No Coconut does NOT have Cholesterol.

Cholesterol is an animal product. Plants do not contain cholesterol except in trace amounts. This includes coconut.

But my doctor said coconut is high in cholesterol and I must avoid it to reduce my risk of heart disease.

It is possible he is misinformed or you misunderstood. Coconut is high in saturated fat. Saturated fat is not the same thing as cholesterol.

Saturated fat, along with cholesterol, is frequently blamed for heart disease. Yes coconut is high in saturated fat. It even has more of the stuff than butter.

Fatty Acid Composition of Various Oils:

But let’s unpack that. The saturated fat in coconut oil is NOT the same as in animal fat (not that you should be running in fear from animal fat, but that’s another story).

Most of the saturated fat in coconut oil is in the form of medium-chain fatty acids which do not circulate in the bloodstream like other fats do, but rather are directly channeled to the liver where they are immediately converted into energy, thus avoiding fat buildups.

Note also that almost 50% of the fatty acid content of coconut oil is lauric acid which is a main component of human breast milk. Another 7% of the fatty acids are capric acid which stimulates anti-viral activity in the body.

If coconut is so great, why did my doctor say to avoid it?

Coconuts have fallen victim to bad science which was helped along by the marketing efforts of competing products (in particular the soy oil and corn oil campaigns pushing the idea that coconut was healthy and their hydrogenated oils were).

Once upon a time, some very questionable research by a Dr. Ancel Keys was published which suggested that there was a correlation between saturated fat and heart disease. Watch this video for the background on how the data was cherry picked:

Keys was able to convince a sizable part of the US public that replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat would reduce blood cholesterol and the incidence of coronary heart disease. Once this became widely accepted (despite protestations from many members of the scientific community) foods high in saturated fat got put on the blacklist including coconut and eggs.

It is increasingly accepted today that this advice was wrong and that these foods have been part of a healthy human diet for thousands of years. However beliefs die hard and old school doctors are unlikely to contravene the old prescriptions.

Coconut oil is, in fact, good for you. It has factors which strengthen the immune system and may even confer neurological benefits which may slow or prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Stasha Gominak Discusses Sleep and Vitamin D

This lecture will knock your socks off…
(Notes below)

Slides

 
Writings by Dr. Gominak

 
Notes:

  • We heal during sleep
  • Improving sleep quality heals many different conditions
  • It’s ability to heal exceeds the ability of most medicines
  • Growth hormone is released while you sleep
  • Body pain is associated with poor sleep
  • REM sleep is particularly important for healing
  • Sleep disorders have increased significantly since the onset of electric lighting
  • When sleep goes bad, we stop repairing out genetic weaknesses and injuries
  • Sleep shores up genetic weakness.
  • If you have a sleep disorder but don’t have the migraine gene, you won’t get migraines… something else will go wrong.
  • In her practice, every person who tested positive for poor sleep had low vitamin D levels.
  • Vitamin D is made by an interaction between sunlight and the cholesterol in your skin
  • When you reduce cholesterol levels – like with statins – you reduce your body’s ability to make vitamin D naturally.
  • When you add vitamin D to a skin cancer cell in a petri dish, it stops reproducing inappropriately.
  • Many inflammatory connections have vitamin D receptors including bone marrow components, all blood cells and platelets.
  • You still have to get the sleep better to make the effects of dosing with D obvious
  • Rats have a unique property of being able to use D2 from their diet therefore they do not need sunlight and can live nocturnally.
  • Humans, on the other hand, cannot process D2 (it can be toxic) and need sunlight or D3. Doctors still give out D2 for bone disease because of studies with rats.
  • Vitamin D is not a vitamin: it is a hormone.
    • Vitamin: My cell needs this chemical. I can’t make it. Therefore I need to get it from my environment.
    • Hormone: My body makes it. It is not in the environment.
  • Low Vitamin D associate with health issues in multiple areas of the body: metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, visceral adiposity, hypertension, hyperglycemia, diabetes, leg swelling.
  • Hypothesis: we’ve made statins in response to high cholesterol which is caused by vitamin D deficiency.
  • Hospitals are set up for the doctors convenience: we wake up our patients to do an x-ray, to take blood, to bathe them. It’s ridiculous: they are at the lowest ebb of their physical strength when they need sleep most and we are interrupting it. We need to protect their sleep.
  • What the right level to have normal sleep?
  • Humans can make 20,000 IU on our skin in 1-6 hours depending on our skin color.
  • People who are genetically made to live at the equator (dark skin) take a much longer time to make Vitamin D.
  • The daily recommended dose varies GREATLY depending on your genetics, where you live, the time of year and your lifestyle. The FDA dosage recommendation should be ignored.
  • Furthermore you cannot depend on the amount of Vitamin D in the pills because of poor regulation. What is stated on the label is often unreliable.
  • Too much Vitamin D IS toxic. The symptoms vary because the first problem is disturbed sleep and that can cascade to a very wide variety of problems.
  • D25 OH test optimum blood level is about 60-80 ng/ml.
  • MS is a vitamin D deficiency disorder
  • You need to take D3. D2 is NOT the same. D2 is toxic. Do not take it.
  • Co-factors: vitamins you may need to take with D3:
    • B12
    • Iron (IF there is a deficiency)
    • Magnesium
  • You have to be very careful with self-dosing. This is a hormone. If you get it wrong, it will screw you up.
  • Monitor you levels. Monitor you sleep.
  • Having correct D levels will not matter if your sleep is constantly interrupted for other reasons. It’s ultimately the sleep that confers health.

 
Sleep Apnea is associated with:

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • stroke
  • obesity
  • daytime sleepiness
  • memory problems
  • depression
  • headache
  • fibromyalgia
  • fatigue

She frequently refers to a CPAP mask which is a device which delivers “Continuous positive airway pressure”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuous_positive_airway_pressure

Chocolate Covered Lard

OK so I don’t usually post recipes but… I came across this ridiculous recipes for chocolate covered lard… on a Russian website no less!

And given how hard it is to find ways to get fat into your diet when you are low carbing, and given that it marries bacon and chocolate which I personally believe are a match made in heaven (and have been RIDICULED for it)… well you get the idea. Here goes.

Tools
Blender
Chopping Board
Mold for final product (you may need to be a bit creative here)
Bain marie (metal bowl over a pot of steaming water)

Ingredients
Salted lard (pork fat) 300 grams
Dark Chocolate 150 grams
Butter 40 grams
Crushed nuts 50 grams
Ginger powder 1/3 tsp
Allspice 1/2 tsp
Cardamom 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg 1 pinch
Ground red pepper to taste

Preparation
1. Grind fat in blender.
2. Place on chopping board and form into a square 5mm high.
3. Place board with lard in freezer for 1-2 hours until solid.
4. Melt the chocolate and butter over a bain marie .
5. Add in all the spices and mix well.
6. Remove frozen lard from freezer and cut into thin strips.
7. Place lard in molds and sprinkle with nuts.
8. Cover with chocolate.
9. Return to freezer for another 1 or until chocolate is solid.

Variation: add bacon bits and/or chili in place of the nuts.