Hello Friends and Happy Monday!
Today, I have the privilege of presenting to you a guest post written by Patricia Dean-Escoto. In April, Patricia began a book blog tour to introduce the creation of the “My Breast Cancer Advocate” app.
She is also the author of The Top Ten Super Foods for Preventing Breast Cancer and has given us one of her favorite recipes to make a tasty and nutritious, green smoothie using coconut and kale!
Patricia Dean-Escoto is a certified nutrition consultant and breast cancer survivor. She holds a master’s degree in education and has more than 20 years of experience working in both the field of education and healthcare. In 2006, after being diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, Patricia returned to school to study nutrition and completed studies at Bauman College for her certification as a nutrition consultant.
Recently, she hosted a year-long radio show called Pathways to Healing on the Voice America network where she interviewed experts in the field of health and wellness. Patricia is author of ‘The Top Ten Superfoods for Preventing Breast Cancer‘ and creator of the My Breast Cancer Advocate app which is designed to assist those who are newly diagnosed with or recovering from breast cancer. Her company, Pathways2healing, works exclusively with cancer patients in the area of nutrition and exercise. She lectures both locally and nationally on the topic of nutrition and cancer prevention.
The My Breast Cancer Advocate app can be downloaded using these links:
To learn more about Patricia and her work, please feel free to contact her at via these Social Media Networks:
Making the Case for the Coconut
We have been conditioned to believe that all saturated fats raise our cholesterol. Besides butter, no other saturated fat has been more vilified than the coconut. For decades, we were discouraged from eating it and told, that it not only contained bad fats, but that, it would make us fat. All of this was done to promote the sale of the actual villain in our diet – margarine.
However, nothing can be further from the truth. Coconuts, in all of their forms, are one of the most beneficial, microbial and anti-fungal foods we can eat. In addition, several studies have shown that coconuts not only raise good cholesterol (HDL), but they also are instrumental in lowering glucose levels associated with diabetes.
Coconut Oil and your Heart
A study published in the Philippine Journal of Internal Medicine demonstrated that populations such as those found in Polynesia or Sri-Lanka, who consumed coconuts on a regular basis, do not have higher serum cholesterol levels nor do they have a higher incidence of heart disease. This is most likely due to the fact that the saturated fat in coconut oil is completely different from most saturated fats found in foods like animal products. Most fats in our diet today are made up of long-chained fatty acids, which are stored in the body as fat and in the arteries in lipid forms such as cholesterol.
Unlike these types of saturated fats, coconut oil contains a unique form of fat that is composed of medium-chained triglycerides (MCT). Due to their chemical structure, MCTs, which are smaller, actually pass through cell membranes easily and therefore are easily digested, without using extra enzymes in the process. As a result, MCTs are sent directly to the liver, where they are immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat in our blood cells.
Coconut Oil and Diabetes
A study conducted at the Sydney Garver Institute of Medical Research discovered that a diet rich in coconut oil protects against insulin resistance. Additionally, this type of diet avoids accumulation of body fat that is associated with other high-fat diets. Both of these factors are important because obesity and insulin resistance are major factors leading to the development of type2 diabetes. Furthermore, coconut oil is one of the only oils (walnut oil is the other) that retain its molecular structure when heated at high temperatures. All other oils, including olive oil, will break down, thereby releasing toxic chemicals into our foods as they are heated.
In addition to promoting heart health, coconut oil has been studied for its beneficial aid in weight loss. It is thought that the benefits are derived, again, from its composition of MCT. Because coconut’s medium-chain fats are easily absorbed and used as energy, it actually increases the body’s metabolic rate inducting weight loss. One such study found that while the consumption of long-chain fatty acid metabolic conversion contributed to a weight loss of 66 calories in participants, MCT consumption translates to 120 calories burned!
Coconuts can be consumed in many forms. One thing I like to do is to add a handful of coconuts to my morning or after workout shakes. Additionally, instead of using milk in these shakes, I either use unsweetened coconut milk or coconut water. You can also use coconut flour as a substitute for baking. It adds a wonderfully nutty flavor to muffins and biscuits.
Here is my favorite morning smoothie using coconut water. Enjoy!
Tropical Kale Smoothie:
Serves 2. 274 calories
Baby kale (2-cups),
Pineapple (1-cup fresh),
Mango (1-cup fresh),
Chia seeds (2-T),),
Unsweetened coconut water (1-cup),
Crushed ice (1-cup).
Add all ingredients in a blender in the order listed. Blend these and gradually increase the speed to high then continue blending for 30 seconds.