Admin {{ oUser.name }} Logout Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter » | Log In
Fitness Nutrition Forums

Coconut Flour -- Nutrition and Uses

Coconut flour is lower in carbohydrates but higher in filling fiber than flour made from grains. It provides a light, velvety texture to your baked goods and a mild coconut flavor. You can also use it to coat chicken, fish, or other proteins.

Coconut Flour

Do you love bread and other baked goods but are worried about the high carbohydrate content? Are you looking to add more fiber and into your diet? If so, you may want to check out coconut flour. In the past, this low-carb, high-fiber flour was very difficult to find--it was only available at certain health food stores. However, since the paleo diet and gluten-free diet have increased in popularity, people are seeking out this new kid on the block (or shelf, rather). Now, you can find coconut flour at most large mainstream grocery stores.

Coconut flour is produced from de-fatted coconut meat that is then dried and finely ground up.

Nutritional Profile

Per 2 Tablespoons:

Calories: 60

Total Fat: 2 g

Saturated Fat: 2 g

Cholesterol: 0 g

Sodium: 30 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 8 g

Dietary Fiber: 5 g

Sugar: 1 g

Protein: 2 g

Vitamin A: 0%

Vitamin C: 0%

Calcium: 0%

Iron: 10%

Much of the fiber in coconut flour is insoluble fiber, which helps keep your digestive tract running smoothly and helps keep you full longer. Most of us fall short on fiber with the average person taking in a mere 11 grams per day when the recommended amount of fiber is 25-38 grams per day.

Because of its high fiber content, coconut flour will not spike your blood glucose as rapidly as flours that are made from grains. Several studies have shown that swapping out some of the regular wheat flour for coconut flour in baked foods decreases the glycemic index, which is a measure of how a food affects your blood glucose. Coconut flour could be beneficial for diabetics or people at risk for diabetes.

Although the fat in coconut flour is saturated, the fat is a type called medium-chain triglycerides, which has been shown to have several health benefits, including reducing abdominal obesity and inflammatory markers.

How to Use It

Coconut flour provides a natural sweetness and velvety texture to your baked goods. The flavor is so light and mild that you can integrate it into both sweet and savory recipes. It also works really well in place of regular grain flours as part of a coating on fish, chicken, tofu, or any other protein.

Coconut flour does not work exactly like regular flour in baked goods. You may substitute up to about 20% of the regular flour with coconut flour in your recipes, but keep in mind that you will also need to add an equal amount of water. Oftentimes you’ll need to use additional eggs with coconut flour. When you first start baking with this new flour, it is best to try recipes that specifically call for coconut flour to achieve the best results.

Safe If You’re Avoiding Gluten

Coconut flour is naturally gluten-free. Many companies, such as Bob’s Red Mill, have a separate, designated gluten-free facility where the coconut flour is produced. They batch-test the flour through the use of the R5 ELISA Gluten Assay to ensure it’s safe for people following a gluten-free diet.

Tips

*Coconut flour should be stored in a sealed container your fridge or freezer to maintain best quality.

*Seek out coconut flours that do not contain sulfites or sweeteners.

Kari Hartel, RD, LD is a Registered, Licensed Dietitian and freelance writer based out of St. Louis, MO. Kari is passionate about nutrition education and the prevention of chronic disease through a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Kari holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Southeast Missouri State University and is committed to helping people lead healthy lives. She completed a yearlong dietetic internship at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL, where she worked with a multitude of clients and patients with complicated diagnoses. She planned, marketed, and implemented nutrition education programs and cooking demonstrations for the general public as well as for special populations, including patients with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, obesity, and school-aged children.

{{ oArticle.title }}

{{ oArticle.subtitle }}