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Living Well In Yalobusha County

Is All The Coconut Oil Hype Merited?

By Pamela Redwine

Healthy You Exercise Classes meets each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m. at the Extension office in Coffeeville. These classes are going great and several people have mentioned that they would like to learn more about what to eat and how to cook to aid in their healthy living lifestyle. We will have a nutrition interest meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 9:45. During this meeting we will discuss how often and when we will meet and the topics that we want to discuss.  Anyone interested is invited to attend.
There will be a one-day Servsafe Certification Class for food service personnel on Thursday, Feb. 20 at the Yalobusha Extension Office. The cost is $135. If you need this training this is a great time to get it. We haven’t had this class in Yalobusha County in a while and one day classes are rare. Call me at the Extension Service 675-2730 for more information or to sign up.
4-H members have opportunity to enter several art contests. At our meeting on Thursday, we discussed the contests that members will have the opportunity to enter. They include: The Wildlife and Fisheries Art Contest to be held at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery in Enid, The 2014 Dairy Contest, The Horse Photography and the Horse Art Contest.
The deadlines for finished art work varies from May-June. We will have a special workday each month at the Extension office if youth would like to work on the art work. Mrs. Pat Rodrigue, our art volunteer, will be glad to assist the youth in getting their projects ready. The Feb. workday will be Thursday, Feb. 13 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Please let us know if your child is planning on attending this workday.
Our crochet group meets twice a month. The Feb-ruary meeting dates are Thursday, February 13 and Thursday, February 27 at 10 a.m. in the conference room of the extension office. The group is free, but you will need to bring your own yarn and needle. Mrs. Karol Jarmon is our volunteer crochet leader.
Coconut Oil
Health gurus, T.V. doctors, and tons of blogs have all been abuzz with a new health food trend, rhapsodizing about the wonders of coconut oil. But is all this hype actually merited? After all, wasn’t coconut oil once touted as the evil ingredient in movie popcorn? What has changed? Anything?
Just the Facts
Let’s take a look at the science first. Studies have been done to see whether coconut oil could be the tool that would help people lose weight, repair brain damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, and reduce their cholesterol levels, therefore reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Unfort-unately, not one peer-reviewed study proved that coconut oil could live up to its reputation as a panacea for all that ails us.
Coconut Oil: What’s In It?
Coconut oil is mostly saturated fat – 92% saturated fat to be exact. Saturated fat is the main culprit when you’re looking for what produced the high blood cholesterol levels in the American diet. For comparison, 63% of the fat in butter is saturated. As far as the scientific community is concerned, not much has changed. Coconut oil does contain medium-chained fatty acids (MCTs), which are known to be easily digestible and not cause the same damage to the cardiovascular system as short and long-chained fatty acids.
That said, coconut oil is not 100% MCT oil, a fact that the medical media folks have left out. The truth is that it may actually only contain 10% MCTs. And while MCT oil may increase HDL (good) cholesterol, it also raises LDL (bad) cholesterol at the same time, and any food that raises LDL should not be consumed in abundance.
When To Try It
Using coconut oil in cooking and baking is a good alternative for vegans and bakers who are looking for a substitute for lard or other solid vegetable oils; it has a mild, sweet flavor and is solid at room temperature. But don’t be fooled by the hype: Replacing all of the fat in your diet with coconut oil will not benefit your brain, heart, or waistline.
The guideline still stands at keeping fat intake to 30% of your diet, and saturated fat to less than 7% of your total daily calories in order to keep your heart healthy. Variety is also key: There is no one “super food” with the ability to protect our bodies from disease. And in the case of coconut oil, the scientific fact remains that it should be consumed in small amounts on occasion, and not thought of as the wonder food to be eaten at every meal.

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