Coconuts are one of the healthiest fruits, but if you are on a low-carb diet like the keto diet, what does that mean for your daily limit of net carbohydrates?
Yes, you can eat coconut on a ketogenic diet.
Coconut is an excellent source of fat and dietary fiber that is also low in carbs and contains healthy medium-chain triglycerides.
The health benefits of eating coconut on the keto diet include improved digestion and gut health, weight loss support, cognitive function, and a more robust immune system.
Coconuts have naturally high-fat content and are moderate in net carbs and protein, which is what the keto diet calls for.
However, measure portion sizes if you include coconut in your keto plan to keep your overall carb intake in check and prevent your blood sugar from spiking.
Too much of anything is unsuitable for any diet, but coconut can be part of a balanced ketogenic lifestyle when consumed in moderation.
This blog post will examine the ketogenic diet, why unsweetened coconut can play a big part in your weight loss journey, and how to enjoy coconut products.
What Is The Keto Diet?
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat style of eating that has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its many health benefits.
By limiting the number of carbs and increasing their intake of healthy fats, people on the keto diet enter a state known as ketosis that helps them lose weight, increase energy levels, stabilize moods, improve cognitive function, and even reduce risk factors for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
In a keto diet, about 70 to 80% of calories should be obtained from healthy fats, 10 to 20% from protein, and 5 to 10% from carbohydrates.
That roughly equates to only 20 to 50 grams per day of carbs, compared to the 225 and 325 grams on a regular diet.
Why Is Coconut Good For The Keto Diet?
High in fats and containing moderate carbs and protein, coconuts are ideal for people on a keto journey.
While a coconut’s fresh white fleshy interior and the water are highly keto-friendly, store-bought coconut products like unsweetened coconut milk and unrefined coconut oil have high fat and minimal carbs.
For example, a half cup of coconut meat contains a mere 6 grams of carbs, which is way below the carb limit imposed by most keto diets.
In addition, the nutritional breakdown of one ounce of coconut milk is 7 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of carbs, and 0.5 of protein.
Lastly, two tablespoons of coconut butter contain 8 grams of carbs, not the lowest, but also well within the carb limit of the keto diet. And coconut oil contains zero carbs!
With so many options of keto-friendly ingredients with a coconut base, you’re spoiled for choice and can experiment with them all. Just be sure to keep the sugar levels low!
Health Benefits Of Coconut
Coconut meat is not just keto-friendly; did you know they are incredibly nutrient-dense?
In addition, this humble ingredient makes an excellent base for other coconut products so you can reap the health benefits, and not just on the keto diet either!
Let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of this tropical treat.
It contains essential vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats; coconut is also extremely high in fiber.
Fiber can help promote gut health, lower cholesterol levels, support weight loss efforts, and regulate the body’s blood sugar levels.
Including coconut in your diet is a great way to ensure you receive the essential dietary fiber your body needs for optimal health and wellness daily.
2. Healthy Fats
It also contains healthy fats like lauric acid and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These “good” fats can help keep you full longer, aiding in weight loss efforts.
Additionally, the MCTs found in coconut have been linked to improved brain health and increased energy levels.
3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Coconuts may also have anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil is high in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Studies have shown that coconut oil may be beneficial for reducing risk factors for certain diseases like heart disease and cancer by decreasing inflammation levels in the body.
4. Improves Gut Health
Improving gut health is another potential benefit of coconuts.
Research has shown that consuming coconuts regularly can increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system, resulting in improved gut health over time.
5. Immune System Boost
Adding coconuts to your diet may help boost your immune system due to their high vitamin C content.
Vitamin C helps support the immune system and prevent illnesses like colds and flu by fighting off free radicals that can cause cell damage and disease.
Additionally, coconut water contains electrolytes like potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, and phosphorus, which are essential in maintaining proper hydration levels and optimal cellular function.
Ways To Enjoy Coconut?
Eating coconuts doesn’t just mean you scoop out the white, fleshy coconut meat and chow down.
This versatile fruit can also be used to make many other ingredients that can be used in your favorite keto recipes.
Cooking with keto-friendly coconut milk is an experience that every aspiring chef should try. Coconut milk is an ingredient that can add a unique and flavorful twist to both sweet and savory dishes, transforming them from the ordinary to the extraordinary.
Not only does coconut milk make any dish more tantalizing, but it also carries considerable nutritional value.
From boosting the immune system to aiding in digestive issues, fresh coconut milk packs a powerful punch due to its high levels of essential vitamins and minerals.
For a healthier choice, choose unsweetened coconut milk instead of canned coconut milk, which usually has loads of added sugar.
Traditional coconut milk can be high in carbs depending on the added sweeteners, and you’ll risk kicking your body out of ketosis.
2. Coconut Oil
This healthy oil is a versatile ingredient with many different uses. You can use it on your skin and hair for a better glow or cook with it for a unique taste, moderate protein, and fewer calories.
As always, try looking for organic or virgin coconut oil instead of refined coconut oil that could contain chemicals and additives.
Coconut oil in liquid forms is one of the most versatile and beneficial natural oils for skin and hair due to its hydrating, nourishing, and protective properties.
It can easily be used in place of your traditional face and body moisturizers, making it an excellent choice for sensitive skin.
Coconut oil is also a great deep-conditioning treatment for all hair types. To use it as a moisturizer, warm a teaspoon of coconut oil between your hands until it has melted, then massage it onto your clean skin.
Apply added hydration to damp skin right after showering or bathing.
Cooking With Coconut Oil
Cooking with coconut oil is one of the healthiest choices for all your cooking needs.
Apart from its high smoke point, it also contains lauric acid – a medium-chain triglyceride that helps to reduce cholesterol, boosts immunity, and improves digestion.
This oil can also be safely used in baking and is an excellent substitute for butter or eggs!
Its subtle flavor allows it to easily incorporate savory recipes like stir fries and curries or sweeter treats like cakes, muffins, and smoothies.
3. Baking With Coconut Flour
Baking with coconut flour is a tasty and nutritious way to widen your baking repertoire. Not only does it deliver delectable results, but unlike wheat flour, coconut flour is gluten-free.
This allows those on specific diets like a gluten-free or keto diet to partake in these delicious treats.
Coconut flour is also high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, making it an excellent alternative for keto dieters watching their carb intake.
4. Make Coconut Sugar
Making coconut sugar is a great way to add flavor and sweetness to any dish or dessert. It can be made simply right in your kitchen with just a few ingredients and tools.
You must gather fresh coconuts, a bowl, and a grater or food processor to get started.
After peeling the coconuts, shred the flesh into small pieces and then place the shredded coconut in a saucepan.
Slowly heat the shredded coconut until it begins to brown and caramelize, occasionally stirring for about 15 minutes.
Once it reaches a golden brown, please remove it from heat and carefully strain it through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
The resulting liquid should be a thick layer and look like a paste. Voila, coconut sugar!
5. Make Coconut Butter
Making coconut better is surprisingly simple and SO much healthier than regular butter.
You only need shredded or desiccated coconut, a food processor, and patience.
Add the shredded coconut to the food processor and blend for around 3 minutes until it forms a paste.
To give your butter an even creamier texture, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in batches, blending until smooth between each addition.
Feel free to experiment with other ingredients like vanilla extract or spices for extra flavor.
Final Thoughts – Coconuts And The Keto Diet
In summary, coconuts offer a wide range of potential health benefits, from boosting your immune system to reducing inflammation levels throughout the body.
High in healthy fats and low in carbs, they make an excellent addition to the keto diet.
With the potential to be used in most recipes, coconut meat is the perfect complement to your keto-friendly fat-burning journey, so reach for some shredded coconut today!
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.