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Debunking the Coconut Oil Controversy | This Week in Fitness

We get it: It’s tough to keep up with the latest trends, studies and viral sensations affecting your health. That’s why we’re willing to do the legwork. Every other week, the Under Armour Connected Fitness editorial team hand-curates the biggest stories and goings-on around the world to help you live healthier. Especially if it involves cutting through some of the misconceptions out there. Read on …

Coconut Oil: Friend or Foe?

It took a beating from the health community recently thanks to a study that suggested coconut oil was a cholesterol bomb. But back off the ledge, says this piece from Experience Life, which pumps the brakes a bit on the criticism. At MyFitnessPal, we’ve lauded the benefits of this superfood (in moderation!), and even have eight great recipe suggestions for you. So go ahead and get coco-nuts!

Or Is It Friend or Pho?

We’ll admit it: It drives us crazy when people mispronounce “bruschetta.” But we’ll give you a pass on “gyro” if you’re from New York. Either way, check out this awesome guide from House Beautiful on how to properly pronounce 11 difficult foods.

Chinese Chef With a Cubicle

There’s creative cooking and then there’s Ms. Yeah. This young creative professional has become an internet celebrity thanks to some two-dozen videos that feature her preparing food using ordinary office equipment. We’re not sure your boss will love this, but they’re ridiculously fun to watch.


WATCH > FIT TIPS: MEAL PLANNING MADE EASY


Our Pets Are Really Just Like Us

We know from past studies that a little more than 1/3 of American adults are technically obese; now a new study shows roughly the same amount of our dogs and cats are, too. At least the medical recommendation is the same: Provide your fuzzy pals a better diet and more exercise. Too bad MyFitnessPal is only for humans.

Calling All Wanna-Be Acrobats

If you’re looking for a new fitness trend and always had dreams of joining the circus, then this potential new craze is for you: slacklining. SELF has the skinny on this twist on the tightrope, which is gaining popularity and is great for your core, working on balance and lower-body strength.

Even Football Players Meditate

Mindfulness and meditation keep creeping into the mainstream, which once dismissed such pursuits as too touchy-feely. But college football is seeing the light. The New York Times has the details on a study that suggests just 12 minutes of meditation per day helps gridiron gladiators be better prepared for the rigors of a demanding Division I NCAA season.


READ MORE > 7 PRO TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR WORK DAY MORE ACTIVE


The Secret of the Commuting Napper

You’ve probably all seen that person, who can fall asleep on the train or bus and yet wake up just in time to make her stop. How is this mental trick possible? New York Magazine explores the art of the perfect commuting napper. Is this the ideal way to catch up on those zzz’s? This is a perfect time to study up again on how to get better sleep in 2017.

The Return of ‘Age Is Just a Number’

Have you missed our inspirational stories about seniors? Meet Johanna Quaas, a 91-year-old from Germany who is a stunning gymnast at any age. This past week, she stole the show on NBC’s “Little Big Shots: Forever Young,” twirling and cartwheeling her way to a standing ovation and a salute from four-time Olympic gold-medal winner Simone Biles. Watch her amazing routine here.

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Lemon Coconut Protein No-bake Bites | Recipe

Lemon-Coconut-Bites

Bursting with tart lemon and sweet coconut flavors, these no-bake bites from Hummusapien are the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Naturally sweetened with dates and filled with fiber and protein, whip up a batch for a quick, energizing pre- or post-workout snack during the week.

Lemon Coconut Protein No-bake Bites

Ingredients

  • 8 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 scoop (30g) vanilla protein powder (I used Vega Vanilla Protein + Greens)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (plus more, if needed)
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut, for rolling

Directions

Place dates, applesauce, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla in a large food processor. Process until dates look nearly pureed and mixture is very-well combined.

Add coconut flour, protein powder and salt. Process until mixture forms a smooth ball of “dough.” (If mixture looks too dry, add almond milk. If it looks too wet, add coconut flour.)

Roll into 12 balls. Place about 1/2 cup shredded coconut in a small bowl and roll balls in coconut, if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Information

Serves: 12 |  Serving Size: 1 bite

Per serving: Calories: 80; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 30mg; Carbohydrate: 17g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 12g; Protein: 3g

Nutrition Bonus: Potassium: 112mg; Iron: 7%; Vitamin A: 1%; Vitamin C: 11%; Calcium: 4%

The post Lemon Coconut Protein No-bake Bites | Recipe appeared first on Under Armour.

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Refined Coconut Oil Vs Unrefined Coconut Oil – Which Is Best?

Refined Coconut Oil Vs Unrefined Coconut Oil

Quite often on most health sites, forums and debates, everyone asks one major question —

‘Refined Coconut Oil Vs Unrefined Coconut Oil – Which Is Best To Consume!’

We are sure you have the same question in your mind- should one use cold pressed coconut oil or should one opt for the organic touch, let’s find out!

coconut oil refined

Let’s clear the air

The air needs to be cleared on whether the coconut oil we use for consumption and cooking, should be refined or unrefined! The opinions out there are half and half, but what does medical science say?

Coconut-oil

According to an article in the New York Times:

“Partial hydrogenation creates dreaded trans fats. It also destroys many of the good essential fatty acids, antioxidants and other positive components present in virgin coconut oil. And while it’s true that most of the fats in virgin coconut oil are saturated, opinions are changing on whether saturated fats are the arterial villains they were made out to be. “I think we in the nutrition field are beginning to say that saturated fats are not so bad, and the evidence that said they were is not so strong,” Dr. Brenna said.”

 

So does that means, unrefined oil wins the saga here? Maybe yes and maybe not, this is an assumption based thought. There are still many that choose to use refined coconut oil after weighing the pros and cons of the same. For a better understanding, let’s take a look at the pros and cons, shall we?

refined coconut oil vs unrefined coconut oil

The fat content

Amongst the many benefits of using coconut oil, one of it most needed would be the fatty acid composition in it. The oil when unrefined is a house of very high levels of medium chain saturated fatty acids. Thus helping the body naturally fight inflammation. Inflammation happens when there are too many polyunsaturated fatty acids found in the body. Medium chain saturated fats are great to fight pesky bacteria in the body with, viruses and even fungi too. And the best part is, they can be easily digested as well.

coconut oil nutrition

This however doesn’t mean that unrefined coconut oil has a better fatty acid level than that of refined coconut oil! Experts say it is the same.

What is in the coconut meat!

The oil comes from the meat of the coconut, which has the following-

  1. 17 amino acids
  2. B vitamins
  3. Potassium
  4. Iron
  5. Fibre

These five are what we get in unrefined oils, however, most of them are filtered out when the coconut oil is made. So whether it is virgin or refined, you would have the same amount in most cases.

Taste wise

Experts and studies show that flavour is more practical with refined than unrefined coconut oil. Flavorless coconut oil helps blend into the dish we make, much more than what naturally flavoured coconut oil can help with. Unless you are born eating unrefined coconut oil in foods made at home or around where you live, chances are you wouldn’t fancy the natural taste of coconut oil in everything you munch.

unrefined coconut oil

Helps better with digestion

Digestion and allergies are part and parcel of the human system, and we all fail at it at some point in life. Experts say unrefined oil only adds to the woes of the two. This is because coconut solids have allergenic compounds in them, whereas the same have been removed in refined oil- making it flavourless and odourless! Refined oils for some doesn’t make the stomach churn and pain; as what would happen to the same individual when unrefined versions are cooked with.

Disclaimer: We are no one to judge what oil is best for you, which is why speaking to a health expert or a nutritionist can be of help. Their words would take precedence over what is written here.

Hope you liked reading this post ‘Refined Coconut Oil Vs Unrefined Coconut Oil’!

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Low Carb Coconut Milk Green Smoothie

Coconut Milk Green Smoothie

Vegan, Low Carb, Gluten free

After a lot of struggle for trying to stay low carb with the easily available ingredients, I have finally prepared my green smoothie which is just perfect for breakfast as well as evening snack.

After doing Non Vegetarian version of Low carb diet I finally got sick of meats so thought of making vegetarian work for me. This is when I realized that I have homemade frozen coconut milk in freezer… Oh!let me share a secret here, I love to preserve food items. I do it in the form of pickles and frozen.

Some time back I had written a post on how to preserve fresh vegetables… Read here. I love to keep my freezer loaded with green purees, shelled peas, frozen bananas and now the latest craze is to make coconut milk at home and freeze in ice trays for future use.frozen coconut milk cubes

So what I had done, that when I got some real cheap fresh coconuts, I just…

  • grated them
  • blended well with warm water in mixer grinder
  • squeezed well the pulp
  • and froze coconut milk in ice trays in the freezer.
  • Once frozen I just stored the cubes in a ziplock bag in the freezer.

If you are a vegan, or on a low carb diet then these coconut milk cubes are going to be a manna from heaven for you.

Now coming back to my green smoothie…..

Low carb vegan green smoothie ingredients

Low carb vegan green smoothie ingredients

As it’s pretty clear in the picture that I used….

  • 50 gm fresh spinach,
  • 6 almonds
  • 2 tsp Methi sprouts
  • 100 gm cucumber pieces
  • 5 small frozen coconut milk cubes

Just blend everything with some water, salt and black pepper. When you pour the smoothie in tumbler add a dash of lemon juice. On top sprinkle a tsp of chia or flax seeds (I used Chia seeds)

This whole recipe is less than 200 calorie with around 4 Net carbs…Just have a boiled egg and you will be good to go for the day. Perfect breakfast.

Coconut Milk Green Smoothie

coconut milk green smoothie

I am going to add some variations like add Mung sprouts, a bit of apple or may be a few berries… What do you plan to add in it… do share…

Love all and have a healthy life.

Hope you would try this nutritious Coconut Milk Green Smoothie!

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