Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thinner Thursday - Coconut

I've been reading lately about the benefits of coconut, specifically coconut oil. This article on Dr. Mercola's website was especially interesting. It cites a study done on women who took a coconut oil supplement compared to women who took a soybean oil supplement. I'm oversimplifying here, but essentially the result was that the women who took the coconut oil presented with an increased level of HDL (good cholesterol), decreased LDL/HDL ratio (I'm not entirely sure what that means, but it's good!) and here's my favourite part - reduced waist circumference/abdominal obesity. The soybean oil group ended up with higher cholesterol overall, increased LDL (bad cholesterol), decreased HDL (good cholesterol) and no inches lost. This post-baby body is saying bring on the coconut oil! The women in the study took 2 tablespoons per day (and also ate a low calorie diet and exercised). Ok so I'm not going to be eating a low calorie diet anytime soon, I'm nursing! But I am making an effort to watch what goes into my mouth and I have been walking around Beulah at least twice per week. Tuesday I did Beulah in the morning and then a nice walk out the back road with my husband in the evening. Wednesday I did Beulah again. It's hard in this hot weather, but I keep thinking of my figure and those extra 15lbs!

Back to the coconut oil. Ever tasted it? It tastes like... nothing. Oil. If you have extra-virgin it has an ever so slight coconut taste, but not enough to make it very appealing to just eat. So you can cook with it, which I have been doing, but that isn't going to bring you up to two tablespoons a day. I've made this fudge recipe a few times and it is FANTASTIC, but it still contains honey and besides, I seem to eat more of it than I really should be. So what I've been doing and very much enjoying the past few days is putting about a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of chocolate chips in a little dish, melting them together, stirring in a couple tablespoons of unsweetened flaked coconut and popping it in the freezer to harden. This makes a lovely little chocolate treat for after lunch when the boys are napping. Now the chocolate chips - not so healthy I realize. But I justify it by the coconut oil and coconut I stir in! It tastes chocolatey though the oil kind of thins out the chocolate taste a bit, but adding in the coconut keeps the flavour good. I'm thinking I might start buying some organic dark chocolate bars and melting in one square of that a day instead of the chocolate chips just to alleviate some of the guilt.

Anyway, I recommend going and reading that article since Dr. Mercola discusses many of the other benefits of coconut oil that weren't immediately apparent in the study. It's supposed to be especially important for pregnant/nursing mothers to take, decreases your risk of heart disease, normalizes glucose levels, helps your thyroid, helps kill off the bad yeast in your body, you name it. I also use it as a moisturizer, it's the only thing I use on my skin now. It's greasy yes, but it works and I don't worry about absorbing chemicals into my skin. When Eli got a rash on his face I used coconut oil on it and it cleared right up.

So - eating a chocolate every day as a weight-loss tool? Yes please!

This post is linked up to Thinner Thursdays over at Mommy Miracles.

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