Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Oil

We’re crazy for coconut oil! ;)

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This super buzzy oil has gotten a lot of attention recently, and it deserves all the hype! Coconut oil helps with everything from keeping your skin lookin’ fresh to reducing your risk of heart disease. And bonus: it tastes fab in all your meals. Today, we’re sharing all the reasons why we keep a jar handy in our pantry — and why you should, too!

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But first…what IS coconut oil?!

Most coconut oil is made from the “meat” of a coconut. This substance is high in beneficial fats called medium chain triglycerides (aka MCT). MCT is able to easily enter your blood supply and provide energy for your brain. Other longer chain triglycerides need a shuttle to bring them into your system. Coconut oil also has a higher smoke point, which makes it great for sautéing veggies.

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Plus, it delivers these amazing perks:

Keeps your skin fab

If you get dry or rough skin, try reaching into your pantry instead of your bathroom cabinet. Coconut oil has been found to help mild cases of dermatitis (aka skin inflammation). Apply 1/2 tsp. coconut oil to your arms and legs. Bonus: you’ll smell like tropical paradise! ;)

It’s used as energy, not stored as fat

Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, a medium chain triglyceride. One study found that lauric acid is preferentially used by the liver as energy instead of being immediately stored as fat. Cook your next dinner with 2 tsp. coconut oil!

Makes your ❤️ happy

Oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol has been linked to heart disease. Turns out, your daily dose of coconut oil can help prevent this oxidation, according to a study. Stir 1 tsp. coconut oil into your morning oatmeal.

Blasts belly fat

One study observed that coconut oil can decrease fat in the midsection. Researchers gave two groups the same amount of calories over the course of 12 weeks. One group used 30mL of coconut oil, the other used 30mL of soybean oil per day. By the end of the study, the coconut oil group had a greater drop in waistline circumference. Yasssss. Try cooking your lean proteins with 2 tsp. coconut oil!

OK, I’m convinced! How do I use it?

Coconut oil is really easy to incorporate into your diet. When cooking at a higher heat, swap out your olive oil for coconut oil! It has a higher smoke point, so it’s actually better to use for high heat cooking. When whipping up baked goods, make sure to melt your coconut oil before adding it to the rest of your ingredients so it’s easier to whisk into the batter. We also like to keep a lil’ jar by our desk or in our bathroom to use as lotion. The options are limitless, so get creative, girl!

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Have ya heard?! We’re all doing the 7 Day Slim Down starting Monday, February 13! And we have a new 7DSD recipe for ya HERE! Best news: the Slim Down comes with your Tone It Up Nutrition Plan!

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Check out these babes’ incredible 7DSD results!

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COMMENTS 29

  1. I love coconut oil at all!
    I like homemade body peeling with coconut oil (2 Tbs brown sugar, 3 Tbs coffee grounds, 2Tbs coconut oil, 1 tsp cinnamon), it’s amazing! And I usually use coconut oil to remove my makeup.

  2. I love coconut oil, and have been using it often to help my dry skin (and it truly works)! When I am home from college my mom puts coconut oil in everything, and it makes it taste so good. Try adding coconut oil too sliced sweet potatoes, coffee (sounds crazy but is so good for you), zucchini, and to make rice taste richer and creamer. I love coconut oil, and have a jar of it in my desk at school, and have it whenever I need it. Totally a coconut oil fan–changed the way I moisturize and eat haha!

  3. YAAASSS! I LOVE coconut oil!!! I use it everyday and apply it to certain areas of my skin when I get out of the shower. I’ll also use it as a repairing treatment for the ends of my hair, especially during the winter. I’ve even used it to whiten my teeth! Reading about how coconut oil can be beneficial just reassures why I love it! Thanks K&K!

  4. I ❤️ this post! I think it would be amazing if you would add to your share button an email and message option! Not everyone uses social media…aka my parents who I NEED to pass this along to! My dad has heart problems and I’d like him to start putting CO in his coffee/tea because he’s sure to drink that everyday! Thanks babes!! 😘

  5. If you like coconut oil, try oil pulling. I do it every morning to combat bad breath and whiten my teeth. My dentist was impressed with the results. Especially since tea and even certain brands of toothpaste stain my teeth. Put ~1tsp of oil in your mouth, and swish for 20 min (I do it right after my morning booty call when I’m in the shower). Spit in a lined garbage bag, not the sink! Coconut oil is solid at room temp and will clog your drain after time. Rinse with water and brush your teeth immediately after. Enjoy a brighter smile, chemical free!

    1. I will definitely try this, thanks for sharing. Just to confirm – 20 minutes, not seconds, right? Thanks!

  6. LOVE COCONUT OIL! so good to mix with other oils to use as hair or skin masks, throw in the bath, use all over the body (i was even informed that coconut oil can be safely used in the eyesocket if you know someone without eyes!) i also mix up coconut oil scrubs for the face and body with lemon zest, squeezed lemon, and sugar! so easy!
    and my kitties are obsessed with it as a treat!! my man doesn’t like coconut so we don’t use it in cooking although recently i’ve gotten him to admit that he likes a dish when i don’t tell him there’s coconut in it hehehe so i may just need to take the dive and use some CO in our cooking

  7. what about coconut oil coffee creamer? Karena and Katrina?? a yay or nay???

  8. What kind of coconut oil is best for cooking and baking? I’m so overwhelmed by all the choices… virgin, refined, unrefined!

    1. refined oil means generally that oil is processed (heating, chemical extraction etc.) to remove substances like lecithin or free fatty acids and so on, making it eventually quite heat and storage stable plus it mostly tastes quite neutral. this can be interessting for the (foord service) industry.

      i think for what you want unrefined or virgin oil respectively should be just fine as it is least processed and therefore in general nutritionally more vabluable. except if you need big amounts that you want to heat really high, store for a long time ;)

    2. I use unrefined as its less processed. It also has the most coconut flavour. If you don’t want the flavour, use refined. I’ve never noticed a difference cooking/baking with either.

  9. I need to know where these gorgeous swim suits come from! And the sports bras in the videos – would love to know your sources!

  10. Thank you for the summary. I also like to use it…just trying it out as make up remover.

    however, it appears to me that coconut oil becomes one of THE trend foods (or even already is). I’m not a big fan of the superfood hype as it mostly has its cost, and I don’t talk about money. let’s just mention “blood avocados”. So I love coconut oil but I live in Europe and therfeore this has to be flight in, nothing I really like to support if there are no other alternatives…are you maybe aware of any alternatives, that might provide similar benefits but might not be as fancy? Or is coconut oil unique in terms of how it works etc.? No critism I’m just trying to make the right choices not just in terms of my personal (health) benefit…look for love :)

  11. My favorite thing about you guys is that you sometimes post scientific studies to support your articles. I haven’t read any of them (whoops) but as a doctoral student in a biomedical science program, it is nice to see someone other than stuffy scientists paying attention and making use of all the hard work! And you have fantastic works outs ;)

  12. I use coconut oil on my face every night after washing off my makeup and on weekend mornings when I don’t have anywhere to go right away! It makes my skin so soft and my break outs have become few and far between!

  13. Love coconut oil for MANY things. My face however does not. It disagrees with certain skin types – so just be aware if you start using it and notice some not so good changes in your skin.

  14. Coconut oil is so great for your hair. If you have highly sensitive skin like I do, it’s not good for you. Creates redness and is actually too harsh. I found out the hard way but for all my TIU sisters with sensitive skin, beware :).

    http://www.throughmyowneyes.com

  15. I have use coconut oil to get rid of head lice and the nits and it really works, they hate the oil my son had lice I rub it in his hair and with a few days they are gone and dead then you just use the Nit comb and comb them out before you wash the hair after.

  16. I use it for my hair! Mix 3 tbsp coconut oil with 4 drops of rosemary essential oil and massage into your scalp. I do this once a week. It helps with hair growth and dry scalp! :3

  17. Love coconut oil! Great post. But… Coconut oil doesn’t have a high smoke point. (See here: https://jonbarron.org/diet-and-nutrition/healthiest-cooking-oil-chart-smoke-points.) It’s slightly higher than extra virgin olive oil, but avocado oil would be a far better option for high-heat cooking. Unless you guys have a source/study to share? Or perhaps you’re suggesting cooking with a super refined coconut oil? (And in which case, would it still have all the other health benefits you mention here?) Thanks for discussing nutrition and food science!

  18. Hi – I’ve been hoping you guys would address this, but haven’t seen anything. There have been quite a few studies in the last two years about coconut oil. I don’t believe it is healthy and I’m curious why ToneItUp is still touting it as heart healthy?

    The American Heart Association (AHA) issued a scientific advisory statement in 2017 to replace saturated fats (including coconut and other tropical oils) with unsaturated fats. Based on a review of seven controlled trials, coconut oil was found to raise harmful LDL cholesterol levels. The AHA advised against the use of coconut oil, and suggested limiting all saturated fat. For those at risk for or who have heart disease, they advise no more than 6% of total calories from saturated fat, or about 13 grams based on a 2000-calorie diet. One tablespoon of coconut oil comes close to that limit at about 12 grams of saturated fat. [3]

    1. Thanks for your question babe! There has been a lot of competing research about coconut oil lately. University of Cambridge researchers found that it did not raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and actually raised HDL (“good”) cholesterol by 15%,. Still, coconut oil is high in saturated fat so it’s important not to go overboard and have it in moderation. You can also swap in olive oil!

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