Is Coconut Flour Good For Diabetes? (9 Health Benefits)

Coconut flour has been getting a lot of attention lately for its health benefits. From savory to sweet, it can be used in nearly any recipe. It’s also been recommended as a low-carb option for people with diabetes, which is definitely exciting! Here’s what you need to know about this healthy ingredient.

Is Coconut Flour Good For Diabetes?

Coconut flour is a gluten-free, grain-free, and low glycemic index alternative to wheat flour in a diabetes diet. Here are the unique characteristics that make coconut flour an ideal food for diabetics.

#1: Coconut flour is a Low Carb flour

One of the biggest benefits of coconut flour is that it is low in carbohydrates, making it a great choice for people with diabetes or those trying to reduce their carb intake. A single tablespoon of coconut flour contains just 3 grams of carbs, compared to wheat flour, which contains around 20 grams of carbs per tablespoon.

This is because coconut flour is made up of mostly dietary fiber. Unlike other carbohydrates, dietary fiber is not broken down into glucose, which doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. Coconut flour can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve digestion.

#2: It has a high fiber content

Speaking of dietary fiber, coconut flour is high in fiber. A single tablespoon of coconut flour contains 5 grams of fiber, about 20% of the Daily Value (DV), and this makes it a great choice for people looking to increase their fiber intake.

Fiber is important for several reasons. It helps keep you feeling full for longer, which can help reduce hunger pangs. This makes coconut flour a great choice for people trying to lose weight. Fiber also helps improve digestion by speeding up the passage of food through your digestive system and reducing constipation. It also provides many health benefits like lowering blood cholesterol, improving heart health, preventing gallstones, and more.

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#3: Coconut flour is rich in Healthy Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Coconut flour is also rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, making it a great choice for people looking to improve their overall health. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that play a crucial role in human health, and they help reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and support cognitive function.

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Coconut flour is high in omega-3 fatty acids and contains about 5% of the daily value per tablespoon. This may not seem like a lot, but it’s important to remember that most people don’t get enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet. Adding coconut flour to your diet is a great way to increase your intake of these healthy fats.

#4: Coconut flour is keto-friendly

Coconut flour is also a great choice for people following the ketogenic diet. This is a high-fat, low-carb diet that is effective for weight loss and diabetes management. Coconut flour is very low in carbs and high in healthy fats, making it the perfect food for keto followers.

In addition, coconut flour is a great source of protein. A single tablespoon contains about 3 grams of protein, which is good for people on the keto diet. Protein is important for maintaining muscle mass and providing energy throughout the day.

#5: Coconut flour helps in improving digestion

Coconut flour can help improve digestion by providing dietary fiber that helps break down food and aid in the absorption of nutrients. In addition, it has a high lignin content, which makes it resistant to digestion. It also helps improve nutrient absorption and increases the number of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) absorbed in the digestive tract.

Recent studies by the University of Nottingham (UK) also showed that it significantly boosted nutrient absorption when rolled into a pancake with coconut flour.

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#6: It’s a great source of potassium

Coconut flour is high in potassium, which means it’s a great choice if you’re watching your salt intake. A single tablespoon contains 167 milligrams of potassium or about 8% of the daily value. Potassium is an important mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate, and it also supports healthy muscle and nerve function and helps keep your kidneys functioning properly.

#7: Coconut flour is gluten-free

Coconut flour is not only high in fiber, but it’s also gluten-free, making it an excellent alternative for people who follow a gluten-free diet. This makes it ideal for those that have celiac disease or suffer from gluten allergies.

#8: Coconut flour can lower cholesterol levels

Studies by the Indian Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Bangalore, have shown that coconut flour can be used as a low-calorie diet to lower cholesterol levels. This is because it contains about 50% dietary fiber, which means it can help you feel full for longer after eating.

#9: Coconut flour aids in weight loss, thereby reducing insulin resistance

A recent study published in the journal Obesity showed that a diet high in coconut flour might help weight loss. The study found that rats fed a diet high in coconut flour had reduced insulin resistance and body weight loss compared to rats who were fed a diet high in wheat flour.

This is likely due to the high dietary fiber found in coconut flour. Dietary fiber helps promote weight loss by increasing satiety and reducing caloric intake, and it also helps improve insulin sensitivity, which is beneficial for people with diabetes.

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In conclusion, coconut flour is a healthy choice for people with diabetes or those who are trying to lose weight.

How to Use Coconut Flour in a Diabetic Diet

How to Use Coconut Flour in a Diabetic Diet

So, now that you know all about the benefits of coconut flour, how do you use it in a diabetic diet? Here are a few ideas:

  • Use it in place of regular flour in baking recipes. Coconut flour is a great substitute for wheat flour, as it is gluten-free and has a lower glycemic index.
  • Add it to your morning smoothie or oatmeal. Coconut flour is high in fiber and protein, so it will help you feel full and satisfied for longer.
  • Mix a tablespoon of coconut flour with Greek yogurt for a healthy snack. Protein helps boost satiety and keep blood sugar levels stable.
  • Add some coconut flour to your dinner meal. Half-and-half is a great way to add coconut flour into your diet, as it has a lower glycemic load than other flours.
  • Use it to make pancakes – it will add a mild coconut taste and is nutritious!
  • Bake some low-carb and gluten-free cookies and treats. Coconut flour is a great substitute for wheat flour and sugar so that you can make virtually any treat — low in carbs and sugars — with this ingredient.
  • Mix it with almond flour or another low-carb flour. To lower the carb count even further, use coconut flour to make your favorite baked goods with a different type of low-carb flour. Add some cinnamon for extra flavor!
  • You can also try using coconut flour to replace breadcrumbs in meatballs or burgers.

Potential Risks of Coconut Flour

Here is a list of the potential risks associated with consuming coconut flour:

1. May cause gallstones and weight gain when consumed in excess

2. Contains phytic acid, which may prevent absorption of other nutrients such as iron, zinc, and calcium if not taken with a meal that includes vitamin C to reduce its effects on nutrient absorption

3. Expensive than other types of flours since it is used in small quantities

4. Contains high levels of dietary fats that can lead to heart disease if consumed too much

5. It goes bad quickly, so it is best to buy only what you need for your recipe and store it in the freezer or refrigerator after opening to keep its nutrients intact

6. Can cause allergic reactions due to the high levels of lauric acid if an individual is allergic to coconut or palm kernel oils

Frequently Asked Questions about using Coconut flour in Diabetes Diet

Is there a difference between regular and desiccated coconut flour?

Answer: Yes, there is a difference between regular and desiccated coconut flour. Desiccated coconut flour is made from dehydrated ground coconut meat that has been sifted to remove the husks. This makes it easier to digest and easier to use in recipes because it will not clump as regular flour does.

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Some of the benefits of using desiccated coconut flour are:

• It can be used in place of white or whole wheat flour for baking, desserts, and other foods that require a gluten-free option.

• It contains fewer calories than regular wheat flour and does not have any preservatives or additives that can harm your health.

• It also contains more fiber than traditional flours, so you feel fuller faster without feeling heavy or bloated after eating certain dishes such as pancakes, muffins, and waffles.

How do I use coconut flour to treat diabetes?

Answer: Coconut flour is a popular ingredient in gluten-free and low-carb diets, and its high fiber content makes it an excellent alternative to wheat, rice, and other grains.

Some of the benefits of coconut flour are:

• Its high fiber content makes it an excellent alternative to wheat, rice, and other grains.

• Its protein content is about 16% (which is equivalent to that of brown rice).

• It contains lauric acid, which has been shown to help with weight loss.

• It has a low glycemic index meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar levels or cause a lot of insulin production like white bread does.

Can I use coconut flour in baking or replace wheat flour?

Answer: Coconut flour is the perfect replacement for wheat flour because it is gluten-free and high in fiber, and it also contains a significant amount of protein and healthy fats.

In addition, coconut flour has a lower glycemic index than other flours.

How much coconut flour should I take per day, and how often should I take it to see results in diabetes?

Answer: Coconut flour is a natural, gluten-free, and low-carb alternative to wheat flour.

To see results in diabetes, you can also use coconut flour as a substitute for other flours that you regularly use.

It is recommended that you take a maximum of 1/4 cup of coconut flour a day to achieve the best weight loss and glucose control results.

Does coconut flour increase blood sugar?

Answer: No, coconut flour does not increase blood sugar.

Coconut flour is a low-carbohydrate, gluten-free, and grain-free flour made from ground coconut meat or dried coconut flakes. It has an extremely high fiber content (82%), making it perfect for baked goods and weight-loss diets.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4994556/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK559033/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33145643/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28244676/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/13129460/

Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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