Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s

84DE5FFB-AF0F-420A-BB5F-B5C79E404033When I was working in public home care, I used to visit a lot of seniors.  Sadly, many of them had some form of mild to severe dementia.  At one of my home visits, a family member of one of my clients asked me if coconut oil was good for improving the memory of those with Alzheimer’s.  I told them I never heard about that.  I went back to my office and I did a bit of googling and found that there were in fact studies being done on this.  Researchers where looking at the fatty acids in the oil to see of they had any effect.

I met a few other families that had heard about this and were cooking with coconut oil and telling me that it was helping their loved ones.  Who was I to tell them there wasn’t yet enough evidence to confirm that coconut oil improves memory? Many seniors especially those over the age of 80 are at risk for malnutrition as evidenced by weight loss secondary to myriad of issues.

coconuts

Here is a current article written by a dietitian on the Extenso website that confirms that coconut oil is not the cure for Alzheimer’s.  But coconut oil is fat.  Fat has calories.  Calories are needed for weight gain especially for those who need to increase weight to improve health status.  It would be remiss to tell those clients not to try it.

The placebo effect is a beautiful thing.

Addendum: Dr. Joe posted this on October 10, 2013!

 

 

(Featured image taken off madeofmuscle.net)

 

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Dr. Joe’s Turmericious Cauliflower

TURMERICIOUS CAULIFLOWER

1 Cauliflower
5 Cloves garlic
4 Chopped onions
¼ tablespoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon chili powder
3 chopped tomatoes
1 Chopped green pepper
2 Tablespoon canola oil

DIRECTIONS

In 1 tablespoon oil stir fry cauliflower florets for 5 minutes,
remove them and set aside. Add the second tablespoon of
oil to the same pan and sauté the onions and garlic until
the onions are translucent. Add the turmeric, paprika, salt,
pepper, chili powder. Stir. Add tomatoes and green pepper
and cook for 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook
covered on low heat for 3 minutes.

Cauliflower display at farmer's market

Dr. Joe’s Chicken Paprikas

CHICKEN PAPRIKAS

½ cup canola oil
2 chopped onions
5 cloves of minced garlic
2 green peppers
3 tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons paprika
15 pieces chicken with skin taken off (legs and/or thighs)
½ cup water

DIRECTIONS

Saute onions and garlic in oil until onions are translucent.
Add chicken and stir. Add chopped peppers, tomatoes,
salt, pepper and paprika. Stir. Add ½ cup water. Stir.
Cook 45 minutes on low heat. Place on bed of rice, dress
with parsley.

chicken-paprikash

Dr. Joe’s Cabbage Noodles

FLAX FORTIFIED CABBAGE NOODLES

2 Cups shredded green cabbage
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon black pepper
1.5 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

DIRECTIONS:

Saute the cabbage in 1 tablespoon of oil with occasional
stirring for 15 minutes. Stir in the flax seed. Set Aside.
In a separate pan, sauté the onions and garlic in 1
tablespoon of oil, add salt, pepper and paprika. Cook until
onions are translucent.
Add the cabbage and flax mixture and stir.
Separately cook two cups of noodles.
Stir the cabbage mix into the noodles.

Green Cabbage with Bowl of Spinach

Dr. Joe’s Goulash Recipe

GOULASH with tofu and hungarian paprika

Place enough canola oil in a 2 liter saucepan to just cover the bottom.

When the oil is hot, add two chopped onions and sauté until the onions are light brown and translucent.

Add two cubed tomatoes, a cup of cut green beans and three chopped peppers of different colors. Green, yellow and red are ideal.

Add 4-5 cloves of crushed garlic and a teaspoon of salt. Stir well.

Add 2 tablespoons of Hungarian paprika and stir well.

Peel about 10 red potatoes and cut them into approximately 2 cm cubes. Add these to the pot along with a cup of water. Stir well.

When the potatoes are starting to get a little soft, add two cups of mushrooms. Stir.

The goulash is done when the potatoes are soft, roughly five minutes after adding the mushrooms. At this point you can add more salt, depending on taste. A little black pepper may also be added.

In a separate pan, sauté some onions and garlic in a little canola oil. Take a one pound package of hard tofu and cut it into little cubes. Sauté tofu in the onion-garlic mix until the tofu starts to get a little brown. Sprinkle with paprika and keep cooking. Add a chopped red and a chopped yellow pepper. The tofu is done when the peppers get soft.

Place the goulash in a serving dish, and add the tofu mix to the top. Sprinkle liberally with fresh chopped parsley.

Enjoy!

(If you are the kind of person who likes to walk a little on the wild side, add a spoonful of sour cream. Even with this, the goulash will be low in fat. Your taste buds will thank you.)

Goulash soup

Dr. Joe Schwarcz: The Right Chemistry

I recently attended a book signing by Cote Saint Luc’s very own Dr. Joe Schwarcz. Dr. Joe, as he is affectionately known by students and admirers alike, has a new book entitled The Right Chemistry.  It is his 13th book and it takes the ‘‘mistry” out of chemistry. The Right Chemistry is filled with wonderful vignettes about science written with humour and interesting facts.   As Dr. Joe always says “You need the sugar to make the medicine go down!”

Dr. Joe is known for making chemistry fun, fascinating and accessible to the masses.  Dr. Joe teaches chemistry at McGill and is noted for his interesting lectures.  He also gives talks to the regular folks too, like his monthly Mondays at the Cote Saint Luc Eleanor London Library called Science Demystified.

Over the years Dr. Joe has become a kind of watchdog for the quack science that has emerged more rapidly and venomously than ever before.  This is probably due to the advent of the internet, email, social media etc.   A lot of the claptrap out there is attached to health claims from disease curing foods to the evils of plastics.  Chances are if you have a question about something you got in an email or saw on the internet then Dr. Joe has already received an email about it.  According to Dr. Joe, many of these questions can be answered with one word: Nonsense!  Why? Because you need properly conducted scientific studies that are evidenced based to promote accurate health information.

Nutrition is a hot topic these days.  It seems like one day eggs are the devil and the next day they are the star.  Butter recently made a comeback while sugar is the new evil.  Dr. Joe is an encyclopedia of science but especially so with nutrition.  He sifts through all the garbage and promotes only evidence based nutrition information. He says that you can’t go wrong if you eat your fruits and veggies.

Dr. Joe has a handful of recipes he created with some well studied ingredients.  I am pleased to say that Dr. Joe has given me permission to post these recipes. Watch for them over the next few weeks.

Most of these recipes can be found in their cooked form at my neighbourhood fruit and vegetable store called Quality Fruits.  As local lore has it, Dr. Joe’s vegetarian goulash was created as a joke.  These days you can often find Dr. Joe doing quality control and tasting the wonderful foods.  If you happen to see Dr. Joe at Quality don’t hesitate to go up to him and say hi.  He will not bigfoot you and will gladly answer that burning question you have about blueberry enzymes curing your gout.