Posts Tagged ‘coconut oil’

Can You Eat TOO Much Healthy Fat?

We’ve big fans of healthy fats.  We recently talked a lot about the health benefits of canola oil, have talked about healthy omega-3 and touched on coconut oil and saturated fat in the past.

But with all the talk of fat, comes a question that I got just last night while giving a talk …

… can you eat TOO much healthy fat?

Great question.  And how do you define "too much?"

All fats are certainly not created equal.  That’s an undisputed fact.  Sometimes, though, when people hear x is good, they go overboard and think more is better.  For example, while olive oil is fantastic for you … drizzling it on top of every food you eat is not.  I’ve seen this done, though. 

Fat, regardless of the type, still has calories.  In fact, it weighs in at over double that of carbohydrates or protein, providing 9 calories/gram (carbs and protein both provide 4 calories/gram).  While carbs are often demonized and people think solely cutting carbs is the answer to their weight loss needs.  They’re wrong.

You can’t simply add olive oil to all your foods, include avocado, nuts, salmon, whole eggs and other sources of healthy fat with reckless abandon.  Again, fat contains calories.  And while we don’t believe all calories are created equally … that doesn’t mean they’re unimportant.  At the end of the day total calories still matter.  If you’re eating more than you’re burning through exercise and just general "living" you will not lose fat.  This doesn’t mean we’re advocating a low fat diet.  It’s the right types of fat and the right quantities.

Mohr Results Bottom Line: We suggest aiming for around 25-35% of calories from healthy fats.  Again, the sources of this fat are key — wild salmon, fish oil, egg yolks, olive and canola oils, avocado, nuts and nut butters are all great sources.

Just remember these are all very easy to over eat and we often suggest measuring the amount of oil used.  It’s tough to estimate the amount of oil when poured into a pan — just when you think you’re adding 1 TBS, you suddenly have 2 or 3.  And, at the end of the day, you still need to keep a handle on total calories.

 

Coconut Oil — A Healthy Saturated Fat?

We’ve recently been BOMBARDED with questions about coconut oil … it is HOT and getting a ton of attention.  So, being that it’s my birthday, it was time to take a day off of blogging … and repost an earlier one that will hopefully answer many of the questions that we’re getting.

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Last week we spent some time in California.

A little work in the Santa Cruz area and then ALL play in Sonoma.  Some wine tastings, olive oil tastings, beautiful weather and great for a little R & R.

While we were in Santa Cruz, I was giving a talk on omega-3 fats and healthy fats in general.  We were at the Nordic Naturals HQ (the #1 omega-3 fish oil company) and at the end of the presentation, I was asked about the health benefits of coconut oil.

Last week we talkedcoconut oil health benefits about the potential health benefits of coconut water.  Now, we’re moving on to coconut oil.

Coconut oil has traditionally gotten a very bad wrap because it is mostly saturated fat.  And it’s been shown through research that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease.  Put those two sentences together … and in the most simplistic terms, it means too much coconut oil can cause heart disease.

But then some research started to emerge, looking more closely at the type of saturated fat that is in coconut oil (primarily lauric acid, for other nerds like us).  And proponents started to point at the longevity of some populations in tropical areas who have been eating coconut oil for centuries as evidence that it should be part of the diet.  Others, not surprisingly, also started to suggest coconut oil has some magical "cure all" health properties … of course there’s always two sides to every story. 

We’ll let the research do the talking instead of what you’ll find with a simple google search.

We’ll save you the complicated biochemistry, but just know that the different types of saturated fats seem to make a difference in terms of their health properties.  This hasn’t given governing bodies the "go ahead" however to start recommending coconut oil.

Many still suggest it’s saturated, so it’s therefore "bad."  

From our point of view and scouring over the research, though, we like coconut oil.  But here’s the most important point of this entire email …

we like it as a replacement for less healthy, processed saturated and trans fats.  We’re not suggesting you buy tubs of coconut oil and eat it by the spoonful.  It’s not about "adding" coconut oil to a junky diet.  It’s about replacing.  That’s the key.

And when we’re talking coconut oil, it’s the unprocessed, extra virgin coconut oil we’d suggest.  Processed or partially hydrogenated coconut oil is just as bad for you as other processed fats (or any sugar, for that matter, but today we’re focusing solely on fat).

So the general recommendations still stand ring true — keep saturated fat to under 10% of your overall fat calories.  But then within that recommendation, focus on the saturated fats that aren’t processed, which is exactly where unprocessed, extra virgin coconut oil falls into play. 

Yes, it can all be very confusing.

Here are 3 take away points from ‘Coconut Oil — A Healthy Saturated Fat.’

  1. Stick to unprocessed, extra virgin coconut oil.
  2. REPLACE less healthy processed and trans fats with unprocessed, extra virgin coconut oil.
  3. Coconut oil is not a magical cure all like some suggest.  It’s a healthier saturated fat.  That’s it.

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Nutrition Myths Debunked

We hear them all the time.

"I can’t eat eggs."

"Fat is bad"

"Carbs are the enemy."

"Saturated fat is evil."

The list goes on and on and on.  We’ll admit, it IS tough to keep up with the most current data as the nutrition world changes a bit.

Let’s look at some of these common myths and share the TRUTH!

MYTH #1:

"I can’t eat eggs."  We STILL hear this all the time … here’s the deal.  You CAN and SHOULD eat eggs.  The whole eggs, not just the yolk.  They’re an amazing source of protein, choline, and other powerful nutrients.  The "don’t eat eggs" is solely because they’re high in cholesterol.  But eating cholesterol doesn’t translate to having high cholesterol. 

Now, you do want to be careful with the recent egg scare and the hundreds of thousands of eggs that were recalled.  We suggest getting them from a local farmer if possible — we have several options at our nearby Farmer’s Markets.  Cage free, free roaming chickens eat what chickens should eat, have full access to roaming around, and produce healthier eggs that are loaded with even more nutrients. 

MYTH #2

"Fat is bad."  Ehhhh, wrong again.  Fat is incredible for you.  The right types of fat, that is.  Omega-3 fats, in particular — the kind from cold water fish, like wild salmon, tuna, sardines, anchovies — are essential, meaning you have to get them from the diet because your body doesn’t make them.  And, omega-3 deficiency is a leading dietary cause of death!

MYTH #3

"Carbs are the enemy."  Wrong again.  Some carbs are the enemy.  Many are not — veggies, fruits, beans, whole grains are all incredible for you.  The key is eating things in their most natural state — whole grains, not a breakfast cereal that is "made with whole grains" which usually means it’s somewhere low on the ingredient list.  If you get most of your carbs from veggies and fruits, some from beans and grains, you’ll be doing really well.  Just eliminate the soft drinks and other products with useless added sugars.

Myth #4

"Saturated fat is evil."  Well, this is one that’s changed pretty recently according to the science.  Just when we thought we had it straight, more data came out showing certain types of saturated fat aren’t so bad after all and may actually boost HDL "the good cholesterol!"  Here’s the deal –  there are different types of saturated fats.  One called stearic acid, which is found in dark chocolate, coconut, and whole fat dairy may actually be OK for you.  Here’s the deal, though, we’re not suggesting going hog wild with saturated fats – going on a chocolate bender — but if the saturated fats you do eat are mainly from those foods, you’ll be better off.

So just when we thought we had all the answers, we’re debunking more nutrition myths. 

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