Coconut oil has been touted as beneficial to the body. The research doesn’t support these claims.
A major misconception is that coconut oil’s saturated fats don’t affect the body in the same way that saturated fat from animals does. Unfortunately, coconut oil is composed mostly of longer-chain saturated fats that raise LDL cholesterol, the kind of cholesterol that collects in the walls of your blood vessels, raising your chances of health problems like a heart attack or stroke. No wonder the Journal of the American College of Cardiology recommends that cardiac patients avoid coconut oil.
And even coconut milk presents concerns. One study comparing the effects of meals with animal fat and meals with coconut milk found that both impaired artery function.
We would be wise to keep usage of coconut oil and milk to a minimum. This is because the healthiest sources of fat come from foods in their natural state with fiber intact—think nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconut with its meat.
“What About Coconuts, Coconut Milk, and Coconut Oil MCTs?” NutritionFacts.org, Feb. 2, 2021.
Could the adoption of a low-fat, plant-based diet help you burn more fat without adding more exercise?
A study was conducted involving two groups: one adopted a plant-based diet; the other, a control group, made no dietary changes. Both maintained their usual exercise and medication routines.
At the end of 16 weeks, those eating a plant-based diet saw significant changes compared with the control group. Participants lost an average of 14 pounds and decreased the amount of fat in their muscle and liver cells. They also increased their “after-meal calorie burn by 18.7%, on average.” Additionally, they increased their insulin sensitivity, thus lowering their chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
A plant-based diet is the way to go when it comes to improving metabolism, weight loss, and overall health!
“Plant-Based Diet Ramps Up Metabolism, According to New Study,” Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, pcrm.org, Nov. 30, 2020.
You’re exhausted after a long day at work. But instead of going to bed, you spend a couple hours scrolling mindlessly on the internet or watching television, finally falling asleep at midnight.
Can you relate? This phenomenon actually has a name: revenge bedtime procrastination. Professor of clinical medicine Dr. Dasgupta describes it as “a cry from overworked people [who are] actually trying to put off bedtime just a little bit so they can reclaim something for themselves.”
Unfortunately, sleep deprivation increases stress hormones in the body, disrupts circadian rhythms, and increases weight gain due to late-night snacking. Blue light from screens suppresses melatonin, a hormone essential for good sleep quality.
If you’re struggling with revenge bedtime procrastination, it may be time to establish a sleep schedule and healthy boundaries during the day. Your rested body will thank you!
“‘Revenge Bedtime Procrastination’ Could Be Robbing You of Precious Sleep Time,” CNN, cnn.com, Feb. 15, 2021.
Mask-wearing, handwashing, and social distancing have all been promoted to prevent the spread of COVID. But little has been said about reducing the four major contributors to COVID hospitalizations: obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.
Researchers estimated that a staggering 89 percent of national COVID-19 hospitalizations could have been prevented had Americans not suffered from these four conditions. Of the hospitalizations, “30% were attributable to obesity; 26% to hypertension; 21% to diabetes; and 12% to heart failure.”
Senior author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian said, “We are closing businesses and stopping people from seeing their loved ones, but we are not telling them to lose weight and do some exercise. We should be focusing public health messages on reducing diabetes and obesity as a means to reducing severe COVID disease.” Exercise and healthy eating are measures he believes would help to reduce these conditions. Lifestyle is key.
“Most Severe COVID Tied to Four Cardiometabolic Conditions,” Medscape, medscape.com, Feb. 25, 2021.