Benefit heart health
Studies have found that people who live on Polynesian islands and frequently eat coconut meat have lower rates of heart disease than those who follow a Western diet.
However, native Polynesians also eat more fish and less processed foods, so it’s unclear if these lower rates are due to eating coconut or other aspects of their diet.
Another study in 1,837 Filipino women found that those who ate more coconut oil not only had higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol but also higher levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.
Overall, it concluded that coconut oil has a neutral effect on cholesterol levels.
Consuming virgin coconut oil, which is extracted from dried coconut meat, may reduce belly fat. This is especially beneficial because excess belly fat increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
A study in 20 people with obesity found the waist size of male participants decreased by an average of about 1 inch (about 3 cm) after they consumed 1 ounce (30 ml) of virgin coconut oil daily for 4 weeks. The female participants did not experience a significant reduction.
However, in one longer study, women who consumed 1 ounce (30 ml) of refined coconut oil daily for 12 weeks experienced a reduction of 0.5 inches (1.4 cm) from their waist measurement, on average.