Health benefits and dangers of eating dried coconut
Dried coconut meat
You may have heard about the amazing health benefits of eating dried coconut.
In addition to its very high nutritional value, it’s also very good for our heart, skin, and blood.
Probably the most positive attribute of dried coconut is the high dietary fiber content.
Dried coconut has one of the highest percentages of fiber among all plant foods.
As a matter of fact, it contains four times as much fiber as oat bran and twice as much fiber as wheat bran or flaxseed meal.
Nutritionists recommend that we get 20-35 grams of dietary fiber a day. Most Americans only get about 15 grams.
A tablespoon or two of dry coconut can be added to smoothies, cereals, casseroles and soups.
This is an easy way to help you increase your fiber intake without making any drastic changes in the way you eat.
The main reason fiber is Beneficial is that it feeds the “good” bacteria in our gut that are essential for good health.
Modern research indicates that the good bacteria produce vitamins and other substances that are beneficial in promoting health and wellness.
When we eat adequate amounts of fiber it automatically causes the beneficial bacteria in your gut to flourish.
Harmful bacteria and yeast, such as candida, which compete for space in the intestinal tract, are then kept under control.
Furthermore, scientists have revealed links between gut bacteria and obesity, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, diabetes, and autism.
Will all these amazing health benefits, I’ll bet you want to rush out to the store to grab a few packets of dried coconut.
But hold up. Here’s what you need to know first.
Dried coconut side effects
Not only do you have to be careful about how much you eat, you also need to watch what type of dried coconut you enjoy.
Why? Because of the saturated fat content!
If we look at the nutritive composition on a packet of dried coconut, it is evident that it has a very high total and saturated fat contents.
Foods rich in saturated fat have been identified as potential risk factors in the development of heart disease.
Dietary advice would, therefore, be to use dried coconut in moderation.
High saturated fat content is not the only concern if you’re looking for maximum health benefits.
Many of the conventionally dried coconut products you find in grocery stores contain the preservative sulfur dioxide (number 220) to give it a longer shelf life.
Sulfur dioxide is still being used as a food preservative in many common snack foods despite being linked to many side effects.
These side effects include asthma attacks, stomach problems, and lower respiratory tract symptoms.
Luckily, there’s a really easy way to avoid all these problematic food additives: just buy organic.
The bottom line:
You’ll get greater benefits from eating good fats when you eat them in the recommended portions.
The saturated fat found in dried coconut (called medium-chain fatty acids, MCFAs) contain vitamins that are an important part of a healthy diet, so don’t be afraid of it.
In order to enjoy the health benefits, choose organic brands that don’t use preservatives including sulfur dioxide, in their produce.
Remember to read labels on food packages and shop as wholesome and organic as possible.
The more whole, natural foods you eat, the better off you will be.