Coconut oil is the edible oil extracted from the meat of coconut flesh, and is becoming ever popular in cooking, baking, and the hair-care industry.
But the big question is, is coconut oil low FODMAP?
Let’s explain what FODMAP means before bringing coconut oil into the equation. The word FODMAP is short for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. Each of these are are short-chain carbohydrates that are tricky for the small intestine to absorb. This can cause unpleasant symptoms particularly if you suffer from bowel conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Coeliac disease.
Please note that you should only commence a low FODMAP diet on instruction from your medical physician.
So is coconut oil low FODMAP?
The good news is that yes, both refined and unrefined coconut oil are considered to be low FODMAP! This is fantastic news if you’re looking for a flavored alternative to olive oil, that is also low FODMAP.
It’s important to bear in mind that serving size is important when it comes to ensuring coconut oil is low FODMAP. You can safely consume up to 1 tablespoon of coconut oil as a low FODMAP food product; anything over this would be considered to be high FODMAP.
How coconut oil is made
Coconut oil is made by pressing coconut meat to extract the oil from inside. This can be carried out either via fresh or dried coconuts, and it is then packaged as is to produce unrefined or virgin coconut oil.
Coconut oil can also be refined however this would be unsuitable for consumption due to contaminants. You’d be more likely to find refined coconut oil in hair-care/skincare products rather than food items.
You can even make coconut oil at home using fresh coconuts! (Or if you’d prefer to buy, make sure you get high-quality coconut oil.)
Baking with coconut oil
Coconut oil is very popular in modern baking, as a flavored alternative to olive oil/vegetable oil. Coconut oil also has a lower smoke point of 350°F, making it better for low-heat cooking such as frying and sautéing.
It’s highly popular with gluten-free, paleo, and keto bakers, and lends itself well to many baked dishes due to its substantial fat content.
You’ll find many recipes containing coconut oil in books and online, some of our favourites include muffins, soups, cornbread, curries, pie crusts, cakes, mashed potato, and salad dressings. You can also use it as an alternative to olive oil when frying or sautéing food.
Check out our blog for a recipe for a delicious coconut oil, lime, and ginger salad dressing!
|Per 1 Tablespoon Serving||Coconut Oil||Olive Oil|
|Paleo-Friendly?||Yes, if unrefined||Yes|
|Best for baking||Frying, sauteing, cookies, muffins, soups, cornbread, pie crusts, cakes, mashed potatoes, salad dressings|
Frying, sauteing, cakes, biscuits, ice cream, cookies
Diets that suit coconut oil
Coconut oil is a very versatile type of oil and therefore highly suitable for a wide range of diets.
It’s gluten-free, making it ideal for those with gluten intolerances such as IBS or Coeliac disease sufferers. It’s also keto-friendly as it contains no carbs whatsoever.
If you’re following a paleo diet, you can also enjoy coconut oil. However, you should avoid refined coconut oil due to contaminants that would be unsuitable for the paleo diet.
We’ve put together a few short frequently asked questions to add to your understanding of coconut oil as a low FODMAP food product. Check these out below!
Most oils are suitable for low FODMAP diets, as oils are fats and therefore do not contain FODMAPs. Here’s a list of oils that have been tested and permitted as low FODMAP:
– Avocado Oil
– Canola Oil
– Coconut Oil
– Olive Oil
– Peanut Oil
– Rice bran Oil
– Sesame Oil
– Sunflower Oil
– Vegetable Oil
Good news: both refined and unrefined coconut oil are considered to be low FODMAP. This is because they are fats and therefore contain no FODMAPs. Whether coconut oil is refined or not, only 1 tablespoon servings have been confirmed as low FODMAP.
Coconut oil isn’t generally associated with stomach issues, unless consumed in high quantities. This can cause you to have negative side effects such as diarrhea, cramps, and sickness. It can also increase your cholesterol if regularly consumed in high quantities.
Coconut oil may be considered as a healthier fat alternative to animal/trans fats, however it’s not as healthy as plant oils such as olive/vegetable oil. This is because coconut oil contains a higher number of calories, and also has a higher glycemic index in general. It can also raise blood choloesterol if consumed in high quantities.
You should not use coconut oil if you’re prone to high cholesterol, as coconut oil has been shown to heighten cholesterol levels. If you have a very sensitive nut allergy, we’d also recommend avoiding coconut oil as coconut oil is derived from coconuts which are technically part of the treenut family.
There are a few key benefits to coconut oil, including the fact that they contain medium-chain fat acids, which makes it easier to digest than other types of oil. It also contains lauric acid, which can help it to provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
Coconut oil can be used on the skin to alleviate some conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Make sure to consult with a dermatologist/physician before using coconut oil on your skin if you suffer from either of these conditions.
You can also use coconut oil on the hair to improve shine and the appearance of damaged hair. Take a look at our blog for an easy DIY coconut oil hair mask recipe!
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