When I started the ketogenic lifestyle, my desserts rarely tasted like the sugary treats I was used to, and the coconut flour ruined the texture.
This is why many wheat flour alternatives are flooding the market, promising perfect desserts. One of these alternatives is cassava flour. It acts like regular flour and doesn’t have an aftertaste. But is cassava flour keto?
Below, I’ll answer all your questions about cassava flour. I’ll cover its carb content and nutritional information while looking at some lower-carb alternatives.
Is Cassava Flour Keto-Friendly?
Cassava flour isn’t keto-friendly because one cup contains 110 grams of carbs, knocking you out of ketosis.
But what’s more worrying than the high carb count is that cassava consists of maltose. This sweetener has a GI score of 105, far higher than table sugar’s GI of 65. This means it spikes blood glucose and insulin levels more than sugar.
Cassava flour comes from the cassava plant, a starchy tuberous root vegetable high in starch.
Fun fact: Companies use cassava to make tapioca flour, another food that’s impractical on a low-carb diet.
Cassava Flour Nutritional Information
One cup of cassava flour provides the following macro and micronutrients:
- 110 grams of carbs
- Five grams of fiber
- 4.5 grams of sugar
- Two grams of protein
- Zero fat or cholesterol
You’ll also find trace amounts of vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Can You Eat Cassava Chips on a Keto Diet?
A serving size of cassava chips has 17.8 grams of carbs and 1.8 grams of sugar, so you can’t eat it on a ketogenic diet.
But the real problem with cassava chips is that it contains no thiamine. This is a concern because your body needs thiamine to metabolize carbs. If you’re consuming cassava chips, you’re loading your body with carbs, forcing it to use all its thiamine stores, leading to a thiamine deficiency.
This can cause symptoms like:
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep disturbances
- Poor memory
So I suggest sticking to keto-friendly chips that you’ll find at pharmacies and health shops. These chips contain little carbs and if you’re buying from a good brand, they’ll come with essential nutrients like calcium, iron and potassium.
Cassava Flour Substitutes on a Keto Diet
Need keto-friendly flour alternatives to make desserts with? Consider these five low-carb options:
- Almond flour
- Lupin flour
- Sunflower seed flour
- Golden flaxseed meal
- Konjac flour
Almond flour is the best keto-friendly alternative to cassava flour because one cup only has 10 grams of net carbs and a whopping 56 grams of fat.
Almond flour is high in vitamins like:
- Vitamin E
This means you can enjoy desserts with almond flour and simultaneously boost your vitamin and fat intake.
I also prefer almond flour over an alternative like coconut flour because coconut flour is bland and dry. When you’re eating desserts, you’ll bite into pieces of coconut, which ruins the texture. In contrast, almond flour blends well into keto recipes.
But even though it’s low-carb, I’d suggest not going overboard due to the oxalate content. These oxalates regulate calcium in plants, but if you overeat, it can promote kidney stones.
So if you have a family history of kidney stones, I recommend limiting your almond flour intake.
When you think of keto flour, you probably think of almond and coconut flour. But lupin flour is a handy alternative since it goes well with most recipes.
One cup of lupin flour contains 48 grams of total carbs and 44 grams of fiber, giving it a net carb count of only four grams. This high fiber content helps digestion and regulates blood sugar levels, making lupin a good choice for diabetics or anyone struggling with constipation.
It’s also GMO-free and high in nutrients and antioxidants such as:
But lupin flour has some lectins and phytic acid, which can trigger anyone sensitive to these compounds. However, the amount is minuscule, so it shouldn’t be a problem in moderation.
Sunflower Seed Flour
The issue with almond flour is that you can’t use it as a one-to-one replacement for wheat flour in a regular recipe and expect it to work. You’ll have to stick with keto recipes.
This is where sunflower seed flour can help.
A cup of sunflower seed flour has less than 22 grams of carbs, so you can eat it on a keto diet. It also contains 30 grams of protein, which is helpful if you want to build muscle.
The best part is that you can make sunflower seed flour at home.
All you need to do is grind a cup of sunflower seeds in a coffee grinder, sift the flour into a bowl and you’re good to go. From here, use your homemade flour as a one-to-one replacement for wheat flour.
Golden Flaxseed Meal
Flaxseed meal is a delicious flour option on a keto or paleo diet because it’s low in carbs and you can use it alongside xanthan gum to make keto flaxseed bread, wraps or granola bars.
Most health shops and pharmacies sell flaxseed meal. But always get quality flaxseed as I noticed more brands adding fillers to cut costs.
Konjac is 97 percent water and only three percent fiber, so you enjoy it on keto. A cup of konjac flour provides a whopping 240 grams of dietary fiber with zero net carbs.
This fiber doesn’t affect insulin as it isn’t digestible. Unlike pecan flour, you can eat as much konjac flour as you want without interfering with ketosis.
Manufacturers actually use the konjac plant to make konjac noodles, more commonly known as shirataki noodles, which are also keto.
But the type of fiber that konjac has is unique. It contains glucomannan and studies show that this fiber decreases hunger hormones, blood sugar and constipation.
Final Thoughts on Is Cassava Flour Keto
You can’t eat cassava flour on a keto diet. Cassava flour has over 110 grams of carbs per cup, quickly knocking you out of ketosis.
The bigger problem is the lack of thiamine. Since your body needs thiamine to digest carbs, eating a lot of carbs without supplementing it with thiamine can lead to a deficiency, resulting in symptoms like fatigue and poor memory.
Fortunately, there are several keto alternatives to cassava that are more flavorful.
Opt for almond flour, lupin flour, sunflower seed flour, golden flaxseed meal or konjac flour when preparing keto recipes. These options are lower-carb and produce better results than cassava flour.