Since embarking on your keto journey, it’s more than likely you’ve encountered at least one nut butter—after all, what’s not to love?

They’re high in fat, protein, fiber, and low in carbs, making them the perfect addition to the keto diet.

While not as widely known as almond butter or peanut butter, coconut butter is becoming more and more popular among health enthusiasts.

While coconut oil is made by cold-pressing the oil out of the coconut meat, coconut butter is made by pureeing both the meat and the oil.

Not only does this give it a consistency closer to regular butter, but it produces a much more intense coconut flavor as well as providing some health boosts you might not get from the oil alone.

The best part is that coconut butter is incredibly quick, cheap, and simple to make at home—all you need is shredded coconut and a food processor.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at why coconut butter makes for a great, healthy addition to your keto diet.

A Good Source of Fiber

It’s not uncommon for those who are new to keto to find themselves struggling with constipation or minor digestive issues.

The reason for this is generally two-fold:

firstly, our bodies are adjusting to eating more foods that our body doesn’t digest as efficiently. Things like nuts, full-fat dairy foods, and low-starch vegetables are ideal for keto, but we can struggle to break them down.

To aid digestion, we want to make sure we’re getting enough dietary fiber to help move material through our digestive tract, however, some of the best sources of dietary fiber are foods like fruit, starchy vegetables, and grains, which are big no-nos on keto.

This means we have to look elsewhere for our fiber and this is where coconut butter can help.

While coconut oil doesn’t contain any fiber, a tablespoon of coconut butter contains 2 grams. This might not seem like a considerable amount, but it all makes a difference when you’re looking for alternative sources.

A Unique Source of Lauric Acid

In recent years, the fat content of coconuts, and therefore coconut butter, has caused a small amount of controversy. The previous consensus was that coconut’s high levels of saturated fat led to high cholesterol while increasing the risk of cardiovascular issues or stroke.

While the jury isn’t entirely out on the matter, we do know that most of the saturated fat in coconut butter consists of a fatty acid known as lauric acid.

Lauric acid is rarely found naturally in food, with coconuts being the most common, and studies have shown [1] that it may actually increase your levels of good cholesterol rather than the bad.

Studies have also shown that saturated fat may not be as closely linked to heart issues as previously thought.

When we consume lauric acid, our bodies convert it to monolaurin, which is has known antimicrobial properties that can help boost your immune system while fighting against viruses, bacteria, funguses, and other pathogens.

Lose Weight & Boost Your Metabolism

While eating fat to lose weight can seem a little bit counter-intuitive, not all fats are made equal. Coconut butter is high in fat, 90% of which is saturated, and it’s formed of medium-chain fatty acids which, unlike long-chain fatty acids, is burned for energy rather than stored.

Because coconut butter is thermogenic, it boosts your ability to metabolize fat [2] and other foods, increasing the number of calories that you burn throughout the day. Additionally, the fat in coconut butter also helps you feel full for longer.

This means you’ll have better control over the amount of food you eat so you’ll lower your calorie intake while burning those that you do consume.

How to Use Coconut Butter on Keto

Coconut butter has plenty of great uses on keto and it won’t take long to discover all the delicious ways you can introduce it into your diet. In most cases, you can use it as a substitute for regular butter, whether that’s on keto-friendly toast or in your favorite baking recipe.

Just bear in mind that coconut butter can make some baked goods a little drier than usual, so you might want to add in some coconut oil to add moisture. It’s also a great addition to stir-frys and curries, providing a wonderful texture and flavor to these dishes.

The best thing about coconut butter is that its health advantages also include numerous skincare benefits [3]. While you should always patch-test new products before putting them on your skin, coconut butter can be used as a highly effective, natural moisturizer that you can apply as a lip balm, eye makeup remover, shaving cream, or as a classic body butter.

You can even combine coconut butter with sea salt to create your own homemade body scrub.

Takeaway

In summary, coconut butter should be an essential part of your keto diet, whether you buy a jar from the store or make your own batch at home.

Its properties make it ideal for losing weight, aiding digestion and fighting disease, and you’ll never get stuck looking for new ways to introduce it to your diet.

The only thing to be aware of is that coconut butter does contain roughly 120 calories per tablespoon so, while not too high, it’s important to pay attention to how much you consume to avoid going overboard.

With all of this in mind, coconut butter is definitely one of the healthiest introductions you can make to your keto diet.

References:

[1] Nicole M. de Roos, Evert G. Schouten, Martijn B. Katan; Consumption of a Solid Fat Rich in Lauric Acid Results in a More Favorable Serum Lipid Profile in Healthy Men and Women than Consumption of a Solid Fat Rich in trans-Fatty Acids, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 131, Issue 2, 1 February 2001, Pages 242–245, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/131.2.242

[2] Papamandjaris AA1, MacDougall DE, Jones PJ. Medium chain fatty acid metabolism and energy expenditure: obesity treatment implications. Life Sci. 1998;62(14):1203-15.

[3] Nakatsuji T, et al. Antimicrobial property of lauric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: Its therapeutic potential for inflammatory acne vulgaris. J. Invest. Dermatol. 2009;129:2480–2488. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.93

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.

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