Crazy for Coconuts

At Heroes Fitness, we try to provide with you every advantage of making health your priority and crushing your fitness goals a possibility. With equipment and amenities galore, we have the physical aspect covered, but what about when you walk out of the gym and back into your kitchen. To help you stay on track after your tough workout, here is a little love note to your health about our love of coconuts.

First, let it be noted that if you have specific diet restrictions or needs, please chat with your doctor before making any big changes. Coconut is high in fat (though healthy fats!), so before you start adding it to everything, consult your doctor to create a plan that is right for your body.

Let’s start by diving right into the point mentioned above–the high fat content. That is the one bad rap that coconut receives. Since it is so high in fat it must be bad for a health and fitness program, right? Well, not exactly. Let’s break that down. Though it is rich in saturated fats (the bad kind), they are not the artery-clogging sort, but instead Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). MCT means fatty acids of medium length, which are metabolized differently than the most common, long-chain fatty-acids. MCTs do not require energy for absorption, utilization or storage, and are used immediately by the body. Therefore, the fatty acids are healthier, used quicker, and burns more calories despite the seemingly high amount calories ingested. To sum it up–the high fat content in coconut is healthy, like those found in  avocado or olive oil, and your body loves it as much as your taste buds do.

And feel free to it eat up! According to authoritynutrition.com, a scientific study showed that men eating the most MCTs ate an average of 256 fewer calories per day than those who ate long chain triglycerides. The study also showed that those who ate the most MCTs at breakfast ate significantly fewer calories at lunch. The results of these studies suggest that having a diet that is high in MCTs, like those found in coconuts, is healthy and you are more likely not to over eat throughout the day. And positively supplementing your hard work at Heroes Fitness!

Now that you know a few of the health benefits of incorporating coconuts into your diet, let’s talk about the different types of coconut products:

  • Coconut Water: high in potassium, rich in antioxidants, and  full of natural vitamins
  • Coconut Oil: Extra virgin and unrefined is the best kind. Substitute in your baking and cooking, and feel free to use it on your hair, skin, and body, too!
  • Coconut Flour: Awesome baking alternative to add yummy coconut flavor, especially for vegans or diabetics. Plus it has 5 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons!
  • Coconut Milk: High in calories and fat so be aware that though the fat is healthy, it is still fat. Look for “light” versions of coconut milk at the supermarket if you are going to use it as a non-dairy milk alternative.

These are the most common forms of coconut products on the market. Remember when you are crossing them off of your grocery list to look for the most pure, non-refined, organic forms. So try using coconut milk in your coffee instead of your usual creamer, or use coconut water after your workout to replenish your electrolytes instead of a sports drink. Have fun and let us know your favorite recipes and brands.

We hope this was helpful and informative. At Heroes Fitness we aim to make your life a little easier one workout (or shopping list) at a time. Come in today to see how else we can help you reach your fitness and health goals!

 

For more reading:

http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/coconut-oil-benefits_n_1625631.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-numerous-health-benefits-of-coconuts-2.html