Coconut- High fat calories & healthy?

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Coconut is commonly used in many Indian cuisines. Did you know that coconut contains more saturated fat than butter itself (by weight comparison). 1 cup of coconut contains 27 gm of fat of which 24 gm are saturated fat. Each cup accounts for almost 300 calories. In fact one cup of coconut contains more saturated fat that your daily recommendation. Considering the amount of fat that it contains and the resulting calories, you would think its unhealthy, and will clog your arteries.

But is it really. We don’t think so. Read on to find out.

Coconut & flowers (vicki.kendall@flickr)

Coconut & flowers (vickikendall@flickr)

Even though coconut is packed with saturated fat, it appears to have a beneficial effect on heart-disease risk factors. One reason: More than 50 percent of its saturated-fat content is lauric acid. A recent analysis of 60 studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that even though lauric acid raises LDL (bad) cholesterol, it boosts HDL (good) cholesterol even more. Overall, this means it decreases your risk of cardiovascular disease. The rest of the saturated fat is almost entirely composed of “medium-chain” fatty acids, which have little or no effect on cholesterol levels.

Besides this, coconut is high in fiber, manganese, copper, iron and selenium.

As a snack, have a couple of coconut slices. Don’t overeat, since its high in calories, but will be filling, and won’t spike your blood sugar. Or go drink some coconut water.

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