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Top 5 Forgotten Superfoods (Two)

12 Jul

2. Coconut, Palm & Red Palm Oil (Tropical Oils) & Ghee (India, Egypt, throughout the Middle East, and North Africa)
Lose your fear of fat, not all fats are bad for you and this is true for saturated fats too. Fats are essential for your good health. Saturated fats have been given a bad wrap and unfortunately many people suffer because of this. Most people eat too much corn and soy oil, these are omega 6 fats, and not enough omega 3 and healthy saturated fats. It is important to balance the fats you consume. Saturated fats have higher smoke points, over vegetable and olive oil, making them healthier options when cooking because they are less likely to form dangerous free radicals or advanced glycation endproducts (AGE’s).

Coconut and palm oil are saturated (medium chain, not long chain)fats that contain lauric acid (anitviral and antimicribial) is found in mother’s milk and baby formulas, and caprylic acid is an anti-fungal. The tropical oils provide more than healthy fatty acids when you eat them. They promote good health with the nutrients they contain:

Vitamins A & E
Beta carotene
Coenzyme Q10
Fatty acids

Coconut and palm oils are used to help improve quality of life and attain good health. They are used:

As antimicrobials(to kill fungi, bacteria-yeast/thrush and viruses),
To increase HDL (good cholesterol) and support heart health
To promote blood sugar balance
To assist in preventing osteoporosis by aiding in calcium/magnesium absorption
As a moisturizer for the skin to prevent wrinkles/sunspots and dryness
To support the digestive and immune systems
As an aid for weight loss

A recent study published in, Lipids , shows that coconut oil may help people lose weight and there was NO link found with increasing heart disease risk factors. You can find the study here:
http://www.springerlink.com/content/02ngg2413wm2w630/?p=b15b9325833647369012d5e19a06ac9d&pi=1

For many years Mary Enig and Sally Fallon have done research and written educational books about fat. I highly recommend you visiting their site and reading about fats to help you understand why naturally occuring fat is not the enemy:

http://www.westonaprice.org/
http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/skinny.html
http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/coconut_oil.html

As you can see we are in agreement, “Among the critical foods and nutrition “buzz words” for the 21st Century is the term “functional foods.” Clearly coconut oil fits the designation of a very important functional food.”-Mary Enig, PhD

Ghee is a main staple of ayurvedic medicine and is also a saturated (short chain not long chain) fat. Butyric acid, one of the fatty acids found in ghee has anti-viral properties and is thought to help slow cancer growth.

Ghee contains antioxidants that help boost the immune system and acts as an aid in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods. Although research is lacking, ghee has been used traditionally to promote memory, intelligence, quantity and quality of semen, and to enhance digestion.

Want to read more about the origin, flavor and benefits of ghee, check out these sites:

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-ghee.htm

http://www.punjabi-recipes.com/recipes/301.aspx

With all the health benefits that are found in tropical oils and ghee you might wonder why healthcare professionals do not recommend these products and offer margarine instead. I have NO idea. After all margarine is created with trans fats. It took us awhile, and unfortunately we have way too many casualties, to link trans fats to heart disease.

I found this site, http://www.stop-trans-fat.com/how-is-margarine-made.html , and I’m not sure if this is true but I found it quite interesting to read. If it’s not true, the fact that for many years I promoted margarine ‘cause it was “healthier” than butter without knowing that trans fat kill, I am going to post this so people have second thoughts about using foods that are man-made and NOT natural. This is why tropical oils and ghee are on my list!

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2 responses to “Top 5 Forgotten Superfoods (Two)

  1. Rick Weissinger

    January 15, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Re: your post on the ‘Top 5 forgotten Superfoods” and your comment that “Saturated fats have been given a bad wrap” : the word is spelled ‘rap’ in this context…

    Ghee is also full of cholesterol oxides, and is considered very pro-atherogenic for this reason. We do not have enough clinical trials, nor epi evidence (as with olive oil use) to support recs for everyone to cook with saturated fat. People using Crisco or fatback to cook tend not to be very healthy, in case your clinical experience hasn’t convinced you of the same.

    Keep Well!

    Rick

     
    • Valerie Berkowitz

      January 19, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Thank you Rick for taking the time to read my blog and to comment. I will put quotes around “wrap”. I was trying to be funny. Without quotes, I guess you are correct, it is a spelling error.

      While your point may be true in some situations. My philosophy is to go natural vs. commercial (Crisco). I do believe that individuals will respond differently to various types of fat. If someone has a genetic predisposition for cancer using a higher saturated fat to cook with is likely prudent.

      I am not sure all commercially sold ghee is the same. I believe others may agree with me, http://freeradicalfederation.com/GheeLowersCholesterol. There is research that shows, “at levels under 10% of total calories, however, ghee appears to help lower cardiovascular risks, especially when other fats consumed during the day are exclusively from plants or plant oils”.

      Individuals who eat a ketogenic diet, http://www.examiner.com/article/ketogenic-diet-is-potent-hedge-against-obesity-and-disease-says-dr-jeff-volek, burn fat differently than those who eat mostly carbs and burn mainly carbohydrates for energy.

      So you see, I do not think this is a black or white issue.

      No my clinical experience has not convinced me of the same. I provide individualized nutrition counseling. While I use research for general information purposes, my clients lab results and food preferences are used more specifically as a guide. I hold this in higher regard than studies based on other humans.

      I hope this helps you understand my perspective better. While we may not agree on this issue. I will thank you again and say the same to you, keep well!

      Health and happiness to you and your family!

      Valerie

       

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