Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fats and Oils : Coconut oil, a smart alternative to other oils

"Coconut oil is the healthiest oil on earth" says Dr. Bruce Fife, a naturopathic doctor and the author of the book The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil. Modern research seems to back up this bold statement. Once wrongly accused of increasing cholesterol levels, coconut oil is now actually being used by doctors in the treatment of a variety of disorders. Clinical studies have shown that coconut oil has anti-microbial and anti-viral properties, and is now even being used in treating AIDS patients. Studies conducted in the Philippines last year showed that coconut oil does indeed reduce the viral load in AIDS patients.

The many benefits of coconut oil are finally reaching the mainstream.

Benefits like:

* Promoting your heart health
* Promoting weight loss when and if you need it
* Supporting your immune system health
* Supporting a healthy metabolism
* Providing you with an immediate energy source
* Helping to keep your skin and hair healthy and youthful looking
* Supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland

Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid(MCFA) which is abundant in coconut oil, and considered responsible for many of its health benefits. Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid. The only other abundant source found in nature is in mothers milk.The medium-chain fats in coconut oil are similar to fats in mother's milk and have similar nutriceutical effects. MCFAs are smaller. They permeate cell membranes easily, and do not require lipoproteins or special enzymes to be utilized effectively by your body. 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 number of good sources of organic coconut oil available online. I personally use, tropical traditions coconut oil. I liberally use the oil, in cooking, frying, salads etc. No guilt. No cholesterol. No trans-fats. No downside. Only your peace of mind.

Be Nourished!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Fats and Oils : Rethinking our FAT phobia

I have taken a break from my Whole Grains series for a while to start another series, another favorite subject of mine...Fats and Oils. Politically Correct nutrition is based on the assumption that we should reduce out intake of fats,particularly saturated fats from meats, whole milk, butter, ghee, coconut oil,... So we started using skimmed milk, lean or no meats, and polyunsaturated oils like vegetable oils, margarine, dalda. But statistics show that, we are facing coronary heart diseases, diabetes,and many degenerative diseases more than any other time in the history of mankind. Clearly something is wrong with the theories we are being told.

The diet gurus tell us that polyunsaturated oils are good for us and that saturated fats cause cancer, heart diseases and weight gain.Suppose you were forced to live on a diet of red meat and whole milk. A diet that, all told, was at least 60 percent fat -- about half of it saturated. If your first thoughts are of statins and stents, you may want to consider the curious case of the Masai, a nomadic tribe in Kenya and Tanzania.

In the 1960s, a Vanderbilt University scientist named George Mann, M.D., found that Masai men consumed this very diet (supplemented with blood from the cattle they herded). Yet these nomads, who were also very lean, had some of the lowest levels of cholesterol ever measured and were virtually free of heart disease. Scientists, confused by the finding, argued that the tribe must have certain genetic protections against developing high cholesterol. But when British researchers monitored a group of Masai men who moved to Nairobi and began consuming a more modern diet, they discovered that the men's cholesterol subsequently skyrocketed. Similar observations were made of the Samburu -- another Kenyan tribe -- as well as the Fulani of Nigeria.Or even close to home the Pathans of high mountains and plateau districts of northern India and Tibet, Whose diet depends largely upon butter made from milk of the yak and sheep. These Pathans are probably the most physically perfect ..very tall and free of tooth decay-- Weston Price..While the findings from these cultures seem to contradict the fact that eating saturated fat leads to heart disease, it may surprise you to know that this "fact" isn't a fact at all. It is, more accurately, a hypothesis from the 1950s that's never been proved.

The first scientific indictment of saturated fat came in 1953. A researcher named Ancel Keys proposed a theory - called the Lipid hypothesis - that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart diseases. Numerous researchers pointed out the flaws in his data and conclusions. Nevertheless, Keys recieved far more publicity than those presenting alternative views. The vegetable oil and food processing industries, the main beneficiaries of any research that could be used to demonize traditional foods, worked behind the scenes to promote further research that would support the lipid hypothesis.

Most of the fat in our bodies and in the food we eat is in the form of triglycerides. Elevated triglycerides in the blood have been positively linked to proneness to heart diseases, but these triglycerides do NOT come directly from dietary fats;they are made in the liver from any excess sugars that have not been used for energy.your body makes fat from carbohydrates. It works like this: The carbs you eat (particularly starches and sugar) are absorbed into your bloodstream as sugar. As your carb intake rises, so does your blood sugar. This causes your body to release the hormone insulin. Insulin's job is to return your blood sugar to normal, but it also signals your body to store fat. As a result, your liver starts converting excess blood sugar to triglycerides, or fat. The source of these excess sugars is any food containing carbohydrates, particularly refined sugar and white flour. Triglyceride levels increase with increasing intake of refined sugars, refined starches, sedentary lifestyle, and hard, non-essential fats. According to researcher John Yudkin, sugar consumption is one of the quickest ways to increase triglycerides because the body turns sugar into fats to protect itself from the toxic effects of excess sugar. Sugar increases oxidation damage, inhibits immune functions and interferes with the transport of vitamin C...all leading to dardiovascular and other degenerative diseases.

Fats have more than twice as many calories as carbohydrates, foods such as sugar, wheat, potatoes and fruits. Conventional wisdom says that reducing fats in the diet is essential for people who want to lose weigth. That sounds logical doesn't it? But its not true. In real life , eating fats helps you lose weight--but only if you make a deep cut in carbohydrates you eat Fats have more calories but fats satisfy your hunger four or five times as much as carbohydrates. Thats one of the several reasons why eating fats help people lose weight.

According to Udo Erasmus: 1. Fats are digested slowly and prevent hunger from recurring quickly. Protein and carbohydrates are digested in half as much time so overeating is encouraged. 2. EFAs increase metabolic rate and help mobilize and burn excess saturated fats. 3. The body loses the craving for food when its need for EFAs is satisfied. 4. A poor diet lacking essential substances fails to still hunger, leading to overeating and weight gain. 5. Contrary to popular opinion, not all fats make a body fat.Healthy fats can halt and even reverse many degenerative diseases such as: atherosclerosis, hypertension, allergies, cancer, skin conditions, yeast conditions, aging, arthritis, diabetes, asthma, obesity, and some addictions.Bad fats and sugar are responsible for most of the conditions listed above.

On contrary, today most of the fats in our diets are polyunsaurated, primarily from vegetable oils derived from soy, corn, safflower and canola. Modern diets contain as much as 30 % of calories as polyunsaturated oils, but this amount is far too hight. Excess consumption of these oils cause many health problems like : immune system dysfunction, damage to the liver, reproductive organs and lungs, digestive disorders etc.

Hopefully these facts and finding help you in making a better choice for you and your percious family.

Be Nourished!!!