10

votes

Coconut flour as metabolic medicine

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 10, 2011 at 6:32 PM

As it should be, anyone in the paleo community who reproaches the all-mighty coconut is instantly branded a heretic and crucified. We love coconut fat for its multiple nutritional benefits and coconut seems to be the solution to things that a paleo cook may be missing, such as milk, cream and flour. Coconut flour is beloved by all who have ever had the urge to make super-awesome paleo cookies or other delectable paleo baked goods.

But what of its medicinal properties? Why should we all consider adding coconut flour to our regular diet? Besides the fatty acids which are prodigious in their ability to boost important molecules like, adiponectin, HDL, and testosterone, Stephan has blogged many times about the virtues of an active colon that generates butyric acid and hosts a large and diverse floral population http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/12/butyric-acid-ancient-controller-of.html There are many many benefits of good (non-grain!) fiber if one cares to search pubmed.

Just 50 grams of coconut flour, a paltry sum contains 27 whopping grams of fiber. This looks like the ultimate choice for anyone who wants to get into super colon fun land and reap all of the metabolic and general health benefits of very high fiber, without having to eliminate any fat or protein from the diet. To put that into perspective you would have to consume about 800g of broccoli to get what is in 50g of coconut flour. I love broccoli but I can't do it.

I have also been eating chicory root for the inulin and getting a great deal of vegetable fiber. My fasting glucose is down, that's all I'm saying. Some paleo men used to get over a hundred grams of fiber a day as mentioned by Robert Lustig in the Sugar: The Bitter Truth video. Not that we need that much but it is something to think about. Fiber is metabolic bling bling.

Coconut flour also have appreciable amounts of protein and minerals as well. It=Win.

edit: more literature literature

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10483900 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9384528 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18418037 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19366864

  • Stephan + loads.

I think the fiber issue is the one aspect of nutrition where the vast majority of the raw vegan crowd has paleo beat. Your average person getting into paleo will eat tons of steak, eggs and fat of all kinds with some veggies and fruit, but the fiber seems to be seriously lacking. It need not be like that though!

Does anybody have objections or additions?

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on July 07, 2013
at 04:20 AM

wow, id rather eat egg yolks and butter to help me poo than take fibers, maybe even try an eat more magnesium containing foods, but definitely not fiber, its pretty irritating

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 05, 2012
at 04:19 AM

Anthriel- You will find different foods listed in different places. The only way to know for YOU is by trial & elimination.

8e5829eb5dd0d1fd9ba1db4ee194658f

(10)

on August 05, 2012
at 02:40 AM

Ok, so where is it written that coconut is to be avoided on no FODMAP? I ask because I've been having quite a lot of coconut flakes and coconut flour. The pain I've been eating paleo / noFODMAP to avoid has not gone and was *horrible* the time I had coconut-flour cookies. But I've not seen anything about it being something to avoid! Help?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5391)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:16 AM

Then again, coconut has some fructan content, cant figure out how much....pity all this stuff is made up out of nothing. Tomatoes have fructans, and I do fine on them. Ive been eating coconut flesh and cream no problem. Soon as I eat sugar, or starch, i have a problem...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5391)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:01 AM

Coconut has been revised, or at least the milk and cream have - http://www.taste.com.au/kitchen/articles/three+c+s+are+they+low+fodmap+,425 - who knows about coconut flour.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5391)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:00 AM

Modern testing has re-assessed coconut, and its actually low fodmap. Not sure about coconut flower.." Later testing of coconut cream/milk found that the FODMAP content, or more specifically sorbitol, was so low that it was unlikely to be problematic for most people, and so it was removed from the high FODMAP list. " -http://www.taste.com.au/kitchen/articles/three+c+s+are+they+low+fodmap+,425

0eba2cda101e1ef460ca0291aeb2e975

(120)

on April 18, 2012
at 02:03 AM

My coconut flour has the same stats as your Brand A. Health Reflections?

9267cb2507141e9a72e9d7159a5ffb80

(78)

on March 26, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Yes the nutritional differences in coconut flours seem to be common. Also some are very high in carbs and some not.

9267cb2507141e9a72e9d7159a5ffb80

(78)

on March 26, 2012
at 07:40 PM

Yea can you please post the recipe :)

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:27 PM

That makes coconut butter...

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 27, 2011
at 07:04 AM

yeah it's not for everyone, that's for sure. And actually since then I've revised my view on fiber. A certain amount is good, but tons of it is ultimately detrimental, the only good side is it backs you up so much that glucose absorbs more slowly and diabetes is better controlled. But if you have good insulin sensitivity I can't see more than 15g being beneficial. I may be wrong, but butyrate production maxes out around there.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 27, 2011
at 03:39 AM

You can also make your own non-defatted stuff by buying non-defatted flaked coconut and putting it in the food processer.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 27, 2011
at 03:39 AM

You can use coconut flour as a sauce thickener for curries and other non-baked applications. Either way, Paleolithic humans definitely made flours.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 27, 2011
at 03:38 AM

Yeah, my mother is more FODMAP sensitive than I am and really has trouble with coconut flour.

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on July 27, 2011
at 06:27 AM

Could I possibly bother you for that rather awesome sounding recipe? I'm sure the community here would be grateful. :)

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 18, 2011
at 07:07 PM

I think that some coconut flour can be a good thing for those who don't see any GI symptoms from it. Fiber than feeds gut flora is a good thing to a point, but then there is also the possibility of increasing inflammation in the gut with too much bad bacteria so there is going to be a balance depending upon the person.

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on June 18, 2011
at 09:44 AM

Stabby - After several months of experimentation, and research, what do you think now?

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 01, 2011
at 04:02 AM

You could use non-refined coconut flour, it's brown. Dessicated coconut does have some fiber but not as much. Either is a good choice, I ended up deciding against massive amounts of coconut fiber, so dessicated is a viable option, then again so are a lot of things.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 01, 2011
at 02:37 AM

That rumble etc is exactly the reason I avoid coconut flour. Too much fiber, irritates the bowels. Veggies and potatoes give me any fiber I'd need. Id go so far s to say that if one consumes vegetation regularly they will have absolutely no need for "using" anything like coconut flour for its' fiber content.

D64a0ae059bb55a0881236bb60f81f7e

(204)

on March 15, 2011
at 03:27 PM

Thanks for the recipe. I will try the better better out some day.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 11, 2011
at 10:59 PM

Yes indeed, Stephan says that insoluble fiber does get eating somewhat by gut flora, it just doesn't become gelatinous and doesn't get consumed entirely.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 11, 2011
at 10:57 PM

It may not be that it gets digested completely but that's not to say that they don't chomp on it. Here there were clearly fermentation byproducts http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6W6D-4KSVG4V-1&_user=10&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F2006&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=gateway&_origin=gateway&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1675220161&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=da4fdec13110adf19040ad57ab89810d&searchtype=a

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 11, 2011
at 01:48 AM

Huh, well that's a downer. *sulk*

8021ea3940df66820628d5bc5c29377c

(198)

on March 11, 2011
at 12:03 AM

Right Stabby. I also posted comment to the first post regarding insoluble vs. soluble fiber. Coconut fiber is insoluble. It won't ferment.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 10, 2011
at 11:49 PM

Blah I mean soluble. Soluble fiber is fine.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 10, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Are we talking soluble or insoluble? Grain fiber is bad but I wouldn't extrapolate it to insoluble, which feeds important gut flora, gets converted to butyrate and clearly prevents colon cancers and increases insulin sensitivity.

91487fa364848b52aad94002266aebc9

(76)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:24 PM

Also Kwaśniewski seems to be down on lots and lots of fiber, in Optimal Diet, Ideal Diet.

8021ea3940df66820628d5bc5c29377c

(198)

on March 10, 2011
at 07:45 PM

The fiber in coconut flour is insoluble, which is not fermented by bacteria in the colon. The fiber in broccoli is soluble which what bacteria can digest and do all the potential health benefits. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietary_fiber

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18676)

on March 10, 2011
at 07:34 PM

Yeah, could be. You make a good point that the anti-fiber contingent conflates different types of fiber. I hadn't considered that.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on March 10, 2011
at 07:28 PM

I do love my coconut flour, but fiber actually screws up my digestion. I limit my coconut flour consumption for that reason- one small serving of anything made with coconut flour will screw up my digestive tract for about 2 days. For me, raw sauerkraut and yogurt (just a little of each) daily works much, much better than fiber.

39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on March 10, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Wow - does it really have that much fiber? I need a little fiber to keep my tummy happy, and don't like taking Metamucil. If it has that much fiber, I'll have to break out my can of coconut flour on a regular basis! Thanks for the tip.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 10, 2011
at 07:03 PM

Heh, well I suppose it has more to do with nutrient status, inflammation and adiponectin then, and we don't NEED fiber, but it clearly helps. And it likely has other benefits.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18676)

on March 10, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Just an n=1 counterpoint: I eat zero fiber and my fasting blood glucose was last measured at 71.

4d8545ba40148e982a5c891acbf20e76

(183)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Yes, it sounds like you'd get plenty of "action" after this. You get the "rumbles" for like an hour afterwards, lol. but at least it's good. I too make pancakes with the flour.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:50 PM

It is grain fiber that seems to be the problem. I just ate 40g of fiber in a sitting and I feel fine. The problem appears to be leaky gut or infections, and people should probably fix that first. But if they can swing it there are more benefits than downsides.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:47 PM

It includes a question of opinions. I am genuinely interested.

Bdcb2101fd3f1853cfd645094d8ad086

on March 10, 2011
at 06:45 PM

This isn't really a question, is it, Stabby?

  • Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

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8 Answers

4
4d8545ba40148e982a5c891acbf20e76

(183)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:40 PM

No objections whatsoever. I don't know what effects very high fibre has on the body, but i'm sure it's not bad. There's a good chance our distant ancestors consumed tons of fibre (any indigestable plant cellulose) in their diet. I have tried almond meal and flax meal, and i can say they are inferior, in taste and texture, to coconut flour. Coconut products are fantastic!

On a side note, i made coconut chocolate bars yesterday, using coconut oil, organic cocoa powder, 3 drops pure stevia, and coconut flakes. To put it simply, they were The best I've ever had and can't go back to buying chocolate from the store at $4.00 each.

306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on July 27, 2011
at 06:27 AM

Could I possibly bother you for that rather awesome sounding recipe? I'm sure the community here would be grateful. :)

9267cb2507141e9a72e9d7159a5ffb80

(78)

on March 26, 2012
at 07:40 PM

Yea can you please post the recipe :)

3
1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

on March 10, 2011
at 06:47 PM

Some folks aren't all that crazy about fiber. See: http://www.gutsense.org/

I'm not sold on this view, but I recommend reading over it before you start eating coconut flour by the spoonful. It sounds like it would be very hard on your gut (I know that coconut flour hits me like a brick).

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:50 PM

It is grain fiber that seems to be the problem. I just ate 40g of fiber in a sitting and I feel fine. The problem appears to be leaky gut or infections, and people should probably fix that first. But if they can swing it there are more benefits than downsides.

91487fa364848b52aad94002266aebc9

(76)

on March 10, 2011
at 09:24 PM

Also Kwaśniewski seems to be down on lots and lots of fiber, in Optimal Diet, Ideal Diet.

2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

(1533)

on July 07, 2013
at 04:20 AM

wow, id rather eat egg yolks and butter to help me poo than take fibers, maybe even try an eat more magnesium containing foods, but definitely not fiber, its pretty irritating

2
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on December 27, 2011
at 03:10 AM

Ugh. FODMAP-city. No thanks!

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on December 27, 2011
at 07:04 AM

yeah it's not for everyone, that's for sure. And actually since then I've revised my view on fiber. A certain amount is good, but tons of it is ultimately detrimental, the only good side is it backs you up so much that glucose absorbs more slowly and diabetes is better controlled. But if you have good insulin sensitivity I can't see more than 15g being beneficial. I may be wrong, but butyrate production maxes out around there.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 27, 2011
at 03:38 AM

Yeah, my mother is more FODMAP sensitive than I am and really has trouble with coconut flour.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5391)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:00 AM

Modern testing has re-assessed coconut, and its actually low fodmap. Not sure about coconut flower.." Later testing of coconut cream/milk found that the FODMAP content, or more specifically sorbitol, was so low that it was unlikely to be problematic for most people, and so it was removed from the high FODMAP list. " -http://www.taste.com.au/kitchen/articles/three+c+s+are+they+low+fodmap+,425

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5391)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:16 AM

Then again, coconut has some fructan content, cant figure out how much....pity all this stuff is made up out of nothing. Tomatoes have fructans, and I do fine on them. Ive been eating coconut flesh and cream no problem. Soon as I eat sugar, or starch, i have a problem...

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5391)

on June 21, 2012
at 07:01 AM

Coconut has been revised, or at least the milk and cream have - http://www.taste.com.au/kitchen/articles/three+c+s+are+they+low+fodmap+,425 - who knows about coconut flour.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on August 05, 2012
at 04:19 AM

Anthriel- You will find different foods listed in different places. The only way to know for YOU is by trial & elimination.

8e5829eb5dd0d1fd9ba1db4ee194658f

(10)

on August 05, 2012
at 02:40 AM

Ok, so where is it written that coconut is to be avoided on no FODMAP? I ask because I've been having quite a lot of coconut flakes and coconut flour. The pain I've been eating paleo / noFODMAP to avoid has not gone and was *horrible* the time I had coconut-flour cookies. But I've not seen anything about it being something to avoid! Help?

1
Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on December 27, 2011
at 02:59 AM

i don't wanna be a spoiler here but coconut flour is not Paleo. flour is refined and it doesn't matter where its from its both processed with additives AND calorically dense but nutrient sparse compared to whole foods. also if you're trying to still eat pancakes on a Paleo diet, you're mentality is not correct. no biggie but i find ppl still craving coconut flour pancakes on a Paleo diet as not resolving their cravings.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 27, 2011
at 03:39 AM

You can use coconut flour as a sauce thickener for curries and other non-baked applications. Either way, Paleolithic humans definitely made flours.

1
1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on June 01, 2011
at 01:05 AM

umm....correct me if im wrong but isnt coconut flour defatted and processed? why would someone use this junk over dessicated coconut flakes

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 01, 2011
at 04:02 AM

You could use non-refined coconut flour, it's brown. Dessicated coconut does have some fiber but not as much. Either is a good choice, I ended up deciding against massive amounts of coconut fiber, so dessicated is a viable option, then again so are a lot of things.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 27, 2011
at 03:39 AM

You can also make your own non-defatted stuff by buying non-defatted flaked coconut and putting it in the food processer.

1f8384be58052b6b96f476e475abdc74

(2231)

on January 06, 2012
at 05:27 PM

That makes coconut butter...

1
Af1d286f0fd5c3949f59b4edf4d892f5

(18452)

on March 10, 2011
at 10:59 PM

"reap all of the metabolic and general health benefits of very high fiber"

Fiber is ok in moderate amounts. But most people would do better on zero fiber rather than lots of fiber, like Dr Monastyrsky. He wrote Fiber Menace. Too much fiber can be disastrous. Even the 'recommended daily amount' for men (35g) is too much.

Some people report that a bit of fiber helps with overall digestion and gut health, but overdo it, and look out. It will jack you up, ranging from constipation to bloating to diarrhea and everything in between, and these issues, if not addressed quickly, can cause a myriad of long term and even chronic health problems.

I like how Kent Rieske put it... "Fiber is a bad dude."

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 10, 2011
at 11:49 PM

Blah I mean soluble. Soluble fiber is fine.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 10, 2011
at 11:48 PM

Are we talking soluble or insoluble? Grain fiber is bad but I wouldn't extrapolate it to insoluble, which feeds important gut flora, gets converted to butyrate and clearly prevents colon cancers and increases insulin sensitivity.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 11, 2011
at 01:48 AM

Huh, well that's a downer. *sulk*

8021ea3940df66820628d5bc5c29377c

(198)

on March 11, 2011
at 12:03 AM

Right Stabby. I also posted comment to the first post regarding insoluble vs. soluble fiber. Coconut fiber is insoluble. It won't ferment.

1
Bdcb2101fd3f1853cfd645094d8ad086

on March 10, 2011
at 06:47 PM

I like to use coconut flour in making "paleo" "pancakes."

Batter: egg and water (or milk or almond milk or coconut milk, etc.), coconut flour, and almond flour.

Better Batter: Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix, Added Coconut Flour, Organic Shredded Coconut, Mashed Bananas, Egg, and some fluid.

Fry it in coconut oil!

You'll have some nice "action" in the bowels after these kinds of things.

4d8545ba40148e982a5c891acbf20e76

(183)

on March 10, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Yes, it sounds like you'd get plenty of "action" after this. You get the "rumbles" for like an hour afterwards, lol. but at least it's good. I too make pancakes with the flour.

D64a0ae059bb55a0881236bb60f81f7e

(204)

on March 15, 2011
at 03:27 PM

Thanks for the recipe. I will try the better better out some day.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 01, 2011
at 02:37 AM

That rumble etc is exactly the reason I avoid coconut flour. Too much fiber, irritates the bowels. Veggies and potatoes give me any fiber I'd need. Id go so far s to say that if one consumes vegetation regularly they will have absolutely no need for "using" anything like coconut flour for its' fiber content.

0
543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on March 10, 2011
at 10:23 PM

I have found that the fiber contents vary between brands. I've tried two brands;

brand A (per 100g): fiber 38g, fat 8.6g.

brand B (per 100g): fiber 10g, fat 15-20g.

I just add 5g or so to some coconut milk every now & again & drink.

brand A caused my stomach to rumble/churn. after a few uses, i threw it out. brand B did not have the same negative effects, but was also lower in fiber.

So the higher fat flour suited me better, maybe it was less processed than the lower fat flour?

9267cb2507141e9a72e9d7159a5ffb80

(78)

on March 26, 2012
at 11:20 PM

Yes the nutritional differences in coconut flours seem to be common. Also some are very high in carbs and some not.

0eba2cda101e1ef460ca0291aeb2e975

(120)

on April 18, 2012
at 02:03 AM

My coconut flour has the same stats as your Brand A. Health Reflections?

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