Findings from one of the world’s leading authorities on fats and oils,

Dr. Mary Enig, a Ph.D. nutritionist/biochemist has undertaken much of the coconut oil research in more recent years. Dr. Enig has classified coconuts as a "functional food," which provides health benefits above and beyond the basic nutrients. She has specifically identified lauric acid as a key ingredient in coconut products.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How Does Coconut Oil Affect My Cholesterol?

New Study Shows Virgin Coconut Oil Improves Cholesterol Levels

A clinical study out of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Philippines, has shown that eating virgin coconut oil (VCO) produces beneficial effects on triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
The research team led by Dr. Christina Binag of the UST Research Center for Natural and Applied Science said the double-blind study, where both researchers and subjects were not aware of who were taking VCO and the placebo, showed decreases in triglycerides and improved the cholesterol ratio, both indicators of reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Commissioned by the Philippine Coconut Authority, the study required 110 participants to take 3 tablespoons of VCO every day for four months while 79 others took a placebo for the same period. Dr. Binag said this was the largest clinical study ever undertaken on the effects of VCO on cholesterol levels.
Results indicated that among the VCO takers decreases in triglycerides and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)—a form of the so-called “bad” cholesterol. They also showed elevated high density lipoprotein (HDL), which is known as the “good” cholesterol. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol is known to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. No changes were seen the lipid profile of the placebo group.
Other changes were also noted by the researchers, stating, “There was an unexplained rise in creatinine but still within the normal range. Elevations in Free Thyroid 3 and Free Thyroid 4 were noted due to enhanced thyroid function. No change was noted with BMI (body mass index) and weight.”
Aside from these clinical effects, the group also reported that those who took the VCO felt stronger and healthier. They reported regular bowel movements, increase in appetite and stamina, and better sleep with regular VCO intake of 3 tablespoons a day.
Apart from keeping cholesterol levels under control, improving thyroid function, and boosting energy levels, three spoonfuls of virgin coconut oil may also enhance a person’s sex life. Some members of the group reported that they were more virile during the test phase. “It was an interesting observation that 13 percent of the VCO takers experienced becoming sexually active in the whole duration of their participation in the VCO study,” the team said.
This study provides further evidence that virgin coconut oil is not only heart healthy but may provide additional health benefits as well.

Reference:
Scientists Present Results of Clinical Study on VCO – Philipines. Cocommunity 1 May, 2012, Vol 42, No 4, pp7-8. The Healthy Ways Newsletter

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Tempura-Style Coconut Shrimp

10-12 large fresh or frozen shrimp (if frozen, thaw quickly in a bowl of tepid water)
1/2 cup regular white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (to make your shrimp spicy)
1 egg
1/3 cup ice water
1/2 cup dry shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup coconut oil

PREPARATION:
Remove shells from shrimp, but leave tails on for easier cooking and eating. Set aside.
Make the batter by first mixing the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper (if using).
Crack the egg into the flour mixture, then add the ice water, stirring to break the yolk and form a fairly smooth batter (don't worry if there are a few small lumps).
Deep fry shrimps at about 375 F, until they are brown.


Serves 4 as an appetizer, tapas plate, or party food.
Excellent eaten on its own, or served with a dip. ENJOY!

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