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  #1  
Old 01-18-2010, 12:54 PM
ShadowFacts ShadowFacts is offline
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Does coconut milk have a lot of "bad" cholesterol?

Well, there's not much more to the question than that. I am looking for a reputable cite about the amount of cholesterol in coconut milk. Any help appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:10 PM
Electronic Chaos Electronic Chaos is offline
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Cholesterol only comes from animal sources, so no coconut milk doesn't have any cholesterol in it. It does, however, contain a LOT of saturated fat.
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:18 PM
ShadowFacts ShadowFacts is offline
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Originally Posted by Electronic Chaos View Post
Cholesterol only comes from animal sources, so no coconut milk doesn't have any cholesterol in it. It does, however, contain a LOT of saturated fat.
Holy crap, you ain't just whistling dixie! 254% DV of saturated fat
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  #4  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:24 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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Originally Posted by ShadowFacts View Post
Holy crap, you ain't just whistling dixie! 254% DV of saturated fat
Good lord. How? I mean, it's mostly water!
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  #5  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:51 PM
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
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And, just to be clear, a reason that a high intake of saturated fats is not particularly healthy is that it leads to higher levels of the "bad", i.e. LDL, cholesterol. Another, is that they tend to make the blood platelets (i.e. a clotting component of blood) stickier. That, in turn, would be expected to promote clots or at least a build up platelets, cholesterol, and associated junk in the walls of the blood vessels which is a precursor to atherosclerosis.

(For those interested in such things, saturated fats increase LDL via their effect to down-regulate the LDL-receptors on cells, thereby increasing the LDL concentration in the blood stream.)

Last edited by KarlGauss; 01-18-2010 at 01:52 PM..
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:54 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
And, just to be clear, a reason that a high intake of saturated fats is not particularly healthy is that it leads to higher levels of the "bad", i.e. LDL, cholesterol. Another, is that they tend to make the blood platelets (i.e. a clotting component of blood) stickier. That, in turn, would be expected to promote clots or at least a build up platelets, cholesterol, and associated junk in the walls of the blood vessels which is a precursor to atherosclerosis.

(For those interested in such things, saturated fats increase LDL via their effect to down-regulate the LDL-receptors on cells, thereby increasing the LDL concentration in the blood stream.)
Interesting, KG. Thanks for the mechanics.
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2010, 01:56 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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Is cholesterol really good or bad in food? From what I understand, cholesterol is cholesterol, the difference between HDL and LDL is the way it is held together in you body. Can the form of cholesterol in food change the way it is stored in the body? Obviously, increasing saturated fats increases LDL, but is cholesterol really good or bad before its digested?

ETA:Changed ingested to digested.

Last edited by WarmNPrickly; 01-18-2010 at 01:57 PM..
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2010, 02:13 PM
Electronic Chaos Electronic Chaos is offline
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Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
Good lord. How? I mean, it's mostly water!
Coconut milk is processed and contains some of the solids found in the meat of the coconut, which itself is pretty high in fat. (If you ever see coconut oil in your grocery store, look at it - it pretty much looks like shortening).

Coconut water, on the other hand, is just the juice extracted from the center of the coconut. I imagine this is much lower in fat and sugar.
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  #9  
Old 01-18-2010, 02:37 PM
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WarmNPrickly View Post
Is cholesterol really good or bad in food? From what I understand, cholesterol is cholesterol, the difference between HDL and LDL is the way it is held together in you body. Can the form of cholesterol in food change the way it is stored in the body? Obviously, increasing saturated fats increases LDL, but is cholesterol really good or bad before its digested?

ETA:Changed ingested to digested.
Believe it or not, most of the cholesterol in your body, and in your bloodstream in particular, does not come from the diet. Rather, your body manufactures it. On average about 80 percent of your cholesterol is from what your body produced, not absorbed. And, as a general rule, the higher your cholesterol (LDL), the higher percentage of your cholesterol has come from your own body's manufacture of it. In any case, we aren't very good at absorbing cholesterol from foods that we eat anyway. Maybe that's why the medicine that blocked cholesterol absorption (ezetimibe or Zetia) turned out to be NOT very good at preventing atherosclerosis.

The same thing applies to the question of whether cholesterol is "good" or "bad" before it's digested. Bottom line is that dietary cholesterol is neither LDL (bad) or HDL (good). Whether cholesterol from diet or from your own body's production winds up as LDL or HDL is pretty complicated and is influenced by things like heredity, exericse, type of fats in the diet, etc.

Now, another question is whether cholesterol and other fats from the diet become more or less healthy (or unhealthy) depending on how they're cooked is essentially an open question. That being said, when fats get burned in the pan for example, they have become oxidized. Oxidized fat and oxidized cholesterol may be bad things compared to, say, cholesterol from a poached egg which has not been burned or browned, i.e. not become oxidized.
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  #10  
Old 01-18-2010, 02:41 PM
Huerta88 Huerta88 is offline
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Google "coconut milk" and "ketogenic" and you will find a lot of people who credit high intake of this sat fat with good lipid profiles.

I can't endorse or refute that thesis, as I haven't researched, but I do know anecdotally that a lot of what gets said about fat intake and heart health is questionable. Until about 15 years ago, we were being told that shellfish will kill you with its cholestorol (oops, it doesn't actually have much), margarine (trans-fat) is good and butter is bad, and that a low fat, high carbohydrate diet was the way to go. Again anecdotally, my sat fat intake is off the charts and my last blood work drew raves from the doc, esp. on the triglycerides (I eat no HFCS and little sugar of any type, which is shaping up to be, though of course IANAMD, a big as-yet-untold cardiovascular story).
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  #11  
Old 01-18-2010, 02:51 PM
WarmNPrickly WarmNPrickly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
The same thing applies to the question of whether cholesterol is "good" or "bad" before it's digested.
That was the reason I asked. The premise of the OP is flawed. I knew the rest of your post, but it is always good to restate a common misunderstanding.

ETA: A better understanding is:

saturated fats --> LDL

unsaturated fats --> HDL

In that sense coconut milk definitely is LDL.

Last edited by WarmNPrickly; 01-18-2010 at 02:54 PM..
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  #12  
Old 01-18-2010, 02:53 PM
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
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I ran out of time for editing, but meant to add that high dietary intake of eggs is NOT associated with high blood cholesterol. Yes, so long as eggs aren't fried in butter for example, or coingested with lots of saturated fats (e.g. bacon), you can probably eat as many of them as you want without adverse effect on your cholesterol (LDL) level.

I know that people may be startled to see statements such as those above, but here are some representative references:

A review of dietary cholesterol in general. From the abstract:
Quote:
(There is a) lack of connection between heart disease and egg intake . . . 70% of the population experiences a mild increase or no alterations in plasma cholesterol concentrations when challenged with high amounts of dietary cholesterol. . . . diverse healthy populations experience NO risk in developing coronary heart disease by increasing their intake of cholesterol but, in contrast, they may have multiple beneficial effects by the inclusion of eggs in their regular diet
emphasis added

A review about eggs in the diet specifically. From the abstract:
Quote:
. . . egg consumption is not associated with higher cholesterol levels. Furthermore, as a whole, the epidemiologic literature does not support the idea that egg consumption is a risk factor for coronary disease
There are many, many more studies and reviews saying the same thing.

So go enjoy your eggs (without guilt!)
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  #13  
Old 01-18-2010, 03:10 PM
rhubarbarin rhubarbarin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
And, just to be clear, a reason that a high intake of saturated fats is not particularly healthy is that it leads to higher levels of the "bad", i.e. LDL, cholesterol. Another, is that they tend to make the blood platelets (i.e. a clotting component of blood) stickier. That, in turn, would be expected to promote clots or at least a build up platelets, cholesterol, and associated junk in the walls of the blood vessels which is a precursor to atherosclerosis.

(For those interested in such things, saturated fats increase LDL via their effect to down-regulate the LDL-receptors on cells, thereby increasing the LDL concentration in the blood stream.)
Except that this hasn't been proven. In the least.


Putting what science there is aside, I am living proof that this theory does not apply to every individual, even if it did apply to the majority. I get 50-80% of my daily calories from saturated fat alone. My total cholesterol is low as is my LDL (came in at 74, last check, which is excellent) and triglycerides.

Last edited by rhubarbarin; 01-18-2010 at 03:14 PM..
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  #14  
Old 01-18-2010, 03:37 PM
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhubarbarin View Post
Except that this hasn't been proven. In the least.
Which part?
Quote:
I am living proof that this theory does not apply to every individual, even if it did apply to the majority. I get 50-80% of my daily calories from saturated fat alone. My total cholesterol is low as is my LDL (came in at 74, last check, which is excellent) and triglycerides.
No doubt. I said, and listed first, "heredity" as a key factor in determining LDL and HDL levels. You may be blessed with genes that allow you to eat as you do with impunity.

And, if by lack of proof, you're referring to dietary effects on blood lipids, I agree. The studies of which I'm aware, fail to confirm this "theory". Still, the epidemiology and physiologic models are quite compelling. Moreover, such studies are relatively short-term and have been done in mid-adult life which allows for the possibility that things were set in motion years ago and a short intervention later on is of limited effect.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 01-18-2010 at 03:39 PM..
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:40 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quote:
Putting what science there is aside, I am living proof that this theory does not apply to every individual, even if it did apply to the majority.
Nothing in biology ever applies to every individual. That doesn't mean that we can't say things that are true in general.
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  #16  
Old 01-18-2010, 03:47 PM
KarlGauss KarlGauss is offline
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rhubarbarin: While I wait, just in case you were referring to my statement on the mechanism of action of saturated fats to down-regulate LDL receptors, here is the first of a whole program of studies which proved it.

If, OTOH, you took exception to my assertion about saturated fat promoting platelet stickiness, here is an old reference that says essentially what I did.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 01-18-2010 at 03:49 PM..
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  #17  
Old 01-18-2010, 08:02 PM
ShadowFacts ShadowFacts is offline
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Thanks, everyone, for the responses and cites. I have learned a good deal already!
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  #18  
Old 01-19-2010, 11:27 PM
Surreal Surreal is online now
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You haven't learned anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlGauss View Post
And, just to be clear, a reason that a high intake of saturated fats is not particularly healthy is that it leads to higher levels of the "bad", i.e. LDL, cholesterol. Another, is that they tend to make the blood platelets (i.e. a clotting component of blood) stickier. That, in turn, would be expected to promote clots or at least a build up platelets, cholesterol, and associated junk in the walls of the blood vessels which is a precursor to atherosclerosis.

(For those interested in such things, saturated fats increase LDL via their effect to down-regulate the LDL-receptors on cells, thereby increasing the LDL concentration in the blood stream.)
Saturated fat may very well do any or even all of these things, but the FACT is that saturated fat does not cause coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease:

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abst...n.2009.27725v1

Quote:
ABSTRACT

Background: A reduction in dietary saturated fat has generally been thought to improve cardiovascular health.

Objective: The objective of this meta-analysis was to summarize the evidence related to the association of dietary saturated fat with risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular disease (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) in prospective epidemiologic studies.

Design: Twenty-one studies identified by searching MEDLINE and EMBASE databases and secondary referencing qualified for inclusion in this study. A random-effects model was used to derive composite relative risk estimates for CHD, stroke, and CVD.

Results: During 5–23 y of follow-up of 347,747 subjects, 11,006 developed CHD or stroke. Intake of saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD. The pooled relative risk estimates that compared extreme quantiles of saturated fat intake were 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22) for CHD, 0.81 (95% CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke, and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11; P = 0.95) for CVD. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did not change the results.

Conclusions: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace saturated fat.

Last edited by Surreal; 01-19-2010 at 11:28 PM..
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  #19  
Old 01-20-2010, 12:26 AM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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By the way, low-fat coconut milk is a very nice alternative to the regular stuff. I don't have a can handy to quote the percentages, but the flavor is perfectly fine in recipes.
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  #20  
Old 01-20-2010, 03:43 PM
ShadowFacts ShadowFacts is offline
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Man, this shit can be confusing, and I like to think I am a reasonably intelligent person. I need to spend some more focused time trying to understand this stuff...
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