In this educational post, we are going to examine the nutritional properties of coconut and the best way to include them in our daily diet.
When we hear about saturated fats we can not help feeling some apprehension towards them, they have placed us on fire that are bad and harmful to our body. But is the lion really as fierce as they paint it?
It all started with the prestigious American physiologist Ancel Keys, who pioneered the study of the effect of diet on cardiovascular diseases. Currently considered the great driver of the so-called Mediterranean diet, Keys concluded that, the greater the consumption of saturated fats, the greater the likelihood of death from cardiovascular disease.
His Study of the Seven Countries was the first Multinational epidemiological trial on the potential relationship between coronary heart disease and dietary cholesterol.
The drawback was that of the 22 countries studied, only published the results of seven of them, so the data was completely misrepresented and saturated fats were demonized for life.
Saturated fats are found naturally in foods of animal origin and some of plant origin. We must be clear that, despite the bad press that these types of fats have, consuming them in balanced quantities, and knowing where the source in question comes from, is not going to make our cholesterol level shoot.
The problem comes when we consume saturated fats derived from animals undergoing treatments with antibiotics, hormones and toxins that adhere to the fat, as well as processed foods such as industrial or fried pastries. Failing that, choose foods such as eggs, avocado or nuts.
In addition to providing the body with the energy it needs to work properly, saturated fats are beneficial for the protection of cells, to fix calcium in the bones, to strengthen the immune system (breast milk contains 50% fat), even for the development of our brain, which is 50% saturated fat.
Therefore, it is clear that we can not do without foods that have saturated fats because we need their caloric intake, but we must make balanced use of them and try to find those foods that have a natural source of fat.
A good option to add saturated fat “good” to our diet is coconut. This food, and particularly its smell, transports us directly to the beach, vacations, the sea, and produces a positive sensation in our mind. But in addition to all that, we will be surprised at the amount of benefits it has.
It should be noted that different studies have shown that Some populations that have consumed a large amount of this food have not developed any cardiovascular disease.
This is the case of the Tokelau archipelago in Oceania, where more than 60% of the calories they consumed came from coconut, and a study showed that when they began to replace it with sugar and flour, it was when they began to develop coronary heart disease.
The same happened with the population of Kitava Island, in Papua New Guinea, whose calories came from coconut by 17%, and studies showed that when their residents emigrated to other countries and adopted a western diet, it was then it began to appear.
Coconut Nutritional Properties
But what are the main reasons that make coconut a food so recommended at a nutritional level?
- It is a food rich in medium-chain triglycerides , something difficult to find in other foods. It means that your metabolization is curious: it goes directly from the intestine to the liver, without going through the lymphatic system, so there is a rapid use of energy. That is why its consumption for strength in sports is recommended.
- It helps the production of ketone bodies , the favorite fuel of the brain.
- It has high fiber content, so it is very satiating.
- It is a good source of vitamin E, antioxidant action, with water-soluble vitamins of B group. It is also a source of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, potassium and chromium, which helps regulate the level of blood sugar.
How to include coconut in our diet?
After knowing its composition and what it gives us, it is a good time to decide to find the best way to introduce it into our diet. If we turn to fresh coconut we find several difficulties.
First of all, it is not always easy to find in the usual supermarket. In the case that we find it, what is not simple is to open it. And finally, if we overcome the stumbling block of its hardback, we must consume it in the same day so that it does not lose its properties.
However, there are other alternatives in the market that are more practical, such as dried coconut, which keeps its properties intact and facilitates its consumption. Baïa Food is imported directly from small local producers in Ghana, where it grows wild in its natural habitat.
Subsequently, it undergoes a unique production process that makes it have a much more crunchy and tasty texture than any other dehydrated coconut on the market. In addition, it has an ecological certification that guarantees that it has followed an ethical supply chain.
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