Wouldn’t it be nice to crank up the dial on your metabolism a notch?

Well, you can! Certain foods ratchet your metabolism into high gear, helping to burn more calories and give you more energy.

The best known of these thermogenic (fat-burning) foods is protein. That’s the reason high-protein diets promote weight loss. But there’s another food that has even more calorie-torching power than protein: coconut oil.

Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), the unique fats found in coconut, are easily absorbed and rapidly burned as energy, stoking your metabolism. What’s more, coconut fats blaze through slower-burning long-chain triglyerides.

In a recent study, the thermogenic effect of a high-calorie diet containing 40 percent fat as MCFA was compared to one containing 40 percent fat as long-chain fatty acids (LCFAs). Researchers found the thermogenic effect of the MCFA was almost twice as high as the LCFA: 120 calories versus 66 calories. The researchers were so astounded, they conducted a follow-up study. This time, they found that MCFA given over a six-day period can increase diet-induced thermogenesis by 50 percent!

You can use coconut oil just like you would any other oil. Try whisking with raspberry vinegar for a luscious summer dressing, or lightly pan-frying wild fish and organic veggies for a metabolism-boosting treat.

[Ed. Note: Eating the right foods is one of the best ways to stay healthy. And be sure to check out the expert advice and free recipes at Kelley’s site, www.HealingGourmet.com.]

Kelley Herring

Kelley Herring is the Founder & CEO of Healing Gourmet – a multimedia company that educates on how foods promote health and protect against disease. As a young adult, Kelley battled a debilitating health condition that went misdiagnosed by multiple doctors for more than a year. Finding no help from “modern medicine”, she turned to her own knowledge of biochemistry and her passion for health research. She soon learned that her symptoms were related to nutrition and within weeks, she charted a course back to health with nothing more than simple lifestyle changes and the power of the plate. The lessons she learned spawned the creation of Healing Gourmet.
Kelley is a firm believer in vigorous exercise, moderate sun exposure and delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals. She is also the creator of Healing Gourmet’s Personalized Nutrition Software and Editor-in-Chief of the Healing Gourmet book series published by McGraw-Hill including Eat to Fight Cancer, Eat to Beat Diabetes, Eat to Lower Cholesterol and Eat to Boost Fertility.