24 June 2007

Coconut - Bad Really? Read on...

If south indian dishes are not rich enough already, we also use a lot of coconut in our every day life. People who live on the coast like Mangloreans, take it to a different level altogether. Konkani dishes (I am GSB Konkani), almost 70% of them use coconut is some form or the other.

We start with the Masala, Seasoning and some chutney to add. A typical breakfast with Dosa includes

  • Dosa made of rice or dhal and ground with coconut gratings to make it soft
  • Chutney made of coconut
  • Seasoning using coconut oil
Contrary to general belief, coconut has its baggage. You might say that your parents, grandparents lived on coconut and still maintained good health. But then you are discounting the fact that the lifestyle in the good 'ol days have a lot of physical activity involved in it. Let us take stock of some of the things a man and woman did in those days

Men

  • Fetch water from well
  • Walk to the market and buy vegetables
  • Carried infants
  • Walked to and back from office/workplace
  • Cleaned yard

Women

  • Cooked food (standing most of the time)
  • Cut vegetables
  • Cleaned the house
  • Washed Dishes
  • Laundry, dry clothes, folded them
  • Carried an infant (if not two)
  • Cleaned yard
  • Fetched water from well

If you notice all the aforementioned activities were very physical and burnt a lot of calories. Compared that to today's world full of Washing machines, day care, maid, cars, televisions, grocery delivery. We have no outlet for burning the calories. This lifestyle coupled with accumulation of calories and saturated fat is a timebomb that is ticking.

Every gram of cocunut has 9 calories. So in the fast paced world where you are lucky if you get to go to gym, cutting down on cocunut is one way of reducing the risk of heart ailments. My mom can attest to this. She was recommended a diet rid of cocunut when her cholestrol levels went through the rough and 'lo and behold with the reduction of coconut intake the cholestrol level shot down.

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