Cassava Flour is quickly becoming a hot topic in the world of crazy diets and nutrition plans. Well, it has very promptly knocked on the doors of the ones pursuing keto diets as well.
One of the most burning questions in keto newbies' minds is: Can the overly famous Cassava Flour be taken on keto? Well, the Paleo community is going gaga over the cassava flour recipes, but rest assured.
Cassava Flour is NOT keto-friendly. So, if you're one of those keto enthusiasts on the lookout to mix and match new ingredients in your diet, it's best to steer clear of Cassava Flour.
Even though Cassava Flour might not cover your keto needs, multiple alternatives can be considered, which are keto-friendly! Let's dive deep into the details of cassava flour, why it doesn't work for keto diets, and the alternate options for cassava Flour in the Keto world.
What is Cassava Flour?
Cassava Flour is a ubiquitous part of the Caribbean and Latin food. The Cassava plant is used for its seeds, leaves, and, of course, its carbohydrate-rich ground roots.
It is an ideal substitute for wheat in South American communities and is gaining popularity worldwide.
To make it into flour, you must peel the skin off the cassava tubers, cut the root into relatively smaller pieces, and then wash them with cold water. Next up, grind these pieces with a cassava mill and convert them to a watery and pulpy mash.
You will then have to store the pulp in baskets for a period of 24 to 48 hours. Post this, transfer it into a porous bag, and put heavy weights on it for some time. Lastly, press the pulp through a sieve and fry the powder until it's dry.
Grind this powder, and there you have your casava flour!
Cassava Flour has many benefits, such as maintaining a healthy digestive system, regulating the body blood pressure, and enhancing meal satiety.
Step by Step Breakdown into Why Cassava Flour is a Big NO on Keto Diets
So, why is it that Cassava Flour should not be taken on a keto diet? Below is a comprehensive yet detailed explanation of the Cassava Flour's negatives concerning a keto or low carb diet.
High Carbohydrate Content
One of the main features distinguishing the keto diet from other diets is a low carbohydrate intake. The benefits are many, more so for people who want to control their blood pressure or reduce weight.
You must reduce carbohydrates if you want lower insulin and blood sugar levels, for starters. Limiting the carb intake also means eliminating carb cravings and leashes out the ability to control appetite.
You will also be able to go many hours without eating anything yet still feel full.
On the contrary, Cassava Flour generally has about 36.11 g net carbs per 100 gms of serving. If you want to stay in the ketosis process, you must limit your carb intake to 20 g – 30 g in a day, making cassava flour not favourable to keto dieters.
In general, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans say that carbohydrates form 45% to 65% of the entire calorie intake for a day. Keep in mind that you take about 2000 calories a day, so 900 to 1300 calories must be from carbohydrates- roughly translating to 225 to 325 grams of carbohydrates a day for a healthy human diet.
You can also look at other low-carb flours such as Konjac Flour, Lupin Flour, and Coconut Flour instead of Cassava flour.
Low Content of Fats
Keto diets are incomplete without dietary fat. These diets help restrict carb intake while increasing the intake of healthy fats. This factor enables the body to enter a ketosis state, where the body burns fats efficiently.
Once you stop taking glucose (from the carbs and sugar), your body will remove the stored glucose or glycogen from the body instead. Thereby reducing weight.
After all these glycogen reserves are removed, your body will burn the body fat. Fat stores are changed into ketone bodies in your liver. This process raises your blood ketone levels and transforms you into a ketogenic diet.
Cassava Flour is rich in carbs and lacks fats, which is against the entire protocol of the keto diet. The fat content is a mere 0.8 grams in a cup of cassava flour.
You will generally be asked to take up to 70% fat, about 20% to 25% protein, and a mere 5% to 10% carbs on a keto diet. Instead of Cassava Flour, you can take Avocado, Salmon, and ghee to accommodate the high fats in your keto diet.
Complete Nutritional Value of Cassava Flour in 1 Cup
Let us look at all the nutrients in a cup of Cassava Flour to understand the exact value of this food.
- Contents: 1 Cup of Cassava Flour
- Net Carbs: 102.9 g
- Carbs: 108 g
- Fibre: 5.1 g
- Fats: 0.8 g
- Protein: 3.9 g
- Calories: 456
Pro Tip: Ingredients You Must Avoid during Keto Diet
While running through all the foods, you can include in your keto diet, check the ingredients. You must try to opt for minimally processed foods.
Moreover, the macros and ingredients in these foods must be regulated to promote a healthy keto diet. You must avoid sweeteners, food additives, and oils at all costs.
Keto-Friendly Alternatives to Cassava Flour
Now that we are aware that Cassava Flour is definitely not keto, it is time to make some new additions to your dietary food list. Given below are some of the popular options to consider instead!
Coconut Flour is a pretty great option for people looking for a keto-friendly alternative. The main difference between regular flour and coconut flour is that it will require more moisture while making food.
You will require an extra egg or extra cup of oil if you use coconut flour instead of other flours. It is an authentic hack to not miss out on your favourite dishes on a keto diet. The keto macros are ideal for this flour.
Moreover, it has an array of physical health benefits and is versatile at the same time. So, you can mix and match it with other low cab flours to create fantastic dishes!
Psyllium Husk is popular for the rich fibre content in its constituents. It becomes a perfect fit as a thickener in the keto diet because of its low carbohydrate content.
It consists of about 100% carbohydrates, out of which 88% are the carbs that rise from the high fibre content. This calculation leaves about a mere 12% net carbohydrates, making it a perfect keto food.
It has many health benefits such as lowered blood pressure, balanced blood sugar, reduced cholesterol levels, and improved bowel movements.
Sunflower Seed Flour
If you are allergic to the most popular keto-friendly grains, you can use sunflower seed flour as an alternative.
The only drawback in using this alternative is that it is costly, and the availability can vastly vary. It is generally hard to find compared to other options in the market.
Flax Meal is basically the ground flaxseeds. Just like other nuts, flax is a blessing for keto dieters. They have a healthy fat content, low carbohydrate content, along with some of the most protective antioxidants. It has also been referred to as functional food since it evolves a person's overall health.
You can use a flax meal to replace the eggs in your diet. To do so, use one tablespoon of ground flax along with three tablespoons of water.
It would help if you let it swell for some time, and there you have your flax meal!
Hazelnut and Pecan Flour
Both hazelnut and pecan flour are low-carb flour alternatives and are nutritious. They are close to the sunflower seed flour in terms of price and availability. It can be expensive and difficult to find.
Long story short, Cassava Flour is not your ideal keto food, and so it is best to strike it off your keto grocery list. The high carbohydrates and low-fat content work in the opposite manner that a keto diet is supposed to work, subliminally killing the entire purpose.
Although, people such as sports players and athletes can still go for cassava flour on a ketogenic diet. Mainly because they get to utilise a more cyclical ketogenic diet, otherwise, you know, the jam for all others: Avoid Cassava Flour at all costs!
Just like any other flour, you can use cassava flour to make an array of recipes. For people who follow the paleo diet, these recipes are a delight! The fact that it is grain-free and allergy-friendly makes it really great for baking goods.
You can use it to make a tonne of sweet desserts such as cookies, cupcakes, cassava flour bread, and muffins. Other dishes, like banana pancakes, bagels, and scones, can also be readily made.
Not just the sweet stuff, cassava flour can also be conveniently sued for other recipes like Ham and Potato Soup, Potato free Paleo Gnocchi, crepes, tortillas, waffles, and flatbreads.
As per calculations, in the case of a serving size of about 0.13 cups or 15 g cassava flour, you will receive 57 calories. The calories from fat are a mere 4.5 or roughly 7.9%.
The rest stock of calories accounts for the carbohydrates only, which ranges to about 13 g of the entire portion.
Since we discussed the possible alternatives to cassava flour, almond flour has become a close contender.
The answer is a big YES. Almond flour is 100% keto-friendly, so you can absolutely use it in your diet. It is one of the most common ketos flours used worldwide. The lack of carbs is covered in the high calories in the case of this flour.
Additionally, even though almond flour has a high amount of calories than other types of flour, it also has a significant amount of fibre and protein in its nutritional value.
This aspect is an added benefit because high proteins contents are nutritious and help act as a satiating flour.
Yes! Cassava Flour can be pretty poisonous if ingested in a raw form. The packaged cassava flour found in markets is soaked, cooked, and fermented before hitting the store shelves.
That makes them safe to eat and enjoy! If taken in the proper form, cassava flour has been known to provide an array of benefits to the body. The high fibre value is helpful for people trying to lose weight. Barring the ones on keto diets.
Moreover, you also get a good intake of vitamin C that works as an antioxidant and relieves stress, betters the immune system, and helps to make your skin radiate and glow.
Cassava flour is vegetarian, vegan, and all things nutritious! If you are conscious about having a vegan diet, it is safe to say that a cassava flour recipe will not rain your parade.
In the most straightforward way, yes, Cassava Flour is gluten-free.
Gluten is an element present in most grains, including rye, wheat, and barley. Not including gluten in your diet reduces the chances of celiac diseases and other issues related to gluten.
Celiac disease refers to the disorder wherein gluten intake triggers the body's immune system. This occurrence goes on to damage the lining of the small intestine. Thereby disrupting the process of absorption nutrients in the body from the food.
A gluten-free diet will help the person improve their health, promote weight loss, and increase the body's energy.
Not just that, it is grain-free, nut-free, and dairy-free as well. So, if you want to avoid gluten products or grains in your dietary lifestyle, cassava flour can quickly become your best choice.