1

votes

Too Much Coconut?

Answered on January 29, 2015
Created October 03, 2011 at 12:31 AM

I've been interested in coconut products for a while and started by using coconut oil in cooking. I then started having a morning smoothie with coconut milk (1/4 c.). Later I started adding 1 T. coconut oil to those smoothies. At that point I started noticing that I was frequently sick to my stomach in the morning (I'm definitely not pregnant before anyone suggests that). One morning I just couldn't get my smoothie down at all and ended up dumping it down the drain, but I thought maybe my coconut milk had been in the fridge too long and was going off a bit or there was something wrong with the berries I used.

I decided to try some muffins for breakfast instead. I tried a recipe using coconut oil and coconut flour and once again had stomach aches. At that point I started to suspect coconut was the problem. I had a muffin this morning and got a stomach ache. After a while it finally went away, but later in the afternoon I had a spoonful of Coconut Manna (which I've eaten many times before without incident) and it came back again.

The problem seems most severe when I am using more than one coconut product at a time. Am I using too much? Should I stop eating all coconut products for a while and try to reintroduce them gradually? If so, how long should I wait?

E4b155f898e209391902792ec3c005f3

(220)

on August 06, 2012
at 03:45 AM

1/4 cup and a tablespoon is a pretty tiny amount, and millions of people around the world eat much higher amounts. If your reaction really is caused by that, you might have some coconut allergy, or maybe the additives in coconut milk are causing the trouble. Most days I consume at least a half cup of coconut cream, plus coconut flakes, plus eggs fried in coco oil. No issues with that however some canned coconut milk curry does give me trouble.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on October 04, 2011
at 11:16 PM

Thanks! This is pretty helpful. I'll try some of this. Fortunately since posting my last question, that situation has improved somewhat. The weight started coming off again and the insomnia is improving. I still have days where I don't have a bm, but that seems to happen less often now.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on October 04, 2011
at 05:33 PM

This happened to me too. I seem to do alright with coconut oil, but I was simply dumping coconut milk/cream on everything I ate to increase the fat content. My face was always looked flushed.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on October 03, 2011
at 07:41 PM

I have no problem with those amounts of coconut, so bodies definitely do vary. Well, other than the taste. To be honest, I'm not too high on coconut flavors...

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on October 03, 2011
at 02:46 AM

Interesting article, but I don't think any of those are my problem. I only buy Native Forest coconut milk, so BPA is not an issue. A guar gum sensitivity is unlikely considering the quantities of beans I used to eat without incident. And, fructose malabsorption also seems unlikely considering the amount of fruit I eat--again, without incident. Whatever the problem is, it's unique to coconut. Great article, though. I really like Kresser's work.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on October 03, 2011
at 01:32 AM

I agree on the coconut oil straight! I don't know how people do that. I tried it once and almost threw up.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on October 03, 2011
at 01:31 AM

I think it may be too much coconut for my body, but I definitely don't think most people would find 1/4 c. of coconut milk and 1 T. coconut oil per day to be too much. Or, on a different day, one pumpkin muffin containing coconut flour and coconut oil.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on October 03, 2011
at 01:23 AM

That's too much of one thing, period. Step back and think about it: would you eat that much of any one thing like that? Coconut especially can have adverse effects if consumed in large quantities.

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11 Answers

2
83e84cb9e81473eb81631aad72a8f8db

on November 19, 2011
at 08:17 PM

I found this thread when I looked up "coconut stomach upset". For the first time this morning, I used coconut flour and made pancakes. I have been burping and having stomach upset ever since. Right after I finished eating them I felt flushed in the face, hot all over and strange. I guess some people, me included, just can't handle that much coconut. My son, on the other hand, loved the pancakes and feels great.

2
Ffdae5ff9b097872f486329d00b83eb6

on October 04, 2011
at 04:24 AM

Yeah, that's not too much coconut for some people, but too much coconut for you, at least right now. Thankfully I can handle pretty decent amounts of coconut oil and coconut milk daily. My advice would be to back off on all coconut products for a month, then add back the coconut oil and see what happens, if there are no problems, add back the coconut milk, etc...

Keep in mind, you may be able to handle the coconut oil and not the coconut milk and or coconut flour because of the protein in those. Might be having a reaction to it. There is also some moderate amounts of phytic acid in coconut (amounts similar to corn) that may not be helping things either. So if you really don't want to give up coconut for a month entirely, eat only the coconut oil and see if you are ok with just that.

Another important issue to consider is that your body may not be able to handle all that fat at once, your bile flow may be impaired. Taking some bitters, or raw apple cider vinegar, lemon juice in water before a fatty meal will definitely start to help if that is the case. A person can have limited bile flow from following a low fat diet for an extended period, being overweight, eating a lot of wheat and grains, or eating deep fried foods and bad fats in the past. Not sure what your history is, but I've had to deal with that myself. Of course, if that is the issue, your stomach would be just as upset eating the same amounts of butter and cream, olive oil, or animal fats.

Actually now that I look at the other question you posted, I'm pretty sure the bile flow is an issue. When there is not enough bile being released by the liver and gall bladder to emulsify the fat, constipation, bloating, and stomach aches can be a big problem. It's certainly difficult to lose weight when the digestive system is stopped up. I also recommend taking Natural calm magnesium supplement before bedtime (will help keep things moving) and also a probiotic powder or fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickles, (or yogurt and kefir if you can handle dairy) and also NOW brand super enzyme tablets with each meal, if you are not already. In time your body will adjust to dealing with the extra fats you are eating, but right now it's a bit of a shock to your digestive system.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on October 04, 2011
at 11:16 PM

Thanks! This is pretty helpful. I'll try some of this. Fortunately since posting my last question, that situation has improved somewhat. The weight started coming off again and the insomnia is improving. I still have days where I don't have a bm, but that seems to happen less often now.

2
030167d1516b20d4a79f326dded608b0

on October 04, 2011
at 03:10 AM

You're essentially eating coconut every meal. Take a break for a week or so and reintroduce.

2
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on October 03, 2011
at 02:28 AM

This article by Chris Kresser is definitely worth a read, could help answer your question: - 3 reasons why coconut milk may not be your friend

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on October 03, 2011
at 02:46 AM

Interesting article, but I don't think any of those are my problem. I only buy Native Forest coconut milk, so BPA is not an issue. A guar gum sensitivity is unlikely considering the quantities of beans I used to eat without incident. And, fructose malabsorption also seems unlikely considering the amount of fruit I eat--again, without incident. Whatever the problem is, it's unique to coconut. Great article, though. I really like Kresser's work.

2
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on October 03, 2011
at 01:39 AM

I actually can handle cooking coconut oii, or snacking on coconut flakes, or having a coconut milk-based curry at mealtime. My tolerance is quite decent, but if I do go over the line, I feel pretty unpleasant! Solution: Don't do that! There are lots of other foods in this world.

1
742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on October 04, 2011
at 12:25 AM

I increased my coconut cream consumption recently and I developed a critically red face and a scratchy throat, it completely went away when I eliminated the creamed coconut. It's a shame really because it's such a good bulking food.

59d367d77f4082717bade07508624db8

(1198)

on October 04, 2011
at 05:33 PM

This happened to me too. I seem to do alright with coconut oil, but I was simply dumping coconut milk/cream on everything I ate to increase the fat content. My face was always looked flushed.

1
B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on October 03, 2011
at 07:28 PM

Yeah, too much coconut. Cease and desist.

1
6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 03, 2011
at 01:16 AM

I've read from a few people that coconut products have that effect. I can't handle coconut oil straight. Has to be mixed in with something or it makes me gag.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on October 03, 2011
at 01:32 AM

I agree on the coconut oil straight! I don't know how people do that. I tried it once and almost threw up.

0
56f3092d86190308193e8fdb6d782700

on January 29, 2015
at 04:03 PM

Coconut contains high amounts of the polyol- sorbital and moderate amounts of the oligo- fructan. Foods high in these are called FODMAP's. These short-chain carbohydrates are incompletely absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract and can be easily fermented by gut bacteria. These sugars also exert an osmotic effect, increasing fluid movement into the large bowel. The fermentation and osmosis caused by these undigested sugars are a cause of major IBS symptoms such as gas, pain, and diarrhea. EAT COCONUT OIL but dont think you need to subsitute everything you eat/drink with coconut products. coconut oil is extremely low in FODMAP's but almost all other forms of this wonderful nut are unfortunately high. I am a sufferer of GERD; auto-immune gastritus; a hiatal hernia; SIBO; and an esophageal stricture and I eat coconut oil (pure mct formula) daily with no discomfort. I used to use coconut milks and waters in my morning smoothies and had horrible bloating and cramping until I started using only the oil.

0
96a358d19937d2413f8056677cf20794

on August 06, 2012
at 02:19 AM

I take up to 5 T of coconut oil a day, but I had to work my way up slowly. I don't eat other coconut products (not the flour, or the 'milk', and only rarely shredded coconut. I have no problems with allergic reactions. I think the trouble here is the flour and the milk. Try thinking paleo and not having flour or milk substitutes; I think these are the source of your ills.

0
94a4a87e3d2e1e9160b6ed77678b4bea

(1311)

on November 20, 2011
at 10:45 AM

I think your evidence speaks for itself! Better cut down - try introducing it in very small amounts - but maybe its just not for you. I would cry if it were me... I have to have coconut something every day.

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