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IS COCONUT FLOUR THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR?

It wasn’t long ago when coconut was criticized for its potentially artery-clogging traits, but modern science has brought justice to this seed-fruit hybrid, and coconut has made a zealous comeback in the health food sector. From coconut milk, coconut butter, coconut sugar, coconut oil, coconut flakes, to coconut water, there’s seemingly nothing that this tropical fruit can’t do. And now coconut flour, arguably a lesser-known coconut ingredient, is beginning to make rounds as a gluten-free flour option.

But being gluten free is only the tip of the iceberg for this flour. Coconut flour offers a wide range of health benefits as it is essentially dried, ground up coconut meat, which means you’re getting all the nutrients of the fruit. So what exactly can coconut flour do for your body? And how well does it fare against other gluten-free flours?

Top coconut flour benefits.

Coconut flour has become a favourite, particularly amongst those with gluten sensitivity, digestive issues, nut allergy, diabetes, and those who prefer a plant-based diet for several reasons.

1. Controls blood sugar level.

Coconut flour is popular for those with diabetes as it ranks low on the glycemic index due to its high fibre and fat content. Eating foods that are low glycemic helps control blood sugar levels and may help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

2. Promotes digestive health.

Did you know that most of us don’t get enough fibre in our diet? With just 1/4 cup serving, coconut flour packs around 10 grams of fibre. Its high fibre content helps maintain regular bowel movement, a healthy digestive system, and ease certain types of irritable bowel syndrome.

3. Maintains heart health.

As the saturated fat found in coconut, a type called MCT (medium-chain triglycerides), is well-known for its heart-health benefits, the flour form of this tropical fruit can indeed provide a much-needed boost. Soluble fibre is also credited for helping lower bad and overall cholesterol by binding with cholesterol particles in the digestive system and pushing them out before they get absorbed.

How does it fare against other gluten-free flours?

The following data is extracted from the USDA Nutrient Database based on 1/4 cup serving size. While all of these flours pack different valuable minerals, this data compares only the proximates. We’re matching coconut flour up against two other popular gluten-free flours on the market today: almond flour and rice flour.

Based on a 1/4 cup serving size according to the USDA Nutrient Database:

Calories Fat Protein Fibre Carbs
Coconut Flour 150 kcal 5g 6g 13g 21g
Almond Flour 160 kcal 14g 6g 3g 6g
Rice Flour 145 kcal 0.6g 2.35g 1g 32g

How to replace regular flour with coconut flour.

We all get weirdly excited about fibre–I mean, who doesn’t love a good poop–but don’t go substituting every recipe with coconut flour just yet. Due to its extraordinarily absorbent nature, only a small amount is needed. Typically, you will need 1/4 to 1/3 cup of coconut flour for 1 cup of grain-based flour. As coconut flour can get very dense and dry, you will also need more water and eggs–or a plant-based alternative. A rising agent will also help fluff up the product. Every recipe varies, so make sure you find the proper amount of each specific ingredient to replace regular flour!

Have you tried substituting other flours with coconut flour? Share with us any tips and tricks to get the best result!

http://www.diabetes.co.uk/natural-therapies/coconuts.html

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/fiber-heart

ADD COCONUT FLOUR TO YOUR CART!
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