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Coconut has always been around, but only recently has it become popular as a “healthier” option in everyday products. There’s coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut water — but what about raw coconut, or coconut “meat”? Equally as delicious and beneficial; too often overlooked. Here’s why you should pay attention:
Raw coconut contains 23.8 grams of saturated fat per cup, which, by itself, doesn’t sound too healthy. But unlike normal saturated fats (long chain fatty acids), the fat in coconut is a medium chain fatty acid. What does that mean? Your body breaks it down faster, so it doesn’t contribute to high cholesterol, like typical saturated fats do. It’s even been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels. Healthy for your heart equals healthy for you.
There are 7.2 grams of fiber in one cup of coconut meat, which is more than 20 percent of the daily recommendation for adults. We all know fiber is great: it speeds up digestion and helps that “full” feeling stay around a little bit longer, which is amazing for weight loss.
Coconut meat is very high in this trace mineral, which helps to metabolize fat and protein as well as promote stable blood sugar levels. The good news about this? Fewer cravings!
1 bag (1 lb.) Young Thai Coconut Meat, sliced
1 cucumber, seeded and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 Thai chili, seeded and minced (adjust to your heat tolerance)
1 cup cilantro leaves, torn
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
Toss all ingredients and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving. Try serving with tortillas and guacamole for a ceviche “taco.”
But first: How to crack a coconut