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Wondering which of the low carb flours is best for cooking and baking? Let’s compare almond flour vs coconut flour so you can decide.
When moving over to a low carb and gluten free diet, you’ll want to learn the differences between the low carb flours almond flour and coconut flour. Many wonder which flour is better.
For starters, it’s important to note that neither of these low carb flours should be a substitute for real meals. Meats and vegetables need to be your primary intake to acquire quality nutrients.
Below is the rundown of each flour side by side. Neither is glaringly better than the other. However, each flour has its set of pros and cons.
Low Carb Flours: Almond Flour vs Coconut Flour
Overall Macro Comparison
Both coconut flour and almond flour are similar in macronutrient composition. Coconut flour has 4 grams of fat, 4 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbohydrates, and 10 grams of fiber for each 1/4 cup. Almond flour is opposite of coconut flour. It has 14 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber for every 1/4 cup.
So which one is better? If you are want the one lowest in carbs, almond flour is the better alternative. However, the higher levels of carbs in coconut flour will likely not cause any problems or complications. And, you typically need less coconut flour in recipes than almond flour. This is because coconut flour expands when liquid is added so you don’t need to use as much as almond flour in similar recipes.
This is an area where the two flours drift apart. Almond flour is high in Omega-6 fatty acids. Unfortunately, statistics show that Americans consume way too much Omega-6’s in their every day diet. See this post for more information on a healthy Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio.
Some studies even suggest that eating high levels of Omega-6 fatty acids can lead to inflammation. Coconut flour has less overall fat, and the fat it contains is much higher quality. Thus, coconut flour wins for being potentially less inflammatory.
Minerals and Protein
Both flours contain modest amounts of trace minerals. Coconut flour is a good source of iron, manganese, and copper. For almond flour there are decent levels of Vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. So, both coconut flour and almond flour can provide minerals in your diet so there isn’t a clear winner.
The protein levels between the two don’t differ by much. Almond flour has slightly more protein. The winner? By technicality almond flour with it being more protein dense.
The contender for it all. Which flour is better for cooking? Coconut flour tends to absorb much more moisture than does almond flour. This means that if the recipe does not have a lot of wet ingredients and you use coconut flour, the end product will be dry and crumbly.
The two also have different tastes. Coconut flour tends to taste sweet and generic, whereas almond flour tastes like almonds. Depending on personal preference and the recipe, the contender for which is best is solely up to the cook.
Thus, there is no real true winner. Each flour has its own set of perks and cons. I like the fact that coconut flour is less inflammatory and provides more of a spongy texture in baked goods. However, the decision on what low carb flour to use is really up to the preferences of the cook and eater.
You can find some great low carb recipes that use coconut flour here.
Which flour will better suit your baking needs?