Nutrition Articles

Coconut Oil as Coffee Creamer…?

As most of my friends and family know, I’ve always been an avid fan of coffee. This habit initiated back in college with a sweet, palatable Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks, which eventually weaned into a double shot of espresso with a splash of coconut milk or black coffee (when making it at home). Over the past few years, I haven’t been a fan of creamer; there’s just something about the rich aroma when brewing and bold taste of the coffee that I love, which I feel creamer inhibits.

A few months ago when I represented Vita Coco at Austin City Limits (ACL), all of my colleagues were putting coconut oil in their coffee as creamer. Initially, I was extremely perplexed and secondly, I was a little grossed out. I couldn’t wrap my brain around putting oil in coffee (especially since I didn’t even like creamer). Wouldn’t oil taste weird in coffee? The concept stuck in the back of my head for a couple weeks, until I became intrigued and started researching the concept. Surprisingly, I found ingesting coconut oil daily can be very beneficial to the body. Benefits of this superfood include healthier hair and skin, increased immunity, improved digestion, prevention and cure of Candida, blood sugar and cholesterol regulation and much more. After reading that, who wouldn’t want to start using coconut oil every day?? So I gave it a try.

I put about 1 tablespoon in my coffee and gave it a swirl (if it’s colder out, I suggest putting the oil in the cup first and then pouring the coffee on top to melt it). At first it took some time to get use to; the coffee doesn’t taste oily, but you definitely taste a slight coconut flavor. After utilizing this method for a few days, I discovered something miraculous- not only did I have sustained energy throughout the day, but I also felt better overall. My skin improved, I wasn’t as hungry in the morning, my hair was growing faster, my nails were stronger, and I wasn’t getting sick.

Yes, coconut oil has a high amount of calories (~117 calories per tbsp). Yes, coconut oil has a high saturated fat content. However, the saturated fats are medium-chain triglycerides, which studies have shown are absorbed rapidly by the body and are metabolized quickly as fuel. These fats create a “thermogenic” effect, meaning consuming coconut oil increases energy expenditure compared to other fats (about 120 calories per day shown by one study), so you have more energy to complete other activates. Now I wouldn’t recommend eating coconut oil by the tablespoons, but try out 1-2 tbsp per day for a few days and take note on how you feel. Every body is different, so what works for me, may not work for you. But I always recommend experimenting with something new to see what may occur!

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