forage through my cupboards and refrigerator like a hungry bear as bedtime approaches. Maybe you’ve tried methods like I have: drinking herbal tea, keeping sugar and junk out of the house to cut down on impulse eating, and eating a high protein dinner. Sometimes though, nothing seems to help.
Lately, I’ve tried an experiment that actually works. I’ve started eating a tablespoon of coconut oil. If the thought of swallowing an oily mass is sounds unappealing, I can tell you from experience that it is. One method that works for me is eating it in two bites, then drinking a glass of milk or tea. 10 seconds later, it’s over, and you move on.
The results are worth it. Since I have started this protocol, my evening carb cravings have disappeared. I wondered how exactly it worked so well, so I decided to do a little digging in research abstracts. What I found is pretty interesting. Apparently, it’s not just the fat content of the oil that makes coconut oil so effective. It’s the type of fatty acid that makes the difference.
Coconut oil contains medium chain fatty acids. Different types of fats contain different fatty acids. Butter for example contains short chain fatty acids, and lard contains long chain fatty acids. Medium chain fatty acids are the optimal fat to consume to increase the use of body fat for energy by the body. According to a study in the International Journal of Obesity:
Another fat source that is satiating is the MCT fat, which is rapidly hydrolysed and taken up into the portal system. These fatty acids are able to cross the mitochondrial inner membrane without any translocator, thereby stimulating fatty acid oxidation.
Got that? Although it may seem like the practice of eating medium chain fatty acids is becoming more popular as people are once again recognizing coconut oil as a health food, this has been a practice that was widely adopted in the 1950′s as a dietary treatment of malabsorption syndromes. Many critical nutrients are fat-soluble after all.
Have you tried eating coconut oil to improve your health? Has it helped to reduce carb cravings? ?
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