Re: polynesian diet and coconut fat
- From: dorsy1943 <dtms69@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 03:47:15 -0700
On Sep 12, 9:58 pm, Susan <neverm...@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I was curious about the saturated fat that Monty says is in a
traditional polynesian diet so I googled "traditional polynesian
Evidently, a traditional diet was 75 to 80 per cent starch, 7 to 12
per cent fat and 12 to 15 per cent protein. That is not a whole lot
of fat even if it is all coconut fat which it wasn't.
The per cent of fat is often lower than even ornish's recommendation.
Their diet consisted of taro, cassava, yams and sweet potatoes,
bananas, breadfruit, fruits, juices, nuts, greens, seaweed, pork and
chicken mostly for feasts and lots and lots of fish which, of course
contain omega threes. Which means that if the diet is 7 to 12 per
cent fat, the fat must be from both fish and coconut and any fat that
is in the other fruits, nuts, vegetables, meat. So It doesn't look
like coconut fat was a very large portion of the diet, or that omega
threes were harmful to tradition islanders.
Many dishes were cooked in coconut milk and dried coconut for
Oils were used sparingly and the diet was high in fiber and low in
fat. Fish was eaten abundantly which means unsaturated fats in the
So very small amounts of the saturated fat from coconut oil was
incorporated in the diet along with the unsaturated omega threes from
a diet abundant in fish, which is very different from saying that
polynesians thrived on coconut oil.
I don't know where your stats come from, but polynesian diets include
meats such as pork cooked in coconut milk casseroles.
I used to eat on Ornish, and no way polynesians eating a traditional
diet ate 7-12% fat. I ate at the 10% level on Ornish years ago, and
coconut milk, pork and chicken would've raised the fat level way higher
Susan- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
I said in my post that I went onto google and typed in "traditional
polynesian diet" and that is where I came up with the information. It
said that the pork was eaten at feasts and I assumed this meant
infrequently. There are also traditional recipes and ways of cooking
the various foods which I didn't bother to read, but might give you an
idea of how much coconut is used.
It is very hard in a short term study to determine what is a healthy
diet. I take the reporting of risk factors with a grain of salt. The
people of Crete who ate their traditional diet were found to have
quite high cholesterol levels compared to the Japanese, yet at the
time Keyes did his study they had a slightly longer average lifespan.
Yet high cholesterol is supposed to be predictive of high risk for
I don't think it is possible to exactly duplicate traditional diets
since we do not live, work and play in those cultures. Who really
knows what it is in each culture which has low rates of degenerative
diseases that causes the good health. Maybe it is something like the
mineral water of France or the wild herbs in Italy or other stuff that
isn't even considered when people are making their lists of foods. I
do think it would be stretching it to say polynesians are healthy
because they eat lots of coconuts. Bye the way, I remember seeing on
TV years ago that there is a small town in PA where the people
(mostly of Italian descent) are very overweight yet there was
practically no heart disease.