Does coconut make you fat? How much can you eat?

Coconut is an exotic fruit synonymous with summer and holidays but also with excessive calories, fat and overweight. But is it really true that coconut makes you fat? Can we eat if we want to control our fitness or is it better to avoid it?

The coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm , a tropical plant that produces walnuts, within which is contained the pulpy part sweet and delicate.

The pulp can be eaten fresh, an oil and even a flour can be obtained from it , therefore it is a very versatile fruit. Its nutritional composition is quite particular, since it is a very caloric fruit , containing about 360 calories per 100 grams (a huge amount if compared to the about 50 kcal of other common summer fruits) with about 35% fat, 50 % of water, 9% of carbohydrates, 3.5% of proteins, but 12% of fibers.

It is also a good source of mineral salts , such as calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and phosphorus. The benefits that coconut brings to our health are documented by many scientific studies. For more information, please read our in-depth study: Coconut: all the health benefits . Let’s see now, instead, if it is true that coconut makes you fat and how much we can eat without worrying about the figure. [1]

Does coconut make you fat? Can you eat on a diet?

Even if we are not in the tropics we can still get a taste of an exotic vacation by enjoying fresh coconut, but we are on a diet and therefore we think we cannot afford it. That’s it? Can you eat coconut on a diet?

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We have just seen that coconut is a very caloric fruit and that in general it does not go well with a low-calorie diet, but if we carefully consider the nutritional composition of this fruit and analyze its properties, we discover that this is not exactly the case.

Let’s start by saying that coconut contains many fibers , which in addition to being fundamental for our intestine as they guarantee correct motility, are also important for the cardiovascular system as they help to lower blood pressure and above all modulate blood sugar, an important effect also for the purposes the control of body weight [2] . In addition, the fibers help to give a sense of satiety , a factor that will not prompt us to eat anything else immediately to satisfy our appetite and we will be able to better control our hunger.

Furthermore, the water it contains helps to regulate body hydration and the mineral salts present in large quantities help to maintain the hydro-saline balance of the whole organism, also favoring the elimination of excess fluids, thus reducing water retention . The positive effect will be even greater if we add coconut water to the coconut , that is the liquid naturally present inside the coconut, with a delicate flavor, very refreshing and rich in minerals such as potassium, which helps to counteract the water retention.

An important resource of coconut is the presence of medium-chain fatty acids , which have positive effects on metabolism since our body has the ability to transform them into ketone bodies from which to derive energy, instead of storing them in the form of fat. Furthermore, the ketone bodies are able to inhibit the sense of hunger. In this way we are helped in controlling hunger pangs and therefore we can also consume coconut in a low-calorie diet , as long as it is balanced. [3]

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We can therefore say that coconut does not make you fat (if consumed in the right quantities) but, on the contrary, a small portion of coconut could be useful for weight loss .

How much coconut to eat per day

If we considered coconut as a fruit substitute, the portion we should consume would be really small, equal to about 25-30 grams ! If, on the other hand, we wanted to eat a larger portion, around 40-50 grams, we should consider it as a substitute for other foods , for example as a substitute for dessert at breakfast and in any case not every day, especially if we are following a weight loss diet .

If, on the other hand, we are sportsmen, we can use it as a post-workout snack as it will help us rehydrate and replenish dissipated energy reserves.

So if we are following a low-calorie diet or in any case want to lose a few extra pounds, we can consider coconut as an excellent alternative to the evening sweet , for example, or from time to time as a hunger-breaker snack, but without exaggerating.

As for dehydrated coconut instead, it is good to keep in mind that, like all dried fruit , it contains a greater number of calories (the calories of dehydrated coconut are about 670 Kcal / 100 gr) therefore we will have to use even less. An average portion of dried coconut is about 30 g and provides 200 kcalories, a value that should be reduced to 20 g if we follow a low-calorie diet. [4] .

Does using coconut flour in recipes make you fat?

Coconut, and in particular the flour obtained from it, lends itself well to being used for many sweet recipes. Certainly coconut flour is more caloric than the typical wheat flour we use for desserts and therefore replacing the latter entirely with coconut flour will significantly increase the caloric content of the final product, as well as increase its fat levels and sugars.

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As we have seen, however, coconut flour also contains many fibers and has a medium-low glycemic index, therefore it can be used in the right quantities even by diabetics, especially if the use of sugar is avoided in the preparations, given the intrinsic sweetness. some coconut flour. In addition, the fatty ingredients of the recipe can be avoided or greatly limited. In this way it will be possible to prepare sweets that even if we are on a diet will not make us fat. We also remind you that coconut flour does not contain gluten and therefore can also be used by celiac people.

As a substitute for other flours , coconut flour should be used in a proportion of about 20% of the total amount of flour provided in the recipe and be careful to add an equal volume of liquid since coconut flour tends to absorb water. For this reason it is also advisable to let the dough rest for a few minutes before finishing the preparation.

Also widely used in sweet preparations are dehydrated coconut flakes and grated coconut pulp, especially in decorations, but rapé coconut, usually less refined and manipulated than coconut flour, can also be used in doughs.

Recommended reading:

  • Coconut oil, an aid to weight loss: this is why consuming it wakes up the metabolism
  • Coconut milk: properties and recipe for making it at home
  • How does a coconut open?

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