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The ketogenic diet, or keto for short, has been around for over 100 years. Created initially as a treatment for adolescent epilepsy, it’s since become one of the foremost weight-loss diets.
On keto, dieters are limited to eating 50 grams or less of carbohydrate per day. Meals are high in fat and protein, and foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, and grains are all off the menu. High sugar foods, desserts, and many processed foods are also not allowed.
Most fruits are also not suitable for the ketogenic diet. Despite being high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, fruit is often high in fructose, which is a type of sugar. Eating fruit will kick you out of ketosis, just like potatoes or bread can.
However, some fruits are keto-friendly. Avocados, for example, contain more monounsaturated fats than they do carbs, so they’re a very popular ketogenic diet food.
Some berries are also very low in sugar, so they’re okay on keto too. Raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are all excellent fruit choices on keto.
So, is coconut keto? After all, coconut is a fruit, and that means it may or may not be keto-friendly. In this article, we not only answer this question but also reveal some of the benefits of eating coconuts.
Is Coconut Keto?
What Are Coconuts?
Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut tree, which is a variety of palm tree.
They’re not true nuts and, botanically speaking, are classed as drupes.
Coconuts grow in tropical regions, taking 12-18 months to mature.
Every part of a coconut can be used, although only the inner flesh and liquid are edible.
The flesh of coconuts can be squeezed to make coconut oil, and coconut water is a popular health drink.
The outer fibrous layers of the shell can be used to make things like mats and brushes, while the shells themselves make great natural containers.
There are lots of ways to use the flesh of a coconut. It can be eaten raw, pressed, and grated to make coconut milk and cream, dried to make desiccated coconut, and ground to make flour.
Coconut is a common ingredient in Indian and Jamaican cooking, where it is often used to temper hot spices. Coconut can also be used to make vinegar, as well as a potent alcoholic drink.
All of the edible parts of the coconut are healthy and nutritious.
Coconuts are a type of fruit, and, like most fruits, that means they contain lots of beneficial nutrients. One cup/3.5 ounces of raw coconut flesh (also called meat) contains:
- 354 calories
- 3 grams of protein
- 15 grams of carbs
- 9 grams of fiber
- 6 grams of net carbs
- 33 grams of fat
- 47 grams of water
In addition, coconut contains lots of valuable vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
The high nutrient density of coconuts means that it has several notable benefits:
Improved heart health – coconut oil may lower your risk of coronary heart disease and could help you preferentially burn belly fat.
Antioxidant effect – phenolic compounds in coconut meat may offer protection from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause irreparable damage to cells and even DNA.
Lower blood glucose – the fiber and fat in coconuts may have anti-diabetic effects and can help increase insulin sensitivity while lowering blood glucose.
Antimicrobial – coconuts are naturally antimicrobial, making them good for your digestive health. Coconut water is naturally sterile and is a valuable survival resource. It can even be used for intravenous fluid replacement in emergencies.
A source of electrolytes – coconut water is a popular sports drink because it’s high in a group of minerals called electrolytes.
You lose electrolytes when you perspire, leading to cramps, increased heart rate, and a decrease in performance. Replacing lost electrolytes can prevent performance decline and speed up recovery.
Is It Keto?
With 15 grams of carbs per cup, you would be forgiven for thinking that coconut is not very keto.
But, the high fiber content means that a cup of coconut flesh actually only has 6 grams of net carbs, and those are the carbs that count.
Coconut is high in MCTs – medium-chain triglycerides – which are a very valuable fat on the ketogenic diet.
MCTs are not digested like other fats. Instead, they’re transported directly to your liver, where they are converted into ketones and used for energy.
That’s why a lot of ketogenic dieters take MCTs. They also put you into a deeper state of ketosis and help you burn fat faster.
So, are coconuts keto? You bet! Eaten in moderate amounts, coconut is very keto-friendly and could help make your low-carb diet even more successful.
A lot of people think that all fruit is off the menu on keto, but that’s not the case. While you can’t eat bananas, apples, oranges, etc., on keto, there are a few high fiber, low sugar fruits that are very keto-friendly.
Avocados are one, and coconuts are the other. Some berries are also okay on keto.
Coconut is a very tasty, high fat, low carb fruit that offers many benefits. It’s highly nutritious, and the MCTs in coconuts are very useful during ketosis.
As well as being good for weight loss, eating coconut is good for your heart, your gut, and even your exercise performance.
Whether you eat coconut meat, drink unsweetened coconut water, add coconut cream to your curries, or cook with coconut oil, this big tropical fruit deserves to be part of your ketogenic diet.