All things coconut include, but is not limited to: coconut milk, cream, butter, oil, and dried or desiccated flakes, shreds, shavings, and flour.
Coconut’s virtues are many, as it is both delicious and good for us. Besides its versatility and richness in taste and texture, coconut also offers many health benefits, including the ability to enhance fat burning. Consuming coconut can actually make becoming a BFB (better fat burner) easier and more appealing!
The component in coconut responsible for many of its positive health effects is, ironically, also the target of critics who believe it is bad for us. As it is high in natural saturated fat, coconut incites worries related to increased heart disease risk; a concern that, frankly, misses the mark. The finger of blame should instead be pointed at the less stable unsaturated fats, engineered (trans) fats, high blood sugar, and inflammation. Not only is the saturated fat in coconut natural, but when heated, it is about as stable as an edible oil gets, especially when compared to unsaturated fats.
Yet another bonus to consuming coconut is that its saturated fat is high in lauric acid, which carries with it some very unique properties, including being an anti-infective (viral, fungal, bacterial). Coconut is also especially high in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are saturated fats that are eager to be utilized. Similar to glucose’s availability, MCTs are an immediate energy source and since they do not cause a spike in insulin, fat usage is favored over fat storage. Also, the ketones from the breakdown of MCTs, can have a positive impact on the brain and cognition. Coconut milk, cream, and butter, as well as coconut meat, are all good sources of these beneficial fats, but it is coconut oil that reigns supreme with the highest concentration.
Being a quick source of energy—without the insulin related highs and lows—coconut is a great replacement for high carbohydrate foods. Additionally, the ketones can be used in place of glucose to fuel the brain. Because of its richness, versatility, and promotion of fat burning it truly does make becoming a BFB more enjoyable and easier to achieve. I am so coo–coo–for–coconut that it is the largest contributor of fat in my diet.
Here is one of the many ways (check out my eBook for others) that I incorporate coconut into my diet:
Coco-Nut Granola Potpourri (because it smells so good toasting in the oven)
Eat this nutty coconut granola for breakfast or for a snack with your dairy/coconut/almond milk, cream, or yogurt of choice. Add berries and/or natural (non-sugar) sweetener to taste. Dry, it makes a great take-along travel or hiking snack.
I use raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews) and I generally buy the almonds slivered and the walnuts, pecans, and cashews in “pieces” from Trader Joes.
2 cups raw unsalted mixed nuts
1.5-2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
(organic, virgin, cold-pressed is best)
1 TBS vanilla extract
A generous sprinkle of allspice or cinnamon
Preheat oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all ingredients. If coconut oil is solid, then pile the combined ingredients (including the oil) in the center of the sheet and pop it in the oven for a couple of minutes. After the oil has melted, take the sheet out of the oven, toss to mix, then spread the contents out evenly before returning to the oven. Bake for about 25-45 minutes (depending on oven) or until it starts to turn a golden brown. Check periodically and halfway through give it another tossing.
Allow it to cool before storing in an airtight container (I use mason jars)—it also freezes well. Check this week’s BFB postings for the inspiration behind this recipe.
This week, #BetterFatBurner Approval went to:
Own the Change!