Eat Butter and Coconut Oil and Drink Whole Milk For Mental Clarity

Well, it looks like my use of Goat Milk is likely to be improving my mental status…

This is a TED Talk where Dr. Mary Newport talks about her husband, his Alzheimer’s and how coconut oil / medium chain triglycerides improved his status significantly.

At the end, a chart of sources for medium chain fatty acids is presented, and in addition to Coconut Oil and Palm KERNEL Oil, it looks like Goat Milk and Cheese are also good sources. WHOLE Cows milk does OK, but if you are only using skim or non-fat / low-fat milk products AND the rest of your diet is the standard American diet using a lot of seed oils (soybean, corn, canola, safflower) and even olive oil; then you are essentially getting no medium chain fatty acids.

Not a very good condition to be in, yet it is what is the “approved” diet. Go figure…

The assertion is presented that Alzheimer’s is “type 3 diabetes” (or at least that some researchers were calling it that) and that it improved if ketones were available to fuel the brain; but with insulin resistant brains, they were starving for food as the usual Glucose fuel could not get into the brain cells, and so they would weaken and eventually die.

Her husband had rather severe Alzheimer’s and on feeding him 7 tsp of coconut oil per day, he improved in just a few weeks to months. Enough that he went from drawing a clock that looked more like random spots to a recognizable clock face.

The corollary to this not presented in the video is that a Ketogenic Diet would also work. She does mention this, but only in passing and not in depth. So that all meat diet and the meat and non-starchy veggies? That’s a go…

So, in short, yet another way that a high sugar high starch low butter / dairy low medium chain fatty acid diet screws up people. Yet that is the official dietary guideline from the Government. I’m sure it is just an accident…

18 minutes:

I’m now even more happy that my Dad refused to go on the margarine “kick” of the ’60s and we ate butter and whole milk all the time. I’m now left wondering how much of the screwed up brains of the present generation is entirely due to following the “Advice” of the “Experts”…

FWIW, along with relatively low cost Coconut Oil at COSTCO, they had bottles of MCT oil on the shelf. While Coconut is 60% MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) you can get a higher level in the oil component. OTOH, coconut oil tastes great so why bother?

This morning I had oatmeal with a “pat” of coconut oil in it instead of butter. Just fine (with a tiny bit of added salt to match salted butter levels). For dinner, I fried potatoes in a 50/50 mix of olive oil and coconut oil (as straight coconut oil foams too much for frying) and had shrimp poached in the same oil mix. Just delicious!

So not only is it easy to do, it is also very tasty!

Subscribe to feed


About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Biology Biochem, cooking, Food, Science Bits and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Eat Butter and Coconut Oil and Drink Whole Milk For Mental Clarity

  1. Larry Ledwick says:

    It is interesting that I have long been of the opinion that the experts told us to stay away from coconut oil if possible, and have actively avoided it.
    Switched to extra virgin olive oil a few years ago – prior to that always used corn oil (which I still prefer for popped corn.

    Growing up we used 2% or even skim milk from my teens on (mostly as a cost cutting issue I think) Crisco shortening and one of the margarine brands as long as I could remember, never used butter at home until the last few years, same with lard.

    My mom always used low fat cooking methods, the rare exception to that was my dad’s spaghetti sauce which had ample fat from the meat balls made of 50/50 ground beef and sausage, but the excess fat got ladled off after the sauce cooled.

    I have always had a low tolerance for fat on meats with the sole exception of bacon. On all other meats I always trimmed off the excess fat either before or after cooking depending on if I was doing the cooking or some one else was.

    Maybe that is why I have always eaten a high carbohydrate diet, potatoes, rice and spaghetti have always been a major portion of my diet and It always irritated me that you could not get a decent helping of mashed potatoes in restaurants, and they thought an adequate serving of mashed potatoes was barely one large serving spoon. Same with rice, I would sometimes go to a take out chinese restaurant and only order plain rice and brown fried rice and be perfectly happy.

  2. Mikeb says:

    Here’s a good talk by Dr Paul Mason
    Re food and the gut

  3. Bill in Oz says:

    Butter, coco nut oil & olive oil are all good for us. I also avoid low fat milk and enjoy thick cream with my coffee each day.

    The campaign to get us to avoid saturated fats was all B/S propaganda designed to get us eating seed oil & margarine.

    All of the other seed oils NOT good. And that includes all margarine.

    Lamb prices have dropped here to around A$12.99 a kg so I’m enjoying my lamb steaks, leg of lamb and lamb stew with the leftovers.. Good tucker !

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry L:

    A high carbs diet can work. The “problem” with it is that it stimulates over production of insulin, that leads to over storage of fats, that leads to more hunger, that leads to eating more carbs; eventually making a horrible Insulin Resistance positive feedback loop, ending in diabetes and obesity.

    Now IF you can keep your meal portions low enough that you avoid entering into the weight gain cycle, and have frequent enough meals to keep blood sugar stable and the brain supplied with glucose; all is well.

    The advantage of the medium chain fatty acids is that they are NOT stored in the body fat cells. They are immediately metabolized to ketone bodies in the liver (and thus can directly fuel the brain and body without regard to insulin status or glucose levels). This provides a way of keeping the body and mind healthy even if you are in strong Insulin Resistance. It also helps to avoid feeling hungry from insulin resistance and helps to break that feedback loop.

    FWIW, a few decades ago a friend was having hypoglycemia problems. I decided to establish how the system worked so as to be able to help him. As I was NOT hypoglycemic, I could try things he could not. Well, shortening a few months long story… By eating a lot of excess sugars and starches for weeks; I was able to induce the same kind of blood sugar cycling that was causing him issues. Then could play with what foods worked and what didn’t.

    Then discovered I was still “not right” when I tried going back to my regular diet…

    That was a bit of an Oh Dear! moment. “Did I break me?”…

    What followed was several weeks of effort to get my metabolism back to normal… For a while I was worried I might have “broken myself”… But eating a lot of meat, fats, and many frequent small meals devoid of sugars; I eventually returned to my normal robust ability to eat just about any pattern without problems.

    One of the “lessons learned”? That a large load of mostly sugars and starches can push your insulin and related hormones (like fat storage signals) all out of whack and it takes a few weeks to shift them… Or shift them back. Even if you are genetically robust and normal.

    FWIW, that was sort of the start of my interest in “playing with diet” and measuring how bodies respond. It was also when I came to realize how different we all are, and how much diet can shift our “type”…

    So yeah, with one friend I went on an all-meat all the time diet for a few months. With this other one I went to very high carbs & sugars to try to approximate his “issues” on much lower carbs. When I say I’ve had diet patterns from just about every style, it’s because I have ;-)

    So IF you burn up the carbs you eat every day, you are very unlikely to have an “issue” as long as you have a normal metabolism (i.e. not genetically missing any enzyme systems or similar). Where the problems start to show up is with carbs significantly over daily requirements for several weeks, and then that hypoglycemic crash on the “sugar rush” being all stored as fat from the insulin spike, but then no longer term fuel source “in the pipeline” happens. That can then lead to more constant over-eating, weight gain, and in the very long run insulin resistance and diabetic issues. That can be a hard trap to break out of. I know…

    But stay at relatively lean body form, burn your carbs daily, avoid the “sugar spike / crash” cycle, and a high carbs diet can work.

    FWIW it is quite possible to live without medium chain fatty acids. Their main utility is in bypassing the glucose system for fueling things without being in a full on Ketogenic Diet. As long as you are not insulin resistant, you don’t need to do that. But an ever increasing percentage of the population IS insulin resistant (and overweight and still hungry…) and for them having medium chain fatty acids gives a nice “side path” to cellular energy and lower cravings and helps break that cycle of insulin resistance (and the side effects like foggy brain…)

    So yeah, you can live on seed oils. It is just a harder metabolic row to hoe…

    One of the big Ah Ha! moments for me was when I put some coconut oil in my morning oatmeal or extra butter on my pancakes. They went from glycemic cycling (sugar rush / crash) to nice breakfast with sustained satiation and energy. I’d generally avoided starches at breakfast and preferred “ham and eggs” type meals, just to avoid the “crash” at about 10 AM as the blood sugar spike collapsed. Turns out that enough added medium chain fats dampens that for me.

    I do wish this body came with an owners manual and programming guide, though. Working it out by trial and error is sometimes a bit rough…

  5. Larry Ledwick says:

    I have always had good glucose tolerance tests when done for physicals, and as I have noted before, been a grazer by eating style, eating lots of smaller meals and eating them slowly rather than gobbling them down before the satiation signal had time to function.

    It is only after I past about age 65 that I have had any issues with maintaining weight and even then I am at the high end of the healthy range (although now trying to find a way to peel off about 10-15 pounds to get back to ideal weight.)

    One of the problems is due to my very small food intake it is difficult for me to eat a balanced diet as far as nutrition so have taken 1 a day type vitamins for most of my life to ensure I get the essential nutrients. With out them I would have problems with certain essential nutrients due to my low food intake.

    As you point out, many many factors involved. Like you, have noted in the past, sometimes I get engrossed in some project and go 36 hours without eating a significant meal (literally have to think about when was the last time I ate). So for what ever reason, periodically my body just shuts off the hunger trigger for a while. I have been doing periodic fasting type eating style for the last several years. I started it when I did that food diary and found my ideal daily calorie intake is between 1000 – 1200 calories. To lose any significant weight I need to get daily intake down toward the low end of that range, and above 1200 – 1600 calories I begin to put on weight.

    I know for most of you, those would be starvation diets, but for me although I am taking in a large proportion of carbohydrates (much of it as soda pop) I rarely get over 2000 calories a day except for holiday feast type eating near thanksgiving etc.

    Due to my job, I have difficulty getting adequate exercise now, and try to walk for at least 30 – 40 minutes a day at a brisk pace 4-5 days a week. But I am now experimenting with time of meals as well as the actual content of the meals.

    Of late, I have been having a few ounces of hamburger and some potatoes for dinner an hour or so before I go to bed and it seems to make it much easier to stay in fast into the late morning and even early afternoon. The last few days first significant solid food was around 2:00 – 4:00 pm, (like a single bologna sandwich and a small glass of milk) then that light meal of beef and potatoes (lately some store bought potato salad) around 11:00 pm or 12:00 midnight when I get home from work.

    Last night I tossed a pat of butter on the beef and let it melt just before serving, and season with a 50/50 mix of ketchup and A1 sauce (call it poor man’s steak). During the mid day maybe 6+ cans of coke (around 800-900 calories – – company provides it free at work).

    Every couple days will have 2 eggs and a small glass of milk for breakfast, or sometimes just a single hard boiled egg and a small glass of milk, or two pieces of toast and milk for breakfast.
    So as you can see – very small meals by most peoples standards. A full size burger king hamburger is a bit much for me to eat for a meal, I will often eat only about 1/2 the fries with such a meal. A restaurant steak dinner will feed me for 3 days including the original serving at the restaurant)

    If I buy pizza I will usually eat 1 or maybe 2 slices for a meal and toss the rest in zip lock bags and into the fridge to be eaten one slice at a time over the next few days. Of course I an not feeding a lot of body mass at 145 pounds and 5′ 5″.

  6. andysaurus says:

    E.M. I’m sure your analysis of the issue is right as it agrees with mine! Being type 2 diabetic an still marginally overweight with a BMI of 28, I am more restricted in what I can eat. My mental acuity is much improved on low carbs, as is my mental state. My Keto meter says I maintain a blood level at about 0.2. According to Benjamin Bikman of Brigham Young University, as long as it’s above zero it means that my body is burning ketones instead of glucose and my insulin resistance is having a break from years of abuse. I think I went too long pumping myself full of insulin for it ever to recover fully, but at least it’s under control with the low carb / 16:8 intermittent fast.

  7. cdquarles says:

    Don’t forget the somatomedins! Simple sugars I minimize. Carbs, as complex (these require more metabolic work to digest, I do eat. I love rice. I prefer brown to white, but I live in the old South, so keep in mind that brown rice will spoil faster. I love butter, too; but as far as diary goes, it *must* be fermented, or I will get sick. Time to get some olives to snack on ;).

Comments are closed.