Today started off a little different, so let me make up for my almost-no-post last night. I got up before my alarm went off and I was still late leaving for work. Instead of listening to sports talk radio, because the Lakers lost (dangit!), I popped in my favorite band's CD; Incubus, Light Grenades album. For some reason it just got me pumped for the day.
If any of you had read my bio or know me, I'm a full fledge science geek. So at work I decided to tackle the question Alisha posted earlier this week. It was about coconut oil and it's saturated fat content related to cardiovascular health. Oh man did I learn a lot in one morning. Three peer-reviewed articles, one was animal related and two were human studies. Caveat: These human studies were done in tropical regions, Malaysia and Philippines. It's beneficial for me because the pacific islands are my ethnic background. But don't think this information won't help, a lot of medicine today is based on a knowledge gained from different parts of the world. (References can be found on the reference link at the end of this post)
First, let me share with you what I learned. Raw virgin coconut oil is most beneficial. It should not be consumed frequently and should be moderate in ones diet. When coupled with exercise and activity, it's benefits are more prevalent in the studies. Benefits were based on decrease in waist circumference (visceral fat) and fat-free mass (muscle, as we call it). The reason why? Coconut oil consist of 85% medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) where canola oil is majority long chain fatty acids(LCFA). What's the difference? LCFA is absorbed by the intestines, transferred to the liver, processed by the cholesterol cycle, and stored in adipose tissue (FAT!). MCFA is rapidly abosorbed by the intenstines, and since it's smaller than LCFA it doesn't need to break down through the cholesterol cycle, so there's no transfer to the liver. It's carried by your portal vein and is directly used for energy in the body. Coconut oil contains a high amount of lauric acid. This molecule aids in your vascular network. It increases your HDL (good cholesterol), decreases your LDL(bad cholesterol), but keeps your triglycerides (T) stable. When your ratio of HDL to triglycerides is higher than the ratio of LDL to (T), then that decreases your risk for atherosclerosis, the junk that gets stuck in your arteries and veins. Overall, you've decreased your risk for disease by eating this highly saturated fat material. But it doesn't mean to go crazy over it and eat it like candy.
What do I conclude? I feel it's safe to consume and does provide many benefits and even more so with exercise. So will I eat it daily? Probably not. I can't always take the taste of coconut so thats my bias and it should still be eaten moderately. Too much of anything can't be good, unless it's crossfit. :)
Speaking of crossfit... I decided to hop on the games websites. They posted a video of Rich Froning's daily life. This guy is unreal. He rarely eats and trains all day everday. Seems to be as genuine and normal as anyone else on the street. This just fueled me even more and I wish I could train as often and just as much but I have other responsibilites and I'm perfectly happy with my life. I don't need to be the fittest on earth, I just need to be the fittest for me and my family. So that's my approach.
Meals: Today I'll be going out for lunch with my coworkers for my boss' birthday at PF Changs. Chinese food is damn good, but PNE is keeping me mentally strong. So I've prepared by checking out the menu online and will choose to eat the grilled salmon and asparagus, win-win!
Total rounds in 20 minutes (Anything this long turns out to be sucky)
5 handstand pushups (I really have to work on this, started with 1 mat and then switched to 2 mats on the seventh round)
10 1-legged squats (ahh Pistols, you are mine to conquer!....gotcha!)
15 pullups (with my eyes closed.... from being in pain from the other movements)
Rounds = 10 rounds + 8 reps (I always want more)