Chocolate, Butter & Coconut Oil Healthy & Anti-Ageing!

3 SATURATED Fats that Actually SLOW Aging in Your Body
Yes, ALL three of these foods have a high ratio saturated fats, but studies are showing that they actually improve your heart health and fight aging. Read on…
The majority of the population these days still seem to “fear” fats in the diet because of all of the fat-free and low-fat propaganda of the 80’s and 90’s that falsely made people think that all fats are bad for us. Nothing could be further from the truth!
As a health blogger, fitness coach and Nutritionist, I observe people’s eating habits all the time… and I constantly see well-intentioned, but misinformed people choosing egg whites instead of whole eggs, even though studies show that the “fatty” yolks contain almost all of the anti-aging benefits, heart-health benefits, and 90% of the valuable antioxidants and vitamins/minerals in an egg, whereas the whites contain very little nutrition at all. Not only that, but egg yolks have been proven to raise your GOOD cholesterol, and improve the good to bad ratios.
I also see people constantly choosing “low-fat” and “fat-free” options of various foods in the supermarket despite the fact that most of these options contain a LOT more carbs and sugars to replace the fats that are taken out, which actually leads to FASTER AGING by increasing the amount of Advanced Glycation End Products(AGEs) that your body produces. These nasty little compounds called AGEs speed up the aging process in your body including damage over time to your organs, your joints, and of course, wrinkled skin.
Plus, it’s high blood sugar from all of those extra sugars and carbs in “low-fat” and “fat-free” choices that increase AGEs in your body on a daily basis leading to faster aging. On the other hand, all of those FATS that people have been avoiding for years can actually SLOW the aging process by keeping your blood sugar lower and more stable, hormones balanced, and for other reasons too.
In fact, it’s absolutely imperative to get enough healthy fats in your diet to keep your hormones balanced, blood sugar under control, prevent cravings, and to SLOW the aging process in your organs, skin, and joints. 
And I’m NOT just talking about the obvious healthy fats that you hear about in the news all the time, such as almonds, walnuts, avocados, fish oil, and our beloved olive oil… all of those examples ARE definitely healthy and contain loads of beneficial nutrients that can help you to live longer, healthier, and leaner…
BUT…
Here are THREE more examples of “fatty” foods that most people falsely think are “unhealthy” simply because they do contain certain ratios of saturated fat… But in reality, these foods are shown in studies to protect our bodies from the ravages of aging and even help us to stay lean…
1. Grass-fed (outdoor reared) butter & cream
Yes, delicious smooth and rich BUTTER (real butter, NOT deadly margarine!)… It’s delicious, contains loads of healthy nutritional factors, and does NOT have to be avoided in order to stay healthy and get lean. In fact, I often use grass-fed butter whenever a spread is called for, like on a juicy treat slice or three of fruit bread. 
There’s a lot of confusion about this topic… in fact, I attended a Science Festival lecture that was talking about fat and one of the first things a nutritionist ‘banned’ was saturated fat. It just shows that the majority of the population still doesn’t fully understand that butter (grass-fed only!) can actually be a healthy part of your diet.
In fact, there’s even ample evidence that REAL butter can even fight aging and help you to lose body fat for a couple of main reasons:
   a. Grass-fed butter is known to have high levels of a healthy fat called CLA, which has been shown in numerous studies to have anti-cancer properties, and also has been shown to help burn abdominal fat and build lean muscle. I use a powdered CLA supplement in my recovery shakes. 
   b. Grass-fed butter also has an ideal balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids (unlike conventional grain-fed butter) which helps fight inflammation in your body, and can help balance hormones, thereby helping to slow the aging process, and keep your body lean.
   c. The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also contain MCTs (similar to the MCTs in coconut oil), which help to boost your immune system and are readily burned by the body for energy. The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also help to satisfy your appetite and control blood sugar levels, both of which help you to stay lean!
If you have a hard time finding a grass-fed butter at your grocery store, Kerrygold Irish butter is one of my favorites, and the cows are 100% grass-fed on lush green pastures in Ireland. It’s one of the richest butters in colour that I’ve seen, which indicates high levels of carotenoids, powerful antioxidants that help fight ageing. 
Note for people who are dairy sensitive or think they might be:  
People that are dairy sensitive or intolerant are generally NOT sensitive to butter or cream. This is something that’s highly misunderstood in the nutrition industry, even by most authors and doctors. The truth is that it’s almost always either the lactose or the casein that people are sensitive to, and butter or cream has nothing more than traces of either since butter and cream is solely the fat portion of dairy while the lactose and casein have mostly been removed when the fat is skimmed off the milk. The amount of casein in butter or cream is negligible compared to milk.
Also, fermented dairy generally doesn’t give people any problems either (kefir or plain yogurt) because the lactose has been digested by the microbes, making kefir 99% lactose free usually. Plus, even the casein in kefir and yogurt is MUCH more highly digestible because the microbes have already performed a little pre-digestion on it.

2. Super Dark Chocolate (72% cacao content or higher) 
It might not be a secret anymore, but yes, dark chocolate (NOT milk chocolate) can be a very healthy food, even though it is technically calorie dense. 
However, I would contend that dark chocolate can actually HELP you to burn off more body fat if you’re the type of person that has a sweet tooth and likes to eat a lot of desserts. In this case, just 1 or 2 small squares of dark chocolate can many times satisfy your sweet tooth for only 30 or 40 calories as opposed to 500 calories for a piece of chocolate cake or a piece of pie. 
Also some brands of dark chocolate that are in the mid 70’s in % cacao content or higher, can have a fairly high ratio of fibre content (I’ve seen some brands have 5-7 grams of fibre out of 15 grams of total carbs per serving), and relatively low sugar content compared to the amount of healthy fats. In fact, that’s one of the “tricks” I use to select a good quality chocolate… I look for more total fat than total carbs (or about the same number of grams of each).
The importance of that fact is that it means many dark chocolates will not greatly affect your blood sugar and will have a fairly blunted blood sugar response compared to other “sweets”.
In addition, dark chocolate is also very rich in healthful antioxidants, including a powerful compound called theobromine which has been shown to help lower your blood pressure and have other health benefits. 
Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants called flavanols with dozens of health benefits… One study found that eating as little as 6.7 grams of chocolate per day has a protective effect on your heart. Other studies show benefits to your digestive system by improving the ratios of good to bad bacteria in your gut, possibly due to the catechins and polyphenols in cocoa.
The reason I say to choose dark chocolates with at least 72% cacao content is that the higher the % of cacao, the lower the % of sugar. However, this does mean that any chocolate over 80% cacao content will generally start to get a more bitter taste and have very little sweetness. If you like this type of taste, then the higher % cocao, the better. Otherwise, a good 75% dark chocolate is in my opinion an almost perfect combination of lightly sweet with a rich velvety chocolate taste. 
You can also reap the benefits of the antioxidants and fibre without all of the calories by using organic unsweetened cocoa powder in your smoothies or other recipes.
The bottom line is that you can enjoy small to moderate amounts of dark chocolate and also cocoa powder daily, and it only helps you to stay lean and fight the aging process in your body.


3. Coconut oil, coconut meat, coconut flour, and coconut milk
Coconut milk and oil are great sources of a super healthy type of saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), including a component called lauric acid, which is a powerful nutrient for your immune system, and is lacking in most western diets. In addition, MCTs are readily used for energy by the body and less likely to be stored as body fat compared to other types of fats.
Eating coconut oil can help improve the health of your skin from the inside out… But in addition to being healthy internally, coconut oil is also known to be great for the health of your skin externally as a skin moisturizer that’s healthier for you than most lotions since natural coconut oil allows you to avoid the harmful chemicals found in many lotions. 
Coconut oil is even shown to help improve your thyroid function as well as helping to protect your brain from Alzheimers.
There are even direct studies that show that coconut oil can help you burn off abdominal fat more efficiently.
Along with coconut milk and coconut oil as healthy fat choices, we’ve also got coconut flour as a healthier flour option for baking. Coconut flour is an extremely high fibre flour alternative (almost ALL of the carbs in this flour are fiber and not starch!). Coconut flour is also VERY high in protein compared to most flours and is also gluten free! 
Just beware that if you’re going to use coconut flour for baking, it absolutely NEEDS to be mixed with other flours as it sucks up moisture like crazy…make delicious baked goods by mixing coconut flour with almond flour and quinoa flour in equal parts, and adding slightly more liquid ingredients than the recipe calls for.

 
Enjoy your fats and NEVERTHELESS feel on a ‘diet’
Jax 

 

Ellie – Testamonial

I met Ellie when she joined my Pilates sessions as a guest. A busy mother of a grown up family, walking her dogs twice daily, a keen dancer and working full time she needed a no nonsense solution to her needs.

This is Ellie’s transformation story.
(In her words)
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In May I went to the Doctor because I felt rubbish, I was tired, grumpy, sleeping poorly, my skin was dry and flaky, my hair was coarse and thinning and my nails were peeling and breaking.
I was overweight and nothing I tried could shift the excess.
The doctor suggested a Well Person MOT and blood tests. I also decided that I would also take matters in my own hands and start following more closely the nutritional and exercise advice offered by Jackie.
I started slowly, making little changes, then attended Jackie’s irks hop in June and it was a revelation. I learnt so much!! I feel better than I have for a long time, many, many friends and family have noticed too!
Everyone wanting to know what I had been doing to make such a transformation, including my GP when I went back for 2nd blood tests in July.
Hair, skin, nails, posture, sleep, energy and flexibility ( which has been noted at by dancing class) all improved. The classes are great fun too!
Thank you Jax

I will let the stats speak for themselves
MAY
Weight: 9st 6lbs
Dress Size: 10/12
Cholesterol: 5.6

JULY
Weight:8st 5lbs
Inches Lost: 13
Dress Size: 8
Cholesterol:4.2
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As you can see Ellie was very pleased with her results. She’s a great example of a client that gradually made nutritional changes, committed to regular exercise sessions and worked hard to stick to her simple plan.
She followed this blog, my twitter feed and joined my support group too.

If you read this and want the same results – get in touch for FREE trial. I have a few trials of 7, 14 and 21days to show just how simple it is to get REAL results without starvation, fad diets, crazy exercise, hours on the treadmill or running through mud!

I offer science based Nutritional Coaching, Intelligent group exercise, Support and guide acne based on over 30years experience working as fitness instructor and teacher trainer.

My sessions are based in my private wellness studio in Cheltenham – arrange your trial today – don’t put it off any longer.
Within a few weeks, just like Ellie, you could feel like a New woman!

Email: Jaxallenfitness@gmail.com
Text: 07831 680086
Friend me on Facebook: Jax Allen
Follow me on Twitter: JaxAllenFitness

Eat Clean. Train Smart. Expect Results

Jax

Why You Should Eat Eggs EVERYDAY, Yes Everyday….

The simple egg is a neat nutritional powerhouse that has been called ‘nature’s multivitamin’ because they’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, and it’s all stored in one very convenient package. Here are five reasons why you should be eating more eggs.

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They help you stay slim
Eggs are very high in protein meaning that they help you stay full for longer. A study in the International Journal of Obesity revealed that overweight adults who ate two eggs for breakfast went on to eat fewer calories throughout the day, compared to those who ate the same amount of calories in bagels. Eating eggs for breakfast will ward off those hunger pangs until it’s time for lunch.

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They’re nutritional sunshine
Vitamin D is vital for all of us and has many benefits including cancer prevention, developing healthy bones and even improving your mood. We tend to rely on the sunshine for vitamin D, but the UK weather means that 50% of us sun-starved island dwellers could be deficient. Eggs are one of the only food sources of vitamin D, making them nutritional sunshine.

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They make you beautiful
Eggs are packed with keratin, a protein that makes up 70% of your hair, and is vital for the growth and repair of every cell in your body. Keratin helps your hair and nails grow strong and healthy, and helps to keep you looking young and beautiful. You don’t just have to eat your eggs to benefit either – putting egg directly onto your hair can help repair and condition it.

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They’re good brain food
As we age, our brains start to shrink which is a phenomenon known as brain atrophy and can be a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. Eggs are full of vitamin B12 and lecithin, which can fight brain atrophy. The yolk is full of choline, a nutrient that makes acetylcholine, a messenger that communicates between the brains and the nerves, and is also great for your memory.

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They’re incredibly versatile
Selenium, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamins B12, A, E and D, iodine, phosphorous, iron, thiamine, zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin: this list of good stuff in eggs is almost endless, as is the variety of ways to cook them. Whether they’re boiled, poached, fried, scrambled, steamed, baked, in an omelette, in a quiche or you’re brave enough to eat them raw, eggs are perfect at any time of the day. Our favourite tip is to keep a few hard-boiled eggs in the fridge – perfect post-workout or when you need an emergency snack.

Eat Clean. Live Well. Feel Great.

Jax

WARNING Fructose = Diabetes T2 & IBS – Don’t Eat It !

This Dirty Little Secret Increases Your Diabetes Risk

This article is from one of my favourite websites……..
Dear Reader,

I can give you plenty of good reasons to avoid fructose, but all you need is one: Type 2 diabetes.

A new study highlights diabetes and all the other key reasons why it’s essential to avoid this dangerous component of processed foods and soft drinks.

The research findings speak for themselves

When I read that US researchers at the University of California, Davis (UCD), recently presented a new fructose study at the American Diabetes Association 67th Annual Scientific Sessions in Chicago, something rang a bell. That ringing came from eight years ago, in an e-Alert I sent our members about a UCD study from some of the same researchers who mounted this new study.

The 2002 UCD study reported on animal testing that showed how fructose consumption contributed to insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated triglyceride levels — three of the core symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Other metabolic syndrome symptoms include excessive abdominal fat, high C-reactive protein level, and low HDL (‘good’) cholesterol. Three or more of these symptoms put a patient at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

In the conclusions to their 2002 study, the UCD team noted that a high intake of fructose might increase body weight and encourage insulin resistance.

Five years later, a study of human subjects confirms those results…

The UCD researchers began by giving a series of tests to assess heart disease risk in 23 overweight adults, aged 43 to 70.

Study profile:

* For two weeks, each subject ate a strict diet that consisted of 30 per cent fat, and 55 per cent complex carbohydrates.

* After the first phase was complete, subjects were allowed to eat whatever they liked for eight weeks, along with three sweetened beverages each day that supplied a quarter of their energy intake — about half the group drank a glucose beverage while the other half drank a fructose beverage.

* After the second phase was complete, subjects returned to the 30/55 diet while continuing with their daily drinks.

* Throughout the study, further checks of heart disease indicators occurred at two, eight, and 10 weeks.

Results showed that just two weeks after subjects began drinking sweetened drinks, triglyceride (blood fat) levels were up in the fructose group, but had actually dropped in the glucose group.

Over the entire range of the study, LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol increased and insulin sensitivity decreased in the fructose group but didn’t change in the glucose group. In addition, fructose subjects gained about three pounds overall, but no weight gain was reported in the glucose group.

Fructose by any other name…

UCD researcher, Dr Peter J. Havel (who participated in both the 2002 and 2007 studies), told WebMD Medical News that most people get added sugars in their diet from daily beverages — which tends to be a lifelong habit, far exceeding the two weeks in which fructose quickly had an adverse effect on triglycerides.

So what exactly is in that vast array of choices in the beverage aisle?

Checking the ingredients of your soft drink, sports tea, vitamin water, power drink, etc, you might wonder what the difference is between fructose, high fructose corn syrup, and crystalline fructose. Is one better than the other? Well… put it this way: If only part of your house is on fire, your house is still on fire.

The average high fructose corn syrup is made up of about 50 per cent fructose.

But according to the Sugar Association (sugar.org), increased fructose content of HFCS is becoming more common. Some of these syrups contain more than 90 per cent fructose.

And then there’s crystalline fructose that’s present in many ‘health’ drinks and vitamin-enhanced beverages. But does the process of crystallizing magically transform fructose into something healthy? Let’s look at the contents. According to the Fructose Information Center (fructose.org), crystalline fructose contains nearly 100 per cent fructose. And just to make it even less appealing, it contains traces of lead, chloride, and arsenic. Yum! And keep in mind this information comes from an association that ADVOCATES fructose use and consumption.

All of this is very bad news for those who are fructose intolerant and don’t even know it. They may suffer from chronic problems such as irritable bowel syndrome without making the connection between their condition and their fructose intake.

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Interesting, eh?

So, from now on don’t buy anything containing fructose!! It’s not harmless fruit sugar.

You’ll find it in Diabetic jams, chocolates, sweets or soft drinks.  Stop adding fructose to your baking too!!

 

Use either table sugar or Stevia / Truvia which is the ONLY safe sweetener I have ever come across.

 

Eat Clean    Live Well    Feel Great

 

Jax

Food FACTS Keep Changing! FATS? WINE?

Last week science helped us clearly establish that wine may or may not be good for you.
‘Here we go again’ I hear you say!

Now, what about fat?

The Big Fat Surprise’ author Nina Teicholz
In the latest is-it-or-isn’t-it nutrition debate, author and cheese advocate Nina Teicholz says fat has been misunderstood and unfairly vilified. Her new book, The Big Fat Surprise, argues that more fat—including the saturated kind found in meat, dairy, and eggs—leads to better health and weight
We all want to know how she decided it was all right to give such seemingly indulgent advice. What follows is an edited, condensed version of the conversation.

So now you would have us get our fill of fat?

You can have a good 50, 60 percent of your calories as fat, and that’s fine.
It won’t damage your heart. Don’t be afraid of those foods. They’re tasty and uniquely satisfying, and we’ve been terrified of eating them. This French woman I ran into said, “I love cheese, but I feel like I’ll be condemning my children to being orphans.” And I said, “Eat the cheese! It won’t cause your early death, and it’s delicious.”

Saturated fat does not cause heart disease, and a high-fat diet over the last decade has been rigorously tested in numerous clinical trials, and it shows that a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet is healthier than a low-fat diet looking at markers for heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

What do you eat?

I start my day with bacon, or egg, or sausage, or meatballs.

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Meatballs?

‘Farmer Boy ‘ author Laura Ingalls

If you read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Farmer Boy they eat meatballs for breakfast, too—I was so amused by that. For lunch I graze because I never really sit down for lunch. I’ll have handfuls of nuts, cheese, tuna fish salad. In the evening, we have some kind of stew or roasted chicken or fish.

But is a data point of one. Science is about looking at large groups of people—data points are anecdotes and they’re interesting, but they don’t establish truth. So you don’t have to eat chicken and fish for the rest of your life.
(1By the way, not all chickens are sources of unsaturated fat due to intensive production methods – but that’s another story!)

And you’re health is fine? Your weight?

The last time I got my cholesterol tested, it looked great; it looked better than when I was in my thirties, and I’m in my forties now. I’m not super thin because I’ve been sitting at my computer for so many months now, but my weight is normal.

Then why do all of us think fat is unhealthy?

The idea that saturated fat causes heart disease goes back to a theory rooted in the 1950s that was proposed by one scientist and became enshrined, first in the American Heart Association in 1961 and became basically over the years a fact. But it had never been tested. Evidence against it—when it was finally shown—[the claim] was really poor and inconclusive and has since fallen apart.

No offense, but why should we trust you?

I have been digging into this research for 10 years. I looked through all of the original research. I did not rely on any summary or review documents. We’re in the third generation of scientists universally believing that fat and saturated fat cause heart disease. That’s accepted, and no one goes back to read what it’s based on. I don’t accept—and have not accepted—any industry money in my research. Almost everyone in nutrition researchers [gets] funding from industry because the government just doesn’t fund that much nutrition research. It doesn’t automatically bias their results, but I came without any preconceptions in this field. I am an outsider who brings a rigorous, science-journalist perspective.

My Comments
I eat 2 or 3 chicken or goose eggs, bacon and spinach, sometimes sausages for breakfast most days of the week. And, have done for the last three or four years. I’m well into my 50’s and my recent cholesterol test brought back shocking results! A very high 7.2 value – I panicked! With a naughty giggle my health care provider then explained that my good cholesterol was very high and the bad stuff was NO problem, PHEW!!

I don’t have any worries recommending a high or higher real fat diet to my Heart Patients.

‘What’s a REAL fat diet?’
Foods that have naturally occurring fats like meat, eggs, fish, nuts and seeds
Yes, saturated and unsaturated fats!
Saturated fats are digested, dealt with easily by your body. We have survived as a species by eating them. The difference these days us that we mess with our food by processing it, adding things to it, feeding poor quality food to our chickens, pigs, sheep and cattle.
If you choose Free Range and Wild caught food you won’t go far wrong.
In the UK, we are lucky, there are many food suppliers that don’t follow the intense production methods that reduce the nutrient value of our basic food stuffs.
We can still buy local fruit and veggies, that aren’t sprayed with tons of chemicals, and we don’t have to buy Organic everything to guarantee that.

If you really want to reduce your chances of Heart Disease, Diabetes and Obesity you must add in real food – high fat – including Real cheese ( NOT Processed)
BUT eliminate as many grain based foods as possible – that beans breakfast cereals! Because the best way to elevate your cholesterol, inflammation, joint pain and lots more nasty conditions is to eat foods containing Omega 6’s and fake processed sugars.

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Think about where you get your calories (energy) from, do you eat a rainbow of foods? ( M & M’s don’t count) if you do and you drink enough fluid, you will have a healthy gut, and have no need for Bran based cereals.

Give it a try, you will feel full. You’re energy levels will balance out over the day, cravings will disappear and so you won’t want high sugar snacks at coffee time or on your commute home.

Eat Clean, Feel Great!

#4 Clean Eating How? – Fats

Health Fats

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Not all fat is bad. You just need to know which ones to eat and which ones to avoid. Some unsaturated fats make the clean eating healthy list. While you don’t want to eat them in excess, you’ll want to consume plant based fats including olive, flax and other nut and seed oils.
NEVER heat these oils. Vegetable oils convert to dangerous trans fats when heated.
Saturated fats from free range meat is absolutely fine. They do NOT cause your cholesterol to rise.

Eat Clean and Feel Great

AddFat to Lose Fat! WHAT?

My Nutrition mentor came across some VERY interesting studies recently on the relationship between coconut oil (or any type of coconut fat, including coconut milk and cream) and how it can affect your body fat…
For some of you this is another #toldyoyso moment…. For others it might help you improve your diet….

The findings may surprise you!

A 2009 study published in the Journal Lipids consisted of testing the effects of either 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or 2 tablespoons of soybean on a group of 40 women over the span of 28 days.

Results showed that the group that ate the coconut oil had a decrease in abdominal fat, while the soybean oil group actually showed a slight increase in belly fat. Additionally, the group that ate the coconut oil showed increased HDL ‘good’ cholesterol levels, while the soybean oil group had decreased HDL cholesterol and increased LDL ‘ bad’ cholesterol.

The Journal of Nutrition published a study where researchers investigated all studies relative to medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that are abundant in coconut fat and weight management. The studies showed that diets rich in fats such as those found in coconut oil prompted a boost in metabolism, increase in energy, decrease in food consumption, reduced body weight and lower body fat mass. The study authors highly recommend using oils that contain MCFAs, such as coconut oil, as a tool to drop extra abdominal fat, manage a healthy weight, and even as a way to treat obesity.

Yet another study that assessed body weight and fat storage relative to three different types of diets including a low-fat diet, high-fat diet with long chain fatty acids (LCFAs) and a high fat diet with MCFAs. In order to bring about weight gain, caloric intakes were adjusted for the diets. At the end of the research period (which lasted 44 days), the low-fat diet group stored an average of 0.47 grams of fat per day, the LCFA group stored 0.48 grams of fat per day, and the MCFA group only stored a mere 0.19 grams per day (despite purposely increasing calories). Those in the MCFA group (coconut fat) had a 60 percent reduction in body fat stored compared to the other diets.

Another added bonus of consuming organic coconut oil (and coconut cream or milk) is that it tends to make us feel fuller for longer. Studies indicate that MCFAs help increase feelings of fullness and lead to a reduction in calorie intake when compared to the same amount of calories from other fats. When MCFAs are metabolized, ketone bodies are created in the liver – these have been shown to have a strong appetite reducing effect helping you to lose fat faster.

Eat Clean, Train Hard, Feel Great!!
Jax