Hello Mr. Coconut

I don’t have many regrets in life. I do have one big one though. I haven’t eaten enough coconut.

I LOVE COCONUT! I love everything about it – the smell, the taste, the creaminess. I like it in all of its various forms – shredded, chips, milk, cream, water and oil. It’s one of my FAVORITE foods.

Growing up I used to eat those coconut pies. You all know the ones I mean? They were small single serving pies, wrapped up in crinkly plastic. I used to eat them at the pool I went to every summer. I used to scrounge around the pool looking for loose change so I could buy these pies which I think cost about 50 cents.

At some point coconut was proclaimed to be a food demon. Experts advised to stop coconut consumption because it was horrible for your health. Oil made from coconuts actually contains a whopping 85 to 90 percent saturated fat and saturated fat had been thought to cause heart disease. Sadly I gave up my coconut pies and almost all other foods containing coconut. I was determined to eat foods that were good for me. I missed my coconut though!

Several years ago coconut came back onto the nutrition scene in a BIG way. The powers that be had decided that saturated fats are not ALL bad for you. Coconut was on the top of the list of GOOD saturated fats. But why? Coconut contains a fat called lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid that supports healthy metabolism. Our bodies do not store medium-chain fatty acid as fat, but rather use it for energy.

There are quite a few other benefits of coconut:
– It Protects against heart disease by increasing good cholesterol and lowering the ratio of bad and good cholesterol.
– Coconut helps diabetics by slowing sugar release into the bloodstream.
– It prevents strokes and brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
– Coconut is antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. It also makes a great balm for frizzy hair! It’s an excellent item to have in your medicine cabinet.

Experts suggest that at least two teaspoons of extra virgin coconut oil a day is beneficial. If you are someone who doesn’t currently have coconut in your diet you may not know where to add it. I have a few suggestions for you: Coconut water, coconut milk or shredded coconut is excellent added into a fruit smoothie. I frequently add all THREE of these into my morning protein smoothies, but that’s just me. Coconut oil is the best oil to use for high heat cooking because it is incredibly heat stable. I use it for stir frying quite often. Coconut oil is also really great for baking as it makes cookies and cakes very moist. Coconut and dark chocolate are an AMAZING combination – you can purchase it or make your own by melting down some chocolate, adding in shredded coconut and then letting it all harden in the refrigerator. I sometimes include coconut in all three of my meals. I really can’t get enough of it. I’m making up for lost time!

Its upsetting to me that I spent so many years avoiding such an amazing food. I’m so glad coconut is back on my plate again. I’m never saying goodbye to it again.

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