Coconut Ice Cream
Coconut ice cream is just as its name implies, a frozen treat made with coconut milk instead of the usual cow’s milk. Fast becoming a favorite among wellness enthusiasts, coconut milk has its downsides, too, which is why reasonable consumption of this product would be prudent.
Coconut Ice Cream’s Benefits:
Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)
Much like coconut oil and coconut meat, coconut ice cream is a potent source of a special type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs, too. MCTs, once ingested, immediately get transformed into energy by the liver making MCTs a suitable steady source of energy, particularly for physically active individuals. Because these fats are instantaneously processed upon ingestion, there’s little chance of MCTs getting stored as fat, making this delectable treat ideal even for those with weight loss pursuits.
MCTs have been found to raise ketone body levels as well. It is essential to note that the brain has glucose as its main source of energy. Individuals with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), meanwhile, have trouble processing glucose, further contributing to the worsening of the condition. MCTs ingestion, and subsequent ketone body levels increase, may help manage AD as ketone bodies have been found to be a suitable alternative energy source for the brain.
Lauric Acid, Vitamin E, Polyphenols & More
Coconut ice cream has measurable amounts of lauric acid, too, a known antibacterial and antifungal agent. Also, this sumptuous treat’s main ingredient which is coconut milk renders heart-protective benefits as well. As it turns out, coconut consumption decreases the LDL cholesterol, touted as the bad cholesterol,1 in the body. This food’s measurable vitamin E, provitamin A, and polyphenols and phytosterols content all work together to prevent oxidative stress as well.
Coconut Ice Cream’s Risks:
Coconut ice cream’s main ingredient is coconut milk. In the United States, coconut milk is typically sold in cans. Cans are lined with Bisphenol-A, more commonly known as BPA. BPA serves as an anti-corrosive agent for the aluminum cans to prevent oxidation and subsequent potential contamination with dangerous pathogens. BPA has been found to leach into the canned food, especially if the product is high in sodium, acid, or fat, the latter which is the case with coconut milk.
BPA has profound negative effects in the body. For one, high BPA levels in pregnant women resulted in neurobehavioral defects2 in their offspring. BPA appears to encourage or aggravate the development of hormone-dependent cancers3 like testicular, prostate, and breast cancer as well because of its ability to disrupt endocrine function.4 What’s even scarier is that even low concentrations of this chemical in the body already affects thyroid function.5
Guar Gum & Fructose
Most commercially available coconut milk contains the food thickening agent guar gum as well, which can cause gastrointestinal maladies. Lastly, coconut milk, the main ingredient, has low levels of fructose6 in it. Individuals with known sensitivity to fructose and therefore follow a fructose-restricted diet may do well to minimize or altogether avoid coconut ice cream.