T Nation

Coconut Oil in a Mass Diet


I'm trying to put mass on, (I'm 155lb - 5'7"), and given that I cannot tolerate carbs well, (adds to my body fat), my meals consist of protein source, vegetables and fats. (olive oil, nuts, avocados).

I am eating several meals a day, have just re-started a weight training program, but not gaining lbs. My personal trainer suggested I supplement my protein shakes with unrefined, organic coconut oil. I've been adding a few teaspoons of this a day with meals. However, coconut oil is all saturated fat.
Curious to know what your thoughts are about consuming this, given the type of fat in it. Thanks for your feedback.


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Coconut oil contains a lot of medium chain triglycerides, which are supposedly utilized by your body differently than other fatty acids. I've heard that they're more easily oxidized than other fatty acids, but I can't substantiate it...

Coconut oil has lots of lauric acid (C12) - which is believed to raise metabolism by activation of thyroidal hormones. That may account for part of the reason that you're not gaining weight. However, it's also likely that you're not eating an amount of calories that exceeds your metabolic rate.

As far as saturated fat intake - I probably wouldn't worry about it too much. The body utilizes saturated fats to synthesize lots of hormones. I'd say as long as you're not excessively overweight (I'd assume you're not since it sounds like you're trying to gain weight) and are at risk for health problems, you should be fine.

If you're still concerned about too much saturated fat, I recall an article on T-Nation that suggested getting a shot glass and a bottle of extra virgin olive oil (which is about 85% monounsaturated), and taking a few shorts of extra virgin olive oil throughout the day. That might be helpful for weight gain. Also, it would be good to get a diverse mixture of fatty acids.


Saturated fat is one of the most misunderstood macronutrients out there. It is not necessarily a bad thing to have in your diet. If you're getting alot of monounsaturated fats from olive oil and nuts and getting a decent amount of polyunsaturated fats from nuts, meat and fish then you should bablance this by a proportional increase in saturated fats. They are nessecary and beneficial.

The fats you really need to be concerned with are excessive omega-6 polyunsaturated fats and trans fats.


Hi Wapptor,
This is a great article. Perfect information. Thank you!
one question....how much coconut oil would be appropriate per meal? teaspoon? Tablespoon? Any suggestions. thanks again.


Either or both of those. I would say start with a tablespoon 2 or 3 times a day, evaluate if it helps and increase if necessary. A tablespoon per meal is not "too much".


Coconut milk is awesome for bulking. Its like $1 a can, and like 1000 calories a can or something like that.


Who told you - at 5'7", 155# - that you don't tolerate carbs well?


could be fat



and what do you mean by "don't tolerate carbs well"?

do you shit uncontrollably when you have a carb?
do you start to lose your hawt abz w/ 2many carbz?

if you are on a "mass diet" and want to gain "mass" then you have to eat "massive" amount of food. carbs tend to help you grow. unless you have the time to eat NO carbs at above maintenance levels......toss back some carbs.


Thanks again for all the feedback. I appreciate the helpful responses. To
B rock, HunterKiller and BrickNyce: I've found in the past that when I eat carbs (starches not fibrous vegetables), I put fat on, hence my cutting out starches. Keep up the good work, all!


Would Coconut Milk or Coconut Oil be a better choice? For bulking. Coconut Milk right?


My vote would be the coconut oil for the bulking.

But then again, I cannot stand cooking with coconut oil, and to what I've experienced Coconut Milk has a very poor shelf life.


What's the best way to take the coconut milk? How much coconut milk should be taken in a sitting?


I use the coconut milk to cook rice with. Instead of water I use coconut milk and throw in a can of kidney beans as well. In my opinion using the coconut milk with white rice tastes better but it's still pretty good with brown rice. It also takes a little bit longer to cook if you want more flavor because it should be cooked at a slightly lower temperature. If it is cooked at too high of a temperature the rice will come out somewhat bland.


I've been just pouring some coconut milk into my protein shakes.


I like coconut oil on my sweet potatoes.

Give it a try. It's better for you than butter and it tastes great. I usualy like brown sugar on my sweet potatoes but with coconut oil I don't need any kind of sugar.