It is no secret that Singaporeans love their food. With a plethora of hawker favourites, multi-concept restaurants and Michelin Star haven, you’d wish there is a magic nutrition pill to counteract the effects of Singaporean-styled feasting.
The problem is, it doesn’t exist. Putting in time at the gym or the pavement is still necessary for fitness maintenance, so you can go on to feast all over again. And that brings us to another common gripe: squirrelling away time for workout is a big challenge in our zippy pace of life.
The best bare-minimum thing you can muster here, therefore, is to sustain your health with fitness’s best friend: nutrition. In case you think you’d have to confine yourself to bland, insipid health foods, you’d be pleasantly surprised that a few simple tweaks is enough to keep your health in tippy-top condition -all without torturing your palates.
Coconut, Cocos nucifera L., is a tree that is cultivated to provide a large number of products, although it is mainly grown for its nutritional and medicinal values. Coconut oil, derived from the coconut fruit, has been recognised historically as containing high levels of saturated fat; however, closer scrutiny suggests that coconut should be regarded more favourably. Unlike most other dietary fats that are high in long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil comprises medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). MCFA are unique in that they are easily absorbed and metabolised by the liver, and can be converted to ketones.
Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) have three medium chain fatty acid molecules linked together by a glycerol molecule. The medium chain fatty acids consist of 6- to 12-carbon chains with hydrogen and oxygen atoms bound to them and the length of the carbon chain affects the various properties of each fatty acid. All of the medium chain fatty acids are fully saturated fats, meaning that all available docking sites are occupied by hydrogen atoms, but they behave very differently than the longer chain saturated fatty acids.
The way MCTs metabolizes in our body is unique: MCTs have a small molecular structure and are very soluble, making it easier for your body to absorb, unlike other edible oils.
Fats are an important part of any diet but given what we know about the various types of fats, it is important to make sure that our intake is properly managed. There must be a concerted effort to lower our intake of bad fats and ensure that even good fats are taken in moderation to avoid adverse effects on the body.
The next part of the story matters as you will find out how fats in the diet fits into the 3 pillars of a holistic healthy lifestyle.