I originally posted this in the nutrition forum a few days ago. so far there's no answer, there's also very little activity in that forum... Any case, I figured I could ask here and see if anyone has any experiance with coconut milks. I'm still interested in getting an answer simply because I can not swallow the large fish oil pills and I cant find any of the liquid fish oil. And, I have far too many pills as it is to grab a bunch of smaller fish oil pills to make up for the large ones...
My total cholesterol was 104mg/dl in February this year from 130 in November last year. I just had another blood test and will get the numbers on Monday. In the mean time I was reading up on Low Total Cholesterol and I noticed Coconut oil/milk is great for raising cholesterol, (or was it for raising HDL? which is also very low). Reading up on canned Coconut milk, if let to stand some will separate into the milk and cream. I do love coconut but have never had coconut milk so I don't know what to expect as to weather I'll like it or not or if I'll like cream over milk or milk over cream. Any case, is there a difference for the cholesterol benefits between coconut milk -vs- cream?
I just know that at Rehab, the dietician said any liquids from a coconut are bad for you, but the solid part is ok in moderation. I don't think she was referring to the shell by the way, cause that would be very bad for your teeth :)
What I have found is that the water in the coconut shell is full of electrolytes and a great replacement for tap water. The meat, when processed, is extremely high in saturated fats! However, all the web sites I read say that because the saturated fat molecule is a Medium Chain Fatty Acid (MCFA) (also known as Medium Chain Triglycerides) as opposed to the Long Chain Fatty Acid (LCFA) the Saturated fat in this case (MCFA) is good for you. Another source for MCFA is Palm Kernal Oils. Now the problem is, have I just read nothing but bad science web sites or is this really the case that coconut milk is good for you?
Well it's one of those things where you have to try and decide who to listen to. When there are doubts like this, my mind says steer clear until the facts are proved one way or the other. Some scientists decided coconut milk must be good for you by following the blood chemistry of some islanders who had this as a huge part of their diet. They had quite low cholesterol. However, when islanders moved to new zealand, their diet changed and they drank less coconut milk. Their cholesterol levels jumped. So do we conclude from this that coconut milk must be good for you? I'm not so sure. If we look at the Atkins diet it's the same thing. Low carbs/high protein/low sugar intake. It makes your HDL raise, LDL lower but some Doctors are saying it can cause a whole lot of other problems. Although it can be very beneficial to heart disease, lack of certain substances can lead to death, such as a 16 year old girl who died on the diet from severe lack of potassium. I think we have to make up our own minds and try to be wise because the experts are still arguing over many things.
I was worried about the liquid also even when I found out that there is lemon flavored. I don't like lemon flavor. But it is cheaper then the capsules. It is easy to take. I take Nordic Naturals as they are pharmaceutical grade. I take the kind with vitamin E and D in it as well because I have a Vit. D deficiency.
If you can't find it you could check out their web site. I am not a saleswoman, btw.
RadioAstro & Ed34~My family and I are coming to your country this summer. London to be exact.
That last statement is a bit confusing, I'm in the US and Ed is in the UK. Though there are many similarities between our two countries and cultures to be close friends and alies, it's the differences that make each of us unique. Every now and then I want to mention something to a poster that only US citizens would understand. So, I slide my cursor over the posters name which will give me a bit of information about them to say where they are from. Sometimes there's not enough information or much is missing so I'll click on their name which will bring me to their member-bio page where I try to figure out where they are from. Other times when there's still too much information missing so I just make guesses with the vocabulary of their posts or simply make a complete guess.
No offense to any UK citizen as there are times when I think the UK offers more freedom than we have. And there's even times when I think China offers more. But still, I'd rather be a US citizen than a citizen of any other nation.
I learned something interesting recently when looking at how and why cold weather affects weaker hearts. Did you know our cholesterol actually rises in the winter by an average of 5%?
So maybe you can get away with coconut milk as a summer treat :)
Coconut milk generally raises both HDL and LDL cholesterol (the good AND the bad). If you're concerned about having a HDL level that's lower than you'd like, I don't think coconut milk will help the way you'd like it to. In cultures like Thailand, where people usually eat many more fruits and vegetables than most westerners and less meat, coconut milk is often the only source of saturated fat in the diet. Thus, it doesn't appear to raise heart disease risk / cholesterol in those people. I've been eating a mostly vegetarian diet myself and I don't worry about adding a little coconut milk here or there, but I also use almond milk, and hemp milk and am not eating any dairy products.
Have you considered concentrating on eating more sources of Omega-3s and 9s in actual food? In the US especially (don't about the rest of the world), people are WAY too focused on what pill they should take rather than on which foods they should/shouldn't be eating for balanced nutrition. Also, one of the primary things that will drive down bad cholesterol is a reduction in animal foods, overall, and an increase in whole plant foods containing fiber - such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains (i.e., irish oatmeal, millet, quinoa, brown rice - not "whole grain" bread).
What about ground flax seeds (which you can sprinkle on most foods), flax seed oil, seeds, nuts (except cashews, hazelnuts, and macademia nuts - which are all higher in saturated fats), chia seeds, and/or hemp seeds/milk? Also, avocados are an amazing source of monounsaturated fats - and delicious. Or, you could actually eat fatty fish, like salmon, trout, or albacore tuna or even anchovies/sardines. These foods are generally high in Omega-3s. In our processed food diet, we westerners consume far too many Omega 6s and not enough 3s and 9s.
Chia and hemp seeds are high in Omega-9s. I add hemp milk to fruit shakes to get a little extra Omega-9s.
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