I'm Darryl Edwards (aka The Fitness Explorer), founder of Primal Play, a paleo nutritionist and author of the books Paleo from A to Z and Paleo Fitness based in London, England.  This blog documents my experiences with a Paleo lifestyle that has made me fitter and healthier in my forties than ever before. I am a contributor to Paleo Magazine and presenter at various symposiums globally such as Paleo:f(x), PrimalCon, AHS (Ancestral Health Symposium), Thr1ve.Me, and other events globally. I am also founder of the first Paleo conference in Europe, HEALTH Unplugged which took place for the 3rd year running in Autumn 2016.

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Reading List
  • Paleo from A to Z: A reference guide to better health through nutrition and lifestyle. How to eat, live and thrive as nature intended!
    Paleo from A to Z: A reference guide to better health through nutrition and lifestyle. How to eat, live and thrive as nature intended!
    by Darryl Edwards

    "If you are looking for a simple way to better understand Paleo concepts, Darryl's Paleo from A to Z guide is the go-to resource.
    -Mark Sisson, best-selling author of The Primal Blueprint and publisher of Mark's Daily Apple

  • Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    Paleo Fitness - A Primal Training and Nutrition Program to Get Lean, Strong and Healthy
    by Darryl Edwards, Brett Stewart, Jason Warner

    "This book is a useful reference to enable individuals just starting out on the Paleo path as well as those who want to explore more challenging, playful and interesting ways to move."

    -Robb Wolf, New York Times best-selling author of The Paleo Solution

     

  • 7 Day Introduction to Paleo Fitness: Get Fitter, Get Stronger, Get Healthier in Seven Days. Move as Nature Intended.
    7 Day Introduction to Paleo Fitness: Get Fitter, Get Stronger, Get Healthier in Seven Days. Move as Nature Intended.
    by Darryl Edwards
  • The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
    by Robb Wolf
  • Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers
    by Robert M. Sapolsky
  • Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health & Boundless Energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
    Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health & Boundless Energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
    by Mark Sisson
  • Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things
    by Rick Smith, Bruce Lourie, Sarah Dopp
  • Wahls Protocol, The : A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
    Wahls Protocol, The : A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles
    by Terry Wahls, Eve Adamson
  • Protein Power
    Protein Power
    by Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades, Mary Deans
  • Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
    by Christopher McDougall
  • In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    In Defence of Food: The Myth of Nutrition and the Pleasures of Eating: An Eater's Manifesto
    by Michael Pollan
  • Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
    by Michael Pollan
  • The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    The Paleo Diet for Athletes
    by L. Cordain
  • Vegetarian Myth, The
    Vegetarian Myth, The
    by Lierre Keith
  • The Second Brain
    The Second Brain
    by Michael D. Gershon
  • The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat
    by Loren Cordain
  • Eat Drink Paleo
    Eat Drink Paleo
    by Irena Macri
  • Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with My Numbers?
    Cholesterol Clarity: What the HDL is Wrong with My Numbers?
    by Jimmy Moore, Eric C. Westman
Tuesday
Aug102010

Nutrition: Coconut Milk - is it good for you?

Coconut milk and oil is often berated because its fat levels contain about 90% saturated fat. It is often dismissed as a high-fat food and thus eliminated from many diets or viewed as an occasional unhealthy 'treat'.

It is a staple of many Caribbean dishes (as well as Thai, Indian dishes) for its unique flavour.

But is it really bad food?

Well there is growing evidence that a diet containing these fats actually have numerous health benefits and are not contributors to high levels of blood cholesterol.

The benefits include:


  • improved lung function;

  • reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases - by unclogging arteries;

  • boosting the immune system, due to it's anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties;

  • aids in digestion;

  • its short and medium chain fatty acids being readily converted to energy, rather than being stored as fat;

  • a rich source of Vitamin A, E, potassium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc;

  • excellent at providing hydration;

  • lactose free, therefore a good substitute for milk;

  • high in antioxidants;

  • contains less sugar and more protein than bananas, apples or oranges;
  • Coconut oil has the ability to act as an antimicrobial and antiviral agent 

Well worth incorporating into your diet, whether you follow a strict Paleo lifestyle or not.

If you're in the UK, you can order Organic Coconut Oil here

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Reader Comments (6)

I've been trying to find out if coconut milk has all of the health benefits of coconut oil- particularly the raising the metabolism part. Some days it's difficult to get coconut oil into my diet, and I can't STAND eating it off of a spoon. But a shot of coconut milk, or a cube of frozen coconut milk dropped into a cup of tea I could do. Thoughts?

August 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWordVixen

In simple terms yes, coconut oil is prepared by removing the water content so is essentially the same thing. I would use Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil whilst you cook, if that is an easier method for you to get it into the diet. A cube of coconut milk in your tea sounds like a great idea too.

I tend to drink a lot of coconut water too. A great way to replenish electrolytes!

Let me know how you get on!

-Darryl.

August 18, 2010 | Registered CommenterDarryl Edwards

Thanks Darryl! I'd heard a similar discussion before, but no one had come right out and said that one is as healthy as the other and a Google search didn't give me much to work on. :-) I love cooking with virgin coconut oil, but some things just call for butter- especially because I have to cook for my husband as well, who isn't on the Real Food bandwagon. This way, I can get my coconut in without having to put him off certain foods. Thanks again!

August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWordVixen

So I've been taking massive advantage of coconut milk as a staple of my diet since starting the Whole30 plan. It's a decent way to eat paleo on a budget, since I just can't afford to eat meat every single day (let alone multiple times a day), so last night I made a soup with homemade broth, coconut milk, squash, kale, and some curry paste, and it was filling, delicious, and kept me going right up through my run this morning.

August 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

What about cooking with coconut oil vs virgin olive oil?? I've heard that at high temperatures the olive oil can be cancer causing, etc - so best to cook (especially if frying, using a grill, etc) with coconut oil??

Any theories on this?

Thanks

August 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Cannovan

Only refined coconut oil has a higher smoke point (the point where the oil breaks down into glycerol and fatty-acids) than extra virgin olive oil.

I would tend to use extra virgin olive oil for dressing, virgin coconut oil for medium temperatures like roasting/grilling and(for flavouring)

I use Avocado oil for frying. It has a much higher smoke point than either coconut or olive oil.

August 27, 2010 | Registered CommenterDarryl Edwards

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