Is coconut flour keto? Here's everything you need to know.
Who does not want to eat bread, buns, pancakes, waffles, and cookies? It is tough to avoid these while being on keto. On the keto diet, you strictly have to reduce your daily carbohydrate intake to less than 10 per cent of your total calories. You can eat only less than 50 grams of carbohydrates without breaking your state of ketosis; that is the reason you cannot consume conventional wheat flour.
But is there any way to enjoy cookies and buns while on keto? Surely there is. Some unconventional flours have recently attracted nutritionists' interest for their high fat and comparatively low net carbohydrate content. Some of these are coconut flour, blanched almond flour and rice flour.
Coconut flour is cream-coloured denser flour extracted from the flesh of dried, ground coconuts. It is also the byproduct of coconut milk and oil. It is considered one of the keto-friendly flours. Before going into the health benefits of coconut flour, we should first discuss the nutritional facts of coconut flour and its compatibility with the macros of keto.
Is coconut flour low-carb?
Two tablespoons (14 grams) of coconut flour contains 60 calories 8 grams of total carbohydrates, of which 1 g is sugar, 5 grams is fibre and, 2 grams of other complex carbohydrates and 2 grams each of fats and proteins. This is different from wheat flour which contains a lot of net carbs.
Net carbohydrates are the carbohydrates which are digested to get energy. These are different from the total carbohydrates, which include fibres as well. Fibres are usually not digested and cannot give energy. You should consume at most 30 grams of net carbohydrates on keto, or it will disrupt the ketosis and ruin the hard work of months.
Since coconut flour contains less amount of net carbohydrates (7.5 grams per 100 grams of coconut flour), it can be added to your keto diet plan.
But it needs a special mention that though acceptable in keto, coconut flour is not an ideal keto diet and should not be excessively consumed. It has the potential to disrupt ketosis if consumed in large amounts.
What are the benefits of using coconut flour on the keto diet?
Coconut flour affects human health in positive ways. It contains low sugar, high fibre and a considerable amount of good fats. This healthy combination of nutrients is recommended for most people by nutritionists.
Coconut flour lowers blood sugar levels:
Coconut flour contains a high amount of dietary fibre. Soluble dietary fibres delay glucose and sugar absorption, helping lower blood glucose. This is why soluble dietary fibres are recommended for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. In non-diabetic people, soluble fibres have a protective role against diabetes. They also decrease insulin resistance, thus enhancing the role of insulin in controlling blood sugar.
Coconut Flour improves gut health:
Insoluble dietary fibre speeds up the passage of food through the stomach and intestine. It adds bulk to the stools, thus relieving constipation. It also maintains gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria (the gut microbiome). These bacteria compete against the growth of harmful bacteria populations and prevent various diseases.
Coconut Flour is suitable for CVS:
Coconut flour contains "good fats", high dietary fibre and potassium, which are necessary for optimal cardiac functioning. It also reduces the risk factors for heart diseases, including obesity and bad high cholesterol (LDL). Research showed that coconut flour has the potential to decrease cholesterol and treat hypertriglyceridemia.
Gluten present in wheat is the main trigger for celiac disease. It triggers an autoimmune reaction unsuitable for gut health and causes diarrhoea and other complaints. Coconut flour is essentially gluten-free. It is highly recommended for people with celiac disease.
Coconut flour fights obesity:
Soluble fibres delay the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates from the gut. Fibres also give a sense of fullness and reduce appetite. Various studies suggest that diets rich in fibre and protein can help people lose weight. For example, a study comprising 345 people found that most participants link their weight loss to dietary fibre.
Cancer and Skin:
It also reduces the incidence of colorectal cancer due to the protective effect of dietary fibres.
Coconut flour contains lauric acid, which has antibacterial action. It inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria and protects against acne.
How to use coconut flour on the keto diet?
It is advised to add moisture to coconut flour before cooking. Eggs, oils, butter or nut milk can be good moisturisers for coconut flour. It is very dry and is rolled into lumps if cooked alone. Coconut flour can be used for both sweet and savoury keto recipes. It can be baked to get bread, pancakes, cupcakes, muffins, Cinnamon buns, cookies, crepes, waffles, truffles and brownies. You can buy our own Groovy Keto brand of Coconut Flour.
Coconut flour is obtained from dried ground coconut meat and is a very good alternative to wheat flour. It is keto-friendly, but its overconsumption should be avoided as it can significantly disrupt ketosis.