What do you need to know about coconut oil in coffee?
In 2011, coconut oil became a new health trend. Because of its benefits, a lot of people have used it in numerous applications from using it on hair to adding it into food.
The recent development in this craze has shifted into adding coconut oil on one’s daily morning cup of joe. You may think it’s weird, but many people have attested feeling and looking great after starting this rather odd practice.
Are you thinking of joining the trend? Let us help you out in this buying guide.
What Is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is derived from the coconut’s flesh. In stores, this oil is classified into virgin and refined. Comparing the two, virgin coconut oil provides a sweeter, coconut-y taste since it is less-processed.
On the other hand, refined coconut oil has a neutral smell and flavor, making it easier to blend into the drink.
Coconut oil contains 121 kcal, 13.5 grams of fat, and 11.2 grams of saturated fat. In the past, health experts and nutritionists have even vilified coconut oil due to its high levels of saturated fat.
However, as mentioned, recently, people’s opinions on this food product have done a 180.
A July 2016 study showed that 72% of people in the United States have believed that coconut oil is healthy. However, only 37% of health experts and nutritionists echoed the same sentiment.
How did this trend come about?
Coconut oil in coffee sprang from a drink called the Bulletproof coffee created by Dave Asprey. Marketed as an “energizing, high-performance drink”, the original recipe used a blend of coffee, grass-fed butter or ghee, and coconut oil.
As the draw grew popular, the term was used to cover any coffee cup that had grass-fed butter or ghee and coconut oil.
Should You Try It?
No matter the public opinion, the choice always remains with you. Here are some of the benefits and disadvantages of adding coconut oil into your coffee.
May help in weight loss
Coconut oil has shot back into popularity thanks to the high-fat, low-carb keto diet. This food product is loaded with fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) known as a good kind of fat.
In the keto diet, the aim is to reach and maintain ketosis, a metabolic state where your body uses ketones (molecules from fat breaking down) as fuel instead of glucose.
Compared to other fats, MCTs are absorbed rapidly by your body. Hence, they immediately used it as a source of energy.
Coconut oil has four types of MCTs, with most of them coming from the MCT lauric acid. This lauric acid metabolizes steadily compared to the other MCT types, which can speed up your metabolism.
Moreover, coconut oil is also known to help control appetite due to the kind of fat.
May boost energy levels
One of the reasons that coffee is sought by many is that it gives you the right amount of buzz to start going.
Coconut oil, surprisingly, also produces the same effect due to the presence of the MCTs. This type of fat is more comfortable to digest and goes straight to your liver. With this, it’s almost immediately available as an energy source.
May improve bowel movement
Both coconut oil and coffee contain compounds such as caffeine and chlorogenic acids known to be good for your bowels. Drinking this concoction will help keep your digestive system healthy.
May improve the immune system
The lauric acid found in coconut oil is known to possess antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. The MCTs in coconut oil encase these viruses in a fat layer to break down its membrane and destroy it.
As such, it’s known to help prevent a myriad of illnesses like colds, flu, blisters, sores, and the like.
Plus, these properties are also known to improve the skin’s appearance. It’s known to moisturize the skin and protect it from fungi, bacteria, viruses, and other factors that trigger skin infections.
Lauric acid also makes it easier for your body to absorb vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Combining this with coffee, you’ll get an extra dosage of various antioxidants.
May help regulate blood sugar levels
Since coconut oil is immediately absorbed, it does not require insulin to be processed by your body. With this, there would not be any spikes in blood sugar levels.
Moreover, studies show that Lauric acid can prevent diabetes-related issues like dyslipidemia. Coffee is also known to reduce the risks of having Type 2 Diabetes.
Related: Facts About Coffee You May Not Know
May strengthen teeth
While coffee can risk ruining your teeth, this is mitigated by the presence of coconut oil in your drink. Coconut oil is known to prevent cavities and oral problems like gingivitis due to its antibacterial properties.
May help keep the heart-healthy
Studies show that coconut oil helps reduce the risk of high blood pressure as it is known to increase the good kind of cholesterol, HDL.
May improve brain function
A combination of coffee and coconut oil can do wonders for your brain function. Coffee is known to help your mind focus, while coconut oil provides a steady source of fuel.
Some studies show that, somehow, coconut oil can help with memory loss and improve Alzheimer’s.
Bonus: It tastes great!
One reason coffee drinkers are reluctant to try this out is that they think coconut oil would affect the coffee’s taste. Many have debunked this assumption, though.
According to them, coconut oil provides a unique and mellow flavor with sweet notes. It is best to go with the refined variation since it has a more neutral taste and smell. If you want, you can even add in some honey and vanilla extract to further improve its taste.
However, the coconut oil and coffee combination are delicious to stand on its own.
High Fat Content
One of the reasons health experts and nutritionists denounce coconut oil is its high-fat content with a whopping 13.5 grams of fat, 11.2 grams of which are saturated.
The American Heart Association cautions to limit saturated fat intake to 13 grams on a 2,000-calorie diet. Eating one tablespoon is already close to that limit.
Not enough research
The health benefits of coconut oil have remained a controversial topic. Another reason why health experts are firmly against its purported benefits is that there is not enough research to support their claims. There is no clear, conclusive evidence to prove how coconut oil behaves in a standard diet.
How much coconut oil should you use?
If you want to try your hand in this exciting combination, start by adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your daily cup of morning coffee.
Stir it thoroughly to mix it into the drink adequately. With this, you’ll get to gauge its taste as well as feel the benefits.
If you are abiding by the keto diet, you can eventually increase it to 2 tablespoons.
However, please take note of the number of calories this contains.
Avoid taking too much coconut oil quickly as you may experience side effects like nausea and laxative problems.
One good thing about coconut oil is that it seamlessly blends into both hot and cold temperatures. With this, you’ll have more liberty over your drink.
Creamy Coconut Oil Coffee: Quick & Simple Recipe
- 1 cup black coffee
- 2 tsp. coconut oil
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. white sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. whipped cream optional
- Make your usual cup of coffee.
- In a blender, add your cup of coffee, 2 tsp. coconut oil, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 1 tsp. white sugar.
- Blend for 30seconds to 1 minute.
- Put in a cup.
- Add whipped cream on top of coffee.
- Add a dash of cinnamon
- Serve, and enjoy!
Have it hot
If you want your coffee to be hot, it’s recommended that you place the coffee before adding the coconut oil. With this, you can quickly stir the drink to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed.
You can add other ingredients such as vanilla extract, butter, or honey to enhance its flavor if you want. When you choose to do so, it’s best to use a blender so you will not have a hard time mixing everything in.
Have it cold
When it comes to cold brews, it is best to utilize your blender to get the drink done right. Some users even throw in a bit of milk and honey to make a creamy, delicious drink.
If you want to try a hand with your Bulletproof coffee, you’ll need two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of coconut oil.
Using a blender, dump all your ingredients together and blend them thoroughly. Afterward, pour them into the cup of your choice. Then enjoy!
While coconut oil has recently been discovered to be a good kind of fat, it’s best to take everything in moderation.
When buying coconut oil, make sure you check the label and avoid products with partially hydrogenated coconut oil as an ingredient.
Store your coconut oil in a cool, dark place. Otherwise, the saturated fats will liquefy under warm temperatures.
Coconut oil has undoubtedly gained a new reputation over the years. Whether it is good for your health or not, there is no harm in trying this quirky concoction. However, always remember to have everything in moderation.
Healthy or not, those calories can easily sneak in.
Have it either hot or cold, and make sure all the ingredients are properly mixed to get the best out of your drink. Enjoy!