Coconut flour is growing in popularity as more people discover the many health benefits of coconut flour nutrition, in addition to its many uses as a delicious, gluten-free, and healthy alternative to other flours.
What do you need to know about coconut flour nutrition? Coconut flour is high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats and is free from wheat and other grains. It is also low in sugar, digestible carbohydrates and calories, and has a low score on the glycemic index.
This makes coconut flour a favorite amongst paleo dieters, gluten free eaters including those with Celiac Disease or a gluten sensitivity, those with digestive problems like leaky gut syndrome, anyone with a nut allergy, those with diabetes, vegetarians, and just about everyone else in between.
Coconut flour is made from ground and dried coconut meat. Once the outer green husk of a coconut is removed, what remains inside is the rich, inner white lining which is the coconut meat.
Coconut flour is not actually “flour” in the way we normally think of it; it contains zero grains, zero nuts, and is made completely of pure coconut. Flour can be made from many things including nuts, seeds, dried vegetables, and of course coconut meat.
Coconut meat is the white, firm part of the coconut that you would find if you cracked open the fresh coconut and scraped out the insides, but this needs to have its milk separated in order to produce the dry “flour”’. Once the meat is strained and separated from the coconut’s milk, it is baked at a low temperature to dry it out and create a powdery flour made entirely of coconut.
Coconut Flour Nutrition Benefits
There are numerous reasons to love all that coconut flour nutrition has to offer, especially the fact that it’s high in nutrients, low in calories, and versatile in many recipes. It’s also very uncommon for coconut flour to cause any digestive or autoimmune responses like other grain flours can.
The health benefits of using coconut flour in recipes are far reaching and impressive:
1. Aids in Metabolism
Some of the many health benefits of coconut flour nutrition include its high levels of healthy saturated fats in the form of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). These are used by the body easily for energy and help to support a healthy metabolism, balanced blood sugar levels, and more. (1)
2. High in Fiber
Coconut meat itself supplies an impressive 61% dietary fiber! And because fiber essentially cannot be absorbed by the body, some of the calories and carbohydrates found in coconut flour aren’t even absorbed and used, but rather they move right through the digestive tract helping to take toxins and waste along with them.
3. Helps Maintain a Healthy Blood Sugar Level
Coconut flour is a low glycemic food and does not spike blood sugar levels. In fact studies show that consuming products that contain coconut flour can help to lower the overall glycemic impact of the food and to support stable blood sugar levels. (2) This means that coconut flour nutrition has health benefits for people with diabetes and those who are working towards reaching a healthy weight too.
4. Helps Digestive Health
Coconut flour also helps with healthy digestion, has a high nutrient density, and can aid in heart health too. Studies have shown that coconut flour has the ability to help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and serum triglycerides in people who have raised cholesterol levels. (3) Coconut flour has this positive effect because of its high supply of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber plus its healthy MUFA fat content. (4)
Coconut Flour Nutrition Facts
A ¼ cup serving (or about 28 g.) of coconut flour has roughly (5):
4 grams of fat
4 grams protein
10 grams of fiber
16 grams carbohydrates
2 grams of sugar