Posts Tagged ‘food allergy’

They say, common sense is not common anymore.

It seems the more knowledge we have,  the more confused we become.

This is particularly true when it comes to health.  As we are bombarded daily by new researched information, miracle drugs development, advancing medical technology, we lose the big picture, the basics, the common sense.

It is the routine obstetric advice that a pregnant woman should eat exactly the same way as when she is not pregnant, apart from taking some extra folate, calcium and iron. Common sense would ask why. As common sense knows when we have  increased demand, we have to increase supply. A fetus could not grow out of just combining folate, calcium and iron.  It turns out that pregnant women have many folds increase in need for protein, zinc, magnesium, iodine, essential fatty acids, to name a few. Pregnant women do not just need to eat, they need to have a special eating plan catered for the special need.

It was such a marketing success when Coke zero was invented. I had countless people coming up to me and said proudly:” At least now when I drink Coke, I drink Coke zero.” When something is advertised  to contain absolutely no sugar and yet tastes sweet, common sense would ask why.  Common sense would look for the substance that brings the taste and find out if that substance is better than sugar. It turns out that substance is aspartame. The adverse effect of aspartame on health is another topic for another day. All I would say simply is that if you have to drink Coke, drink the proper one.

And then we have the cholesterol super fear. Advice is often given to patient to bring the cholesterol down as low as possible. Common sense would ask why. Why on earth we have cholesterol in our body  in the first place?  I have never seen a patient with a zero cholesterol reading before. Because they would be dead. It turns out that all hormones are produced from cholesterol. ( see post”So you think you know cholesterol”)

And what about our appendix?  We are often told it is useless. So much so that some surgeons remove them “prophylactically”. Common sense would ask why. Why everyone is born without fail with an appendix? Are we satisfied  that it is merely a side product of evolution?  It turns out that the appendix contains lymphoid tissues in the highest density compared with other parts of the gut and it acts as the “point of entry or border control” for food allergens. Appendicitis (inflammation of the appendix) indicates  fighting with unwanted food particles is occurring.


Medical care is not rocket science. Common sense  is often priceless. Keep it if you can.



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Moist Coconut Cake

This is the third level recipe for those who want to venture out further about introducing coconut nutrients into their diet. This cake is one of the few desserts I would approve for my patients who know how mean I can be when it comes to dessert prescriptions! (The other approved recipes of course would be the guilt-free chocolate cake and the cocochoc delight)

The flour in this cake is almond meal mixed with coconut flour so it is totally gluten free. Coconut flour is made from grinding down dry coconut flesh so it is 100% fiber and has virtually no calories. Coconut flour can be brought in good health stores or from the internet. No dairy or yeast is needed so is also dairy and yeast free.

The sugar I use this time is coconut palm sugar. It is made from the sap of coconut flowers. It has a rich mineral content and  a very low Glycaemic Index of 35 (meaning a very slow absorption of the sugar resulting in minimal negative impact on the blood sugar level, suitable for diabetes) compared with cane sugar of 68. You can buy them in Asian food stores. Be aware of the quality of coconut palm sugar as some  have cane sugar added to them so always check the label. Try to get the type that has been set in small blocks so it is easier to measure out different quantities you need.


Full cream coconut milk 1 cup (1x  270 ml can)

Desiccated coconut 1/2 cup

Shredded coconut 1/2 cup

Coconut flour 1/2 cup sieved

Almond meal 1 cup

Coconut palm sugar 100-150 gm (approx.)

Eggs 4

Vanilla essence 1/2 tsp (optional)

Method (the following sequence seems to be the most time efficient)

1. Bring coconut milk to boil and remove pot from stove. Add desiccated coconut and shredded coconut to hot coconut milk and leave for 20 minutes.

2. Put palm sugar in a bowl and steam for around 15 minutes until melted (do not direct heat the sugar as it would caramelise).

3. While waiting for the above steps to progress, mix coconut flour and almond meal in a large mixing bowl.

4. Separate egg yolk from egg white.

5. Stir egg yolks one at a time into flour mixture.

6. Line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper.

7. Beat egg white till stiff.

8. Take melted palm sugar out from steamer and let it cool a little but not too cold to become hard again.

9. Put desiccated and shredded coconut/coconut milk mixture now in a sieve and drain away excess coconut milk. Mix the drained coconut into the flour mixture.

10. Mix sugar syrup into the flour mixture. Add vanilla essence.

10. Fold in egg white bit by bit.

11. Pour flour mixture in baking tin and bake in a slow oven at 120-150 degree for about 1 hour

12. Stand cake for 15 minutes before serving.

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