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Is Coconut A Superfood?

charlie

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Is coconut a superfood?
http://www.news.com.au/news/is-coconut- ... 6479855288

A GROWING band of supporters – including some scientists - are singing the healing and restorative praises of coconut.

They cite research and evidence to back their arguments and claim this humble, hairy fruit contains properties that can prevent, or even cure, a wide range of ailments from heart disease to Alzheimer's.

They haven't convinced everyone: the Heart Foundation strongly disputes their claims and says coconut oil in particular is an unhealthy saturated fat and should be avoided. But retired CSIRO scientist and honorary research fellow at the University of Queensland, Mike Foale, says the Heart Foundation has got it wrong. Foale has been studying the coconut palm for more than four decades and believes coconut is a superfood.

"There is both scientific and abundant anecdotal evidence of great health benefits, including increased energy, weight loss, natural antibiotic activity, cholesterol reduction and insulin stabilisation," Foale says.

While the popularity of bottled coconut water could be described as a fad, Foale is a devotee of the oil. "Coconut oil is a staple for millions of tropical coastal people worldwide and those people do not suffer from heart disease while on their traditional diet," he says.

The case for coconut

"Coconut oil is the healthiest oil on earth," says Dr Bruce Fife, who runs the Coconut Research Centre in the US. While he doesn't dispute that the oil, extracted from the meat of mature coconuts, is mostly made up of saturated fat, Fife says scientific evidence shows it is a healthier version.

"Coconut oil is unique because it is composed predominately of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)," he says. "The size of the fatty acid is extremely important because physiological effects of medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are distinctly different from the long-chain fatty acids more commonly found in our diet.

"It's the MCTs in coconut oil that make it different from all other fats and, for the most part, gives it its unique character and healing properties. Few foods nowadays contain MCT. By adding coconut oil to your diet you can literally eat your way to better health."

He cites a long list of ways coconut oil has been found to benefit human bodies. He says it:
•Protects against heart disease by increasing good cholesterol and lowering the ratio of bad and good cholesterol.
•Helps treat malnutrition because it is easy to digest and absorb.
•Kills disease-causing bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses because of the antimicrobial effects of its fatty acids.
•Helps diabetics by slowing sugar release into the bloodstream.
•Prevents strokes and brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
•Boosts metabolism and increases energy because it is more likely to be burned as fuel than stored as body fat.

Click here to read rest of article.
 

Kemby

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Coconut oil is shunted straight to the liver via the portal vein so it avoids the digestion process. When it arrives at the liver it is processed rapidly.

If the liver is loaded with say a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil it processes in by rapidly turning it into ketones and putting it into the blood stream.

Contrary to popular belief it is quite easy to maintain a ketogenic state while still eating normal amounts of other food by loading in this way (anything up to 12 tablespoons of coconut oil a day for continued ketone production). When the liver is presented with a large amount of the short and medium fatty acids it gets to work.

Paul Jaminet talks about ketones and how to become ketogenic a lot. It is something that I think (?) Ray Peat has spoken about in regards to the benefits.

I currently consume 5+ tablespoons of coconut oil a day. That may not be enough to keep me in ketosis but this stuff seemingly has lots of benefits.
 

Nick810

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Is that 5tbsp on top of regular food consumption or does the CO replace some food?

That's a lot of extra daily calories if that's the former.
 

charlie

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Martin, I should know this but I dont. What are the benefits of being in a ketogenic state and having ketones?
 

Kemby

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Yes thats 5 tablespoons with other foods. I do weight training 4 days a week and short sprints + kettlebell swings on varoius days (Short workouts to minimise stress). I seem to burn a lot of calories.

When I have coffee I have a tablespoon of coconut oil in it, I cook almost everything with it and I also just eat it straight off the spoon.

The body becomes more efficient at utilising fats for fuel when you stay in ketosis. That is why the experiment done in the 50s where they fed cattle tons of coconut oil they all became leaner and more active even though they were in calorie excess and should have put weight on. I would speculate that the massive amount of coconut oil was rapidly leaching PUFA + enabling the body to utilise ketones for energy pushing the cattle into oxidative metabolisms. Ray Peat mentions this experiment in his article on coconut oil. Not only does the body burn the ketones the liver produces, it starts burning off more body fat too, essentially going into overdrive. Im pretty sure there are plenty of studies on pubmed and other journals as to the reasons why.

The majority of excess ketones in the blood are excreted in the urine instead of being stored in the body for later use. This is why "Ketostix" you can buy let you know whether you are in a state of ketosis as when you pee on them they pick up the ketones in the urine.

This is anecdotal but I have read about so many people who have introduced high quantities of coconut oil into their diets and it has increased the rate of weight loss.

Ketones have been shown to be massively antibacterial and antiviral. (Paul Jaminet sites research on his site although I can't find it right now)

Ketones are the other fuel source that our brains can use for energy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18625458 There is ongoing research into the use of ketones for dementia and other neurological diseases (Not that anyone here on a peat diet should have that issue!)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14769489

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20163521

Paul Jaminet talks about going into ketogenic states as a way to treat neurological ailments (Depression etc) due to the potential effects of what he believes is one cause - Bacterial brain infection. Although his approach differs to a Peatarian, having ketones in the body has benefits and seemingly no negatives (Unless on zero carb where ketoacidosis can occur). The neuroprotective and PUFA leaching effects of coconut oil make it a definite addition to my daily diet.

Paul on his site has talked about starting with a high dose each day ensuring ketosis and then reducing it gradually to find the lower limit where you remain in a mild ketogenic state without consuming vast amounts of coconut oil.

Im at work at the moment so this post is a bit rushed with not much cited research but there is lots out there.

Coconut oil is unique in its ability to prevent weight-gain or cure obesity, by stimulating metabolism. It is quickly metabolized, and functions in some ways as an antioxidant.
- Ray Peat

coconut oil slightly lowers the cholesterol level, which is exactly what is expected when a dietary change raises thyroid function. This same increase in thyroid function and metabolic rate explains why people and animals that regularly eat coconut oil are lean, and remarkably free of heart disease and cancer.

http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/un ... oils.shtml

I think only a new perspective on the nature of living matter will make it possible to properly take advantage of the multitude of practical and therapeutic effects of the various life-supporting substances--pregnenolone, progesterone, thyroid hormone, and coconut oil in particular.
- Ray Peat
 

charlie

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Hmmm, this is very very interesting. Especially this bolded part:

MartinBrown said:
The neuroprotective and PUFA leaching effects of coconut oil make it a definite addition to my daily diet.

Do we know for sure that coconut oil does in fact help to move out PUFA's quicker then normal? If so, I could see myself gobbling down many tablespoons of coconut oil a day, no problem. Anything to shorten the 4 year PUFA imprisonment.

I wonder how Ray Peat feels about keeping you body in a ketogenic state this way?
 
J

j.

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Charlie said:
I wonder how Ray Peat feels about keeping you body in a ketogenic state this way?

Maybe he is ok with it because he eats coconut oil often. In the interview about fats I think he says exactly how much he consumes.
 

charlie

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Well, I jumped up to 5 tablespoons today. Let's see what happens. I was usually taking around 2.
 

nwo2012

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Charlie said:
Well, I jumped up to 5 tablespoons today. Let's see what happens. I was usually taking around 2.

You will feel great. I take in around that amount daily. Find it very hard to gain fat, I think its one of the reasons.
 

Birdie

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I wish I could take that much CO. I use about 2T throughout the day. If I up it, I come down with a viral infection. As I understand it, some people are sensitive to high amounts of arginine compared to lysine. I seem to be one of these. I keep getting Herpes zoster (shingles) when I get a lot of arginine, even though I know coconut oil has antiviral properties. So, yes, it's a superfood for some but not for me.

For more on this controversy:

http://nurture.wikidot.com/coconut-oil
 

pete

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(Extra) Virgin coconut oil can be problematic for people with food sensitivities (salicylates).

Ray recommends "refined" coconut oil.
 

Destiny

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Love the PUFA leaching properties of coconut oil!!! I agree Charlie, anything to shorten the 4 years span ;)

I take 2 Tbs coconut oil daily now and also eat shredded coconut at lunch equaling about another Tbs of coconut oil.
 

narouz

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MartinBrown said:
I would speculate that the massive amount of coconut oil was rapidly leaching PUFA + enabling the body to utilise ketones for energy pushing the cattle into oxidative metabolisms.

Ketones have been shown to be massively antibacterial and antiviral. (Paul Jaminet sites research on his site although I can't find it right now)

Great stuff there, Martin.
You say you are speculating about the PUFA "leaching."
I think Dr. Peat has speculated likewise,
saying something like
that coconut oil can sort of wash out PUFA from the tissue.

And on the anti-bacterial/anti-viral properties:
I think this is the main reason he recommends coconut oil for carrot salad:
increases those same properties of the carrot fibers.
(And the vinegar and salt--more of the same.)

How is the coconut oil in coffee...?
I might try that. :)
 

Kemby

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Coconut Oil in coffee is great! I find it enhances the taste. That's how I tend to use it. I have a good tablespoon, sometimes more.

Just on a side note if you are not fond of the taste you can get the same benefits from a good quality MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) oil apparently although I have not tried it.

In summary, Yes I do genuinely believe coconut oil is a superfood and increasing your intake is beneficial.

I do use virgin organic coconut oil BUT I have no issues with it. I can understand why Ray recommends refined for those with sensitivities.
 

jaakkima

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Hi everyone,

I am wondering what a Peatarian view on the coconut flesh would be like. I love it in the form of coconut "butter", which is essentially the flesh whole blended into a thick substance. What are views on the fiber content or other aspects of consuming this in this way on a Peat diet?

Thanks
May all be well
 

nwo2012

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jaakkima said:
Hi everyone,

I am wondering what a Peatarian view on the coconut flesh would be like. I love it in the form of coconut "butter", which is essentially the flesh whole blended into a thick substance. What are views on the fiber content or other aspects of consuming this in this way on a Peat diet?

Thanks
May all be well

I think in moderation it would be fine but iirc Peat was not a fan of regular consumption of the whole coconut.
Birdie said:
I wish I could take that much CO. I use about 2T throughout the day. If I up it, I come down with a viral infection. As I understand it, some people are sensitive to high amounts of arginine compared to lysine. I seem to be one of these. I keep getting Herpes zoster (shingles) when I get a lot of arginine, even though I know coconut oil has antiviral properties. So, yes, it's a superfood for some but not for me.

For more on this controversy:

http://nurture.wikidot.com/coconut-oil

Was that refined? Also why not supplement lysine then to balance it? Lysine and proline ware seen as very cardio-protective aminos by Linus Pauling. I take a tsp of both in vitamin c every few days for that reason (Linus Pauling's answer to heart disease). I figure it cant hurt and Im sure I have some coronary damage from the many years of being a reasonably heavy bodybuilder with sometimes heavy AAS use.
 

schultz

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j. said:
Charlie said:
I wonder how Ray Peat feels about keeping you body in a ketogenic state this way?

Maybe he is ok with it because he eats coconut oil often. In the interview about fats I think he says exactly how much he consumes.

I realize this thread is a couple years old, but I found it interesting in the most recent Kim Greenhouse interview Ray said he doesn't take coconut oil, only using it occasionally for frying. Perhaps once bodyfat is lowered and dietary PUFA kept low for several years, it's no longer helpful to take spoonfulls of coconut oil everyday. In theory it may even be slightly detrimental as it replaces other sources of foods that contain micronutrients. Anyone have any thoughts?
 

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pboy

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it messes up my gut and leads to hot blood...ive assumed its just an allergy or something, ive tried every kind

but everyone online is really into 'weight loss miracles' that require no effort...and no one else hardly ever admits whats happening to them, let alone have the sensitivity to even notice. Im sure Ray doesn't use it because it gives him cramps and the shits if its more than just for frying, as it does me, and a lot of others. He said he ate coconut oil that wasn't refined and had diareeah for days
 

jyb

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schultz said:
j. said:
Charlie said:
I wonder how Ray Peat feels about keeping you body in a ketogenic state this way?

Maybe he is ok with it because he eats coconut oil often. In the interview about fats I think he says exactly how much he consumes.

I realize this thread is a couple years old, but I found it interesting in the most recent Kim Greenhouse interview Ray said he doesn't take coconut oil, only using it occasionally for frying. Perhaps once bodyfat is lowered and dietary PUFA kept low for several years, it's no longer helpful to take spoonfulls of coconut oil everyday. In theory it may even be slightly detrimental as it replaces other sources of foods that contain micronutrients. Anyone have any thoughts?

It think it would be like taking too much white sugar or thyroid, it has little nutrients (at least the refined one): a little bit is good and boosts metabolism, too much not useful or detrimental.
 

Mittir

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pboy said:
it messes up my gut and leads to hot blood...ive assumed its just an allergy or something, ive tried every kind

but everyone online is really into 'weight loss miracles' that require no effort...and no one else hardly ever admits whats happening to them, let alone have the sensitivity to even notice. Im sure Ray doesn't use it because it gives him cramps and the shits if its more than just for frying, as it does me, and a lot of others. He said he ate coconut oil that wasn't refined and had diareeah for days

Have you tried flesh of immatured or partially matured coconut? Those should not
give any kind of digestive problems and very refreshing. I tried to incorporate
coconut water while i was learning Yoga. My yoga guru drank only coconut water instead
of regular water and he was super healthy. I never felt good with coconut water,
something in it bothered my stomach. I was wondering if cooking coconut water would
make it easier to digest. I have not tried it yet, but i will. It is well known that matured coconut flesh is very hard to digest. But, i have noticed it gets better with time when i eat
cooked matured meat regularly. I had similar experience with milk and coconut oil.
I can easily eat 3-4 tbs of coconut oil every day now without digestive problems.
In the beginning i had upset stomach from 1 tsp of oil and i make my own oil from
coconut flesh.
 

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