What’s In Your Coconut Yogurt?

 

So Delicious Dairy Free Plain Coconut Milk Yogurt

So Delicious Plain Coconut Milk Yogurt is one of the many yogurt options for people with lactose intolerance or an allergy to dairy. I love yogurt! Yogurt, especially greek yogurt and soy yogurt are two of my favorite foods to eat as part of my breakfast, lunch or snack. When choosing an alternative to dairy yogurt, you may find a long list of ingredients. Below find a breakdown of the coconut milk yogurt ingredients and what each means for your health.

Ingredients: ORGANIC COCONUT MILK (ORGANIC COCONUT CREAM, WATER, GUAR GUM, XANTHAN GUM), ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, PECTIN, CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT (INULIN), TAPIOCA DEXTROSE, ALGIN (KELP EXTRACT), MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE, TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, ORGANIC RICE STARCH, LOCUST BEAN GUM, LIVE CULTURES, CARRAGEENAN, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, VITAMIN B12.

  • ORGANIC COCONUT CREAM: A product very similar to coconut milk but contains less water. It is a smooth, thick liquid made from fresh coconuts. It is thick and very sweet and has a paste-like consistency.
  • WATER: H2O
  • GUAR GUM: A gum found in the endosperm of the guar plant. It is used in desserts, baked products, ice cream and other products due to its ability to stabilize and gel.
  • XANTHAN GUM: A microbial exudates gum produced by Xanthomonas campestris. It is used as a thickening and stabilizing agent.
  • ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE JUICE: Like regular sugar, it is a sweetener made from sugar cane,  but the juice does not undergo the same degree of processing that refined sugar does. Therefore, unlike refined sugar, it retains more of the nutrients found in sugar cane.
  • PECTIN: It is produced commercially as a white to light brown powder, mainly extracted from citrus fruits, and is used in food as a gelling agent particularly in jams and jellies. It is also used in fillings, medicines, sweets, as a stabilizer in fruit juices and milk drinks, and as a source of dietary fiber.
  • CHICORY ROOT EXTRACT (INULIN): A complex carbohydrate that is a polymer of fructose. It is not digested so it contributes fiber and can be combined with carrageenan to create a creamy texture.
  • TAPIOCA DEXTROSE: A simple sugar derived from the tapioca plant.
  • ALGIN (KELP EXTRACT): A product used to form gels and films. It is a gum with mannose and guluronic acid as its principal components and with numerous salts resulting from the presence of sodium, potassium, and ammonium ions.
  • MAGNESIUM PHOSPHATE: A food additive that provides a source of magnesium.
  • TRICALCIUM PHOSPHATE: A food additive that provides a source of calcium.
  • ORGANIC RICE STARCH: A commercially refined starch derived from rice. It is used as a thickener and stabilizer.
  • LOCUST BEAN GUM: From the seed of evergreen trees, it gels with xanthan gum  and helps stabilize products such as ice cream, bologna, and sauces. It can replace up to half the starched used for thickening. It also enhances fiber content.
  • LIVE CULTURES: Living organisms, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which convert pasteurized milk to yogurt during fermentation. These may act as probiotics and help improve gastrointestinal health.
  • CARRAGEENAN: A seaweed extract that has the ability to interact with protein to aid in the stabilization of products. It is easily cross-linked with other gums.
  • DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE: A food additive used for protein stabilization.
  • VITAMIN B12: Added vitamin.

Happy Heart Month (and Day) Part 2

You need to love yourself, in order to take care of yourself. On this Valentine’s Day, learn to how to keep your heart healthy. Get you cholesterol and coconut questions answered!

By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE

Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services

www.MomDishesItOut.com

Q)   Does eating cholesterol really impact cholesterol level?

We have know for years that saturated fat is the true culprit to raising LDL production by our body. One should decrease their saturated fat intake to decrease their LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein- aka bad cholesterol). Many people have misunderstood this for years. The focus should not be on a cholesterol free product such as palm oil but rather a lower saturated fat and higher monounsaturated fat like almonds. Decreasing dietary cholesterol intake lowers your LDL about 3-5% where as decreasing your saturated fat intake decreases your LDL by 8-10% as reported by the National Cholesterol Education Program.

Q)   Will this depend on other nutrients that the food contains? If it’s not, what does impact cholesterol levels then?

Yes, levels of saturated fat, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, exercise, stress and genetics all effect our cholesterol levels. A favorable fat profile of a food should look like this >Monounsaturated fats> Polyunsaturated Fats> Saturated Fats (need more research as to which saturated fats may be more beneficial).

 Q)   What about coconut oil and is it true it may help you to lose weight?  

The American Dietetic Association does not recommend consuming tropical oils such as Coconut oil. According to the Natural Medicines Database, ”there is insufficient evidence to rate the effectiveness of coconut oil for weight loss, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, chronic fatigue, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and thyroid conditions.”

 Q)   From the types of saturated fats such as stearic acid, lauric acid, etc, are there any with health benefits?

Per the research I have found, there are not saturated fats with absolute health benefits. To be prudent, one should continue to limit their saturated fat intake at this time and replace them with unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. For additional reference there is a chart that clearly identify the roles of saturated fat on medscape: Role of Different Dietary Saturated Fatty Acids for Cardiometabolic Risk, By David Iggman; Ulf Risérus Posted: 04/28/2011; Clin Lipidology. 2011;6(2):209-223. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd.

 

 

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Happy Heart Health Month – Part One

OMGoodness there are so many mixed messages about heart health. Read on tho make sense of sugar and saturated fat as it pertains to our heart health. Lets prevent Cardiovascular Disease (aka CVD).

Q) There are experts who are now saying that the evidence between saturated fat and CVD may have been biased because research didn’t take into account the sugar content of the diet.  Is sugar the real culprit?

Added sugar is associated with increased TG levels and increased LDL cholesterol (hyperlipidemia being a risk factor for CVD). However, there is an inverse relationship with increased intake of healthier carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, meaning the more you eat these foods, the less likely you are to increase your risk for CVD.  Saturated fat remains a part of the picture. Now the question is which type of SFA may be more closely associated with the increased cholesterol-raising effect of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. More research is needed to clarify. Most importantly focus on including fruits, veggies and whole grains and limit added sugars.

 

Q) What is the role of saturated fat in CVD risk?

Saturated fat is associated with CVD. Studies show an increase in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol after eating a meal high in saturated fat. However, recent studies are examining the different roles of the specific types of saturated fats: Short chain, medium chain and long chain SFA.  This means continue to minimize your intake of saturated fat like the visual lard on a steak until more research is available. A simple guide: choose products with < 2 grams/ saturated fat per serving. Rather focus on including monounsaturated fats like olives and avocado. 

 

Q)  There are studies that show total blood cholesterol is not a reliable indicator of CVD. If it’s not, what are the indicators then?

Total Cholesterol is not a biomarker of CVD rather one’s ratio of Total Cholesterol to HDL ratio.  HDL also known as high density lipoprotein is the good cholesterol (h for helper) and LDL, low density lipoprotein (l for want less of) the bad cholesterol. The greater your HDL and the lower your LDL, the more favorable your cholesterol profile will be and the decreased chance of cardiovascular disease. Studies indicate a Low HDL, High LDL and High TG are associated with risk for CVD. You must ask the doctor for your cholesterol breakdown and the ratio with a goal < 5.  Always ask for a copy of your blood work.

 

Q)  If a higher sugar intake may be dangerous, why aren’t  triglycerides (blood levels) more important when assessing the risk of CVD, since this marker has a good correlation with simple carbohydrates intake?

TG’s are a good indicator of risk for CVD and it should be included in the lipid profile to assess for CVD risk. However, the ATP III report issued by the NIH, encourages using TG’s as a marker for other lipid and nonlipid risk factors that ultimately raise the risk for CVD. Ask Your medical doctor for your TG level and aim for < 150 mg/dl. 

 

Check back for Happy Heart Health Month Part 2 or like Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services on Facebook to get weekly nutrition updates.

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