Coconut oil has many nutritional and therapeutic benefits, and this is especially true for those following a ketogenic diet. From antibacterial benefits to appetite suppression and its ability to seal in moisture, it's a versatile and helpful item to keep well-stocked.
Again, adding coconut oil to your keto regimen has many varying benefits, and we'll share some ideal uses below. Trust us, coconut oil is useful for more than frying foods or adding hydration to hair masks and conditioners.
Here are some additional valuable benefits of coconut oil:
It helps burn fat! Besides tasting delicious, consuming a tablespoon of coconut oil, preferably cold-pressed and organic, can have a thermogenic effect. It boosts the metabolism and increases the body's ability to burn fat!
Plus, ingesting coconut oil causes the body to consume more energy (calories), resulting in an increased caloric output, which helps create a caloric deficit to aid in body fat reduction.
Antibacterial and antimicrobial effects: Some food-based items offer antibacterial benefits and thwart the growth of harmful pathogens, and coconut oil is high up on the list of optimal options.
Coconut oil, like apple cider vinegar, is food with loads of antibacterial properties and helps with everything from tampering down inflammation in the body, to soothing skin irritations, to remediating various scalp issues like dandruff.
Reduces Appetite: Metabolic ketosis and increased ketone levels in the body are synonymous with eating a ketogenic diet.
Pair keto with coconut oil, which also causes natural appetite suppression, and you have a dynamic duo in your dietary—especially if you want to lose weight on a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet.
Aids in Digestion: You may have heard of MCTs and their benefits a lot in the keto community, and coconut oil is rich in them—aiding in immune health and proper digestion, among other things.
And besides supporting healthy digestion, adding a tablespoon of quality coconut oil to your daily regimen helps prevent infections and provides an anti-inflammatory effect to help ward off harmful pathogens.
Plus, the oil promotes a great benefit to anyone suffering from common digestive disorders like stomach ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis, and even proctitis.
- Enhances good cholesterol
- Regulates Blood Sugar: Like appetite suppression, coupling keto, and coconut oil helps double its positive effects on blood sugar regulation. Plus, coconut oil enhances good cholesterol in the body, which helps offset bad cholesterol and its possible adverse effects.
- Coconut oil helps enhance brain function, thanks to its abundance of medium-chain triglycerides, which prevent degenerative disorders like dementia or Alzheimer's Disease.
- Supports liver health
- Boosts Energy: Many people use coconut oil strategically before a workout because it is an excellent, highly bioavailable, food-based energy source that increases energy as needed without the unwanted crash.
- Acts as a natural salve for cuts and wounds. Coconut oil's antibacterial effects are beneficial for more than mitigating the impact of eczema. The healthy fat is also a significant element used to maintain a clean area when one is wounded or cut—helping the skin regenerate quickly and free of infection.
- Helps to support healthy hair, skin, and nails
- Supports heart health
- Works as an organic and fragrance-free lubricant
- Supports muscle development and maintenance: MCTs offer many benefits, and aiding in muscle health is one.
- Aids in memory health
- Aids in oral health: Oil pulling is an oral hygiene practice more popular outside of the US and a centuries-old tradition for a reason; it works to eliminate oral bacteria and promote optimal oral health. And coconut oil is a suitable option for this practice.
- May aid in hormone regulation: A ketogenic diet removes a lot of overt glucose from the body and helps the body's hormones remain more balanced, avoiding significant dips or spikes—and you can boost this benefit with the addition of coconut oil.
Use to assist with extended periods of intermittent fasting: Fasting takes adjusting for some, and downing a tablespoon of coconut oil can help you along, especially when new to fasting, to help curb hunger without compromising ketosis—while providing a thermogenic, fat-burning effect that's welcomed by everyone looking to lose weight on a ketogenic diet.
Also, it's important to note that the practice of eating in isolated windows throughout the day and abstaining from food during the rest is an excellent way to accelerate fat loss on keto effortlessly.
Here's a dedicated article with more best practices to note if you're interested in IF or have tried it unsuccessfully in the past but want to give it another go.
May aid in eliminating seizures: Again, coupling a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet with several food-based items can cause a multiplied benefit. And that is true as it relates to taking coconut oil and reducing or eliminating seizures.
The ketogenic diet is an established, effective treatment for children suffering from epileptic seizures. Pair keto with coconut oil, and you further tip the scales in your favor to support proper brain and neurological health to improve appropriate brain function and activity.
- Helps maintain ketosis: Many may know of the energy-boosting benefits of coconut oil. But it's also great to know that coconut oil is a fantastic addition to your keto regiment because it helps keep us in ketosis because of its rich MCT content!
- Aids in widdling the waist: The elevated ketone bodies that result from the presence of MCTs do several things to reduce your waistline. From appetite suppression to targeting visceral fat in the body, particularly about the abdomen—coconut oil is a powerful weight-loss tool, especially for anyone on a ketogenic diet.
- May prevent cancer: The antimicrobial and antibacterial effect of coconut oil helps maintain hormone health and glucose levels, which aids in the prevention of certain cancers.
Helps prevent metabolic disorders: Several hormones regulate our metabolism, including glucose and cortisol (the stress hormone), and irregularities can make weight-loss super challenging.
Fortunately, coconut oil's benefits related to glucose regulation help keep the metabolism stable—which prevents pesky glucose shifts and related disorders like glucose intolerance, the archnemesis of timely body fat loss.
- Eliminates constipation
- Shave, soothe, and prevent ingrown hairs
- Helps prevent acne thanks to its antibacterial properties
- Expedites postpartum healing
- Prevents UTI and kidney infections
- Insect bite itch reliever
- Improves dental health
- Treats yeast infections
- Prevents or treats pregnancy stretch marks
- Perfect to use to massage newborns
- Effective under eye treatment to minimize dark circles, wrinkles, and puffiness when left on overnight
- Natural nursing nipple cream
- Relieves diaper rash
- Relieves dandruff
- Adds shine and frizz control to hair
- Excellent hair-detangling agent
- Natural skin moisturizer
- Use as a natural shaving cream
- Repairs cracked heels
- Moisturizer for lips
- Perfect salad dressing base oil
- Softens cuticles
- Coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat that's less likely for the body to store as fat.
- Simple salad dressing
- Upgraded coffee creamer
- All-natural mosquito repellent
- Makeup remover (especially great for removing liner-glue products used to apply false lashes)
More on Why Coconut Oil Curbs Cravings
As you can see, coconut oil has many benefits and uses. However, the oil's ability to curb sugar cravings, even within the die-hard sweets lover, makes it a formidable tool in the battle of the bulge on a low-carb, high-fat diet.
Some find that eliminating overt sugars and carbs in their diet is enough to end intense cravings for sweets and starchy foods, but others need an extra boost to exercise self-control around confections. But rest easy, enter coconut and MCT oil to save the day.
The good news is that despite sugar having an undeniably intense allure for many, consuming coconut oil crushes those powerful cravings!
Furthermore, consuming a tablespoon of cold-pressed coconut oil a day can further help to ward off pesky cravings, aid in satiety, and balance blood sugar to prevent hormonal irregularities, leading to weight-loss plateaus—or a slower pace of results.
Plus, adding coconut oil to your daily meal plan also helps you lose weight because it's rich in medium-chain fatty acids (MCTs), that among other things, helps you feel fuller when consumed and for longer.
Whether providing an immediate boost of energy, curbing cravings, or boosting brain function, coconut oil is a powerful secret weapon for those seeking improved health and wellness—especially on a low-carb, high-fat diet.
Tasty Keto Ingredients or Recipes Using Coconut Oil
Micronutrient Matcha Keto Smoothie
Plus, in addition to using it in the ways mentioned, here are some other ideal ways to incorporate coconut oil on a ketogenic diet:
Use it for cooking. Coconut oil is excellent for many cooking methods, especially frying, as it has a high smoking point and maintains its integrity in high-heat situations.
Plus, coconut oil is an excellent replacement for butter in keto baking.
- Add it to smoothies. Blending a bouquet of fruits and veggies for a nutrient-dense boost is an excellent option on keto, but you supercharge the benefits when adding coconut or MCT oil.
Drink keto coffee. Buttered coffee may be the beverage that started all the trending buzz about keto a few years ago.
And although the concept of adding butter to coffee may have once been a foreign concept to many, it's now common to see coffee paired with butter, coconut oil, and heavy cream—for those on keto.
Tips for Choosing a Quality Coconut Oil
Coconut oil provides an excellent source of premium healthy fat, but not all varieties are created equal. Here are some tips to help you select the best quality coconut oil to support your health on a ketogenic diet:
- Unrefined virgin coconut oil has a strong coconut flavor and scent. It is pressed from coconut meat and undergoes no further processing. It has a smoke point of about 350°F.
- Refined coconut oil, undergoes some processing to make it more suitable for cooking. It is for the most part flavorless and odorless and has a smoke point of about 400°F - 450°F. Both refined and unrefined coconut oils have similar nutrient profiles.
- “Cold Pressed” coconut oil means that no heat was used during the extraction process.
- Avoid hydrogenated forms of coconut oil as they contain harmful trans fats.
- Make sure you're purchasing food-grade oil when you intend to consume it internally.
- Choose oils stored in glass rather than plastic jars to avoid the possibility of chemicals leaching into the oil. If you only have access to coconut oil stored in plastic containers, opt for selecting a BPA-free casing.
Here are some of our favorite coconut oil/powder brands:
- Tropical Traditions Gold Label Cold-pressed Coconut Oil
- Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil
- Spectrum Organic Culinary Coconut Oil
- 365 Everyday Value Organic Coconut Oil
- Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- Trader Joe's Coconut Oil
- Vitacost Coconut Oil
- Jordan's Keto Skinny Syrups with MCT Oil
Plus, coconut oil is relatively accessible and sold at many supermarkets, but you can also order the oil online—especially if you're looking to buy in bulk and save. Here are some great online outlets to consider as you hunt for your favorite coconut oil(s):
- Thrive Market
- Tropical Traditions
We have also dedicated several articles to the benefits of coconut or other keto-friendly oils and tips to secure the best quality options. Check out the following if you're looking to dig a little deeper into the many benefits of coconut oil on a ketogenic diet:
Plus, adding coconut oil to your keto protocol—especially if new to keto and adjusting to a fat-adapted state—is amazing as it helps stave off the pesky symptoms of the keto flu (e.g., fatigue, brain fog, stinky breath, etc.).
You’ve heard us mention the keto flu, and you’ve likely heard rumblings about the experience if you’ve dipped your toe into the keto community’s chat spaces. The keto flu—a set of symptoms often experienced during the fat-adaptation process—is a possibility, but fortunately there are many tactics that one can employ to mitigate or completely avoid those side effects.
Check out our post dedicated to avoiding the keto flu and getting started with the process of converting the body to a state of metabolic ketosis.
Coconut oil has so many uses and benefits. And again, It's especially helpful to those on a ketogenic diet thanks to its provision of immediate energy, increased brain function, and appetite suppression.
What's better, a serving of a tablespoon a day can deliver all of the benefits noted above in a potent dose.
Source your oils carefully, stay mindful of quality to maximize the benefits of this MCT-rich oil, and experiment with the many uses of this multifaceted item that's advantageous to your overall health, including but not limited to the brain, body, nails, skin, and hair.
- Salian, V., & Shetty, P. (2018). Coconut Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil: An Insight into its Oral and Overall Health Benefits. Journal Of Clinical And Diagnostic Research. doi:10.7860/jcdr/2018/31409.11051
- Ma, Z. F., & Lee, Y. Y. (2016). Virgin Coconut Oil and its Cardiovascular Health Benefits. Natural Product Communications, 11(8). doi:10.1177/1934578x1601100829
- Lomangino, K. (2012). Coconut Oil and Health. Clinical Nutrition INSIGHT, 38(12), 1-4. doi:10.1097/01.nmd.0000424062.49132.b8
- Korrapati, D., Jeyakumar, S. M., Putcha, U. K., Mendu, V. R., Ponday, L. R., Acharya, V., . . . Vajreswari, A. (2019). Coconut oil consumption improves fat-free mass, plasma HDL-cholesterol, and insulin sensitivity in healthy men with normal BMI compared to peanut oil. Clinical Nutrition, 38(6), 2889-2899. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2018.12.026
- Gervajio, G. C. (2012). Fatty Acids and Derivatives from Coconut Oil. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. doi:10.1002/0471238961.fattgerv.a01
- Akbani, D. A. (2020). Effect of Coconut Oil Massage on Weight Gain in Low Birth Weight Newborns: A Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial. Journal of Medical Science And Clinical Research, 08(02). doi:10.18535/jmscr/v8i2.44
- Vogel, C. É, Crovesy, L., Rosado, E. L., & Soares-Mota, M. (2020). Effect of coconut oil on weight loss and metabolic parameters in men with obesity: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Food & Function, 11(7), 6588-6594. doi:10.1039/d0fo00872a
- Ketogenic Diet and Metabolic Therapies. (2016). Oxford Medicine Online. doi:10.1093/med/9780190497996.001.0001
- Scheig, R. (1968). 5. Hepatic Metabolism of Medium Chain Fatty Acids. Medium Chain Triglycerides. doi:10.9783/9781512807257-007