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May 30th
Home Sections Health and Medicine The NAST’s Dr.Guerrero Gets It Wrong on the Bicolnon Coconut-laced Diet
The NAST’s Dr.Guerrero Gets It Wrong on the Bicolnon Coconut-laced Diet PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Health and Medicine
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 13:01


The National Academy of Science & Technology (NAST) Must Do More Research on Coconuts, so as to Turn It into a Sunrise Industry


By Lolo Bobby M. Reyes of Sorsogon City and West Covina, California


Among the Bicolanos, who consume 62% of their fats from coconut, the cholesterol level in the blood is lower than that of people in other regions of the country whose consumption of coconut products is not high. – Dr. Rafael D. Guerrero


R afael D. Guerrero, Ph.D., did not really explain fully the use of coconut in the cooking habits and diet of the people of the Philippines’ Bicol Region. Dr. Guerrero’s assertions in his opus are just partly correct, as published two days ago in the Manila Bulletin.


The truth is that more-often than not, Bicolnons use only coconut milk (gata) in cooking dishes that have lots of vegetables and fresh pepper in them. Cooking with gata is much healthier than frying food with coconut oil or with any kind of vegetable oil for that matter.


Bicolnons usually are astute cooks, if not chefs. They know since time immemorial that it is always healthier to broil, bake or barbecue meat or fishes than to fry them with any kind of oil. In fact, many Bicolnons prefer seasoned raw fish (called kinilaw) or fresh oysters than fried seafood.


Coconut farming is presently considered a sunset industry, as many food importers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and other developed countries no longer prefer the coconut oil. As the Harvard University’s School of Public Health has reported, “(Americans) replace them (coconut oil) with partially hydrogenated oils made from soy, corn, sunflower, and rapeseed.” The Harvard’s full quote on coconut and palm oils is reproduced below with the corresponding URL cited.


The Bright Future of Coconut Oil as Cocodiesel


Dr. Guerrero and his fellow whiz kids in the NAST must read this report that contains the findings of researchers from the University of California-Los Angeles campus (UCLA). It links heart attacks to diesel fumes.

Why Many Filipinos Die of Heart Attack in Polluted Manila and Other Philippine Urban Centers


If research will prove that exhaust from cocodiesel-powered engines will harm less the environment (and people’s health) than those fueled by crude-oil-based diesel fuel, the cocodiesel will become the fuel for the future.


Coconuts are the best perennial sources of green-diesel fuel, as coconut trees are permanent crops. Unlike palm oil, which Indonesia and Malaysia had been planting by clearing huge swats of virgin forests, coconuts can co-exist with trees in the forest. Coconut trees can thrive in mountainous areas and also in beaches of rivers and seas. Planting millions more of coconut trees will help in mitigating Global Warming.


This is why this writer has endorsed to his contacts in the world headquarters of an automaker in Detroit, Michigan, the need to develop a diesel engine that runs solely on cocodiesel. After all, the inventor of the diesel engine, Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel, originally intended peanut oil as fuel for his new engine. But then diesel fuel extracted from crude oil proved to be much cheaper than peanut oil. But then in about four-to-five decades more, the world will run out of crude oil. Now where will the tens of millions of diesel engines get their fuel?


The Philippines, as the universe’s biggest producer of coconuts, can be the world’s dominant supplier of cocodiesel. It can earn perhaps three-to-five times its present export per annum amounting to $1.0-billion of coconut oil and copra.


Perhaps Dr. Guerrero and his NAST colleagues can begin their research and development on the proposed new diesel engine that runs 100% on cocodiesel fuel – with or without the assistance of Detroit’s or other foreign automakers. The research will be in addition to continuing studies of other products derived from coconuts – from coir to coco charcoal, etceteras, etc.


If you want to read excerpts of Dr. Guerrero’s article, please click on this link:


Coconut Benefits


Educators Speak


By RAFAEL D. GUERRERO, Ph.D. (National Academy of Science & Technology)

September 25, 2011, 8:00am


M ANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is one of the world’s top producers of coconuts. From the more than 14 million metric tons of coconuts that we produce annually, we earn about US$1 billion with the export of coconut oil and copra. Over 3 million hectares or about a third of our total arable land is planted to this tree crop, which provides livelihood to many Filipinos in the countryside who are impoverished.


In the Asia-Pacific Region where our country belongs, people consume coconut products in one form or another for food and health care. Studies have shown that in countries where consumption of coconuts is high, there are low incidences of heart disease, cancer, and digestive disorders. Among the Bicolanos, who consume 62% of their fats from coconut, the cholesterol level in the blood is lower than that of people in other regions of the country whose consumption of coconut products is not high.


According to Frank Quismorio, Jr., a Filipino-American physician who teaches at the USC Medical School, the cause of death is not an exact science in the Philippines. Filipino medical practitioners just write in the death certificates ‘heart attack’ as the cause of death when the victim complained of chest pain. And they write in the death certificate ‘cerebral thrombosis’ (euphemism for stroke) when the decedent complained of headaches before dying. In short, the actual cause of death due to medical reasons is not known in the Philippines, as both the government and the people cannot afford autopsy. – Bobby M. Reyes in his article, Why Many Filipinos Die of Heart Attack in Polluted Manila and Other Philippine Urban Centers


Coconut oil has the lowest content of cholesterol compared to other edible oils like soybean oil, corn oil, butter, and lard. It is considered the “healthiest of food oils” because of its composition consisting of 92% saturated fatty acids, 6% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 2% polyunsaturated fatty acids.


The many health benefits of coconut oil are attributed to its high content of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), primarily lauric acid. Unlike the fats of other oils, the MCFAs are directly absorbed by the liver and immediately used for energy and thus are not stored as fat. Coconut fats, therefore, do not increase “bad cholesterol;” they limit obesity.


Aside from their thermogenic effect (“burning of fat”), MCFAs also have antimicrobial properties. Research has shown them to be effective against pathogenic bacteria like those which cause stomach ulcer, viruses such as those of measles, influenza, and AIDS, and fungi like ringworm.


Nutritionist and naturapathy doctor Bruce Fife, president of the Coconut Research Center of the United States, recommends the eating of 3-4 tablespoons of “Virgin Coconut Oil” per day for an adult and/or the use of RBD (refined, bleached, and deodorized) coconut oil for cooking to help in disease prevention and alleviation. The Food and Drug Administration of the US has approved coconut oil as a GRAS (generally regarded as safe) product.


Coconut and palm oils. These solid vegetable oils were more widely used in prepared food until 1988, when worries (largely unfounded) that they were more detrimental than other high-saturated-fat oils caused food companies to replace them with partially hydrogenated oils made from soy, corn, sunflower, and rapeseed. While they are less harmful than fats high in trans fats, they are still less beneficial for the heart than vegetable oils rich in mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Recent evidence indicates that coconut oil strongly increases HDL cholesterol, which may make it a good choice when a bit of hard fat is needed. – Harvard School of Public Health


O ther than fats, the meat of coconut is also high in carbohydrate and dietary fiber.


Defatted and dried coconut meat has higher protein and fiber than polished rice.

The dietary fiber content of coconut is 30% higher than that of green beans, 25% higher than that of okra, and 18% higher than that of corn.


Fiber in the diet helps regulate blood sugar, prevent colon cancer, and improve digestive function. Friendly bacteria in the large intestine feed on the fiber to produce vitamins and other substances that are essential for good health.


Moreover, coconut fiber does not reduce the absorption of minerals such as zinc, iron, and calcium in the gut, unlike soybean, wheat, and oat. The consumption of 20-30 grams of dietary fiber per day is recommended.


With the increasing incidence of degenerative disorders like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes in our country, it is worthwhile to consider the regular or frequent use of coconut and its products in our diets and cooking practices. The consumption of more coconuts will not only be good for our health but will also help many poor Filipinos dependent on the coconut industry for their livelihood. # # #


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 September 2011 17:27

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