October 22, 2014

Coconut Oil Is Superior for Nutrient Absorption

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Picture of dehusking coconuts in traditional method of coconut oil extraction

Traditional coconut oils are still made by hand.

 

By Dr. Mercola

You’re probably aware that in order to absorb all of the extremely healthy fat-soluble nutrients in your food, compounds like lutein, beta-carotene and vitamin E, for instance, you’ve got to eat them with some fat.So perhaps you always add olive oil to your salads or eat your veggies with butter to absorb all of those valuable nutrients.

This is a smart health move, but did you know that not all oils are created equal when it comes to nutrient absorption? Some work better than others and can actually enhance the amount of nutrients your body receives from the food you eat.

Coconut Oil is Superior in Enhancing Nutrient Absorption

A new animal study compared the effects of feeding coconut oil (a saturated fat) versus safflower oil (a polyunsaturated fat) on the absorption of carotenoids from tomatoes. Coconut oil enhanced tissue uptake of tomato carotenoids to a greater degree than safflower oil, a benefit the researchers suggested may be due to coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs):1

“These results may have been due to the large proportion of medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil, which might have caused a shift in cholesterol flux to favor extrahepatic carotenoid tissue deposition.”

Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of healthy MCFAs. By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs). There are several reasons why these long-chain fatty acids are not as healthy for you as the MCFAs in coconut oil.

Why Choose an Oil Like Coconut Oil?

In addition to its ability to potentially allow you to absorb more antioxidants and other nutrients from your food, MCFAs are smaller than LCFAs, which means they permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require lipoproteins or special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body. Further:

  • MCFAs are easily digested, thus putting less strain on your digestive system. This is especially important for those of you with digestive or metabolic concerns.
  • MCFAs are sent directly to your liver, where they are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored as fat.
  • MCFAs in coconut oil can actually help stimulate your body’s metabolism, leading to weight loss.

 

There are numerous studies showing that MCFAs promote weight loss, including one study that showed rats fed LCFAs stored body fat, while rats fed MCFAs reduced body fat and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.2 Yet another study found that overweight men who ate a diet rich in MCFAs lost more fat tissue compared to those eating a high-LCFA diet, presumably due to increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation from the MCFA intake. Researchers concluded:3

“Thus, MCTs may be considered as agents that aid in the prevention of obesity or potentially stimulate weight loss.”

Coconut oil earns even more “points” because it’s rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin – a compound also found in breast milk that strengthens immunity. Caprylic acid, another coconut fatty acid present in smaller amounts, is another antimicrobial component. Plus, using coconut oil as your primary cooking oil is important because it is the only one that is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage. When choosing a coconut oil, make sure you choose an organic coconut oil that is unrefined, unbleached, made without heat processing or chemicals, and does not contain GM ingredients. On the other hand, in the case of LCFA-rich vegetable oils:

  • LCFAs are difficult for your body to break down — they must be packaged with lipoproteins or carrier proteins and require special enzymes for digestion.
  • LCFAs put more strain on your pancreas, your liver and your entire digestive system.
  • LCFAs are predominantly stored in your body as fat.
  • LCFAs, when oxidized, can both injure and deposit within arteries, contributing to both blood vessel inflammation and plaque build-up.

Polyunsaturated fats, which include common vegetable oils such as corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola, are absolutely the worst oils to use in cooking. These omega-6 oils are highly susceptible to heat damage because of their multiple double carbon bonds. If you’ve been shunning coconut oil because it’s a saturated fat, you needn’t worry. Saturated fats are actually essential and quite good for you.

Read the full article here: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/20/coconut-oil-and-saturated-fats.aspx


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10 DIY Sugar-Free Coconut Candies

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Having a plate or bowl of candies out for parties and holidays is a common sight to be seen, but no one needs to be putting those kinds of crazy amounts of processed ingredients into their bodies. The solution would be to make your own candies so you can control what goes into them and make the end result a good deal better for you.

The recipes here are simply processed sugar-free, not sweetener free. The sweeteners used here are traditional sweeteners such as raw honey and maple syrup. In addition, because these are candy recipes there is a very high sugar content for nearly all of them, and thus they are not a health food, but a sweet treat to be enjoyed occasionally.

While candy making is seen as a daunting, day-long task, it can actually be far easier than you may realize. Using different coconut ingredients such as coconut oil, Coconut Cream Concentrate and coconut milk to make candies will not only will provide coconut flavor, but also cut out a lot of complicated steps to candy making. Homemade coconut oil chocolate is a very popular and easy DIY candy that requires no cooking, as is using Coconut Cream Concentrate (also known as “coconut butter”) to make white chocolate-like candy barks.

Here are 10 easy-to-make, beginner-friendly homemade candies utilizing at least one coconut ingredient to make an impressively delicious and easily portable sweet treat that you can have out at parties or package up to give away. Try one, or try them all! Many are even completely no bake and no cook. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Just keep in mind that these are candy recipes, so don’t be eating them like you should your vegetables.

USDA Dietary Guidelines Nutritionist Condemns Coconut Oil

USDA Dietary Guidelines Nutritionist Condemns Coconut Oil

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A PhD Nutritionist from Tufts University who is the Vice Chairman of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee for the USDA has come out and condemned coconut oil.

Does being involved in research for GMOs, the soybean industry, and developing cholesterol guidelines used to sell statin drugs create any conflict of interest in her advice? Do you trust USDA dietary advice regarding edible oils?

How To Use Coconut Oil in Baked Goods

How To Use Coconut Oil in Baked Goods

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Aside from using coconut oil as a basic cooking oil for all different types of stovetop cooking methods, this oil is also suitable for baking. Coconut oil can be used in two main ways for baking: as a natural non-sticking agent, and as a baking fat (such as shortening, butter, and other oils).

Coconut Oil Cooking Spray: Healthy or Toxic?

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One of the most popular products available to the general consumer to combat the issue of baked and cooked food sticking to cooking surfaces is non-stick spray. A good reason to avoid these sprays is the fact that many of them are made with unhealthy oils and lecithins, generally derived from GMO crops such as soy or corn.

But what about if they are made from a healthy oil, such as coconut oil?

Unfortunately, these cooking sprays also contain heavily processed ingredients, including propellants. Propellant is what pushes the spray out of the can, and is usually made from such things as nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, or propane.

Baking Gluten Free Cookies with Coconut Flour

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Coconut flour is one of the trickiest, if not the trickiest, most finicky, temperamental, fickle gluten free flour to work with. However, when you get it right, coconut flour baked goods will be some of the best you’ve ever had, gluten free or otherwise.

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Here are some proven tips to making successful coconut flour cookies based on three textures: crispy cookies, cakey cookies, chewy cookies. I include 10 kitchen-proven recipes to get you started.

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