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Old 04-03-2006, 09:53 AM   #1
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cashews nuts and coconuts= bad for LDL cholesterol????

i think i know the answer to this but i'd like to check anyway. our new training material at work on cholesterol said that people with cholesterol problems should avoid eating cashew nuts and coconuts as they are rich in saturated fat which raises LDL cholestorol levels in the blood. i was suprised to read this. i'm almost certain that eating coconuts and cashew nuts will NOT adversely affect cholestrol levels as the type of saturated fat is medium chain which acts very differently in the body to the saturated fats found in animal sources. please could i have some input to confirm that i am right. cheers,

alex.

Last edited by ratboy83; 04-10-2006 at 08:30 AM.

 
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:31 AM   #2
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Re: cashews nuts and coconuts= bad for LDL cholesterol????

somone must be able to back me up???

alex.

 
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Old 04-10-2006, 10:22 AM   #3
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Re: cashews nuts and coconuts= bad for LDL cholesterol????

Alex, the only input I can offer is that anything cholesterol-related seems to be the hot topic of contradiction and debate. First we're told high cholesterol is bad, then we're told it might not be actual numbers that are bad, but other indicators of CAD risk like inflammation. I was diagnosed last year by my PCP and you should see the contradictory paperwork he gave me. One sheet of paper, good foods on one side, bad foods on the other side. A lot of the same foods are listed on both sides (and nuts happen to be one of those good/bad foods.)

Another thing I find very interesing is I have opportunity to speak with many cardiologists due to my work. Often it's just the doc and I passing time waiting in court or in a deposition setting. I've asked at least a dozen cardiologists whether eggs should be consumed by folks with high cholesterol. Every answer I get is different. Even specialists in one local area can't seem to get on the same page.

Sorry if I've only added to your confusion, but as a high cholesterol "sufferer" myself, believe me, it's very confusing...and, frankly, aggravating that there are so many differing opinions by learned medical professionals.

Last edited by StenoLady1; 04-10-2006 at 10:23 AM.

 
Old 04-10-2006, 12:04 PM   #4
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Re: cashews nuts and coconuts= bad for LDL cholesterol????

Cashew nuts are actually high in monosats. Good for the heart.

"Real coconut" does have sat fat, but in studies it does not have a deleterious effect on LDL, in part due to several unique fatty acids in the coconut . One of the main researchers in this area is Mary Enig, Ph.D., and she has written a few books. If you look her up at the library or whatever, you will get research-study based facts.

However, there are HYDROGENATED coconut oils that ARE bad for LDL. These are commonly used in commercial popcorn machines (like at the movie theater) -- used to be used in baked goods but fell out of favor.

Best wishes.

 
Old 04-10-2006, 02:35 PM   #5
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Re: cashews nuts and coconuts= bad for LDL cholesterol????

All nuts are good for the heart!!! If you read the fat content on the back of can of mixed nuts, there are 14 grams of fat and like 11 of those are grams of healthy fat, and only 2.5 grams of saturated fat.

I have also heard that coconut is bad for cholesterol but I don't know why??? The package says is has very little cholesterol in it, and only like 2-3 grams of saturated fat. Eating a half a bag of the stuff probably isn't good...

Is saturated fat really the fat that is bad for your cholesterol, or is it trans fat???

 
Old 04-12-2006, 06:36 AM   #6
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Re: cashews nuts and coconuts= bad for LDL cholesterol????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie00
All nuts are good for the heart!!! If you read the fat content on the back of can of mixed nuts, there are 14 grams of fat and like 11 of those are grams of healthy fat, and only 2.5 grams of saturated fat.

I have also heard that coconut is bad for cholesterol but I don't know why??? The package says is has very little cholesterol in it, and only like 2-3 grams of saturated fat. Eating a half a bag of the stuff probably isn't good...

Is saturated fat really the fat that is bad for your cholesterol, or is it trans fat???
ANIMAL saturated fat and trans fats are both bad for cholesterol. i'm glad elmhar confirmed my suspisions. coconut aint bad for cholestrorol at all. it contains MEDIUM CHAIN saturated fattty acids which don't affect LDL levels in the same way ANIMAL fats do. cashew nuts are higher in saturated fat than other nuts but there monounsaturated fat content is still 75% and the saturated fat content, as with coconuts, acts very differently to animal fats, thus not affecting LDL levels. the same incidently can be said for the fat in chocolate. the main bulk of the saturated fat is in the form of stearic acid which is converted by the liver to oleic acid, a heart friendly monounsaturated acid. this is why i have no problem with including 70% cocoa choc in my duet as an occasional treat, and i get all the benefit of the anti-oxidants of the cocoa. i won't eat it too often though as its still got refined sugar in it, which isn't great in excess, and in large levels can raise LDL levels! it all a question of moderation and balance.

alex.

 
Old 04-12-2006, 07:59 AM   #7
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Re: cashews nuts and coconuts= bad for LDL cholesterol????

Alex,
Quote:
the same incidently can be said for the fat in chocolate. the main bulk of the saturated fat is in the form of stearic acid which is converted by the liver to oleic acid, a heart friendly monounsaturated acid
Cocoa has nothing at all to do with coconut.
And the stearic acid is the fat of beef, bacon, and butter, not coconuts. It's NOT converted to oleic acid (monounsaturated) by the body. Cocoa however IS about half oleic acid (and half stearic acid.)

The good thing about cocoa is that it is not very high in fat, a Tbsp of pure cocoa (Hershey's) has only 5 calories of fat (1/2 gram) and it doesn't take much cocoa to make a shake delicious.

Coconut, you are correct, contains its saturates as mostly lauric, myristic and palmitic acids...saturated but lower weight. Coconut meat is a decent food but once you get to the coconut milk and coconut cream concoctions you are talking about getting a sensible day's supply of fat in a single cupful.

Since most health organizations STILL say the saturated lauric, palmitic and myristic acids are bad, but the coconut industry says they are WONDERFUL, the answer probably lies somewhere in between.
And always a consideration: a cup of coconut milk is 95% fat...a food fit only for Robert Atkins (can't do him much harm now.)

Last edited by Lenin; 04-13-2006 at 06:27 AM.

 
Old 04-12-2006, 09:40 AM   #8
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Re: cashews nuts and coconuts= bad for LDL cholesterol????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin
Alex,


Cocoa has nothing at all to do with coconut.
And the stearic acid is the fat of beef, bacon, and butter, not coconuts. It's NOT converted to oleic acid (monounsaturated) by the body. Cocoa however IS about half oleic acid (and half stearic acid.)

The good thing about cocoa is that it is not very high in fat, a Tbsp of pure cocoa (Hershey's) has only 5 calories of fat (1/2 gram) and it doesn't take much cocoa to make a shake delicious.

Coconut, you are correct, contains its saturates as mostly myristic and palmitic acids...saturated but lower weight. Coconut meat is a decent food but once you get to the coconut milk and coconut cream concoctions you are talking about getting a sensible day's supply of fat in a single cupful.

Since most health organizations STILL say the saturated palmitic and myristic acids are bad, but the coconut industry says they are WONDERFUL, the answer probably lies somewhere in between.
And always a consideration: a cup of coconut milk is 95% fat...a food fit only for Robert Atkins (can't do him much harm now.)
okay granted i used slightly the wrong terminlogy. chocolate contains cocoa BUTTER, which is high in fat, most of it being saturated. so i was comparing the fat in coconuts to that in chocalate. as both cocoa butter and coconuts both have fats that have a net effect NOT raising LDL levels, then they are pretty similar in that regard. but granted cocoa is low in fat. cocoa butter contains 26% stearic acid (neutral effect on LDL levels), 32% oleic acid (lowers LDL levels), 27% palmitic acid (raises LDL levels) and the rest a mixture of other fatty acids. stearic acid IS converted into oelic acid in the body by the liver. it is indeed found in animal produce but also chocolate and it DOESN'T have a negative impact on LDL levels wherever it is found as it is immediately converted to oelic acid.

as for the fat in coconut, because its medium chain (unlike the majority of other fats that contain long chain fatty acids) the body tends to use the fat in coconut for energy rather than have a tendency to store it as, well, fat! so it may be 95% fat coconut oil but it is a fat that is utilised for energy far more readily than other fats, besides having an anti-viral, anti-fungal and beneficial action on the body's insulin system. the only study that has ever shown the fat in coconut to have an adverse effect on LDL levels was one that used useed HYDROGENATED coconut fat, and any trans fat is bad for LDl levels.

alex.

 
Old 04-12-2006, 09:40 AM   #9
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ratboy83 HB User
Re: cashews nuts and coconuts= bad for LDL cholesterol????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenin
Alex,


Cocoa has nothing at all to do with coconut.
And the stearic acid is the fat of beef, bacon, and butter, not coconuts. It's NOT converted to oleic acid (monounsaturated) by the body. Cocoa however IS about half oleic acid (and half stearic acid.)

The good thing about cocoa is that it is not very high in fat, a Tbsp of pure cocoa (Hershey's) has only 5 calories of fat (1/2 gram) and it doesn't take much cocoa to make a shake delicious.

Coconut, you are correct, contains its saturates as mostly myristic and palmitic acids...saturated but lower weight. Coconut meat is a decent food but once you get to the coconut milk and coconut cream concoctions you are talking about getting a sensible day's supply of fat in a single cupful.

Since most health organizations STILL say the saturated palmitic and myristic acids are bad, but the coconut industry says they are WONDERFUL, the answer probably lies somewhere in between.
And always a consideration: a cup of coconut milk is 95% fat...a food fit only for Robert Atkins (can't do him much harm now.)
okay granted i used slightly the wrong terminlogy. chocolate contains cocoa BUTTER, which is high in fat, most of it being saturated. so i was comparing the fat in coconuts to that in chocalate. as both cocoa butter and coconuts both have fats that have a net effect NOT raising LDL levels, then they are pretty similar in that regard. but granted cocoa is low in fat. cocoa butter contains 26% stearic acid (neutral effect on LDL levels), 32% oleic acid (lowers LDL levels), 27% palmitic acid (raises LDL levels) and the rest a mixture of other fatty acids. stearic acid IS converted into oelic acid in the body by the liver. it is indeed found in animal produce but also chocolate and it DOESN'T have a negative impact on LDL levels wherever it is found as it is immediately converted to oelic acid.

as for the fat in coconut, because its medium chain (unlike the majority of other fats that contain long chain fatty acids) the body tends to use the fat in coconut for energy rather than have a tendency to store it as, well, fat! so it may be 95% fat coconut oil but it is a fat that is utilised for energy far more readily than other fats, besides having an anti-viral, anti-fungal and beneficial action on the body's insulin system. the only study that has ever shown the fat in coconut to have an adverse effect on LDL levels was one that used useed HYDROGENATED coconut fat, and any trans fat is bad for LDL levels.

alex.

 
Old 04-12-2006, 09:55 AM   #10
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ratboy83 HB User
Re: cashews nuts and coconuts= bad for LDL cholesterol????

sorry about that moderators. computer was being silly.

alex.

 
Old 04-12-2006, 05:08 PM   #11
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Re: cashews nuts and coconuts= bad for LDL cholesterol????

Good I feel much better about eating my beloved dark chocolate now! I was always concerned because there is a lot of saturated fat, esp. in the really dark chocolate, but I also know that it is a good antioxidant so I thought maybe the saturated fat in it wasn't so bad afterall.

 
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