Category Archives: coconut oil

Coconut oil: Healthful or unhealthful? – MNT

Coconut oil has been all the rage for some time. Endorsed by a number of celebrities as a superfood, this tropical-smelling fat — often liberally applied to our skin and scalps — is a favorite of many. But the question remains: is it healthful or not?

Fat suffered a bad reputation for a long time and we were told to opt for low-fat options instead. But the tides turned eventually, prompting us to see fats in a new light.


Our lives became simpler. We learned how to avoid bad (saturated and hydrogenated) fats and eat good (unsaturated) ones to keep our tickers and arteries healthy.

Then the humble coconut came along in 2003, and the waters were once again muddied. Seen by some as a superfood but recently labeled by the American Heart Association (AHA) as part of the pool of unhealthful fats, the controversy goes on.

So, what are the scientific facts behind the coconut oil hype, and what are the latest developments?

Secret ingredient: ‘Medium-chain’ fatty acids

Many of the purported health claims surrounding coconut oil stem from research published in 2003 by Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D. — a professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University in New York City, NY. Continue reading



Filed under cholesterol, coconut oil, HDL Cholesterol, high cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, medium chain fatty acids

Celebrate National Popcorn Day

I am a big fan of popcorn. It is a great snack that can be prepared in a healthy way. I avoid microwave popcorn like the plague.

National Popcorn Day 2013.jpg

I recommend buying regular popcorn and popping it in coconut oil with a simple salt flavoring. There are a number of flavored salts available which I don’t use, but aren’t harmful to you like what you get from a microwave.

Wikipedia says, “Corn was first domesticated 9,000 years ago in what is now Mexico.[3]Archaeologists discovered that people have known about popcorn for thousands of years. In Mexico, for example, remnants of popcorn have been found that date to around 3600 BC.[4] Continue reading


Filed under coconut oil, National Popcorn Day, popcorn

My Guilty Pleasure – Updated

I wrote about this guilty pleasure over a  year ago and have since tweaked it and, in fact, don’t indulge in it anymore in its original form. Why repeat it? Because it is still delicious and I recommend trying it for yourself.  Also, I have included the tweak for you to try.

I haven’t written a Mr. Lazy Cook post in a long time, so I thought I might get around to one. For the most part Lazy Cook posts have been simple, delicious and highly nutritious meals. This one not so much.

I happened upon this sandwich one day almost by accident. You know how creative people always say that they saw the idea elsewhere and simply improvised on it? Well, that’s what I did.


A little history here. A hundred years ago, it seems, I was working at Reuters in the Chicago Board of Trade building. It was high pressure on the news desk and we welcomed our breaks which were often too few and too short. One of our favorite mid-morning things was to send someone across the street to a little diner and order a couple of their wonderful fried egg sandwiches. What made them so wonderful? Well, some culinary genius in the diner decided that instead of a mundane bread or toast on the egg sandwich he would substitute cinnamon raisin bread. In addition, he topped off the sandwich with melted cheese and bacon. So, it was ended up being a grilled cheese, bacon and egg sandwich on cinnamon raisin toast. My mouth is watering just remembering it. By the way, I make no claim as to the nutritional value of this creation, only its flavor. In fact, I was bumping up against the 175 pound level in those days. Continue reading


Filed under coconut oil, lazy cook, Peanut Butter, Snacking

10 Health benefits of coconut water

The coconut tree must be one of the healthiest plants on the earth. I am such a believer in coconut oil that I have a Page – Coconut oil – Why you should include it in your diet devoted to it. Seems that coconut water also conveys health benefits. I use some of this every morning in my breakfast smoothie.




Filed under coconut oil, coconut water

Black Magic: Chocolate Syrup on Ice

My friend and fellow blogger, Ms. Vinny Grette, has just published this brilliant post on a really fun topping that is so simple even Mr. Lazy Cook can do it. I can’t get over this utterly easy combination of two very healthy ingredients to made a scrumptious topping for ice cream, fruit or whatever your own creativity suggests.

As regular readers know, I am a giant fan of coconut oil, check out my Page – Coconut Oil -Why You Should Include it in Your Diet I have also posted on the health benefits of Why and How You Should Include Raw Cacao in Your Diet.


Cook Up a Story

Black ice - chocolate magicJust two ingredients…

Awesome! This idea came my way courtesy of the Paddington Foodie, chef extraordinaire. It’s ridiculously easy. Combining just two super-foods, this simple syrup zaps any dessert you like with goodness that is sure to grant you the superpowers of your dreams.

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U.S. study looks into the benefits of coconut oil on patients with Alzheimer’s

While there is currently no clinical data showing the benefits of coconut oil on the prevention and treatment of dementia, Newport – whose husband Steve was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 51 – said she began to see improvements after starting him on four teaspoons of coconut oil per day.


Regular readers know that I am totally into coconut oil. I have some every day of my life. Please check out my Page – Coconut Oil – Why You Should Include it in Your Diet.


Our Better Health Staff   Published Wednesday, October 9, 2013 10:00PM EDT

After studying the effects of ginkgo leaves, vitamin E and painkillers on Alzheimer’s — a disease that affects about 30 million people globally — researchers at the University of South Florida have turned their attention to another possible natural remedy: coconut oil.

In what’s believed to be the first clinical trial of its kind, the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute enrolled 65 individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s to measure the effects of coconut oil — versus placebo – on the disease.

The research was sparked by the five-year efforts of Dr. Mary Newport, who hopes to have results of the study within a year.

Dr. Mary Newport and her husband, Steve, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 51.

Dr. Mary Newport says she began seeing improvements in her husband’s Alzheimer’s after she started giving him four teaspoons of coconut…

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How Can I Get More Coconut Oil Into My Diet?

I have written extensively about the many healthful benefits of coconut oil. Be sure to check out my page – Coconut Oil – Why You Should Include It In Your Diet. Here is an excerpt: “Coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) as opposed to the long chain fatty acids (LCFA) found in most oil in our diets. Coconut oil is easy on the digestive system, requiring minimal digestion. It travels immediately to the liver to be converted into energy. It doesn’t circulate in the body and end up being stored as fat. So for a quick energy boost, eat a spoonful of coconut oil or add it to your food.”


If you, like me, are looking for more ways to use coconut oil on a daily basis, check out these suggestions that I ran across on Care2’s greenliving network.

• Instead of butter, fry or scramble your eggs in coconut oil, and try slathering it on toast.

• Stir a spoonful in your oatmeal or spread on pancakes for a lower glycemic load.

• Making your own granola? Baking treats? Swap in coconut oil instead of typical vegetable oil or shortening.

• Whirl into smoothies for longer-lasting energy and an instant hit of cholesterol-improving lauric acid.

• Even unrefined coconut oil has a relatively high smoke point, making it great for higher-temperature cooking, such as stir-frying or sautéing. Try cooking your dark leafy greens using coconut oil and a little sea salt.

• Make theater-style popcorn by heating kernels in coconut oil in a heavy kettle.  Once popped, drizzle a mixture of melted coconut oil and butter over the top.

• As an alternative to a latte or coffee with cream, in a blender combine 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon unsalted grassfed butter, and 1 cup of coffee until it’s creamy and no oil is floating on the surface, about 20 to 30 seconds. Spike with vanilla or cinnamon, if desired.

• Mash into sweet potatoes or use to cook sweet-potato fries for a rich, nutty flavor.

• When making homemade mayo, replace half the olive oil with coconut oil. Or replace the oil in your favorite homemade salad dressing.

• For a quick treat, melt and mix with dark chocolate to make fudge or bark. Or pour the liquid mixture over a scoop of cold ice cream. It will harden instantly, like on a classic dipped cone.

• Eat it by the spoonful, right out of the jar — a quick supplement and snack combined.



Filed under coconut oil, weight control, weight loss

Costco Now Carries Its Own Brand of Coconut Oil

It is just less than a year ago since I wrote Why Should I Try Coconut Oil?

Today I was shopping in Costco and came upon this huge display of their own Kirkland Brand coconut oil. I guess that means that the product sold well enough for Costco to find a company to produce it under for the Kirkland brand. That is very good news to me.

I shot this at Costco today

I shot this at Costco today

If you have been on the fence about trying coconut oil, please check out my Page – Why You Should Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet.

There are at least a dozen good reasons including that coconut oil is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It is second only to mother’s milk in its amount of lauric acid. What could be more nutritious than that?

Its medium chain fatty acids are easy on the digestive system. “It travels immediately to the liver to be converted into energy. It doesn’t circulate in the body and end up being stored as fat. So for a quick energy boost, eat a spoonful of coconut oil or add it to your food,” I wrote in that post.

One difference between the new Kirkland brand and the previous brand at Costco was that the previous brand said “Extra Virgin” coconut oil whereas the new Kirkland brand simply has “Virgin” coconut oil. What is the difference? Good question. The best answer I could find was ‘marketing.’ While there is a major difference between virgin and extra virgin olive oil, no such distinction exists in the coconut oil world.

Regarding product size: the old brand was a big fat 54 ounce jar. The new one is 42.3 ounces, but you have to buy two jars. So, you end up with more coconut oil in the slightly more manageable form of two containers.

Check it out for yourself. Costco knows a valuable product when they sell one. You should, too.



Filed under coconut oil, Costco, healthy eating, healthy fats, healthy living, lauric acid

Coconut Oil Featured in Wall Street Journal

As regular readers know, I am a big fan of coconut oil. Just look at the top of this page to see Why You Should Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I turned to the Personal Journal section of the Wall Street Journal and saw this headline: Unlikely Source of Healthy Fat: Coconuts, by Laura Johannes.

The piece leads off with, “Coconut oil, which is high in saturated fats, is increasingly being heralded as a healthy oil. Its advocates, including companies that sell it, say it’s nutritious, good for the heart and a fast source of energy. The oil may possibly protect against Alzheimer’s disease, they say.”

Continue reading


Filed under aerobics, Alzheimer's, April Fool's Day, cholesterol, coconut oil, Exercise, HDL Cholesterol, healthy fats, healthy living

Saturated Fat Does Not Cause Heart Disease – Annals of Internal Medicine

A growing body of research is starting to convince many doctors to think again how they look at fats and heart disease, according to Healthy Ways Newsletter.

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week showed that despite decades of old nutritional advice Cambridge University researchers have found that giving up fatty meat, cream or butter is not likely to improve health. Also, so-called ‘healthy’ polyunsaturated fats do not prevent cardiovascular problems.

The new study indicates that there is more than one kind of LDL molecule. The larger ones are benign while the smaller ones cause the problems.

The new study indicates that there is more than one kind of LDL molecule. The larger LDL molecules are benign while the smaller ones cause the problems.

They want the guidelines to be changed to reflect the growing evidence that there is no overall association between saturated fat consumption and heart disease.

The new research came from a meta analysis of data from 72 studies including more than 600,000 individuals from 18 countries.

Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury is the lead author of the new study and a cardiovascular epidemiologist in the department of public health and primary care at Cambridge University.

“The primary reason saturated fat has historically had a bad reputation is that it increases low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or LDL, the kind that has been assumed to raise the risk for heart attacks. But the relationship between saturated fat and LDL is complex, said Dr. Chowdhury. In addition to raising LDL cholesterol, saturated fat also increases high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, the so-called good cholesterol that has shown to protect against heart disease. And the LDL that it raises is a subtype of big, fluffy particles that are generally benign,” Healthy Ways reported.

“The smallest and densest form of LDL is more dangerous. These particles are easily oxidized and are more likely to set off inflammation and contribute to the buildup of artery-narrowing plaque. An LDL profile that consists mostly of these particles usually coincides with high triglycerides and low levels of HDL, both risk factors for heart attacks and stroke.

“The smaller, more artery-clogging particles are increased not by saturated fat, but by sugar, sugary foods, and an excess of carbohydrates, Dr. Chowdhury said. “It’s the high carbohydrate or sugary diet that should be the focus of dietary guidelines,” he said. “If anything is driving your low-density lipoproteins in a more adverse way, it’s carbohydrates.”

The fat story is a complex one. I think it is important to focus on Dr. Chowdhury’s observation that the LDL that is raised is a subtype of big fluffy particles that are generally benign. In my experience, I have only read that LDL is the ‘bad’ cholesterol and we need to reduce it. Apparently that is not the case. It is sugar that increases the small and harmful LDL.

As I have written here more than once, I eat coconut oil , a saturated fat, every day in a number of ways and my cholesterol numbers have only gotten better.

To read more about the benefits of coconut oil check out my Page: Why You Should Include Coconut Oil in Your Diet.



Filed under arterial plaque, coconut oil, HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol

Coconut Oil May Improve Your Brain

I tried coconut oil for the first time back in April and I wrote Why should I try coconut oil? enumerating facts about how endurance athletes (bike riders like me) use it as a high energy food;  how it helps to boosts our HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) readings, it has healing properties, etc.

Now comes a write up by Dr. Mercola about how coconut oil appears to be the perfect brain food.


As I have mentioned in previous posts, I lost an aunt to Alzheimer’s and my mother suffered from dementia in her final years. The possibility that coconut oil could be a positive influence on the brain resonated powerfully with me.

The following is from Dr. Mercola: “There are only two types of fuel your body can convert into energy: carbs/sugar, or fat. Again, ketones are what your body produces when it converts fat (as opposed to glucose) into energy. And a primary source of ketone bodies are the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) found in coconut oil. In fact, coconut oil contains about 66 percent MCTs. Continue reading

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Filed under aging, Alzheimer's, arterial plaque, brain, cholesterol, coconut oil, Dr. Mercola, HDL Cholesterol

How Healthy is Popcorn?

Everybody likes to snack at some time or another. So, how healthy is that perennial snack – popcorn?

As a kid growing up in the 1950’s I fell in love with the taste of popcorn at the movies and that’s the way I eat it now – nearly every night.6a00d83451be3669e2011279443eee28a4-800wi

The Popcorn Board offers the following nutritional information:

“It’s hard to believe a snack food that tastes so good can actually be good for you! With suggestions from organizations such as the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (A.N.D.), there’s no doubt popcorn is a perfectly sensible snack to fit into any meal/fitness plan.

• Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup; oil-popped popcorn has only 55 calories per cup.
• When lightly buttered, popcorn contains about 133 calories per cup.
• Popcorn is a whole grain, making it a good-for-you food.
• Popcorn provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates
• Popcorn contains fiber, providing roughage the body needs in the daily diet.
• Popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories.
• Popcorn has no artificial additives or preservatives, and is sugar-free.
• Popcorn is ideal for between meal snacking since it satisfies and doesn’t spoil the appetite.
• 3 cups of popcorn equal one serving from the grain group.
• Popcorn is ideal for between meal snacking since it satisfies and doesn’t spoil an appetite.”

ScienceDaily reported Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a pioneer in analyzing healthful components in chocolate, nuts and other common foods, explained that the healthful antioxidant substances called polyphenols are more concentrated in popcorn, which averages only about 4 percent water, while polyphenols are diluted in the 90 percent water that makes up many fruits and vegetables.

Continue reading


Filed under calories, coconut oil, healthy fats, popcorn, snack foods, Snacking, Weight

What Is the Difference Between Palm Oil and Coconut Oil?

It is the medium chain fatty acids MCFA in coconut oil that gives it most of its remarkable healing properties and makes it uniquely different from other oils. Palm oil does not have this unique feature. The primary saturated fatty acids in palm oil are palmitic acid (44 percent) and stearic acid (4 percent). These are common saturated fats found in all vegetable oils.

I love coconut oil. You can read my Page on it: Why you should include coconut oil in your diet.


Cooking with Kathy Man

In some ways coconut and palm oils are very similar. They are unique in that they are vegetable oils that contain a high percentage of saturated fat. Because of this they are highly resistant to oxidation and make excellent cooking oils. Because of their high saturated fat content they both have high melting points and may be solid at room temperature. Both are products of palm trees, hence they are often referred to as the tropical oils. Both oils are good and offer many health benefits. This, however, is where the similarity ends.

Coconut and palm oils are very different from one another in chemical composition, appearance, and character. Even their influence on health is uniquely different. They come from different species of palm and from different parts of the plant. Coconut oil comes from the seed of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Palm oil comes from the fleshy fruit…

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How Emu Oil and Coconut Oil Healed a Facial Scar

In August 2012 I was diagnosed with skin cancer. Briefly, I went in to have a lump removed from my cheek and it turned out to be a basal cell carcinoma. I went back in for Moh’s Surgery and had it removed. If interested you can read about it in detail on my Page Skin Cancer Facts in General and My Three Skin Cancer Surgeries in Particular.

My scar two weeks after the operation.

My scar two weeks after the operation.

My surgery left me with a scar just over an inch long with 15 stitches in it on my left cheek. You can see the first photo of it from two weeks after the surgery.

My scar today just short of 12 months after the operation

My scar today just short of 12 months after the operation.

Full disclosure time. I am a senior citizen over 70 years old. Getting a scar like that on my face at a time when my body is no longer generating new cells as it did when I was young left me with expectations of a bit of a facial disfigurement in my future.

What to do about it? Plastic surgery is out of the question for me for financial and other reasons. Continue reading


Filed under aging, biking, cancer, coconut oil, Mohs surgery, skin cancer

Coconut Oil – What Is It All About?

“Virgin coconut oil is high in lauric acid, a saturated fat that’s classified as a medium-chain fatty acid; it can raise both “bad” and “good” cholesterol levels. And there’s some evidence — including both animal and human studies — suggesting that coconut oil intake may be associated with a neutral, if not beneficial, effect on cholesterol levels.”

Regular readers know that I am a big fan of coconut oil. Here are previous posts on the subject:

Why should I try coconut oil?

Coconut oil: What is it all about?

Significant health benefits of coconut oil

Why coconut oil is so darn good for you

Coconut oil: Alzheimer’s Treatment

You should try oil-pulling

What to look for in a cholesterol report


Cooking with Kathy Man

Jackie Newgent, a registered dietitian wrote in Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ……

Extra-virgin olive oil consistently tops the list in popularity when it comes to culinary oils. But these days coconut oil seems to be stealing the spotlight. Health claims abound around this tropical oil, but so does controversy. So what is it all about? Here are some facts about coconut oil.

Where Does Coconut Oil Come From?

There are two main types of coconut oil that you can use in cooking and baking: Virgin and refined.

“Virgin” coconut oil is extracted from the fruit of fresh mature coconuts without using high temperatures or chemicals; it’s considered unrefined.

“Refined” coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat that’s often chemically bleached and deodorized.

Some food manufacturers may use yet another form of coconut oil that’s further processed: partially hydrogenated coconut oil.

Nutritional Properties of Coconut Oil

The coconut oil…

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Fish Oil Supplements Linked to Prostate Cancer

Here is another good reason to add coconut oil to your diet. Unlike fish oil, coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid which the body can handle much better than the long chain fish oil ones.

You can read further about coconut oil in my blog:

Why should I try coconut oil?

Why coconut oil is so darn good for you.

What are the health benefits of coconut oil?

Use coconut oil to treat Alzheimer’s.


Cooking with Kathy Man

“Taking omega-3 fish oil supplements may increase the risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 70%,” the Daily Mail reports.

The story, covered widely in the media, comes from a large and well designed study that also found that high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids were associated with a 44% increase in the risk of slow growing prostate cancer.

Supporters of fish oil supplements have claimed that they can reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and dementia as well as improving cognitive function and mental health. But there is little conclusive evidence to justify these claims.

The findings match previous studies that have found a similar link between high blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and prostate cancer.

It is worth bearing in mind that this study did not assess participants’ diet and use of supplements. Researchers measured blood levels of fatty acids and analysed the association with prostate…

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