Impact of Fresh Coconut on Dietary Intake: A Randomized Comparative Trial
Nagashree R Shankar, NK Manjunath, Ramesh Mavathur, V Venugopal, P Sreedhar, Anju Sood, HR Nagendra
CONTEXT: Controversies exist about health effects of coconut. Fresh coconut consumption on human health has not been studied substantially. Indians enjoy fresh coconut consumption and thus there is a need to understand the effects of fresh coconut. OBJECTIVE: To compare the effects of increased saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake (provided by fresh coconut) vs monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) intake (provided by a combination of groundnut oil + groundnuts) on dietary intake in healthy adults. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eighty healthy volunteers were randomized into two groups and provided with 100 gm of fresh coconut/day (diet C) or a combination of 45 gm groundnuts and 22 gm groundnut oil/day (diet G) for 90 days. 24-hour recall was collected. One-day fatty acid analysis was measured. RESULTS: Significant decrease was seen in intake of calories, protein, fat, SFA, MUFA, poly unsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), cholesterol, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus in diet C and calories, fat, SFA, PUFA, phosphorous, and sodium in diet G. On comparing both the diets, we found a significant increase in iron and no significant change was seen in carbohydrate intake. No change was observed in MUFA levels on diet G but significant decrease on diet C compared with subjectâ€™s usual diets. CONCLUSION: Daily consumption of 100 gm of coconut, rich in SFA, for 3 months had numerous positive effects on dietary intake, similar to that of MUFA fats, which are deliberated as good fats. The results of this work have particular relevance in suggesting that individuals wishing to use fresh coconut everyday can do so safely.
Coconut, Diet, Groundnut, Monounsaturated fatty acid, Saturated fats.