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Thread: Coconut vs. almond flour page 2

  1. #11
    ez2cy's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel
    First off, God I miss Alta.

    Would coconut flour not be better for the ????? (don't know the words off hand, where if you don't use it as fuel it's flushed, can't store as fat?

  2. #12
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    If by "having success" with almond flour you mean "manufacturing varnish in your oven," then I can understand.

    Remember - polyunsaturated fat is highly unstable, and nuts are generally some of nature's greatest sources of concentrated polyunsaturated fats. They are very susceptible to oxidation by heat, air and light, and grinding them into meals that increase the surface area an order of magnitude, then subjecting them to oven temperatures that cannot physically occur on the surface of Planet Earth is going to rapidly degenerate those fats.

    Don't heat your nuts. Never cook with nut meals. You are literally making varnish in your oven. After all, paint thinner is traditionally heated flaxseed oil. You get that wonderfully hard, wood-protective quality with paints and stains because the fats are so fragile, when they get heated they turn into something like a glass coating. Nut and seed oils are fantastic to finish cast iron with while things like animal fats and olive oil yield poor cast iron seasonings. Know why? Because the nut and seed oils oxidize and leave that non-stick, glass-like coating while the stable fats do not oxidize and result in a poor finish. That's a reason to NOT consume those oils.

    Coconut flour does not suffer from this. Bake away I say if you're okay with incorporating "fail-eo" foods into your diet. Coconut flour bread isn't outright toxic like almond meal bread can potentially be, but you're still eating bread.
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoJenGo View Post
    I used to bake with almond flour until I was here for a little while and learned more about Omega 6 and the heating of the PUFA-laden nut flours. Since then, I've been a coconut flour girl all the way on the now rare occasion that I feel like I have to have something doughy.

    Some people use half almond, half coconut for that reason, but the coconut flour is mighty thirsty and it can be a pain to get the combo right. Either way, there's bit of a learning curve.
    This is good advice IMO. More food for thought:

    Omega 6 linoleic acid is actually the shortest-chain fatty acid of the PUFA's. While omega 6 oxidizes rapidly, remember that omega 3 oxidizes even more quickly. Walnuts are going to be more easily oxidized than almonds because walnuts have more PUFA, a lot of omega 3's and less vitamin E. Flaxseeds are going to be even more easily oxidized due to very high omega 3 content. Fish oil is going to oxidize the most rapidly of all because they are the longest-chain fats in nature. EPA and DHA (especially DHA) are incredibly dangerous to isolate, and this is why you cannot pay me to take fish oil supplements. The most fragile fat in nature isolated in a laboratory from farmed fish that is almost certain to oxidize as soon as you ingest it? Pass.

    I have always questioned that golden 1:1 ratio of n3:n6. N3 seems more dangerous to ingest large quantities of unless you're...get this...eating whole, very fresh, lightly cooked fish...like in traditional shore-based societies, not land-locked societies popping artificial several month-old fish oil pills made in a laboratory somewhere. Hmmm...
    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 10-10-2012 at 09:43 AM.
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    Remember - polyunsaturated fat is highly unstable, and nuts are generally some of nature's greatest sources of concentrated polyunsaturated fats. They are very susceptible to oxidation by heat, air and light, and grinding them into meals that increase the surface area an order of magnitude, then subjecting them to oven temperatures that cannot physically occur on the surface of Planet Earth is going to rapidly degenerate those fats.
    So much this. Furthermore, even if you're not heating the almond meal, don't forget that almonds have a ton of omega-6 fatty acids (edit: The problem with heating them in the first place). Some is good and even necessary, but I actually started transitioning to using more coconut flour simply because of that. It's very easy to throw your fatty acid ratio out of balance just by using too much almond flour. Oh, and it's cheaper, too.

    If you see a recipe for almond flour and want to convert that to coconut flour, the standard ratio seems to be 3 c almond flour to 1 c coconut flour. Just be prepared to add a little more flour or a little more liquid (coconut milk, butter, etc) than before, and this is ESPECIALLY true when you're converting 1 c or less of almond flour (1/3 c coconut flour).

    I do find that the flavor of coconut flour does add something, so don't use it on dishes where you wouldn't appreciate a little extra coconut flavor (for the most part, I use these flours to make pancakes and the like, which generally benefit from a bit of coconut flavor). Then again, I have rather sensitive taste buds, so you might not notice the difference.
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  5. #15
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    To address some of the concerns, I use coconut/almond flour pretty sparingly. I'll make cookies with it maybe once a month, and then recently I made zucchini bread, but only used about 1/3 cup of coconut flour in the end. I'm not a huge fail-eo baker, it's just an occasional treat. I never really considered regularly making/eating things like muffins from almond meals, pancakes, etc.

  6. #16
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    Well this is great, because I just made some nut crackers with almond flour, as found on page 192 of Mark's Primal Cookbook.

    Now it seems the almond meal/flour that I spent a whole day tracking down is the same PUFA oils we're not to eat?

    FFS...

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanC View Post
    Well this is great, because I just made some nut crackers with almond flour, as found on page 192 of Mark's Primal Cookbook.

    Now it seems the almond meal/flour that I spent a whole day tracking down is the same PUFA oils we're not to eat?

    FFS...
    As he's said in the past, "nuts arenít just 'bags of linoleic acid.'" Nuts do have a lot of good stuff, but the whole reason why they're not supposed to become a staple for us is because of the omega-6 content.

    Don't forget that you DO, in fact, need some omega-6.

    In moderation, nuts work very well. It's when people start using them as a 1:1 replacement for flour where the problem arises. Just make sure you're getting plenty of omega-3s, not much in the way of omega-6s from other sources, and that you eat foods with nuts in them in moderation (depending, of course, on the nut).

    The moderation thing was something with which I had issue, but I've slowly been transitioning from almond flour for dishes that require something of the sort (a thickener or a drying agent) to coconut flour, and now I think I've got my o36 ratio going pretty well.

    The point is there are other reasons to avoid oils other than just the o6 content (not the least of which is the fact that nuts have a ton of good stuff in them, whereas oils tend to be... just... a lot of o6 and nothing good or bad aside from that at best), so you shouldn't misconstrue nuts having o6 as a reason to dismiss them entirely.
    See my progress at Cocoa's Corner.

    Or check out my journal thread here.

    If I accidently make you a brony or convert you to Taoism, well... you shouldn't have talked to me if you didn't want that to happen.

  8. #18
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    In response to those saying polyunsaturated fatty acids(PUFAs) oxidize at higher temperatures, polymerize, creating trans-fats, and generally turning into things that are not good eats;

    While true, the addition of oils high in saturated fats(ex. butter, or coconut oil), along with Vitamin E(found abundantly in almonds), and any other antioxidants in your ingredients prevents the oxidation of PUFAs and UFAs. While not preventing it completely, cooking almond flour as a wheat flour substitute, I'm sure has no where near the deleterious effects as cooking with plain vegetable oil at high temperatures(deep frying potatoes in canola or corn oil).
    Last edited by MrSnstr; 11-28-2012 at 08:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    If by "having success" with almond flour you mean "manufacturing varnish in your oven," then I can understand.

    Remember - polyunsaturated fat is highly unstable, and nuts are generally some of nature's greatest sources of concentrated polyunsaturated fats. They are very susceptible to oxidation by heat, air and light, and grinding them into meals that increase the surface area an order of magnitude, then subjecting them to oven temperatures that cannot physically occur on the surface of Planet Earth is going to rapidly degenerate those fats.

    Don't heat your nuts. Never cook with nut meals. You are literally making varnish in your oven. After all, paint thinner is traditionally heated flaxseed oil. You get that wonderfully hard, wood-protective quality with paints and stains because the fats are so fragile, when they get heated they turn into something like a glass coating. Nut and seed oils are fantastic to finish cast iron with while things like animal fats and olive oil yield poor cast iron seasonings. Know why? Because the nut and seed oils oxidize and leave that non-stick, glass-like coating while the stable fats do not oxidize and result in a poor finish. That's a reason to NOT consume those oils.

    Coconut flour does not suffer from this. Bake away I say if you're okay with incorporating "fail-eo" foods into your diet. Coconut flour bread isn't outright toxic like almond meal bread can potentially be, but you're still eating bread.
    Quote Originally Posted by MrSnstr View Post
    In response to those saying polyunsaturated fatty acids(PUFAs) oxidize at higher temperatures, polymerize, creating trans-fats, and generally turning into things that are not good eats;

    While true, the addition of oils high in saturated fats(ex. butter, or coconut oil), along with Vitamin E(found abundantly in almonds), and any other antioxidants in your ingredients prevents the oxidation of PUFAs and UFAs. While not preventing it completely, cooking almond flour as a wheat flour substitute, I'm sure has no where near the deleterious effects as cooking with plain vegetable oil at high temperatures(deep frying potatoes in canola or corn oil).
    So which is it?

    I was brought here by Google and am hearing that heating almond flour might be terrible for me. Can someone clear this up?

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