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Coconut flour as metabolic medicine

by 17816 · December 27, 2011 3:10 AM

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?

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8 Replies

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183 · March 10, 2011 6:40 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.

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6491 · March 10, 2011 6:47 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).

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32175 · December 27, 2011 3:10 AM

Ugh. FODMAP-city. No thanks!

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1090 · December 27, 2011 2:59 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.

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2119 · June 01, 2011 1:05 AM

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

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18236 · 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."

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1724 · March 10, 2011 6:47 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.

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4338 · 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?

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