Tag Archives: coconuts

5 Foods Guaranteed to Give You an Energy Boost and Help You Through the Time Change

I’ve definitely got a bone to pick with whoever decided to trade off more daylight hours for one less hour of sleep. Though spring and summer are my favorite seasons, and that lost hour means they’re on the way, I still find myself dragging when Daylight Saving Time rolls around.

daylight saving time

The annual spring forward officially happens at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, which means most of us will be changing our clocks Saturday night before we go to bed, knowing we’ll be getting one less hour of sleep.

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Coconut Oil vs. Olive Oil: Which Healthy Fat Should You Cook With?

The tide seems to be slowly shifting away from demonizing fat. While my family doctor admits my cholesterol is “so good it isn’t even on [her] chart,” she still isn’t comfortable with the fact that I cook with lard. Coconut oil and olive oil, however, are much more acceptable fats for food preparation. Fat is not unhealthy; it supplies energy, helps us feel more full, balances blood sugar, promotes cell growth, decreases inflammation throughout the body, and regulates hormones.

Not all fats are equal, though. Trans fats, or “hydrogenated” fats, have been considered contraband at my house for years. In addition to lard, coconut oil and olive oil are staples in my kitchen. The question of which to use for a specific recipe is more complicated than just the ingredient list. There is a bit of a science to cooking (and shopping) that can help you ensure that the recipes you use provide the full nutritional benefit to your family and do not create unintended health consequences.

coconut oil

Why the Smoke Point is So Important

When fats or oils reach a certain temperature, they begin to break down and lose nutritional value and flavor. At this point, called the smoke point, carcinogenic oxygen radicals are also generated. Recipes need to be evaluated by comparing the oils used with the temperature at which they are prepared. (more…)

How to Cook with Coconut

I used to be terrified of coconut. True story. As a child, if I was handed an Almond Joy at Halloween, I’d chuck it out immediately like it was diseased. If a cake was covered in the snow-like flakes, I’d turn and sprint the other direction. Putting coconut on something was the fastest way to make me hate it.

But as with almonds, I grew to like it along with the many other foods my juvenile palette didn’t appreciate.

What is coconut? Coconut is simply the fruit of palm trees that grow in tropical climates. Shredded coconut is the broken down kernel of the coconut fruit, known as the copra. Despite what some may think, dried coconut still contains all of the fiber and nutrients found in its raw and fresh form, and is typically much easier to cook with. (more…)

Coconut Sugar is a Nutritionally Superior Natural Sweetener

By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com

Seems like there is a hot, new “healthy sweetener” on the market every 10 minutes and as soon as you are convinced that this is the ONE, new reports come out saying, “NO, stay away!” Frustrating, I know.

Let’s look at the star “healthy sweetener” of the moment, Coconut Palm Sugar. Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

What exactly is Coconut Sugar?

Coconut sugar is an unrefined sweetener derived from the nectar of the blossom or bud of the coconut palm tree; not the coconut itself but the bud that would form a coconut. This is important because this bud is the source of all nutrients that are being fed to the maturing coconut, kind of like the umbilical cord from mom to baby. Skilled farmers, called “tappers,” tap the bud and release the sap. The sap is then heated and crystallized. (more…)

Sweet Treats Made With Coconut Full of Healthy Fats

We already know that there are many healthy ways to enjoy coconut, a fruit that provides a number of functional vitamins and minerals for the body. While coconut is rich in fat and saturated fat, it is healthy fat that provides energy for the lymph nodes, liver and other vital organs.

Because coconut is rich and satisfying, it can be a good source of dietary fat. Next time you want to add a little bit more coconut into your diet opt for one of our figure-friendly recipes.

Coconut Cream Pie: Even if you’re on a diet, you don’t need to give up eating pie. Just make sure it’s our coconut cream pie, that’s made with real butter and cream. Our advice? Just eat a small slice and add an extra ten minutes of cardio onto your workout the next day.

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5 Ways to Enjoy Coconut

Coconut is shaping up to be one of 2011’s hottest ingredients in snacks, baked goods and beverages. From coconut water for quenching thirst to coconut oil for cooking and bacon, coconut is a very nutritious food that delivers numerous health benefits beyond its nutritional content.  Rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, coconut is classified as a “functional food” and according to The Coconut Research Center, some cultures believe it to possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil.

Coconut is a familiar flavor for many of us in indulgent treats like candy bars and pina coladas, but there are plenty of alternate ways to eat and cook with coconut in that won’t break the calorie bank. Look for coconut in the grocery store in various forms and think outside the box when you’re preparing it.

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We Love Organic O.N.E. Coconut Water

ONE Coconut Water BoxThe savvy consumer knows that coconut water claiming to be “100 percent natural” doesn’t mean much, because the “natural” label is in no way regulated or standardized. But O.N.E. Coconut Water is raising the bar by becoming the first major brand of coconut water to become certified USDA organic. The ingredient list is short and sweet: coconut water. Not added sugars, acids or flavors. “Becoming 100% certified organic was a goal we were excited to move towards and now achieve,” said the company’s founder and CEO Rodrigo Veloso in a press release.

Coconut water has been recently touted as a healthier alternative to sports drinks, particularly as a source of electrolytes. So, I put O.N.E to a taste test and it proved to be a lightly sweet yet refreshing drink. I’ve tried Zico coconut water before and found it less enjoyable, but I have to confess I expected it to taste more like coconut milk, which is something many people experience when trying coconut water for the first time.

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Madonna Invests in Coconut Water

coconut waterMove over Gatorade and Vitamin Water. There is competition in the beverage case and the Material Girl is one of the first to hop on the newest hydration bandwagon of coconut water.

Coconut water is a wildly popular new drink that has recently hit stores all across the country like Whole Foods and other national grocery store chains.

The New York Post just reported that Madonna is investing $1.5 million in one of the largest coconut water manufacturers in the country, Vita Coco. Other celebrities like actor Matthew McConaughey and singer Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers are also rumored to soon be lending their cash to help make coconut water more mainstream.

And it’s no wonder. Coconut water is quick becoming a favorite among yoga practitioners, fitness enthusiasts and those just looking for a nutritious way to stay hydrated.

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Health Benefits of Coconut Water

coconut waterIt’s that time of year, particularly for those in the colder northern climates, when people dream about relaxing on the beach on some remote tropical island with a fruity cocktail in hand. One of the more popular images is of drinking from an open coconut on the patio of a beachfront hotel.

If you have ever opened a fresh coconut, what you saw was a thin, opaque liquid that has a slight almond flavor. Coconut water, not to be confused with coconut milk, is the clear liquid inside young (green) coconuts.

As the coconut matures, the coconut water is gradually replaced by the coconut meat. Coconut water is consumed fresh, because once it’s exposed to air, the liquid rapidly loses most of its nutritional value, and begins to ferment. (more…)

Guest Blog: Coconut; Friend or Foe?

Melissa Spiesman, CHHC, AADP, is the Featured Guest Blogger at DietsInReview.com for September. She is the director of Nutrition for Your Life, a nutrition program that focuses on health and wellness through whole foods. Melissa develops individual integrative nutrition plans that focus on the total health of her clients. In her private practice, she regularly counsels individuals and groups on a variety of health/nutrition issues, including: cravings, weight loss and management, healthy food preparation, coping with stress, and having more energy.

Melissa received her professional training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition which is affiliated with Columbia University in New York City. She is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.girlawhirl

Melissa is a featured contributor of girlawhirl.com. Girlawhirl.com is an online magazine for busy women. It’s updated every weekday with the latest fashion and beauty news, home decorating, nutrition, fitness advice and more.

The science of nutrition is relatively young, and there seems to be an ongoing stream of contradictory data – what is good for us and what is not so good.  One area where we are continually faced with conflicting information is the area of fats; we learned that saturated fat could have harmful effects on our health. Big businesses campaigned against saturated fats and there was a rise in the promotion of margarine and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. We tried to eliminate saturated fat products from our diets.

But now, as with many things in our lives, everything old is new again and the latest re-entry is coconuts.  Nutrient dense coconuts (milk, meat, water and oil) are now being classified as a functional food. Research shows that the fat in coconut oil is different from most other saturated fats, as it is made up of medium chain fatty acids that are easily converted into energy, not stored as fat, and has no cholesterol.

coconut milk

Studies have been conducted on the health of people who live in tropical climates and whose main staple of their diets is coconut. It has been found that they do not suffer from any of the heart disease and cholesterol problems associated with saturated fats and they are benefiting from many of the coconut’s health promoting properties.

Coconut oil has the largest concentration of lauric acid, outside of human breast milk. Some of the oil’s health benefits include but are not limited to: immune system support, heart health, protection from certain cancers, known to be an anti-viral and anti-bacterial, supports thyroid function, and assists in menopause and diabetes care. Because it is burned easily for energy, it can boost metabolism and has been successfully used in weight loss programs.  Additionally, coconut oil is shelf stable, resistant to rancidity, and can withstand very high cooking temperatures.

In an effort to re-educate consumers and uncover the truth, there are many books on the benefits of coconut oils as well as books dedicated not only to educating but demonstrating ways to include coconut products as an addition to a healthy diet. Coconut has been showing up in many new food products. Girlawahirl especially loves Purely Decadent coconut milk ice cream and has been enjoying coconut water.

Those who are health conscious and willing to learn about and explore new foods and trends will be able to see the positive health benefits of coconut oil and once again enjoy the rich, creamy texture and smooth unique flavor it imparts on our food and drink.

As it is difficult to keep up with the latest nutrition recommendations, I still believe that everything is healthy in moderation.

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