Thursday, September 28, 2006

Coconut Oil and Fiber

Coconut oil is wonderful for your body, both inside and out. However, I bet you had no idea that coconuts were so good for you and such a good source of fiber! Of course, raw coconuts are high in fiber and protein...but so is coconut flour, too.

Coconut flour is hard to find but when you use it in baked goods and other items using flour, you will be pleasantly surprised at the flavor and the nutritional properties that coconut flour offers. The one drawback is that coconut flour does not have gluten (actually this is a plus for those people who can't tolerate gluten) so it does not properly rise as other flours do.

When you cook with coconut flour, you want to swap out about 25% of the wheat, oat or rye flour so that they baked item properly rises. Although you are not getting the full benefit of the fiber and protein if the item had 100% coconut flour, you are still gaining the health benefits of the coconut.

Something else to note about coconut flour is that as with all fibrous things, the coconut flour will absorb more liquid. The general rule is to increase the liquids by the amount of coconut flour you are using in a recipe (i.e. if you are putting 1/2 c. of coconut flour in a recipe, add an additional 1/2 c. of liquid). If you do not make this amendment to your recipe, your food will be very dry.

Happy baking!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Coconut Oil - the ultimate cure

Many Pacific Islanders have enjoyed the benefits of coconut oil for countless years. Coconut oil to these populations is the be all, end all. Here are just a few of the common maladies coconut oil has been used to treat:

- asthma
- colds, flu, fever and coughs
- baldness
- nausea
- bronchitis
- gingivitis
- burns
- menstruation challenges
- earaches
- bruises
- constipation
- skin infections
- swelling
- dropsy
- lice
- kidney stones
- gonorrhea
- sore throats
- tumors
- syphiis
- jaundice
- rashes
- toothaches
- upset stomachs
- malnutrition
- scabies
- weakness
- ulcers
- scurvy
- wounds
- syphilis
- tuberculosis

Quite an impressive list for coconut oil cures, wouldn't you agree. I am constantly amazed at what coconut oil will do.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Coconut Oil and Pets

We just got a 4-year old Shih Tzu and unfortunately he has really dry skin. My sister-in-law told me how great coconut oil had worked for her dog so I thought I'd give it a try on Max. I was not sure if he would like the taste and smell of coconut oil but I thought it would be worth a try. I put about a teaspoon (he weighs 15 pounds) of coconut oil on top of his dry dog food an mixed it in really well. I was surprised at how much Max just lapped up the coconut oil.

Prior to this, he really was not eating his food -- probably new house/new family. So not only is he now eating his food but he is eating something healthy that will help with his coat. After just a few days, I am already seeing fewer flakes of dried skin loose in his coat thanks to the coconut oil!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Coconut Oil - weight loss study...

I read a great article on coconut oil and a recent collention of animal studies. The studies looked at the impact of coconut oil on energy and metabolism. This combo could potentially make it a weight loss powerhouse. If coconut oil can, in fact, affect metabolism, this would help all of us manage body weight a lot better (than those of us currently overweight are managing our weight).

The study compared the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil to the long chain fatty acids in many other types of fat (i.e. beef). The researchers saw many positive changes in fat metabolism with the coconut oil groups.

Another interesting point about this study on coconut oil is that there are some people who are allergic to coconut oil although it is very rare. Also, just as with any intake of saturated fat, you just need to keep your eye on your blood cholesterol levels. However, since coconut oil may lower cholesterol - this potential problem may already be solved!!


Monday, September 04, 2006

Coconut oil -- one of the healthiest oils for cooking

Coconut oil is one of the best oils you can use in cooking. Coconut oil differs from other types of oil like corn, soy, safflower, sunflower and canola in that they are highly changed during heating. These Omega-6 oils form double bonds during heating which are dangerous.

1) Toxic chemicals are produced when omega-6 oils are heated. These chemicals are much more toxic than trans fats. Oddly, high heat destroys the good antioxidants in omega-6 oils and therefore oxidizes the oils making them more toxic to us.

2) When you have a improper ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, the result of too much omega-6 fats reak havoc on your otherwise good health.

Coconut oil resists changing composition when exposed to high heat. The integrity of it is not compromised no matter what you do to coconut oil. You can exchange it for any oil or butter you use in cooking. You do have to be careful of the sweet, potent flavor but I believe that is a matter of what brand you choose. Some brands of coconut oil are more fragrant than others.

Eat, drink and be healthy with coconut oil!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Coconut oil and feeling great!

I have forgotten how amazing you feel when you take coconut oil. This is particularly important to me as I have MS (see www.mylifewithms.com) and I rely on anything possible to help me feel as good as I used to feel. For this reason alone, I should be regularly taking coconut oil. Here is what happened to me in the last few days that just reaffirmed coconut oil use.

A couple of days ago I decided to get back on the coconut oil because of all the wonderful health benefits. I had stopped taking it for a couple of months as I struggled with how it would impact my health negatively since I have an autoimmune disease (see previous blog on inflammatory diseases and saturated fat). I was surprised that I slept well and felt so good (particularly since I am taking medicine right now that doesn't allow me to sleep so well). I didn't think anything more about it.

Yesterday I did not have coconut oil as I simply forgot. Today I feel terrible and I slept awful last night. Then I had a "aha" moment realizing I did not have any coconut oil yesterday. Wow - could it have that dramatic of an impact? I am going to see. I am going to have it today to see if:

1. I feel better today (autoimmune diseases make it very difficult for you to function with little sleep).
2. I sleep well tonight.

If all is good tomorrow, you better believe I will be back to never going a day without coconut oil!

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