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Diet Review: The Coconut Diet

by Cherie Calbom (Thorsons, £5.99)

The Coconut Diet 1/10

Reviewed by Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc Rb

What’s the theory?

Despite being rich in saturates, coconut oil helps to boost metabolism because it’s made of medium chain triglycerides (rather than long chain triglycerides), which burn more quickly in the body. This helps speed up weight loss when combined with a low-carb diet. In addition, coconut oil enhances thyroid function and can help to treat candida.

What does the diet involve?

It’s a bit like Atkins with the addition of 2-3tbsp of coconut oil every day. As with many popular diets, there are four phases. Phase 1 is the strictest part of the diet and is most limited in terms of the carbs you can eat. Phase 2 is an optional 4-week cleansing programme that focuses on a weekly detox for the colon, liver, gallbladder and kidneys. Phase 3 sees the reintroduction of carbs and phase 4 is a maintenance plan.

What can I eat?

For the first three weeks, carbs are off limits and you can only eat lean protein-rich foods like fish, chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, eggs, nuts and cheese, vegetables, up to 10 glasses of water daily – and 2-3tbsp coconut oil. The cleansing phase differs depending on the organ you want to detox – but there are some unpleasant recommendations such as drinking a glass of water mixed with lemon juice and olive oil. Phase three allows more carbs such as wholegrains, potatoes and fruit, while phase 4 sees the further reintroduction of carbs. Sadly there’s not a Bounty Bar to be seen!

What else does the book include?

There’s information on the health benefits of coconut oil, including the role it can play in treating thyroid problems, candida and other medical conditions. Plus there’s an extensive section on fats, which flies in the face of conventional scientific knowledge and suggests that saturates are actually good for health.

How much weight will I lose?

A staggering 10lb or more in the first 3 weeks, which slows to 1-2lb a week after this.

Juliette’s verdict on the Coconut Diet

This book is muddled, confused and based on science fiction rather than science fact. In addition to weight loss, it covers many other health issues – and it’s not always easy to find the link with coconut oil. Furthermore, despite the author’s theory that saturated fats are good for us, there’s a wealth of evidence to suggest otherwise. Most diet experts are still in agreement that coconut should be limited as it’s rich in saturates. Meanwhile, until more research is carried out, there’s little proof that coconut oil will aid weight loss. Definitely one to avoid, unless you’re desperate to try the latest faddy diet, regardless of the impact it might have on your health.

1/10

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Alternatively... Don't Go On A Diet

You can use the tools in Weight Loss Resources to review your normal diet and make small changes that will help you lose weight in a way you can stick with. Try it Free for 24 hours.

Take our FREE trial »

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