Articles, Blog

Coconut Oil and Abdominal Fat

August 26, 2019


“Coconut Oil and Abdominal Fat” I was surprised to see in this popular infographic that there was evidently
promising evidence that coconut oil could
help with obesity. Well, if you pump
the stomachs of rats with purified medium-
chain fatty acids, one component of coconut oil, they end up eating less food, but you don’t know if there’s
any relevance to humans until you put it to the test. Researchers compared breakfasts
with the same amount of dairy fat, coconut oil fat,
or tallow (beef fat), and no effect on hunger,
fullness, satisfaction, or how much they then went
on to eat at lunchtime. So where did this whole
idea that coconut fat was somehow different
come from? Well, six years ago, an open-label
pilot study was published. They asked 20 men and women to eat
2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day for a month, and the
men appeared to lose about an inch off their waist. Now open-label means
that the participants knew what they were eating; there
wasn’t like some placebo control. In fact, there was no
control group at all, so you don’t know if
the effects would have just happened anyway
without the coconut oil. There’s a well-recognized
effect in dietary studies where just being in a dietary
study under observation tends to lead to a
reduction in caloric intake, because you know they’re
going to weigh you and looking over your shoulder. But there had never
been a controlled study of coconut oil and waistlines
in men and women until 2015. About a hundred men
and women were given about a tablespoon of coconut
oil a day for three months and lost nearly an inch inch off their waist after three months
compared to control. What did the control
group get instead? Nothing.
There was no placebo, and so they were comparing doing
something with doing nothing. And when one does that,
there’s often a placebo effect regardless of the true
efficacy of the treatment. And they also suggested
the coconut oil group may want to take
their dose with fruit. And if they did end up eating more
fruit, that in and of itself may help, as despite its sugar content,
fruit consumption tends to be associated
with anti-obesity effects. What we need to see if coconut
oil has some special effect is to give people a spoonful of
coconut oil versus some other oil and see if there’s any difference.
And when you do that— 2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day versus
2 tablespoons of soybean oil a day— no significant difference in waistlines. But what did happen was a significant
increase in insulin resistance in the coconut oil group, which is what
eventually causes type 2 diabetes, despite being told to increase
fruits and vegetables, cut down on sugars and animal fat,
and despite an exercise program of walking 50 minutes a day,
four days a week. The only other placebo-controlled
study of coconut oil and waistlines was published in 2017, and no significant changes in weight
or waist or hip measurements, total fat, belly fat,
nor butt fat. No benefit to coconut oil
for obesity over placebo shown in any study to date, so how can coconut oil proponents
get away with saying otherwise? Well, they like to talk
about studies like this, showing that Pacific islanders who ate more traditional
coconut-based diets are slimmer than those
eating more modern diets with fewer coconut products. But guess what they
were eating instead? The modernized dietary pattern
was primarily characterized by high intakes of sausage,
eggs, and processed foods.

100 Comments

  • Reply Lexus Marie January 15, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Faster way is actually getting up and doing cardio.

  • Reply Matthijs January 15, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    great info!
    thanks for the insightful vids

  • Reply Team Broccoli January 15, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Coconut oil is great for…adult things. But I don’t eat it. Haha 🤣

  • Reply Ivan Law January 15, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Coconut oil is actually saturated fat, isn't it?

  • Reply Reverend Al January 15, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    Coconut oil is so sickening, it destroys appetite.

  • Reply Mark January 15, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks, Doctor.

  • Reply D Master January 15, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    This proves a high fat diet is better for losing weight in a low fat diet.

  • Reply sooooooooDark January 15, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    well coconut oil is a lot of saturated fat
    but how about mct oil?
    its not a whole food yea yea i know but just from an athletes perspective it sounds promissing to go beyond what glycogen stores are capable to store

  • Reply HT logistics3434 January 15, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Oil is oil plain and simple we don't need to consume it we won't die LoL 🤣

  • Reply sads owo January 15, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Ahh! I know oil is bad but what about coconut milk (like Alpro)? I like to have some with my porridge.

  • Reply State of Zan January 15, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    this guy has a really weird speech pattern. I think he is trying to sound more animated or something… but I find it difficult to listen to his voice.

  • Reply D Master January 15, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    How many people are on a low fat high carb diet to do intermittent fasting? I'm almost none. How many people are on a ketogenic diet can do intermittent fasting? Most of them. Intermittent fasting is one of the best ways to lose weight in reduce insulin resistance.

  • Reply StillTrustNo1 January 15, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    I LOVE using coconut oil … on my skin

  • Reply Gerald Ford January 15, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    "UNTIL…………… 2015"
    lol

  • Reply TheWipal January 15, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    why am i having deja vu

  • Reply soconaturalhealth January 15, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Bought and paid for by soy bean industry

  • Reply Raja Shahja January 15, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    coconut has very high fiber, that alone will reduce inches off waist

  • Reply Michael Orion January 15, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    It sure does work well with the ketogenic diet.

  • Reply TONY NYC January 15, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    https://youtu.be/UbBURnqYVzw

  • Reply D Master January 15, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    The story of fat https://youtu.be/5S6-v37nOtY

  • Reply VeganMarcella andMore January 15, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    The 'Coconut Oil Bubble' has been popped over the past couple years, no longer thought of as a 'good thing'. All oils are highly processed, and very unnatural. Our human bodies are not designed in anyway to process straight oil, especially coconut oil which is saturated fat. All oils taken internally over time lead to 'dis-health', not 'good health'.

  • Reply Nero Wolfe January 15, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    And the fact coconuts are a MAJOR global cash crop, and this…
    First study from Malaysia – 10th largest Coconut Producer in the world
    Second study from Brazil – 5th largest Coconut Producer in the world
    Third study from the USA – doesn't even make the Top 20 list for Coconut Production
    https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-world-leaders-in-coconut-production.html

  • Reply Megan Shulmister January 15, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    i could listen 2 u talk 4ever #science

  • Reply MrMimlet January 15, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    until 2015?? what happened to until now?

  • Reply Bob Schooler January 15, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Can one of the more media-savvy NF.org fans tell me how Greger does his animations and highlights on his Youtube videos? Does he use something like Adobe suite or Final Cut? Any advice would be much appreciated 🙂

    (I'm helping another scientist/science journalist start a youtube channel in a similar vein)

  • Reply Christoph Dollis January 15, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    OK, but this doesn't rule out MCT oils from having a beneficial effect, now does it?

  • Reply InvisiMan January 15, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    2 tablespoons of coconut oil is a LOT! Do people really eat that much on a regular basis? If (when) I use it to cook, I might use 1 teaspoon in a pan to make enough food for four people plus leftovers! But that's not every day and certainly not with each meal – eating 2 tablespoons worth would make me gag. What are they putting it on??

  • Reply Minty Coco January 15, 2018 at 9:40 pm

    My aunt lived in Papua New Guinea, where they eat a lot of coconut oil and she said they were all fat and had high cholesterol. At the time I was trying to convince her to eat it, that it was healthy for everything, she was like, "No way! That's all marketing"

  • Reply Joseph1NJ January 15, 2018 at 9:56 pm

    I thought coconut oil series was done. What happened to microwave, no more videos on the subject?

  • Reply Blue Skies January 15, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    Oh no, the "Bulletproof diet" just went up in flames

  • Reply Helen Vanderbreggen January 15, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Sooo excited, just got my cookbook, love it. Thanks you Dr. G

  • Reply Random January 15, 2018 at 10:16 pm

    So is coconut oil good or bad? Bad for higher insulin resistance right? What about eating whole coconuts? For now I had removed them from my. Diet.

  • Reply Daniel Tucker January 15, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    I want a Dr. Greger bobblehead doll.

  • Reply Hayley Jones January 15, 2018 at 11:10 pm

    Coconut oil makes a great lubricant. That's the best way of putting it inside you.

  • Reply Wak Job January 15, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    I don't like eating it but I have to admit that adding it and MCT oil to my coffee not only makes it delicious my overall memory and general cognitive functions have been through the roof since I started.

  • Reply deavman January 16, 2018 at 12:46 am

    Yes..but the real question is : does the good doctor squat..?

  • Reply Sarah Austin January 16, 2018 at 1:48 am

    😮

  • Reply danmar007 January 16, 2018 at 2:40 am

    Why do you talk like that? It's a quite bizarre affectation.

  • Reply Peter Rabitt January 16, 2018 at 2:44 am

    There are certain things I MUST have in my average diet to be satisfied. Nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and beans. If I don't have all those things, (especially nuts) I get overly hungry and will eat nonstop until I slowly but surely get overweight. The irony being the fat I eat makes me lean, and denying myself of it makes me fatter!

  • Reply Erika Hernandez January 16, 2018 at 5:47 am

    Now i'm confused. Ive read and been told that coconut oil is good for treating PCOS. Anyone? Help?

  • Reply Bodhi Jo January 16, 2018 at 7:00 am

    "Until you… put it to the test" hahahaha oh Dr.G you're the best

  • Reply Hulagu Kahn January 16, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Did you cut it short or fell asleep?

  • Reply Alys Turtill January 16, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Thanks for all your hard work guys, this worlds nutrition would be a mess without you!!! Ps Love your new cookbook trying to help everyone here in the Canary Islands educate them self.

  • Reply Tasha Marks January 16, 2018 at 9:04 am

    There's multiple studies claiming different things. 😥 I like to cook with that oil over veggie oil or butter bc the fats in it are far better than the kind found in those oils. Saturated fat is good, the others are bad.

  • Reply Notyour Effinbusiness January 16, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Would be very interesting to look at coconut and mtc oil in the context of a fast or intermittent fasting. Since only adding fat to your breakfast appears to be quiete silly, replacing it with some fat might have very different effects!

  • Reply Jasao Ruion January 16, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Sounds like the ketogenic diet affect. let me tell you something" I don't do ketogenic diet but I did lost weight by exercise and eat right by eating coconut oil avocado. vegetables fruit and nuts and grains and eat some meat no red meat. definitely no bread and no processed food or dairy products and no bad oils or processed sugar specially no High fructose corn syrup. it the most evil one of all it causes fatty liver disease. if consume a lot in short period time. Last thing is coconut oil helps you reverse fatty liver disease. and read your food labels ingredients.

  • Reply Blaze mordly January 16, 2018 at 9:35 am

    Sounds painful for him to speak…?

  • Reply Plant Maven January 16, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Testing coconut oil with fruit – yeah, the whole coconut – duh.

  • Reply TONY NYC January 16, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Grape seed?
    Trying to be “0n guard” when eating out and asking for a Vegan menu. So when asking the waiter to find out type if oil their falafel is deep fried in they usually respond with “canola”.
    I think I should just not order anything deep fried, and just bake them at home. Also look into the “air-fryer”.
    Thank you all for your responses. !✌🏽

  • Reply TONY NYC January 16, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    So heat is ok for those 2 oils?
    Ive gotta experiment at home. And look it up.
    General rule seems to be the oil when heated takes on a different health effect. (?)

  • Reply Mikaela Murray January 16, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    You need to make shirts that say “…put it to the test! -MG”

  • Reply Tristan Devereaux January 16, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Interesting stuff!

  • Reply Alexander Molina January 16, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Just a note here guys. I use coconut oil once daily when cooking my six whole free range eggs and veggies. I’ve been eating this for 5 years now and my body fat percentage ranges from 8-12% throughout the year. The only thing that changes my waste size is the amount of carbohydrates i consume specially the High glycemic variety. I base my diet on low glycemic foods and consume plenty of vegetables along with plenty of animal protein and fat. And i am way healthier now than i was when i ate more rice, pasta, breads etc. You have to find what works for you. Some people thrive on different diets, the one thing is to stay away from processed foods and consume plenty of vegetables. The trick is not however on whether is animal or plant based foods. Just stay away from processed and eat the proper portions

  • Reply ecobra169 January 16, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Please. Every time Americans try to take matters in to their own hands. Here we go with their so-called brainwashing​,scaremongering tactics with their so-called independent study. From the same institutions. which brought us mountains of death and destruction on bias information,with only one porous to manipulate​,control, brainwash. Thousands of Americans has proven with a ketogenic diet,one can be very healthy lose weight and live a healthy life reverse conditions of other lifestyle ,while consuming very high amounts fats be it coconut or Animal fats. Here is the study done by the masses. Who need you institutions.

  • Reply 龍大海Bickle's the Bomb! January 16, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    When on job assignments my breakfast is typically butter coffee with coconut oil. Gives me energy until lunchtime and just yesterday bought medium shirts for the first time since high school.

  • Reply bpachol January 16, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Boy you must hate coconut oil-works for me though.

  • Reply MrEnergyCzar January 16, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Its good for you if you are replacing unhealthy calories with coconut oil. ie, a Big Mac being replaced with coconut oil teaspoons.

  • Reply Gary Dean January 16, 2018 at 11:45 pm

    straw man.

  • Reply Me Me January 17, 2018 at 1:10 am

    This is a pork beware

  • Reply Hakuna Matata January 17, 2018 at 1:21 am

    Love, love, LOVE this video.

  • Reply COGS's CORNER January 17, 2018 at 3:12 am

    Intermittent fasting gives much different results!

  • Reply D Castle January 17, 2018 at 3:18 am

    If I eat nut butters will this cause insulin resistance?

  • Reply Alec Rodriguez January 17, 2018 at 4:10 am

    Instructions not clear got coconut oil on my watermelon

  • Reply hytwoxy January 17, 2018 at 4:19 am

    I appreciate the information but the delivery is cringeworthy. Must you speak like that? It's terribly distracting.

  • Reply Derrick G January 17, 2018 at 4:21 am

    Is coconut milk ok?

  • Reply ashe higgs January 17, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Bro, your videos are cherry picked bull sh*t. You even selectively dissect the studies you cite to promote your agenda. LOL
    For example: Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity concluded " It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity." In other words the fat contents of their blood didn't get worse and THEY LOST BELLY FAT, as opposed to the soybean oil group who lost weight but not belly fat and saw all their blood lipids get worse. (Gee, who knew soybean oil was bad for you? Go figure!)
    Long term, increased waist circumference is a huge riskfactor for both heart disease and diabetes 2, so whatever wonky mechanism caused an increase in HOMA would be offset by decreases in WC.

  • Reply Jeong-hun Sin January 17, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    So coconut oil is snake oil?

  • Reply Laurence Clark Crossen January 17, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    @Dr. Greger: How about the alleged beneficial effects of coconut oil on dementia?

  • Reply Cattle Dog January 17, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    So, are there any other benefits to coconut oil that are false also?

  • Reply Peter B. Sims January 18, 2018 at 1:47 am

    "Put it to the test." Evidence-based eating is the way forward. Thanks, Dr. Greger!

  • Reply Ivan B January 18, 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Just an absolutely amazing analysis of research. Very investigative and impressive 👍

  • Reply TT January 19, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Amla in oil, coconut oil, we use it as hair oil for centuries in India. Also coconut oil for skin massages/moisturizer before bathing is awesome.

  • Reply Jules Dolan January 19, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    I don't like this guy's voice… it's kind of whiny and also condescending in my opinion, I couldn't even finish the video.

  • Reply Lawrence lawrence January 27, 2018 at 5:09 am

    I used it liberally thinking it is good until I got a heart attack with plugged arteries. It's a marketing ploy, it's really not good for anyone.

  • Reply julabuddha January 28, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    I was a devotee of the low fat (oil-free), high carb WFPB movement for 2 plus years and I was a bloated and puffed out and I wasn't losing weight. I switched to a high fat, low carb diet and I've lost 50 pounds in 4 months. Fat is where it's at. If you're insulin resistant, you will never lose weight if you're eating fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, beans, or root vegetables. I can't eat animal products without suffering from inflammation… but coconut oil and coconut milk has become a huge part of my diet. When i used to eat fruits and starches, i thought about food all the time. I had constant sugar cravings. Now, I eat only 1 meal a day. Which typically includes a large salad with at least 1/4c of olive oil… in addition to adding coconut oil and coconut milk to my hot beverages. I have the best energy that i've ever had in my life. No hunger, no cravings, no suffering, easy weight loss. FAT IS WHERE IT'S AT!!!

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  • Reply mmmgorgeous February 15, 2018 at 4:43 am

    fantastic information

  • Reply JellyfishGroupStan February 16, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    why would you just eat the oil which is kinda gross anyway when you could eat like… actual coconut bits.

  • Reply pattigee1 March 7, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Scary part is local cancer support centre supports frying with coconut oil. Yikes.

  • Reply Fischer Bacher March 16, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Oh I see now. When animal studies or other studies go against your dogma it is junk science, but when studies confirm your bias then let's cite all these studies as scientic fact. Besides that most fruit and grains make you fat because of the sugar. That is the real current research. lol

  • Reply T breezy March 17, 2018 at 5:20 am

    I'd like to see Dr. Greger also discuss the study that seemed to indicate that coconut oil is 'healthy,' and the small study actually did what Dr. Greger proposed in this video. The participants each had a tablespoon of either coconut oil, olive oil, or unsalted butter.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/health-42608071

  • Reply Joe Crockenberg March 24, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    I've lost fat and gained muscle since adding this in my smoothie.

  • Reply Mathew Stovell March 29, 2018 at 12:19 am

    Is there actually ANY food in existence – where there's not some trade off from digestion to blood stream to cell uptake?

  • Reply womp May 3, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    You don’t eat it plain you cook with it or eat it with things

  • Reply jeff mcclure May 28, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    This guy is misleading. Don't believe him. Coconut oil works for weight loss. Suppresses appetite and increases immunity.

  • Reply Daveogh the Guy June 10, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    This is great! I found Chef John's Nutritionist counterpart!

  • Reply Peter Faber June 11, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    Duh. You're making videos about the obvious now?

    If you're on a high carb diet, don't eat too much fat. No more than required for essential fatty accid consumption.

    But, when you're on a low carb diet, coconut oil is great!

  • Reply smoothmelo AK June 29, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Until you… PUT IT TO THE TEST lmao

  • Reply stillbee August 21, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Where did this come from? Its all merchandising quit following all these fads. There's always a new oil, new vitamin every year. Olive oil is one of the very best oils you can use.

  • Reply Powerman80923 August 25, 2018 at 3:32 am

    Dr. Greger, when you do these videos are you taking a dump? Kinda sounds that way. I suppose that's when the best thinking takes place. Maybe some oil would smooth things out for you.

  • Reply tubularbill September 12, 2018 at 4:20 am

    I have worked out all my life. I can tell you first hand that Coconut Oil does help to reduce belly fat and helps insulin levels. These so called “studies” are hog wash.

  • Reply It's Wednesday, Screw Ironing October 23, 2018 at 3:04 am

    Womp😐womp: I have been a fool! 😣

  • Reply 1674 November 7, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    What about cocoa butter? Specifically, unsweetened Baker's chocolate?

  • Reply Minutes Of Wisdom November 29, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    The Comments section is filled with retards

  • Reply A G January 16, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    I had been led to believe that coconut oil, MCT oil, butter, ghee, lard, etc. were good for me. My cholesterol shot up much higher than before. I went back to using olive oil sparingly, and no other oils, and my cholesterol went back to normal.

  • Reply Japanese girl Aimon February 1, 2019 at 1:54 am

    Coconut oil is very useful for skincare and hair care, and you can even eat them.

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  • Reply silvergreylion March 5, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Wow, this is a very shallow look at coconut oil.
    No mention of how the liver produces ketone bodies from it, which act as an alternative food for brain cells.

  • Reply Social Justice Warlord March 20, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    There is a big problem here. The study you show at around 2:40, you say showed no significant difference. But if you actually read the study there is a significant difference. The coconut oil group had statistically significant improvement in HDL colesterol and reduction in waist circumference. The researchers conlcuded:

    "It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity."

    https://aocs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1007/s11745-009-3306-6

    How did you get this so wrong?

  • Reply OrganicQueen June 5, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    Thank you for all your honesty and work in nutrition. I’m a nutrition coach and I love educating about the deception these corrupt companies market the lies to the Public square .
    Anything that has been processed from its Whole Foods source is polluted and dangerous to the body .

  • Reply Debra Shapiro August 21, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    My LDL cholesterol went up to 120 when I was roasting my veggies in coconut oil. When I learned to roast on parchment paper without oil, my LDL's dropped to 60! No other change; still vegan, but no coconut oil or any real added oil for cooking. 120 to 60. That's enough for me.

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