Last updated on April 9th, 2017
I took a walk this morning, swinging around the city cemetery (always inspirational), and came loping home with an appetite. That, of course, is the rub for all those who think they can work-out to lose weight. The more you work, the hungrier you get.
Having eaten a modest breakfast four-and-a-half hours earlier, I figured a low-carb brunch was in order. Here’s what I made myself:
Pictured are two eggs scrambled in coconut oil, a salmon patty, and five halved fresh strawberries. The salmon is wild-caught Alaskan, full of protein and omega-3 oil, and reputed to be an excellent food for reducing inflammation. (Have you noticed how inflammation has become the new health bogeyman, replacing high cholesterol?)
The coconut oil is something new for me. I’ve seen it mentioned in the nutritional literature and on traditional food web sites, and some low-carbers swear by it. Apparently, the types of saturated fat in coconut oil are different from the types in butter and cream. Of course, most low-carbers have no problem with the saturated fat in butter and cream, and aren’t likely to be impressed by this difference alone.
But the types of saturated fat in coconut oil — and it is pretty much all saturated fat — are alleged to have unique nutritional benefits.
For example, the book Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon touts coconut oil as a weight-loss booster — at least in combination with a higher fat, lower carb diet. The book also cites reduced rates of chronic diseases in countries where coconut oil is a staple.
Enig has solid, long-standing credentials as a nutritionist and bio-chemist. She was one of the first scientists to sound the alarm about the heavy use of trans-fats in the American diet. So her ideas deserve consideration, and a fair amount of scientific research has been done on coconut oil.
However, it seems unlikely to me that coconut oil is necessary to a healthy diet or to weight loss. After all, how many places in the world grow coconuts? Could human beings have evolved to need a food that is so geographically restricted?
Besides, I’ve lost 40 pounds without trying coconut oil until this week.
For the moment, I see coconut oil as an occasional tasty (and pricey) option to butter or other cooking oils, but not as a main-stay. (I’m open to arguments either way, though.)
I cooked the salmon patty and its mates in good old olive oil.
The eggs themselves are nutritional powerhouses. Eggs certainly are a main-stay of my diet. I’ve been pleased at how often they go on sale around here.
The strawberries are high in vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, and are surprisingly low in calories given how sweet they taste.
I don’t eat sugar, so all berries taste especially sweet to me!
I calculate my brunch contained 496 calories, 37g fat, 9g carbs, 2g fiber, and 36g protein. Not bad, but a bit protein heavy. I usually have more fat relative to protein.
It tasted great, and it will stick with me all afternoon — as long as I don’t go for more walks.
I’m of the same opinion on coconut oil. I find that I can’t tolerate the coconut smell in cooked food. Sometimes I’ll have a teaspoon of it in my tea. My origins are slavic with a bit of mongol thrown in. No access to coconuts there either but lots of wild boar milling about. Explains why pork is my favorite meat. I do eat a lot of wild salmon for the anti-inflammatory properties. Along with hunting wild boar, fishing was extremely popular with my ancestors 🙂 I like your style Jim, you research the data but think for yourself. Good work.