Another look at coconut oil

I wasn’t fond of writing my first post about coconut oil, so you can imagine, I’m downright grumpy writing a second time. Why doesn’t this fad die already? Certainly there are other fads in the queue that could take its place…

When you hear that a food, an ingredient or nutrient CURES or REVERSES a disease, don’t bother reading further.

“Reversing” Alzheimer’s is one of the latest coconut oil claims I’ve read. Besides the fact that there is no scientific support for that idea, when we do look at brain health it always comes down to a general healthy diet, increased plants, adequate hydration, increased exercise, increased friends and social activity. Oh, and enough sleep.

Type 2 diabetes and coconut oil has been studied in lab animals not humans. Let’s see, for better diabetes control, one would want a general healthy diet with whole foods; increased activity and limited total calories to manage weight.

Weight loss through coconut oil consumption? Small groups of people consuming coconut oil have been studied and they lost weight. Oh, did we mention they ate fewer calories and exercised more? SIGH.

Coconut oil, to repeat, is a saturated fat and generally discouraged in a healthy diet.

Saturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat all contain the same number of calories.  Saturated fats have been associated with heart disease.

The monounsaturates seem to be the healthiest of fat choices. Examples include:

  • olive oil,
  • avocado/oil
  • canola oil
  • peanut oil
  • many nuts/seeds

Please, skip the fad and the coconut oil to be well,


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Eating Out

restaurant eatingA friend and I were having a discussion about maintaining one’s weight when you eat two meals daily in a restaurant. OK, we might also have mentioned a mutual acquaintance and said something about his weight. Strictly informational, not judgmental.

She suggested it was impossible to watch your weight when eating out all the time. I agree with “improbable” but not impossible.

One has to be mindful of two things. First, the restaurant is there to please you and does that through large portions and the triumvirate of salt, fat and sugar and, second, you have to care about your health.

So, eating healthy is no easy task when a delicious meal sits in front of you.

Here are 8 tips to keep in mind if you want to eat better when frequently (or even occasionally) dining out:

  • Alcohol calories add up quickly
  • Appetizers are often fat laden
  • Appetizers used as an entree can help “right size” your portion
  • Bread baskets/chips and such can be declined BEFORE they’re brought to your table
  • Side dishes can make up your entire meal
  • If there’s a convenient fridge post-meal, consider taking half your meal with you
  • Salads can come to the table naked so you can decide how much dressing it needs
  • Hot, broth-based soups serve to curb your appetite (assuming you’re paying attention)

The typical restaurant meal weighs in at about 1000 calories so you’ll want to contemplate YOUR calorie needs before placing your order. Deciding what you’ll eat before you enter the restaurant and even ordering without opening the menu are good strategies too.

What restaurant strategies do you use to be well?



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