Coconut and cacao are two foods that offer incredible health benefits. These two saturated fats are not only plant-based (if that’s a concern), but they’re also high in antioxidants, minimally processed (most are raw), and they’re also incredibly satiating.
These two butters come from the
coconut plant and the cacao bean. They are two of the most
antioxidant-rich options we have available to us that are
cholesterol-free. So, while coconut oil and a dark chocolate bar are still smart choices, there’s more to these foods than meets the eye.
butters of cacao and coconut contain fibers, fats, and
endorphin-boosting nutrients like enzymes, B vitamins, magnesium, and
even protein! But their fats are the real game-changing ingredients that
are so good for our mood, and ultimately our health.
Coconut is high in medium-chain triglyceride fats
that promote good brain health and a healthy metabolism. These fats are
bypassed during digestion and metabolized by the liver, where they are
used for detoxification purposes and for fuel. Not only is coconut
butter generally easier to digest than dairy butter, it is also very
satiating and phenomenal at curbing a sweet tooth, even though it
contains no sugar.
Cacao butter is the white part of the
cacao plant that you might associate with white chocolate. Pure, raw
cacao butter, however, contains no sugar and, unlike the dark part of
the cocoa bean, is less bitter and more creamy in taste. Cacao butter is
what gives a chocolate bar or a high quality cocoa that rich flavor. It
is the ingredient that makes the best products stand out from the
bunch. Cacao butter contains high amounts of antioxidants
and protective nutrients, such as vitamin E, which make it so great for
your skin. Although cacao butter is most commonly known for its
benefits to the skin, its antioxidant content also nourishes the brain,
protects the brain from disease, and also affects the way the brain
How to get more of these good fats into your diet
of the best ways to enjoy coconut butter and cacao are also the
simplest. Spoon a little cacao butter or coconut butter into your next
smoothie, or have a spoonful as a snack instead of peanut butter.
Alternatively, blend up a dairy-free bulletproof coffee
with one of the two butters for a rich, indulgent treat in the morning
or early afternoon. Of course, you can also enjoy cacao or coconut
butter in raw desserts, or melt them to make your own chocolates and
coconut candies. Just be sure you’re mindful of portions and don’t use
these as a replacement for healthy vegetables, greens, and protein,
which you need for overall good health.
And, be sure when you eat these delicious fats that you also
occasionally include other beneficial fats in your diet — try
monounsaturated fats such as those found in almonds, fish, walnuts,
pecans, avocados and olives (or olive oil). Including a variety of fats
in your diet is important for overall health and to give your body the
variety it needs to thrive.
Also, do your best to purchase healthy fats in a raw and organic form
when possible, since heat during processing can destroy some of the
nutrients and changes the fatty acid profile.
We no longer have to avoid saturated fats like these — what are some ideas you have for adding them to meals and snacks?
—The Alternative Daily