Should You Drink Coffee With Coconut Oil?
Millions of people around the world depend on a morning cup of coffee to get their day started.
Coffee is not only a great source of caffeine that provides a convenient boost of energy but also has many beneficial antioxidants and nutrients.
A recent trend is to add coconut oil to coffee to reap the health benefits of this popular fat, too.
However, you may wonder whether this practice is healthy.
This article tells you whether you should drink coffee with coconut oil.
May Help You Stay in Ketosis
Coconut oil has become increasingly popular among people following the high-fat, very-low-carb ketogenic diet.
Adding it to your coffee can help you reach or maintain ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body uses ketones — molecules produced from fat breakdown — as fuel instead of glucose, a type of sugar (1).
Coconut oil can help you stay in ketosis as it's loaded with fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Compared to other fats, MCTs are rapidly absorbed and immediately delivered to your liver. Here, they're either used as a source of energy or converted into ketone bodies (5).
Interestingly, MCT oils are more easily converted to ketones than long-chain triglycerides, another type of fat found in foods (6).
Research shows that MCTs can help you stay in ketosis — even if you eat slightly more protein and carbs than recommended on a classic ketogenic diet (6).
Coconut oil has 4 types of MCTs, and 50% of its fat comes from the MCT lauric acid (7).
Lauric acid appears to make ketones at a slower but more sustained rate as it's metabolized more steadily than other MCTs. Therefore, adding coconut oil to your coffee is an effective way to help you stay in ketosis (7, 8).
Coconut oil helps your body make ketones. If you follow a ketogenic diet, adding it to your cup of coffee may help you reach and stay in ketosis.
Health Benefits and Downsides
Adding coconut oil to your coffee is an easy way to reap the health benefits of both.
Here are some ways in which adding coconut oil to your coffee may improve health:
- May speed up your metabolism. Studies show that MCTs in coconut oil and caffeine in coffee may speed up your metabolism, which can increase the number of calories you burn in a day (9, 10, 11).
- May improve energy levels. Coffee contains caffeine, which can help you feel less tired. Coconut oil packs MCTs, which are transported straight to your liver and can act as a quick source of energy as well (12, 13).
- May help keep your bowels regular. Coconut oil MCTs and coffee compounds like caffeine and chlorogenic acids may help stimulate your bowels and keep your digestive system healthy (14, 15).
- May help raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Several studies have found that coconut oil can raise levels of HDL cholesterol, which is protective against heart disease (16, 17).
However, adding coconut oil to coffee also has its drawbacks.
For starters, many people who add it to their morning coffee use it as a breakfast replacement. Doing so means that you may miss out on many important nutrients that you would get from eating a more balanced breakfast.
While coconut oil has some nutrients, it won't have as many as a nutritious breakfast that contains many different food groups.
What's more, coconut oil is high in calories, providing 121 calories per tablespoon (14 grams). Most people who add it to coffee tend to use 2 tablespoons — an extra 242 calories (18).
If this doesn't sound like much, note that it would take a 155-pound (70-kg) person nearly 50 minutes of walking at a brisk pace (3.5 miles or 5.6 km per hour) to burn that many calories (19).
Additionally, while the combined effect of coconut oil and coffee may slightly boost your metabolism, it's more likely to make you gain weight if you don't account for the added calories.
The calories in a few tablespoons of coconut oil are likely to exceed the calories expended due to the small metabolism increase related to the ingestion of the MCTs and caffeine.
Coconut oil is much more effective when you use it to replace less healthy fats in your diet, such as those from processed foods, rather than on top of the fats you're currently consuming.
Adding coconut oil to coffee can offer some health benefits. Still, it has potential drawbacks, such as replacing a more nutritious meal and adding too many calories. Plus, certain medical conditions may make it necessary to limit your fat intake.
How Much Coconut Oil Should You Use?
If you want to try coconut oil in your cup of joe, start small by adding 1 tablespoon (14 grams) to hot coffee and stirring it thoroughly to ensure that the oil incorporates well.
Some people prefer to blend the oil with coffee in a blender to make a delicious tropical-style beverage.
Eventually, you can work your way up to 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of coconut oil if you would like to increase your fat intake. This may be most appropriate for those attempting to reach and maintain ketosis.
Avoid adding too much coconut oil too quickly, especially if you follow a low- to moderate-fat diet, as it may cause nausea and laxative-like symptoms.
Start by adding 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of coconut oil to your hot coffee. You can slowly work your way up to twice as much. Note that adding too much coconut oil too quickly may cause unpleasant side effects.
The Bottom Line
If you're watching your calorie or fat intake for medical or personal reasons, avoid putting coconut oil into your coffee.
Still, if you follow a ketogenic diet or want to include this healthy fat in your diet, then adding it to your coffee can be an easy way to increase your intake.
To avoid unpleasant side effects, start slowly and add no more than 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of coconut oil at first.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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By Jeff Berardelli
For the past year, some of the most up-to-date computer models from the world's top climate modeling groups have been "running hot" – projecting that global warming may be even more extreme than earlier thought. Data from some of the model runs has been confounding scientists because it challenges decades of consistent projections.
International Effort to Evaluate Climate Models<p>For the past 25 years the international community has been evaluating and comparing the world's most sophisticated climate models produced by various teams at universities, research centers, and government agencies. The effort is organized by the World Climate Research Programme under the United Nations World Meteorological Organization.</p><p>Climate models are complicated computer programs composed of millions of lines of code that calculate the physical properties and interactions between the main climate forces like the atmosphere, oceans, and solar input. But models also go a lot further, incorporating other systems like ice sheets, forests, and the biosphere, to name a few. The models are then used to simulate the real-world climate system and project how certain changes, like added pollution or land-use changes, will alter the climate.</p><p>Every few years there is a new comprehensive international evaluation called the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP). In the sixth such effort, known as CMIP6 and now under way, experts are reviewing about 100 models.</p><p>Information gleaned from this effort will act as a scientific foundation for the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) next major assessment report, scheduled for release in 2021. The goal of the report – the sixth in 30 years – is to inform the international community about how much the climate has changed, and, importantly, how much change can be expected in coming decades.</p>
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In the above CarbonBrief interactive visualization, the bars offer a comparison in the range of sensitivity in the CMIP5 models (gray) and CMIP6 models (blue).
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Understanding the Complexity of Clouds<p>It's long been known in climate modeling circles that cloud processes and interactions are a potential weak link for climate modeling. That reality has been brought front and center by the urgent challenges posed during this CMIP6 evaluation period, but the current evaluation of models also provides an opportunity for discovery and improvement.</p><p>Cloud complexity comes from the reality that clouds have a multitude of sizes, altitudes, and textures. Some clouds cool Earth by providing shade, reflecting sunlight back into space. Others act like a blanket, trapping heat and warming the world.</p><p>Given that about <a href="https://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/icesat_light.html" target="_blank">70% of the globe</a> is covered by clouds at any given time, it's no surprise that they play an integral role in regulating the climate. The challenge is to figure out which types of clouds will increase, which will decrease, and what the net effect will be on cooling or warming as the climate changes.</p><p><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0310-1" target="_blank">One study</a> last year reached an alarming conclusion: Left unchecked, the release of CO2 into the atmosphere may lead to a tipping point where shallow low clouds disappear – leading to runaway, catastrophic warming of nearly 15 degrees F. While scientists see that outcome as only a remote possibility, it drives home the urgent need to better understand clouds.</p><p>"We have a saying at NOAA: It isn't rocket science – it's much, much harder than that," quips Dr. Chris Fairall, ATOMIC's lead investigator. "One of the major problems for modeling is there is not clean separation of scales." The photo below is one that Fairall took from the NOAA P-3 aircraft.</p>
Investigating the Secrets of Clouds<p>To address the urgent question about the dynamics and role of clouds in a warming world, NOAA and European partners launched their ongoing research effort unprecedented in scale. The U.S. contribution, ATOMIC – short for Atlantic Tradewind Ocean-Atmosphere Mesoscale Interaction Campaign – is an international science mission that was featured recently on "<a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/video/study-aims-to-examine-links-between-climate-change-and-clouds/" target="_blank">CBS This Morning: Saturday</a>."</p>
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