TPV Podcast, Episode 284: Coconut: Superfood or Gut Irritant

Ep. 284: Coconut: Superfood or Gut Irritant

In this episode, we talk about coconuts and how awesome they are in so many ways! But we also talk about how some people, particularly people on the AIP, find that they don’t work well for them.

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The Paleo View (TPV), Episode 284: Coconut: Superfood or Gut Irritant

  • Intro (0:00)
  • News and Views (0:40)
    • Stacy and Sarah are celebrating 284 episodes as podcast co-hosts.
    • The Paleo View is approaching 5 million downloads- thank you!
    • Stacy celebrated herself (self-care) this week by buying new pajamas.
      • The old ones were nearly disintegrated.
      • She picked out exactly what she wanted, they arrived, and they’re wonderful.
      • Sarah was once in an ambulance and was grateful she was wearing underwear without holes, as her mother had always told her do because of this very situation.
    • It’s been chilly weather in Georgia for Sarah
      • Sarah’s girls have had many of “snow days.”
      • Sarah got to build a snowman, snow fort, and snow angels!
    • Primal Kitchen Chocolate Collagen Fuel makes the most amazing hot chocolate! Stacy served it to the boys for their recent snow day, and even the neighbor kids liked it.
  • Science with Sarah (10:42)
    • What’s the deal with coconut? Why are so many treats made with coconut, and is it good or bad for us?
    • Annalise asks: “What exactly is it in coconut that many people on the Autoimmune diet seem to be reactive to? Is it salicylates, the fact that its on the FODMAP list, or something else? It’s frustrating to have so many AIP treats out of reach, and I’d love to understand more. PS: great meeting you on book tour Sarah.”
      • Coconut is a unique ingredient.
      • People new to the Paleo diet can find it overwhelming because there are so many things made with it.
    • What are the good and bad about coconut?
      • Even though it has “nut” in the name, it is not a nut. It’s a “drupe.” Coconuts do not have the same reactive properties of tree nuts.
      • Always check with your allergist if you have a tree nut allergy before eating coconut.
      • The nutrient make up of coconut is unique and unlike any other food.
      • Coconut is high in MCT oil, which doesn’t require bile salts to be absorbed into the small intestine.
        • MCTs can be passively absorbed because they are small molecules.
        • MCTs are converted rapidly in the liver into ketone bodies, which can be used as energy.
      • Coconut has many other great nutrients: vitamins C and E, most Bs, high fiber, and phytosterols- which have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.
      • Coconut also contains copper, iron, selenium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
      • Coconut oil has potent anti-microbial properties.
      • MCTs are a special fat because they are known to reduce inflammatory mediators, increase mucous production in the gut, and increase the secretion of IgA antibodies in the gut (which can be good and bad).
      • For Stacy, coconut oil doesn’t work well for her internally or externally.
        • Digestion has been better since eliminating it.
        • Skin is improved after not cleansing with it or using deodorants with coconut oil.
        • Listen to your body and don’t try to “push through” and use something just because it works for everyone else or it is generally regarded as healthy.
      • Coconut is a high FODMAP food, specifically containing a high amount of inulin.
        • Inulin is highly-fermentable, which can cause problems for someone with bacterial overgrowth.
      • Coconut Flour
        • Coconut flour is high in inulin, which can be problematic for some people.
        • Until Otto’s Cassava Flour came along, coconut flour was the only flour for AIP baking.
        • Stacy doesn’t care for recipes with large amounts of coconut flour; Sarah finds it to be very dry.
      • Coconut Oil
        • The more refined the coconut oil is, the less it smells like a tropical beach.
        • Sarah uses Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil for cooking and as a makeup remover.
        • Sarah cooks with coconut oil, as well as a myriad of other fats; she likes to mix it up!
      • Coconut Aminos
        • Coconut aminos is a fantastic soy sauce substitute.
        • It is made from coconut nectar/sugar.
      • Coconut Sugar
        • Sarah is myth busting on coconut sugar!
          • Coconut sugar still contains sugar, there are mixed studies on its glycemic index.
          • Coconut sugar isn’t necessarily better than any other refined granulated sugar.
          • Stacy’s general takeaway about sugars is that if something is sweet, there’s a reason for it. Pick your poison, and know that its a poison.
        • Coconut nectar, sugar, and aminos are all made from the sap, obtained from the flowering stems of the tree.
          • This is controversial because of sustainability issues.
          • Sarah’s understanding is that the companies they buy from are practicing sustainable, regenerative farming practices, but it isn’t a guarantee.
          • Taking a deeper look a brands and their practices is something Stacy likes to do, especially for palm and coconut products, chocolate, and bananas.
      • Coconut Milk & Coconut Cream
      • Coconut Milk Powder is a wonderful, versatile ingredient!
      • Coconut water is high in minerals and electrolytes.
        • Stacy finds coconut water repulsive. Sarah describes it as coconuts wearing sweaty socks.
        • Some brands are better than others, and it is better when chilled.
        • Sarah can tell she is low in electrolytes (like after a workout) when coconut water doesn’t taste terrible.
        • Coconut water is a fantastic “sports drink” because of its lower sugar and high nutrient content.
        • It is also used to make coconut vinegar.
    • If you enjoy the podcast, please share it with someone you think would enjoy it too, or leave us a review on itunes.
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  • Thanks everyone for listening!
  • Outro (56:48)

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