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Nutrition

  • Healthy Lebanese snacks

    by Startlivingright.net – When you are stressed you usually go for emotional eating. The problem is that junk food will make you feel worse than you already do The Healthiest Leba...
  • Healthy and Light Lebanese Vegetarian Dishes

    Written by guest author Talar Demirdjian  Sometimes being a vegetarian means that you can’t be as diverse in your food choices as other diets, or so you might think… Being Lebanese, and living in the Mediterranean, means that we have access to amaz...
  • Top Five Healthiest Lebanese Dishes

    Written by guest author Talar Demirdjian  We all know that as Lebanese we’re blessed with a great variety of colorful and delicious food. In Lebanon, we have the best of what the Mediterranean can offer, and we take advantage of it at any chance we ...
  • Best Vitamins and Supplements to Take For Mental Focus

    Written by guest author Brenan Quirante Peak nootropics Noopept Nootropic Supplements Some people search for supplements and vitamins to help them improve their memory, cognitive ability and focus. It's not easy focusing on tasks that don't seem i...
  • Does eating late at night cause weight gain?

    Many people have emailed me with the belief that eating late at night is causing them to gain weight. However, this is nothing more than a myth. This old wives' tale propagates that our metabolism slows down at night because we are inactive and there...
  • The Difference Between Water and Sports Beverages

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Working up a sweat can feel great, especially if you have trained really hard. However, it is also very important to keep hydrated before, during and after your workout. Dehydration during your workout can easi...
  • Ten Reasons to Eat More Avocado

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Smoothies, salads and dips… you can have it all with avocados. This green fruit's name is derived from the Nahuatl Indian language which ironically means "testicle". Avocado is considered a healthy fat which no...
  • Health Benefits of Salmon

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Delicious and nutritious Along with being incredibly tasty, salmon offers many health benefits you might not be aware of. Though salmon contains quite a lot of fat, you can indulge without feeling guilty as t...
  • Healthy Eating on a Budget

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Some readers have emailed the website saying that eating healthy is expensive and this makes it difficult for them to keep up a healthy lifestyle. Even though nutritious food can be very expensive, it is defini...
  • Leptin and How it Facilitates Fat Loss

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff There are countless diets available on the market. A current popular diet is the so called "leptin diet." In this article, I'll explain what leptin is and how you can make leptin work to your advantage. What i...
  • How Healthy is Sushi?

    Written by guest author N.P.Burggraaff Sushi is known to be one of the healthiest meals. Sushi contains some great nutrients like omega 3 from the fatty fish, vitamins from vegetables and minerals from seaweed. Does this mean you can binge on sushi ...
  • 10 Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff 1. Olive oil/healthy oils Olive oil is a healthy fat and fits perfectly into a healthy diet. However, although it is a healthy fat, it is also high in calories and can slow down your weight loss if you consu...
  • The Truth About Diet Soda

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff Regular sodas are loaded with sugar Regular sodas are known to contain a LOT of sugar. How much you may ask? Did you know that a can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of sugar? This is equivalent to 3 tables...
  • Glycemic Index Explained

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff I'm sure you've heard a buzz going around about the glycemic index. A lot of people are adjusting their food intake according to low Glycemic Index (GI) values. But what exactly is the glycemic index? Defin...
  • Natural Sugar Alternatives

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff Luckily I am not a sweet tooth, but I know many of you are! The main ingredient to provide sweetness in foods and drinks is of course sugar. There are countless reasons why it would be better to cut out, or a...
  • Is Coconut Oil The New and Improved Olive Oil?

    Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff For years and years, the media and health gurus have educated us about the countless benefits of olive oil. Olive oil has become a staple in many households and for good reason; it is both healthy and tasty. ...
  • Guilt-free Healthy Snacks

    Snacks help to control our cravings, maintain our blood sugar levels and keep us energized throughout the day. It is recommended that people do not go more than four hours without eating and should always have snacks in-between meals. Many people go...
  • Habits of Successful Dieters

    When it comes to successful fat loss, your hard work will not end once you reach your goal. The next step is to successfully maintain your results with a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you maintain your weight and avoid relapsing. Lo...
  • How to Read Nutrition Labels

    Deciphering the information found on nutrition labels can be extremely confusing. Here is your quick and easy guide to understanding the basics Serving sizes The serving size always appears at the top of nutrition labels. Serving sizes can be misle...
  • How to suppress your appetite

    One of the hardest things about sticking to a diet is keeping a raging appetite under control. There is nothing more frustrating than being hungry and not being able to eat as much as you’d like. Here are some natural techniques to suppress your appe...
  • Top foods to eat daily

    Many people starting out with a body transformation program might not know the difference between clean food and the junk you should avoid, which means they risk eating food they believe to be healthy when in reality it is causing more harm. Familiar...
  • Low Calorie Diets

    One of the most frustrating aspects of starting a weight loss program is how long it takes to see actual results. Many infomercials try to sell you products and supplements promising fast results, but these are nothing but weight loss scams, or are b...
  • Healthy Fats Explained

    Many people view “fats” as unhealthy and best avoided. They link them to high levels of cholesterol, clogged arteries and major health problems. However, in reality healthy fats are essential for overall health and nutrition, provided you eat the rig...
  • Alcohol & Fat Loss

    One of the hardest things for people to give up during a fat loss program is alcohol. Some people find it impossible to go out and not enjoy a few drinks. The good news is drinking occasionally and in moderation will not likely affect your results; h...
  • How to dine out

    A healthy lifestyle means being healthy no matter where you go. Many people overeat, cheat on their diets or are not aware that they are making poor food choices in restaurants. Many people dine out regularly or eat out often for business meetings an...
  • Eat smarter

    Fat loss expert Tom Venuto proposed a fun and easy method for others to improve their food choices in a free special report he wrote. He suggested categorizing your food choices into grades. If you want to be healthier and leaner, you need to work on...
  • Calculate Calories

    What is a calorie? Calories can be defined as measures of heat energy stored in food. The higher the number of calories in a specific type of food, the more energy will be released to perform biological functions or sustain physical activity. When w...
  • The essentials about protein

    Protein is your body's preferred muscle building fuel and can help you reach super-human levels of leanness.  What is protein and what role does it play in your body? Protein is a combination of essential and nonessential amino acids in the body.  ...
  • Water & Liquid Calories

    Water in our bodies One of most important compounds in our body is water, which constitutes around 60 – 70% of our total bodyweight. Water excretes waste from our cells, aids in digestion and brain functions, transports nutrients around the body and...
  • Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates are our preferred source of energy and are used most efficiently by the human body. The brain utilizes carbohydrates to perform normal bodily functions, requiring a minimum of 100 grams of carbohydrate per day. Following a severely low ...
  • Repair a Damaged Metabolism

    If you’re someone who has a history of unsuccessful dieting, you may fear that you’ve damaged your metabolism permanently. One example of something that could cause this kind of damage is going on a low-calorie diet for a prolonged period of time, ex...
  • Your basic guide to supplements

    Nowadays we are constantly bombarded by supplements and products purporting to be from the fitness industry and promising quick fat loss and muscle building results. Although many of these products do have some nutritional value it can be hard to tel...
  • Create Your Own Meal Plan

    There’s nothing better than being in control of your diet, customizing it with the foods you like and tailoring it to fit your goals. It only takes one afternoon It might all seem exhausting and confusing at first, but all it really takes is one a...

Is coconut oil the new and improved olive oil

Written by guest author Nynke Burggraaff

For years and years, the media and health gurus have educated us about the countless benefits of olive oil. Olive oil has become a staple in many households and for good reason; it is both healthy and tasty. However, recently there has been a buzz among health gurus about another type of healthy oil: coconut oil. Could there be a new sheriff in town? Let's find out!

Coconut oil is not as bad as we think

People are more or less afraid to use coconut oil simply because coconut oil contains saturated fats. We have been falsely informed that these saturated fats are very bad for us. Another reason why coconut oil may not have won any popularity contests is because of its typical exotic flavor. In this article, I will provide you with helpful information about this versatile and exotic oil.

Coconut oil and how it is derived

Now what is coconut oil exactly and from what parts of the coconut is it made? Well, coconut oil is derived from the white flesh of the coconut, not to be confused with the palm. The dried white flesh is pressed so that the oil can then be extracted. After this, the crude oil is filtered and then it becomes virgin coconut oil. It may be further refined by deodorizing the coconut oil or 'bleaching'the coconut oil till it has the white color. Fun fact, the extracted oil solidifies at a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and therefore in cooler climates like northern Europe coconut oil is actually more a fat than a liquid oil!

Are saturated fats bad by default?

Let's get back to the question of why coconut oil held such a bad reputation for many years. As I mentioned before, coconut oil contains a great sum of saturated fats, more or less 86%.

We have been made to believe that all saturated fats are unhealthy. This is easily believed as a lot of unhealthy products that we know of, such as fried foods and pastries contain saturated fats. Despite the fact that 86% of the fats in coconut oil are saturated, they have special properties. The majority of coconut oil's fatty acids are made ​​up of medium chain fatty acids, also known as Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). These MCTs are slightly different when processed by the body if you compare them with 'normal' fats.

Health benefits

Below I will summarize the most important characteristics of coconut oil.

Research has determined that coconut oil actually has a positive influence on cholesterol in that it decreases bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol.

MCT's have the characteristic that they are rapidly burned by the body. This quick burning process means less fat will be stored in the body. Much like carbohydrates (our body's source of energy), it gives a more direct energy supply than stored fats will.

Research has shown that coconut oil ensures that vitamins and minerals are better absorbed from food through your body.

The coconut oil goes directly to the liver (bypassing the need for action of bile salts and pancreatic lipase for absorption). What does this mean? Coconut oil does not need to be processed by the body, thus saving us more energy.

Coconut oil contributes to a more stable blood sugar level which is very important for diabetics and the prevention of diabetes. Stable blood sugar levels also decrease the chances of fat storage.

Coconut oil is said to have a beneficial effect on our blood pressure by stimulating the health of the cell membrane, so this creates an improvement in our blood circulation.

Certain fatty acids in coconut oil protect the body against pathogens such as parasites, food poisoning, bacteria, viruses, fungi etc.

Lastly (as is the case with olive oil), coconut oil is a very stable oil. This means that it can be heated to a high degree without losing its nutritional value or becoming toxic. Heating coconut oil to a high degree makes it great for stir frying or baking.

Should we disregard all other fats and stick to coconut oil?

The health benefits sound pretty good, right? So can we now eliminate olive oil and other healthy fats from our diet? No, definitely not! For example, healthy fats from fish like salmon cannot be replaced by coconut oil. While coconut oil is great for frying and baking, olive oil provides great health benefits and flavor in cold dishes.

Another important issue is that coconut oil, as with most foods, is healthier un-refined. Unrefined coconut oil means that it contains its natural exotic aroma. Although some dishes taste better with this exotic flavor, there are also many that are best served without it.

Critics of coconut oil will stress that since it goes directly to the liver, it could place stress on the organ.

Conclusion

It is essential to educate yourself about the pros and cons of most food hypes. While coconut oil definitely has great aspects to it, I believe it cannot replace other fats like olive oil and fatty fish. It is best to balance these fats in your diet. As I do, I stir fry in coconut oil, eat my salads dressed with olive oil and aside from that, I enjoy fatty fish in my diet.

Click here to learn more about healthy fats.

Comments  

+1
Aziz Sa.
2014-10-30 06:24
I prefer Oliv oil beacuse I feel more comfortable when I use it and more benefits .
+1
Norma
2014-10-29 07:44
good to stay healthy
+1
Sally West
2014-10-29 07:31
I love cooking with coconut oil. Nice to read about the health benefits.

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