I read somewhere that coconut is good for you even though it is saturated, yes saturated with saturated fats! I just came across another articles that explains why the saturated fat of coconut is actually not detrimental to your health and actually has antiviral properties and can even help you lose weight!
Sometime in the middle of the last century, coconuts and coconut oil really started to fall out of favor due to their high saturated fat content. As everyone knows <cough, cough> high intakes of saturated fats cause heart disease.
This statement might make sense if we conveniently ignore the fact that coconuts have long been a dietary staple of tropical nations due to their high-energy content and amazing versatility, yet the incidence of heart disease among tropical nations is often lower than that of North Americans.
Even though 92% of the fat in coconuts is saturated, the majority is made up of the medium-chain triglycerides caprylic, capric and lauric acids. These medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are absorbed differently than long-chain fatty acids and there is evidence in human weight loss trials that diets higher in medium chain triglycerides can contribute to greater fat loss.1,2,3
Not only might MCTs contribute to greater fat loss, but research continues to emerge questioning the supposed link between saturated fat intake and the progression of heart disease4,5. Thankfully, we are starting to wise-up to the fact that natural saturated fats are not going to immediately cause you to drop dead but are, by and large, health promoting.
But coconuts are about so much more than just their oil, which incidentally is both wondrously healthy and remarkably heat stable; making it by far the #1 choice for cooking.
Coconuts also contain a significant amount of fiber. And as we know, fiber is both necessary for keeping you regular and full when going through a period of caloric restriction.
Coconut Flour and You
Unlike most commercial flours that are high in carbohydrates, the majority (58%) of the carbohydrate content of coconut flour comes in fiber. By contrast, wheat bran, a more traditional high-fiber source, is only 27 percent fiber. So, how does coconut flour stack up overall? Let’s take a look:
|Coconut flour (1 cup)||Whole wheat flour (1 cup)|
|Calories||480 kcal||440 kcal|
|Fat||12 g||2 g|
|Carbohydrates||80 g||84 g|
|Fiber||48 g||8 g|
|Protein||16 g||16 g|
Now you’ll probably be thinking “damn, apart from the fiber content, coconut flour seems pretty much like whole wheat flour”. You’d think that… except when you cook with coconut flour, it swells up more than a bodybuilder the day after hitting up a Chinese buffet.
In other words, coconut flour provides a huge volumizing effect with a minimal caloric and carbohydrate cost.
In fact, 1 cup of coconut flour seems to make as many muffins as does 3 cups of wheat flour, so we can operate under the working assumption that it also provides 2/3 fewer calories.