In the 1990s, Dr. Robert Atkins made low-carb diets a huge fad across the country. In this day and age of ever-increasing obesity (yes, over 60% of the country is now obese), his diet was a welcome ray of light.
While the underlying science in Dr. Atkins diet was very sound, the focus of the diet was slightly off. His focus was largely on meat instead of other forms of protein. As you’ll see, there’s a very simple way to use Dr. Atkins’ science, and lose a tremendous amount of weight, without gorging on meat.
What’s more, you’re about to read amazing proof that there really is a “silver bullet” for weight loss. And it’s not found in a diet pill.
Before I tell you what this “silver bullet” is, let me briefly explain the science that makes this miracle cure work.
Dr. Atkins based his diet on your body’s ability to produce the energy molecules known as ketones. As you may know, your body burns either glucose or fat for energy. When you eat carbohydrates, they turn into glucose, which your body burns to produce energy. If you stop eating glucose-producing foods, your body then starts to burn fat for energy.
Dr. Atkins’ diet wisely reduced the amount of carbohydrates you eat each day. This is why his diet helped so many people lose weight. When they stopped eating carbs, their body began burning fat — and they lost weight.
The energy molecules your body produces when you stop eating carbs are known as ketones. If you’ve read Dr. Atkins’ books, you’re probably very familiar with this term. Ketones are an amazing energy molecule, as you’ll soon see. Unfortunately, they’ve fallen into disrepute in recent years.
Do Ketones Cause Diabetes?
After Dr. Atkins made ketones famous, many doctors and patients grew concerned with the idea of increasing the production of ketones. It has to do with insulin-dependent diabetes. This is the form of diabetes that lacks enough of the hormone insulin. Unless patients with this problem get insulin, they will die by going into a condition called diabetic keto-acidosis.
In this case, the ketone levels will be so high that it’s possible to literally smell them on the breath of a patient in this condition.
However, it is not the ketones that are responsible for the deadly consequences of keto-acidosis. It is the lack of insulin. In fact the excessive production of ketones is the body’s way of protecting itself against the life-threatening effects of not having enough insulin.
Nevertheless, I still occasionally hear patients and doctors alike express a concern over ketones. So let me make this as clear as I can. Ketones are good for everyone. In a minute, you will see why. They are even good for insulin-dependent diabetics, as long as they are getting their insulin injections. So if you want to worry about ketones, don’t worry about having too many, worry about not having enough.
The Real Problem With The Atkins Diet
As I mentioned earlier, the real problem with the Atkins Diet wasn’t the ketones, it was the heavy dependence on meat. Meat is an important part of a low-carb diet. But you don’t have to eat large helpings of meat to lose weight. In fact, your health will be much better — and you’ll lose more weight faster — if you don’t eat so much meat.
Here’s why: Most fats, like the ones found in vegetables, nuts, dairy products, eggs, fish, meat, and grains are long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). That means they have a very large molecular size. LCFAs are approximately two to three times bigger than medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs).
The size difference between MCFAs and LCFAs is due to the number of the carbon atoms each one of them contains. MCFAs have a chain length of 6 to 12 carbons. LCFAs contain between 18 and 22 carbons. And this difference can dramatically affect the way the fat is used in the body. I’ll show you how in a moment.
MCFAs and LCFAs can also be classified as saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated fatty acids. You’ve probably heard that saturated fats are bad for you. But that’s not entirely true. Certain saturated fats are extremely good for you. In fact, there’s one saturated fat most “experts” say is bad for you — but they couldn’t be more wrong. The fact that it is a saturated fat is very important. That’s because saturated fats are extremely slow to oxidize. This means they are very resistant to rancidity, lasting up to two years even when kept at room temperature. Compare this to fish oils and vegetable and grain oils, which will become rancid in a matter of minutes. Saturated fats are also great for cooking, as their smoke point is usually much higher.
Back to the size issue. Because LCFAs are so large, they cannot directly diffuse from the intestines into the liver. In fact they bypass the liver completely and go straight into the intestinal lymphatic system. From there, your body deposits them directly into the bloodstream as tiny clusters of fats called chylomicrons. The chylomicrons eventually reach the liver. Your liver converts them into cholesterol, or it repackages them as triglycerides. It is because of the lymphatic absorption that LCFAs enter into the cholesterol cycle. For the same reason, they can plaque out on arteries, clog circulation, and be deposited into the fat stores.
Now compare this to what happens with the smaller MCFAs. Your intestines rapidly absorb MCFAs and they go directly to your liver. They are so efficiently absorbed that, unlike the bigger fats, they don’t even require digestive pancreatic enzymes. And, unlike LCFAs, when the MCFAs reach the liver, it converts them directly into energy. This conversion process is fast — just as fast as the liver is able to metabolize sugars.
However, unlike LCFAs (which turn to triglycerides and cholesterol), the energy molecules your liver forms in this process are ketones. And this direct conversion of MCFAs to ketones is why coconut oil is so healthy for you.
Also, unlike LCFAs, because MCFAs are converted directly to energy, they do not enter the cholesterol cycle, are not deposited in fat depots, and do not cause obesity. Your liver also converts MCFAs directly to energy without raising either fat or sugar levels. I call that a pretty perfect food.
Can an Oil Really Reduce Body Fat?
This perfect food is none other than coconut oil. Yes, the oil that was ostracized decades ago because it’s a saturated fat is really making a comeback. And it’s a good thing. Coconut oil isn’t the devil everyone thinks it is. In fact, coconut oil can help to cure most cases of obesity. That’s because its MCFAs actually improve your body’s ability to burn fat. There have been many studies that have pointed this fact out in the past 50 years. One recent study shows how dramatically MCFAs burn fat.
In this study, researchers at the Obesity Research Center at the Boston University School of Medicine looked at the effects of the two different fats, MCFAs and LCFAs, on 40 obese, non-diabetic men and women. The researchers split the group in two. They gave half 18 grams of fat per day in the form of LCFAs (corn oil). And the other half had the same amount in the form of MCFAs – the same kind of MCFAs found in coconut oil. This only amounts to about three tablespoons of oil per day. But even in this small amount, you can see the powerful effects of MCFAs. The researchers gave the oils to the subjects in addition to their regular diet.
The study went on for three months. At that point, the researchers analyzed the subjects for weight loss and waist size. The subjects taking the LCFAs showed no change in any of these measurements. But the subjects taking the MCFAs had a significant reduction in both weight and waist size. All that from eating just three tablespoons of the right oil? What can explain this remarkable result?
First, the researchers noticed that the people eating the MCFAs had less hunger. And, as a result, they were unconsciously eating less food than their corn oil counterparts. This hunger decreasing effect is due to ketones. Remember that MCFAs produce ketones, while the LCFAs don’t.
Ketones are appetite suppressing. Researchers have noted this hunger-reducing effect in other reports, such as the one published in the medical journal Experimental Clinical Cardiology. In that paper entitled, “Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients,” the researchers noticed that even when following patients over long periods of time, ketones still had the effect of causing them to eat less food.
Ketones also improve energy production. One of the reasons that fat people become fat is that their metabolisms are so much less efficient. They can eat the food, but they just don’t burn it as well. And because of this, their bodies tend to store the food as fat rather than burn it as a fuel. But ketones can improve cellular energy production by as much 25% and offset this condition.
Help Your Body Use Insulin Better
Lastly, ketones increase the ability of the cells in the body to respond to the hormone insulin. You’re probably already familiar with insulin resistance and diabetes, so you’ll probably recognize that ketones are a specific treatment for insulin resistance. A study published in 1995 showed this dramatically when the authors made an amazing discovery.
These researchers found that simply elevating blood ketones to levels that are normally produced only after a 48-hour fast “almost completely reverses” the metabolic effects caused by insulin deficiency. They concluded that “As such, mild ketosis should be viewed as a beneficial compensation for insulin deficiency.”
So how does making insulin work better result in increased fat loss? It happens because insulin has the effect of decreasing the body’s ability to burn fat. And when it doesn’t work as well, the body compensates by making more of it. And the more insulin your body makes, the more it blocks fat burning.
On the other hand, since ketones cause insulin to work better, your body makes less insulin. This frees up more fat to be burned for energy. And the result is increased fat loss.
The Easiest Way to Lose Weight
So if you want to lose weight easily, there’s no better way to do it than by eating coconut oil. Yes, you can eat regular coconut and see some result. But because it’s the fat that has this effect, it’s better to cut to the chase and just eat the oil. It’ll work faster and it’s easier (eating that much coconut is difficult).
However, you can’t just eat any coconut oil and see results. That’s because not all coconut oil is the same. There are two kinds of coconut oil. The one you want is organic virgin coconut oil. Organic virgin coconut oil comes from fresh coconuts with minimal processing. You can tell the difference just by the taste. It retains a slight coconut flavor and aroma. Organic virgin coconut oil is the highest quality coconut oil available. It’s also the one that has the best medicinal properties. But be careful.
The other form of coconut oil comes from dried coconuts, not fresh ones. The dried meat of the coconut is called copra. The manufacturers make copra from smoke drying, sun drying, or kiln drying, or any combination of the three. And most commercial-grade coconut oils come from copra. When the manufacturers start with standard copra, the coconut oil they extract from it is not suitable for consumption and must be purified or refined. This is because the way they dry most copra is not sanitary.
The standard end product made from copra is called RBD coconut oil. RBD stands for refined, bleached, and deodorized. They use high heat to deodorize the oil. Then they typically filter the oil through (bleaching) clays to remove impurities. This process removes the coconut taste from the oil. Then they use sodium hydroxide to remove free fatty acids and prolong shelf life. This is the most common way to mass produce coconut oil.
But RBD oil or copra oil is not the one you should take. So make sure you take organic virgin coconut oil. You can find organic virgin coconut oil in most health food stores, some grocery stores, and online. You can eat as much of it as you want, but make sure you eat at least three tablespoons each day.