Coconut – Victim of greatest nutritional misconception

When i was moving to Bangalore, Karnataka from USA, 1 thought (of-course related to my diet choice) that brought a big smile on my face was – “WOW!!! finally I will be able to enjoy the safest and healthiest natural drink on earth – coconut water- daily.”

South India is the home for beautiful, sweet and health filled coconuts.  Coconut is used in every part of south indian meal. Idli + chutney (coconut chutney)+ sambar (contains coconut), Vegetables (Palya- with shredded coconut) and many many more.

The biggest shock came to me  when my south indian clients here in  Bangalore started showing opposition to the consumption of coconut. I said to myself – ” Wooooohhhh!!!! The desperation of getting slim trim has gone so far that people are blindly following the myths shown to them.” I feel really sad when I hear that the nutritionists and dietitians stop their clients from eating such healthy foods by giving them the label of “high fat”.

Dr Jonny Bowden Ph.D, C.N.S,  says ” Coconut and coconut oil are superfoods. Coconut and its oil is one of the most healthy, amazing thing you can ingest.” (Bowden, J.  2007,PP 107).

It has been observed since many years that people living in  Asia as well as pacific islands with high intake of coconut oil in their diets were free from cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other degenerative diseases. A long term multidisciplinary study done on the health of people living in small, coconut-eating island of Tokelau and Pukapuka which found that, despite eating a “high-fat” diet, where 35-60 % of their calories coming from saturated fat found in coconuts, the islanders were virtually free from atherosclerosis,  heart disease, colon cancer and rarely had any digestive issues. They were also lean and healthy with no trace of high cholesterol. But, when these same people moved to big cities and started choosing modern lifestyle and diet habits which involved changing to “refined” polyunsaturated vegetable oil, believed to be healthier, their incidence of heart disease increased dramatically (J. Bowden, 2007).

“1/2 cup of shredded coconut meat has almost 4 g of fiber, 142 mg potassium, 13 mg magnesium, less then 3 gm sugar and 13 grams of most heart healthy, life supporting fat (J.Bowden, 2007, pg 107)”.

Do not fear the saturated fat in coconut:

1. First rule is to keep it in moderation. We should not overdo on Saturated fats but my friends, it is always better to intake naturally found saturated fats like the ones present in ghee, coconut and eggs.

2. Understand clearly that out body “NEEDS FATS”. We cannot survive without it. Fat is incorporated in our cell membrane, used up by our body as energy, it cushions and protects out organs, it oils our joints, it helps make the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K available to us.

3. The medium chained fatty acids in coconut are easier to metabolize.  These medium chain fatty acids are preferentially used for energy and not stored as fat around the hips. These MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) are composed of a particular type of fat called lauric acid which are antiviral and antimicrobial. 50 % of coconuts fat is lauric acid. Many studies have been done showing the immune enhancing effects of lauric acid.

So guys, make drinking fresh coconut water a daily routine and hey!!! eat the meat (malai) as well 🙂

Eating coconut or drinking coconut water will NOT make you FAT. In fact it will help you get to your normal weight and health .  Remember- all naturally occurring high calorie fruits are absolutely safe for you to include in your diet and they will not make you FAT. Just eat them at the right time and as a snack by itself ( read my article on 5 common myths).

” LEARN THE ART OF EATING AND YOU WILL BE 1/2  WAY TO A HEALTHY, REJUVENATED, NEW YOU.”

Health benefits of coconut water

  • Coconut water is a very refreshing drink to beat tropical summer thirst. The juice is packed with simple sugar, electrolytes, and minerals to replenish hydration levels in the body.
  • According to research studies the cytokinins (e.g., kinetin and trans-zeatin) present in coconut water have significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects.
  • Coconut water is composed of many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA polymerases etc.  These enzymes work togetherto aid in digestion and metabolism.
  • Coconut water has much better composition of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc than some of fruits like oranges.
  • Coconut water is a good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates.
  • Coconut water contains a very good amount of electrolyte potassium. 100 ml of water has 250 mg of potassium and 105 mg of sodium. Together, these electrolytes help replenish electrolytes deficiency in the body due to diarrhea (loose stools) or due to vigorous exercise and other athletic activities.
  • In addition, fresh coconut water has small amount of vitamin-C (ascorbic acid); provides about 2.4 mcg or 4% of RDA.

Cheers with the safest, tastiest and healthiest natural drink on earth 🙂

Reference:

1.  Bowden, J, Ph.D., C.N.S, (2007). The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth,Beverly,M.A.: Fair Winds Press.

2. http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/coconut-water.html

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3 responses to this post.

  1. I’m not positive where you’re getting your info, but
    good topic. I needs to spend a while finding out more or figuring out more.
    Thanks for fantastic information I was searching
    for this info for my mission.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Rashmi on February 16, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    Great and appreciate to clear a myth about coconut 😃

    Reply

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