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Coconut Flax Cereal Recipe

November 3, 2016 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

Many of my clients are looking for ways to limit carbohydrate and grain consumption. This mirrors some popular trends in the current nutritional landscape. Bestselling books such as Always Hungry?, Eat Fat Get Thin, Wheat Belly and The Whole30 recommend eating plans that are rich in healthy fats and fiber while limiting or omitting most grains – particularly those containing gluten.

Grains such a oats, rice and wheat can be quite appealing for reasons other than taste. They’re highly accessible for most and, generally, are reasonably-priced as well. On the other hand, many non-starchy, higher-protein foods tend to be more expensive. Today’s recipe illustrates how to prepare a simple meal that is grain-free, low-carb, vegan-approved and that won’t break the bank. Additionally, it offers an alternative to common breakfast cereals that some people miss when switching over to grain-free diets – think Cream of Wheat and oatmeal.

Healthy Fellow Coco-Flax Cereal

1 cup purified or spring water

1/2 cup shredded coconut *

1/3 cup whole flax seeds *

1/4 cup roasted pistachios

1 tsp vanilla extract or powder *

1/4 tsp Ceylon cinnamon *

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg *

pinch of pink sea salt **

sweetener of choice ***

Nutritional Content: Calories: 545. Protein: 13 grams. Carbohydrates: 9 grams. Fiber: 15 grams. Fat: 44 grams. Two servings per recipe.

* Whenever possible, I opt for organic ingredients. Organic coconut and flax seeds are affordable and easy to find online and at many health food stores. The same is true of cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.

** A few health and nutrition experts whom I admire recommend and use Himalayan or “pink” salt – a minimally processed source of salt which contains more nutrients and lower levels of potential contaminants than conventional sea salt. So, I’ve been experimenting with it lately. (a, b)

*** Typically, I sweeten this recipe with small amounts of stevia or stevia and monk fruit blends in order to keep the carbohydrate level as low as possible. However, if you’re not concerned about carbohydrates, I would consider using organic maple syrup, raw honey or unrefined coconut sugar. Another way to go is to add some dried or fresh fruit. The end result will still be very nutritious, but it will simply contain more calories and a higher glycemic index/load.

Tip: If you’d prefer a higher-protein version of this recipe, try adding some organic pumpkin seed protein powder. It’s my favorite plant-based protein “supplement”. Highly recommended!

Directions: Start by grinding the whole flax seeds into a powder. Mix the ground flax and other dry ingredients (except the pistachios) in a bowl. Heat a cup of purified water to your desired temperature and stir into the dry ingredients. Sprinkle the roasted pistachios on top. Eat while hot.

I believe it’s important to grind whole flax seed fresh rather than buying pre-ground flax meal. Flax seeds contain a high-percentage of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid which is highly susceptible to oxidation. Personally, I use the grain-milling blade on my Nutribullet. However, other devices can be used, such as a coffee bean or spice grinder. Regardless of what you use to grind your flax, just be certain to clean it well when done. Otherwise, the residual ALA will leave behind a rancid reminder of the flax grind.

  • Why Use Coconut? Recent studies dismiss the long-held notion that coconut and coconut oil are risky for the cardiovascular system. In fact, unrefined or “virgin” coconut has been associated with cardiometabolic benefits including reducing body fat and insulin, while increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol. What’s more, shredded coconut is a tremendous source of dietary fiber.
  • Why Use Flax? Flax seeds contain so much more than just ALA. The whole seeds are abundant sources of fiber, magnesium, protein and Vitamin B1. Also, they contain lignans, a type of polyphenol that may lower the risk of breast cancer, diabetes, hyperlipidemia aka high cholesterol and hypertension. There is even some evidence showing that flax lignans provide symptomatic relief to men living with benign prostatic hyperplasia or enlarged prostates.
  • Why Use Pistachios? Simply put, they taste great and they’re great for you. These tiny green gems are marked by impressive amounts of copper, monounsaturated fat and protective phytochemicals (carotenoids, chlorophyll, gallic acid and naringenin). And, they add a necessary “crunch factor” to this dish.

While my Coco-Flax Cereal may seem like it’s only for breakfast, I use it as a standby meal for any time of the day. This is especially true as the weather becomes cooler. I find it very filling and satisfying. The one note of caution I want to put out there is that coconut and flax can cause allergic reactions in a small percentage of people. So, if you’re unaccustomed to eating either of these ingredients, start slowly to assess your tolerance. Enjoy!

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

Study 1 - Randomized Study of Coconut Oil Vs Sunflower Oil on Cardiovascular (link)

Study 2 - A Coconut Extra Virgin Oil-Rich Diet Increase HDL Cholesterol and … (link)

Study 3 – Virgin Coconut Oil and its Potential Cardioprotective Effects(link)

Study 4 - Natural Cures for Breast Cancer Treatment (link)

Study 5 - Flaxseed and Diabetes (link)

Study 6 - Flaxseed Consumption May Reduce Blood Pressure (link)

Study 7 - Dietary Flaxseed Independently Lowers Circulating Cholesterol (link)

Study 8 - Effect of Flaxseed on Blood Lipid Level in Hyperlipidemic Patients (link)

Study 9 - Efficacy and Safety of a Flaxseed Hull Extract in the Symptomatic (link)

Study 10 - Argentinian Pistachio Oil and Flour: A Potential Novel Approach (link)

Study 11 - Chronic Pistachio Intake Modulates Circulating MicroRNAs Related (link)

Study 12 - More Pistachio Nuts for Improving the Blood Lipid Profile. Systematic (link)

Study 13 - Association of Tree Nut and Coconut Sensitizations (link)

Study 14 - Coconut Anaphylaxis: Case Report and Review (link)

Study 15 - Prospective Study of Sensitization and Food Allergy to Flaxseed (link)

Pistachios May Support Cardiometabolic Health

Source: Nutr Today. 2016 May;51(3):133-138. (link)

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6 Comments & Updates to “Coconut Flax Cereal Recipe”

  1. JP Says:

    Updated 11/03/16:

    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/early/2016/10/26/jn.116.237065.abstract

    J Nutr. 2016 Oct 26.

    Dietary Fiber Intake Is Inversely Associated with Periodontal Disease among US Adults.

    BACKGROUND: Approximately 47% of adults in the United States have periodontal disease. Dietary guidelines recommend a diet providing adequate fiber. Healthier dietary habits, particularly an increased fiber intake, may contribute to periodontal disease prevention.

    OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to evaluate the relation of dietary fiber intake and its sources with periodontal disease in the US adult population (≥30 y of age).

    METHODS: Data from 6052 adults participating in NHANES 2009-2012 were used. Periodontal disease was defined (according to the CDC/American Academy of Periodontology) as severe, moderate, mild, and none. Intake was assessed by 24-h dietary recalls. The relation between periodontal disease and dietary fiber, whole-grain, and fruit and vegetable intakes were evaluated by using multivariate models, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and dentition status.

    RESULTS: In the multivariate logistic model, the lowest quartile of dietary fiber was associated with moderate-severe periodontitis (compared with mild-none) compared with the highest dietary fiber intake quartile (OR: 1.30; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.69). In the multivariate multinomial logistic model, intake in the lowest quartile of dietary fiber was associated with higher severity of periodontitis than dietary fiber intake in the highest quartile (OR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.62). In the adjusted logistic model, whole-grain intake was not associated with moderate-severe periodontitis. However, in the adjusted multinomial logistic model, adults consuming whole grains in the lowest quartile were more likely to have more severe periodontal disease than were adults consuming whole grains in the highest quartile (OR: 1.32; 95% CI: 1.08, 1.62). In fully adjusted logistic and multinomial logistic models, fruit and vegetable intake was not significantly associated with periodontitis.

    CONCLUSIONS: We found an inverse relation between dietary fiber intake and periodontal disease among US adults ≥30 y old. Periodontal disease was associated with low whole-grain intake but not with low fruit and vegetable intake.

    Be well!

    JP

  2. JP Says:

    Updated 11/03/16:

    http://www.foodandnutritionresearch.net/index.php/fnr/article/view/32634

    Food Nutr Res. 2016 Oct 19;60:32634.

    Meals based on vegetable protein sources (beans and peas) are more satiating than meals based on animal protein sources (veal and pork) – a randomized cross-over meal test study.

    BACKGROUND: Recent nutrition recommendations advocate a reduction in protein from animal sources (pork, beef) because of environmental concerns. Instead, protein from vegetable sources (beans, peas) should be increased. However, little is known about the effect of these vegetable protein sources on appetite regulation.

    OBJECTIVE: To examine whether meals based on vegetable protein sources (beans/peas) are comparable to meals based on animal protein sources (veal/pork) regarding meal-induced appetite sensations.

    DESIGN: In total, 43 healthy, normal-weight, young men completed this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, three-way, cross-over meal test. The meals (all 3.5 MJ, 28 energy-% (E%) fat) were either high protein based on veal and pork meat, HP-Meat (19 E% protein, 53 E% carbohydrate, 6 g fiber/100 g); high protein based on legumes (beans and peas), HP-Legume (19 E% protein, 53 E% carbohydrate, 25 g fiber/100 g); or low-protein based on legumes, LP-Legume (9 E% protein, 62 E% carbohydrate, 10 g fiber/100 g). Subjective appetite sensations were recorded at baseline and every half hour using visual analog scales until the ad libitum meal 3 h after the test meal. Repeated measurements analyses and summary analyses were performed using ANCOVA (SAS).

    RESULTS: HP-Legume induced lower composite appetite score, hunger, prospective food consumption, and higher fullness compared to HP-Meat and LP-Legume (p<0.05). Furthermore, satiety was higher after HP-Legume than HP-Meat (p<0.05). When adjusting for palatability, HP-Legume still resulted in lower composite appetite scores, hunger, prospective consumption, and higher fullness compared to HP-Meat (p<0.05). Furthermore, HP-Legume induced higher fullness than LP-Legume (p<0.05). A 12% and 13% lower energy intake, respectively, was seen after HP-Legume compared to HP-Meat or LP-Legume (p<0.01).

    CONCLUSION: Vegetable-based meals (beans/peas) influenced appetite sensations favorably compared to animal-based meals (pork/veal) with similar energy and protein content, but lower fiber content. Interestingly, a vegetable-based meal with low protein content was as satiating and palatable as an animal-based meal with high protein content.

    Be well!

    JP

  3. JP Says:

    Updated 11/03/16:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5062871/

    Nutr J. 2016 Oct 12;15(1):86.

    Soluble fibers from psyllium improve glycemic response and body weight among diabetes type 2 patients (randomized control trial).

    BACKGROUND: Water-soluble dietary fibers intake may help control blood glucose and body weight.

    OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to determine whether soluble fiber supplementation from psyllium improves glycemic control indicators and body weight in type 2 diabetic patients.

    METHOD: Forty type 2 diabetes patients, non-smoker, aged >35 years were stratified to different strata according to sex, age, body mass index (BMI) and fasting blood sugar level (FBS) and randomly assigned into two groups; The intervention group which consists of 20 participants was on soluble fiber (10.5 g daily), and the control group which consist of 20 participants continued on their regular diet for eight weeks duration.

    RESULTS: After 8 weeks of intervention, soluble fiber supplementation showed significant reduction in the intervention group in BMI (p < 0.001) when compared with the control group. Moreover, water soluble fiber supplementation proven to improve FBS (163 to 119 mg/dl), HbA1c (8.5 to 7.5 %), insulin level (27.9 to 19.7 μIU/mL), C-peptide (5.8 to 3.8 ng/ml), HOMA.IR (11.3 to 5.8) and HOMA-β % (103 to 141 %).

    CONCLUSION: The reduction in glycemic response was enhanced by combining soluble fiber to the normal diet. Consumption of foods containing moderate amounts of these fibers may improve glucose metabolism and lipid profile in type 2 diabetes patients.

    Be well!

    JP

  4. JP Says:

    Updated 11/04/16:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27807734

    Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2016 Dec;18(12):75.

    Lipid Lowering with Soluble Dietary Fiber.

    Consumption of dietary soluble fibers has been associated with health benefits such as reduced lipid levels, lower blood pressure, improved blood glucose control, weight loss, improved immune function, and reduced inflammation. Many of these health benefits relate to a reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In this paper, we have reviewed recent studies on the hypocholesterolemic effects of dietary soluble fibers as well as fiber-rich foods. Findings include the following: (a) consumption of water-soluble, viscous-forming fibers can reduce total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels by about 5-10 %; (b) minimal changes of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or triglyceride levels were observed; (c) cholesterol-lowering properties of soluble fibers depend on their physical and chemical properties; and (d) medium to high molecular weight fibers are more effective in reducing lipid levels. Hypocholesterolemic benefits were also observed with some fiber-rich foods, such as whole oats, whole barley, legumes, peas, beans, flax seeds, apples, and citrus foods.

    Be well!

    JP

  5. Gianfranco Paul F. Says:

    Hi Healthy Fellow!

    I am impressed with this powerful article, which provides an arsenal of weapons to fight the “wheat belly”, periodontal disease, lower BP and reduce BMI!

    I find your recommendations extremely useful and easy to adopt. I am adopting them to reach my 100 year old healthy objective!

    I will share with my friends who are mostly cohorts over 80 years old.

    Thank you!

    Paul

  6. JP Says:

    Many thanks, Gianfranco!

    I hope and trust you will indeed reach your goal and beyond! And, I will try to contribute to that achievable objective!

    Be well!

    JP

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