Cassava flour is a popular alternative to wheat, rice, and cornflour in the production of breads, cakes, and other baked goods. It has a mild flavor that can be used as an ingredient in many recipes. But is it a suitable product for a keto diet?
We are going to be taking a look at cassava flour to see if it qualifies as a keto-friendly food. First, let’s take a look at what exactly keto flour is.
What Is Cassava Flour?
Cassava (also known as manioc) is a starchy root vegetable native to South America. The plant grows easily in tropical climates and produces large, sweet white tubers that have been cultivated for thousands of years.
In recent times, this crop has become increasingly important due to its high starch content, which makes it ideal for use in baking. Cassava flour is made by grinding dried cassava roots into a powder.
This powder contains about 50% carbohydrates, with the rest being protein. Cassava flour is often used in place of wheat flour when making breads or pastries because it provides a similar texture and taste.
However, there are some differences between the two products. Cassava flour tends to be lower in gluten than wheat flour, so it may not work well in certain types of dough. Also, while cassava flour is usually low in fat, it does contain small amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol.
So while it’s great for those who want to reduce their carbohydrate intake, it isn’t necessarily a healthy choice for everyone.
Is Cassava Keto Friendly?
Cassava flour is keto-friendly because it’s low in both net carbs and total calories. Net carbs are simply the number of carbs minus any fiber. Total calories include both carbs and protein.
So while cassava flour has almost no carbs, it also has very few calories. This makes it an ideal choice for anyone looking to cut back on calorie intake.
How Does Cassava Flour Work?
Cassava flour works much like any other type of flour, but it also contains unique properties that make it beneficial for people on a ketogenic diet. These include:
Low Glycemic Index
Cassava flour has a relatively low glycemic index, meaning that it causes less blood sugar spikes than foods with higher GI values. This means that you won’t experience the same kinds of hunger pangs that occur after eating more traditional carb sources such as bread or pasta.
High Fiber Content
Cassava flour is very high in fiber. Most people don’t realize how important dietary fiber is for digestive health. In fact, research suggests that consuming adequate levels of fiber could help prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Because cassava flour is packed full of fiber, it will keep you feeling fuller longer. This means that you’ll eat fewer calories overall, even though you might feel like you’re eating more.
Cassava flour is rich in protein. One cup of cassava flour contains 8 grams of protein, compared to 4 grams in one cup of wheat flour. While most people need only 25 to 35 percent of their daily caloric intake from protein, this level of protein is still enough to support muscle growth and repair.
Cassava flour is nutrient-dense. That means that it contains lots of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. For example, one cup of cassava flour supplies 3.5 milligrams of magnesium, 2.6 milligrams of iron, 1.7 milligrams of phosphorus, and 0.4 milligrams of zinc.
You can get all these nutrients without having to consume huge quantities of food.
What Are Some Benefits Of Using Cassava Flour?
The benefits of using cassava flour aren’t limited to just those listed above. Here are some additional ways in which it can improve your life:
Research shows that diets rich in whole grains and legumes can help lower bad LDL cholesterol. Cassava flour is particularly effective at lowering LDL cholesterol since it’s naturally low in saturated fats.
Maintains Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
When you eat carbs, they break down into glucose in your bloodstream. Glucose then travels through your bloodstream until it reaches cells throughout your body where it becomes energy.
If you eat too many carbs, your blood sugar levels can rise quickly, causing insulin to increase. Insulin helps regulate blood sugar levels by storing excess glucose inside cells. But if you eat too much sugar over time, your pancreas eventually stops producing insulin altogether.
As a result, your blood sugar levels begin to fluctuate wildly, leaving you feeling hungry and tired. Cassava flour doesn’t cause this problem because it doesn’t contain the same amount of carbohydrates as traditional grain-based flours do.
Supports Weight Loss
Many people who follow a ketogenic diet lose weight easily. The reason why is simple: when you limit carbohydrate consumption, your body burns stored fat instead of relying on carbs to provide fuel.
Since cassava flour isn’t made up of refined sugars, it won’t spike your blood sugar levels or cause cravings. Instead, it provides a steady stream of energy so you stay focused and motivated during workouts.
How To Use Cassava Flour In A Keto Diet
If you want to use cassava flour in a ketogenic diet, simply replace any other type of flour with equal amounts of cassava flour. However, there are a few things to consider before starting a ketogenic diet.
Make Sure Your Body Can Handle High Fat Intake
A high-fat diet can be hard on your digestive system. This is especially true for people who have trouble digesting dairy products. In order to avoid gastrointestinal problems, make sure you take probiotics (good bacteria) while following a ketogenic diet. Probiotic supplements are available at most health stores.
Avoid Excessive Protein Consumption
While protein is an important part of a healthy diet, excessive amounts can lead to kidney damage. Therefore, try to stick to about 25% of total calories from protein.
Just like a normal diet, you should limit your carb intake to less than 50 grams per day.
Cassava flour is one of the best gluten-free alternatives out there. Not only does it taste great, but it also has numerous health benefits. If you’ve been considering trying a ketogenic diet, cassava flour could be a good way to kick-start your new lifestyle.