Coconut flour is produced via a process in which the fat from the coconut meat is removed and the meat is then ground into a flour. You can replace 10 to 30 percent of grain-based flour with coconut flour without affecting a recipe. Recipes using 100 percent coconut flour require some adjustment in the amount of water and eggs used for best results. Coconut flour can also thicken a sauce or soup or be added to smoothie to increase the fiber and protein content of the food.
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The carbohydrate content of coconut flour is considerably lower when compared to traditional grain flours. For example, 100 g of coconut flour, which corresponds to just over 3/4 cup of coconut flour, contains 65 g of carbohydrates, whereas 100 g of all-purpose flour has 76 g of carbohydrates and 100 g of whole grain wheat flour has 72 g of carbohydrates. If you measure your coconut flour instead of weighting it, 1/4 cup contains 20 g of carbohydrates and 1 tbsp. provides 5 g of carbohydrates.
The fiber content of coconut flour is definitely the highest of all types of flours. A 100-g serving of coconut flour contains almost 39 g of fiber, which is way above the fiber content of whole grain wheat flour or all-purpose flour, which contain 11 g and 3 g of fiber, respectively. Fiber is part of the total carbohydrates, which means that 60 percent of the carbohydrates in coconut flour is fiber. This means that a 1/4 cup of coconut flour provides 12 g of fiber and 1 tbsp. contains about 3 g of fiber.
In addition to considering the amount of carbohydrate contained in a serving of food, determining the quality of the carbohydrates you eat is also important. The glycemic index estimates how carbohydrates in a food will influence your blood sugar levels. High glycemic index foods lead to large swings in your blood sugar levels, while low glycemic index foods help stabilize your blood sugars, helping you to lose weight and prevent chronic diseases at the same time. Foods with a higher proportion of coconut flour have a lower glycemic index, as published in 2003 in the "British Journal of Nutrition," making them healthier carbohydrate options.
Another benefit of using coconut flour is that it is free of gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat as well as most flours and grains that people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance need to avoid. Coconut flour can be an alternative for preparing gluten-free soups, sauces and baked goods.