Coconuts and Heart Disease

by Charles on December 31, 2010

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Study shows heart disease is absent in coconut eating population.

Go ahead and eat your coconuts! Good news for those of you who love coconuts and bad news for the rest of you who insist that coconuts have “dangerous” saturated fat and therefore “cause” heart disease. Here’s the story:

“A study published in the medical journal Tropical and Geographical Medicine found that coronary heart disease, the world’s number one cause of death, is virtually unknown in a coconut eating population of Sri Lanka.”

“At the beginning of the 20th century there were still many Vedda communities in the South Eastern jungles of Sri Lanka, existing as they have for thousands of years, living in huts constructed of mud bricks and eating wild fruit, yams, and coconut, and hunting for game using bows and arrows. Over time, the Vedda communities gradually adapted the modern culture of the expanding Sinhalese population. By the 1980s there were only two traditional Vedda communities remaining, isolated from the general population deep in the jungle.”

“The coconut palm is very important to the Veddas…The coconut palm, however, produces coconuts year round, providing them with an unending supply of food. The majority of dietary fat in the traditional Vedda population comes from coconut and wild game, both high in saturated fat. Researchers at the University of Sri Lanka department of medicine were interested in how their high-fat diet affected their health, particularly their cardiovascular health.”

“The study examined 207 adults 20-83 years of age. A detailed medical history was taken of each subject, which included level of daily physical activity, dietary and smoking habits, and any adverse symptoms, with special emphasis on the presence of cardiac chest pain. A complete physical examination and blood analysis was performed with special attention to the cardiovascular system.”

“None of the subjects reported any heart related symptoms such as angina (chest pain) or myocardial infarction (heart attack). Using an electrocardiogram, there were no features of heart disease found in the any of the subjects.”

“Coconut consumption is known to raise HDL cholesterol, so this may have been the reason for the superior HDL levels. In summary, there was absolutely no evidence of heart disease among this population.Coconut consumption is known to raise HDL cholesterol, so this may have been the reason for the superior HDL levels.”

“In summary, there was absolutely no evidence of heart disease among this population.”

Read the whole story here. Then go and eat your coconuts!

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