If you’re looking for some all natural ways to ditch sugar cravings, I have a single ingredient answer for you - coconut flour! I absolutely adore coconut flour. If you’re not a fan of coconut in general, please do hear me out. Coconut flour is very different to shredded coconut, and in my opinion, tastes very different, though I love both equally. Coconut flour tastes like a soft, vanilla cake-like flour. It is often used in grain-free baking, but there are other ways to use it too. I stir it into protein puddings with protein powder, almond milk and yogurt, or add it to my smoothies to make them really thick. I also love to bake pancakes and muffins with it. Coconut flour has only 60 calories, 2 grams of fat and a whopping 6 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per two tablespoons! Because it is so high in fiber, it soaks up a lot of liquid, so it is great to use to thicken recipes with. Many people don’t know it’s actually a great way to ditch sugar cravings too, which is my favorite health reason to use it. Try implementing the moist, tender crumb of coconut flour into your next recipe. You can literally add it anywhere, and check out the ways below. It will nix those sugar cravings right out of the water!
1. High Fiber
As I mentioned, coconut flour is very high in fiber, which is one of the main reasons it is so great when used to ditch sugar cravings. Fiber slows down digestion, and slows down your blood sugar. Any sugar in your blood stream is slowly processed and absorbed, making you suffer less blood sugar swings. Any high fiber food will do this, but coconut flour’s fiber is unique. It is insoluble fiber, which means it fills you up fast, but is also easily digested out of your body, so don’t worry about it causing bloating and pain. Since it is high in fiber, it makes a great way to thicken up any recipe you add it to.
2. MCT Fats
Though coconut flour is low in fat per serving, you still get the benefits of those MCT fats that are found in coconut. Medium chain triglyceride fats, known as MCT fats, are some of the best to stop your body from craving sugar. This is one reason many people use coconut oil to lose weight. The fats literally send messages to your brain that tell you that you are full and don’t need sugar to pick up your energy again. These same MCT fats also deliver energy to your cells, helping you to receive long-sustained energy in a very short amount of time, all while being cholesterol free.
For only two tablespoons, 3 grams of protein is quite a bit in the grand scheme of things. Protein wards off sugar cravings and is great for your metabolism. Your cells spend more time digesting protein than they do carbs, which slows down your blood sugar and even contributes to weight loss.
4. Beats the Blues
How many of us eat sugar or sweet foods when we are sad, stressed, etc? I know I”ve been guilty of this! Add some coconut flour to your oatmeal, smoothies, puddings, homemade muffins, casseroles, etc. You can add it to anything and it won’t taste like coconut, but instead, just offer a rich flavor, with a very slightly sweet taste. The reason you should do this is because coconut is a unique food to ward off low mood that can lead to sugar cravings. It enhances neurotransmitter production in the brain through serotonin. This tells your body you are satisfied, and promotes a sense of well being. One of my favorite ways to beat sugar cravings when I’m stressed is to take ¼ cup coconut flour, a scoop of vegan protein powder, stir it all together with almond milk, stevia and cinnamon and eat it like pudding. It is so filling and tastes like cake batter! That leaves me satisfied, happy, and not reaching for the chocolate bars!
5. Removes Fat from Your Body
One really unique thing about coconut flour’s effects on blood sugar, is that when it is eaten, it absorbs other fats in your digestive tract. Too much fat or sugar can make you crave high sugar or high fat foods. By consuming coconut flour, it absorbs those fats and sugars and removes them from your body through the digestive tract, leaving you with a clean system. The fewer unhealthy fats and toxic sugars you eat, the better, and coconut flour is a great way to detox your system from these foods.
6. It Tastes Sweet
Coconut flour’s flavor is one of the main reasons it wards off sugar cravings. Like I mentioned, it has a slightly sweet taste, almost like vanilla cake, and is so tender and moist when used in baked goods. I highly recommend trying it if you haven’t! Because it tastes sweet, you won’t crave sugar, and all the fiber and protein will help to fill you up quickly.
7. It’s Grain- Free
I mentioned that coconut flour is grain-free, but you may be wondering just how that makes you crave less sugar. Though whole grains are healthy, they are still high in carbohydrates, even outside from their fiber content. In fact, per ½ cup, most whole grains only have 3-4 grams of fiber, with brown rice even being less. Coconut flour has 6 grams of fiber per tablespoon! Since grains are high in carbs outside of fiber, this means they spike your glycemic index more than foods like nuts, coconut, veggies, etc. Any time your glycemic index is raised, even by just a little, your blood sugar creeps up and you crave more sugar. Since coconut is grain-free, it is naturally low in carbs, with only 2 actual carbs per serving outside of fiber. And, since you only need 1-2 servings of coconut flour per recipe, you’ll be taking in less glycemic spiking carbs.
Any time you use coconut flour, I recommend with only using 1-2 servings at a time, unless you’re making something like a batch of muffins, etc. If you’re making a single serving muffin, pancake, pudding, smoothie, etc., then only use around 2-4 tablespoons, which is 1-2 servings. If you need some ideas, feel free to visit my blog soulfulspoon.com, where I use coconut flour in many of my recipes. Have you ever used coconut flour?