Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour

Are you confused about coconut flour vs almond flour?

Both are gluten-free, both are grain-free and both are used heavily in low carb and keto cooking … but which is best and how do you use them?

Can these flours be easily swapped in recipes? Let’s dig in …

Coconut flour vs almond flour collage of flours on a dark background

Low-Carb Flours -Which Is Best To Use?

Before we begin the coconut flour vs almond flour debate, you may wish to learn more about all low-carb flours. Read my Ultimate Guide To Low-Carb Flours. 

It’s a general overview of low-carb flours and how to use them.

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Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour – which is healthiest?

2 images showing Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour

Both coconut flour and almond flour are low-carb flours and naturally gluten-free.

Both are less processed than “healthy whole-grains”, both coconut flour and almond flour are more nutritious without the need for fortification, that many wheat-based products often have.

As with most baking ingredients, there are pros and cons, so let’s go through them.

And why am I beginning to use coconut flour more frequently in recipes?

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Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour – Why do I love coconut flour?

3 REASONS WHY I LOVE BAKING WITH COCONUT FLOUR VS ALMOND FLOUR

  1. Allergies – so many readers are requesting nut-free recipes. Either because they have nut allergies, or like me, their children attend a school with a nut-free policy. So baking with nuts is out of the question.
  2. Cost – coconut flour is cheaper to use. Prices vary from country to country, and what is currently on sale, but for us in New Zealand, coconut flour is half the price of almond meal/flour. Not only is coconut flour cheaper to buy, but the amount you use in a recipe is also incredibly small compared to almond meal/flour. A cake might require cups of almond meal/flour, whereas a coconut flour recipe might only require 1/4 of this.
  3. Omega3/6 ratio – almonds have a high omega 6 (pro-inflammatory) content. This isn’t so important when you are just eating a few almonds as a snack, but to rely on cups of almond meal/flour for meals and baking, really does make a difference and adds up quickly.

Note On Nuts: “The FDA lists coconut as a tree nut but in fact, coconut is a seed of a drupaceous fruit. Most people allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. Coconut allergy is reasonably rare. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to, or eliminating coconut from, your diet.”

Why Am I Making More Coconut Flour Recipes?

It has been requested that I bake more frequently with coconut flour than almond flour.

But don’t worry. If you don’t like, or can’t tolerate coconut flour, I will continue to develop new low-carb and keto recipes with almond flour/meal.

I love cooking with both low-carb gluten-free flours.

I will continue to add substitutions for older recipes. For example, I have added instructions to my Fat Head pizza recipe. You can now make it with almond flour OR coconut flour.

More Low-Carb Coconut Flour Recipes

What Are The Differences Between Coconut Flour And Almond Flour?

a variety of Coconut flour vs almond flour images
The Ultimate Guide To Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour
FREE Beginner's Guide To Low-Carb And Keto mockup on yellow background

1: Allergies

With the increasing number of allergies, more readers are asking for tree nut-free recipes. And as many parents know, an increasing number of primary schools and kindergartens are making a nut-free policy for baking and school lunches.

So many low-carb recipes use almond flour/meal, it limits what baking we can send our children to school with.

2: Costs

Depending on where you live this may vary, but here in New Zealand, coconut flour is almost half the price of almond flour/meal.

Coconut flour is a pretty economical low-carb flour to buy and to use because you only use 1/4 of the volume of almond flour.

3: Fat content and quality

Almond flour has a higher fat content but it is the quality of fat that is important to consider. Almond flour is high in omega 6 which is the inflammatory polyunsaturated fat we want to avoid in large quantities.

Coconut flour is lower in fat (another reason why it is so absorbent for liquids in recipes), but it is stable saturated fat.

Omega 6 is inflammatory and omega 3 is anti-inflammatory.

In the past, our omega 6:3 ratio was closer to 1:1, in modern times it has moved to be 15:1, i.e.: a highly inflammatory diet. “Excessive amounts of omega-6 … promote the pathogenesis of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, whereas increased levels of omega-3 PUFA (a low omega-6/omega-3 ratio) exert suppressive effects.” Source.

It takes 90 whole almonds to make 1 cup almond flour. It is too easy to overindulge in almonds from almond flour low-carb baking.

Takeaway notes: Coconut flour is versatile, cheaper, healthier, has better omega 3:6 ratios and far lower in carbs than almond flour.

a variety of low-carb flours on a board

In Summary – benefits of these low-carb flours

  • High in fibre – both coconut and almond flours are high in fibre.
  • High in protein – coconut flour isn’t as high as almond flour, but when you consider baking using coconut flour generally requires more eggs to help the baking rise and improve moisture, it can be considered a higher protein option.
  • Low carb – both are lower in carbs than wheat and grain-based flours. 1 cup of wheat flour contains a whopping 73g net carbs compared to 10g net carbs in 1 cup of almond flour, and 6g net carbs in the equivalent 1/4 cup of coconut flour (40% less than almond flour).
  • Nutrition – there’s not much in it, but both are better than wheat and grains. Don’t rely on low-carb baking to provide you with the basis of your nutrient-dense diet. Low-carb baking, whether it is from coconut flour vs almond flour, should not be relied upon regularly. Part of the ethos of going low carb is not to rely on the sweet tastes, not to rely on treats but to use them occasionally. It is always better to reach for a low-carb treat rather than a highly processed, high-carb one, but they must begin to make less of an appearance in your weekly meal plan.

Coconut flour cooking tips

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