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Coconut fat to treat Diabetes?

Discussion in 'Low-carb Diet Forum' started by AliB, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. AliB

    AliB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Quoted from the Daily Mail today.

    'Could coconut fat prevent diabetes?

    A diet rich in coconut oil could ward off Type 2 diabetes.

    The oil, used in foods such as margarine, helps prevent insulin resistance.

    This is where muscle and fat cells stop reacting to insulin, the hormone that helps to mop up excess sugar in the blood.

    Australian scientists used mice to compare the effects of coconut oil-rich foods with a lard-based diet, consumed by many in the developed world.

    The results showed coconut-fed mice were much less likely to develop resistance to insulin. Previously, coconut oil has had a mixed reception because it is high in saturated fat, which is linked to high cholesterol.

    But coconut fat is now known to be made up of so-called 'medium chain' fatty acids, regarded as healthier than the long-chain fatty acids found in animal products such as butter or lard.'


    I'm not sure that I would recommend the use of margarine based on that but certainly coconut oil has many, as yet, undiscovered and so far uninvestigated benefits.
     
  2. timo2

    timo2 · Well-Known Member

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    Well, well, a healthy saturated fat. Who'd have thunk it. :mrgreen:
     
  3. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Me. Not because I've read it somewhere, or been taught it - but because I've tried it and reaped the rewards.

    Cue the nay sayers ("All saturated fats are not the same!", they'll say...)
     
  4. Doczoc

    Doczoc · Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately I'm another example of 'anecdotal' evidence on this, it helped me big time. My lipid panels have improved with every test, yet according to the 'experts' my arteries should be clogging up by now.
     
  5. brill

    brill Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Sounds worth a try. What form do you take it in - I use coconut milk in cooking occasionally, but you wouldn't want to have it all the time. Don't see raw coconuts that often either. Can you buy the oil on its own?
     
  6. AliB

    AliB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I have it all the time - I don't do dairy in any quantity and use coconut milk in drinks. Coconut oil is used extensively in Asian and tropical cooking. You can buy it in Holland & Barrett in a large tub or, if you have any Asian food stores nearby it is worth looking in there. The KTC brand is often sold through them and is much cheaper.

    Organic virgin oil has a definite coconutty taste which you either like or not, the refined oil like KTC is pretty flavourless. I use it in cooking, add it too hot drinks (it will float on the top), use it as a spread, mix it in with sauces, etc., warmed and liquified it can be added to home-made mayo - I even eat it off the spoon.

    Brown coconuts can be bought from supermarkets and range from about 50p upwards. Make sure that the 'eyes' aren't black as that may indicate that they are 'off'. Also if when opened there is any discolouration on the flesh then it should be discarded. Unfortunately the ones in the supermarkets are not always very good. I have become a 'master' at telling if they are ok or not after having a lot of dud ones.

    Green ones are not so easy to come by but again Asian stores sometimes stock them.

    I even make my own coconut milk from fresh coconuts - and there is nothing quite as delicious.
     
  7. Patch

    Patch Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    The flesh inside a green coconut is bloody lovely. I just got back from Thailand, and the coconut desserts over there are awesome. I'd love to get hold of some Green Coconuts here in Bristol...
     
  8. AliB

    AliB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I think you might find them in some back street Asian food shops. Another source is 'Spices of India' in Ferndown that can provide them mail order apparently (Google them).

    I have yet to try one, but my friend is going down to Dorset in a week or so and I hope she can pick me up a couple (and some of their coconut oil)
     
  9. brill

    brill Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant - thanks for that. I shall go on a coconut oil hunt tomorrow. We have a Holland & Barrett plus an Asian supermarket and a couple of independant health food shops, so I should find some somewhere.


    Brill
     
  10. NickW

    NickW · Well-Known Member

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    Bear in mind that coconut "oil" is solid at room temperature in the UK, so you're looking for a jar full of a waxy white-looking stuff. It might be called "coconut butter" for that reason.

    It melts to liquid really easily (within seconds of putting it in the pan), and it's absolutely delicious!
     
  11. brill

    brill Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, beautiful pearly white!
    Managed to find some of the organic stuff yesterday in one of the health food shops. Tried some off the spoon - quite palatable, like creamed coconut, but milder - then used it for a prawn curry in the evening with good affect. And the family didn't notice :D
    I shall use it instead of Olive Oil, which is the fat I normally use for all my cooking, where appropriate, and maybe have a spoonful once a day and see how I get on.
     
  12. c4bubbles

    c4bubbles Prediabetes · Member

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    I've been doing some research and I'm really interested in adding coconut oil to my diet in an effort to control my diabetes (type 2). I found this article online (http://www.thefamilygp.com/coconut-oil-and-diabetes.htm) which points to the positives of coconut oil but also the possible negatives with regards to liver damage... How much is considered a "high intake" for instance?
    If I start taking it, how much should I be taking daily? Would it be worth taking a concentrated dose of omega 3 fish oil in an attempt to counteract any possible liver damage?
    Any thoughts would be gratefully appreciated.
    Cindy x

     
  13. NickW

    NickW · Well-Known Member

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    Hi c4bubbles,

    As with everything in life, the answer is "it's complicated"! These things don't work in isolation, and everything you eat has a bearing.

    For example, there's evidence showing that saturated fat in the diet can help improve blood lipid profiles and reduce many markers of heart disease when coupled with a low-carb diet; but the same amount of sat fat on a higher-carb diet can cause the same health markers to worsen! So it all depends on the big picture - what your overall diet is like.

    It's a massive topic and not one I can fully explain (I'm not a doctor and am still learning this stuff myself). If you want to learn more there's a lot of stuff out there on google; http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.com is a great blog related to heart health which talks a lot about the role of sat fat and cholesterol in the diet. I know the study mentioned fatty build-ups in the liver and not heart problems, but it tends to be the same dietary issues causing many issues like this.

    In my opinion and in short, I'd say:
    - Yes take the fish oil - it's beneficial for a whole host of reasons, and there's a lot of new evidence emerging around taking high doses to deal with a range of issues.
    - Use "reasonable" amounts of coconut oil - I don't know what that means in exact numbers either, but I tend to cook appropriate meals (curries, stir-fries etc.) with it in place of other fats.
    - As always, make sure the rest of your diet is solid - i.e. it's predominently unprocessed unrefined food like veggies, fruit, meat, fish, nuts and seeds (I assume you're already low-carb?)

    Cheers,
    Nick.
     
  14. Spiral

    Spiral · Well-Known Member

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    I'm not disputing the benefit of the coconut fat. I use it regularly for cooking because I have been swayed by what people here have said about it :D You human guinea pigs (and the fact it has been used for generations in some parts of the world) are good enough for me. :mrgreen:

    I am disputing the benefit of any reasearch done on animals forced to eat a diet they had not evolved to eat (genetically manipultaed or not). This was one of our gripes with the last lot of anti low carb research. I think we need to be a bit more selective about our basic standards of what constitutes good research and then stick to it.

    I'd say the basic problem with the healthy plate is that some of us have either not evolved to manage the 20/21 century high carb diet and lifestyle and others of us have had an illness which means that we can't eat carbs without medication.

    I know nothing of the study quoted above, but I'd be very wary of any science filtered through the papers of a tabloid newspaper, especialy purporting to hold a potential "cure". I'd propose an alternative hypothesis that forcing any animal to eat a diet they were not evolved to eat would result in ill health. This may be the cause of the insulin resistance in those mice, especially as a low carb diet involves large quantities of animal fat and people often mention the Inuit.

    I'd be more interested to see what happened if those insulin resistant mice were then fed a biologically appropriate diet, rather like we seem to do so much better on low carb. Except I have issues with animal experiements anyway. I don't think we should be being "flexible" about our basic standards for god science simply because what it says is what we want to hear, when one of our major gripes is the poor scientific basis of the healthy plate.
     
  15. c4bubbles

    c4bubbles Prediabetes · Member

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    Hi Sprial and Nick,
    Thank you for all the info :)
    After much thought and careful consideration, I've decided I'm going to give it ago and balance it out with the Omega 3 fish oils.
    SO much of the feedback I've been reading is positive and I feel that it would be beneficial to add it to my diet.
    I'll start slowly and see where it takes me :)
    Thank you once again.
    Cindy x
     
  16. AliB

    AliB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I just wanted to say that whilst I have had good benefits from taking coconut oil and will continue to take it, I do think its' consumption needs to be balanced.

    I too doubt the integrity of the 'MCTs cause fatty deposits in the liver' hypothesis - certainly any fats eaten in conjunction with a high-carb diet are going to cause problems of some kind or other. As the article didn't appear to mention what diet was used it has to be taken lightly unless proven different.

    What I really have also realised is the necessity of fermented foods in the diet. Having finally realised that SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth) is an issue for me, it dawned on me that the Western Diet includes little in the way of anything fermented.

    Yes, those cultures who are still relatively fit and well do generally eat a lower and totally natural diet and that has to make a big difference, but if you analyse their diets, most, if not all, daily consume some kind of fermented food, whether it is the Inuit with their putrid fermented fish, or scandinavians and their 'surstromming', or other cultures and their Kefir, Kvass, yoghurt, sauerkraut, femented cabbage juice or whatever. They take natural probiotic foods that help keep the gut flora strong.

    I have got back on the probiotics and yoghurt today. Interestingly, whilst pins and needles in my hands whilst sitting at the computer in the evening has been an issue for me for some time, tonight it is absent.

    As SIBO seems to be an issue for many (if not all) with gut-related and other health issues like diabetes, Coeliac, etc., I suspect it may well be behind a lot of our health problems over here. Testing for it is pretty naff. Whilst I have got Candida under control with diet, the gut bugs are proving to be a bit more elusive. I hope that the yogurt etc., will deal with that.

    I knew that my halitosis and morning 'sewage pit' mouth was gut related somehow, but the SIBO issue has finally linked it all up. Not everyone with SIBO will have those problems, as it all depends on the types of bacteria present in the gut - I suspect mine are the type that would be picked up through the methane breath test rather than the hydrogen one.
     
  17. ronjo94

    ronjo94 · Member

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    Hi all. I chanced upon the coconut oil chat a few days ago. Searched the net and local stores and then thought to try Tesco on line. They have KTC @ 29p. bought and tried it and now hooked. I like the mild taste of the solid (as bought) and find it great in coffee, Can recommend it
    Cheeers
     
  18. Vikingepigen

    Vikingepigen · Well-Known Member

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    The only thing I can find online at Tesco is this: Ktc Creamed Coconut 200g @ £0.29 - is this the same as coconut oil?? I didn't think it was .......... perhaps I am wrong??


    Alice
     
  19. AliB

    AliB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Creamed coconut whilst very nice, is not coconut oil. There is oil in it of course, but it is mainly the flesh or coconut meat.

    For some reason none of the major supermarkets sell the oil - I tell a lie, Morrisons are selling a small jar of organic virgin coconut oil but it is over £8! If anyone knows different - let me know?

    Holland & Barrett sells it - £9.99 for a big 463gm pot. I have also bought Biona oil in an independent Health Shop for about £3.69 for 200gm.

    Some Asian food stores, if you live near any may stock KTC or similar. I have spoken to KTC who have assured me that whilst their oil is refined it is not chemically treated.

    'Spices of India' sell the KTC brand on line at £1.95 for a 500ml jar but you have to buy £30 worth of stuff to get free postage - unless you live in or near Ferndown in Dorset!

    I have bought some from eBay. One lot I had to return because it had an underlying but distinctly rancid flavour (I have had enough of it now to know what it should taste and look like).

    The lot I am using at the moment from eBay has been very nice - once the overpowering aroma of Lavender oil had dissipated! You can buy it 'loose' (not in a food container) but that way although it is normally edible oil (you need to check that), it is sold for cosmetic and external use, usually by people that sell essential oils and soap/cosmetic making stuff (hence the lavender pong) and cannot be marketed for internal use. Buying virgin unrefined coconut oil that way can be considerably cheaper, but it's a bit hit and miss. Best to buy a small amount from a seller first to see what it is like before splashing out on a larger quantity.

    Coconut oil used to be cheap as chips, but everyone has jumped on the 'organic' bandwagon and now charges a premium for it. But you can find cheaper sources if you look around.

    Unrefined virgin is best if you can get it. The organic label is a bit of a misnomer (and another way to bump up the price!) - they don't normally spray coconuts anyway!
     
  20. Spiral

    Spiral · Well-Known Member

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    I pay £1.65 for a jar of the KTC stuff on my local street market or Asian shops. It really is worth trying the Asian shops if you have any locally.
     
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