Are you following the Wahls Protocol or considering it as a dietary option?
If so, you may be wondering if cassava flour is allowed on this protocol. Cassava flour is a grain-free and nut-free alternative to wheat flour, making it a popular choice for those with dietary restrictions.
But is it compliant with the Wahls Protocol?
In this article, we’ll explore the properties of cassava flour and its potential benefits for those following the Wahls Protocol.
So, let’s dive in and find out if cassava flour is a good fit for your dietary needs!
Is Cassava Flour Allowed On Wahls Protocol?
The Wahls Protocol is a dietary approach that emphasizes nutrient-dense foods and eliminates potentially inflammatory foods. It is designed to support the body’s natural healing processes and improve overall health.
While the protocol restricts certain foods, it does allow for flexibility in choosing alternative ingredients. Cassava flour is one such ingredient that may be allowed on the Wahls Protocol.
Made from the cassava root, cassava flour is a gluten-free and grain-free flour that has a mild flavor. It can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in many recipes, making it a versatile ingredient for those with dietary restrictions.
Cassava flour is also rich in resistant starch, which can help support gut health and improve insulin sensitivity. This makes it a potentially beneficial addition to the Wahls Protocol, which emphasizes whole, nutrient-dense foods.
However, it’s important to note that cassava flour is still a high-carbohydrate food and should be consumed in moderation on the Wahls Protocol. It’s also important to choose high-quality cassava flour that is free from additives and processed in a way that preserves its nutritional value.
What Is The Wahls Protocol?
The Wahls Protocol is a dietary approach that was created by Dr. Terry Wahls to help mediate symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that affects the protective coverings around neurons. The protocol is a modified Paleo diet that emphasizes nutrient-dense foods and eliminates potentially inflammatory foods. It includes recommendations for supplements, exercise, physical therapy, and meditation, making it a holistic and functional nutrition plan.
The protocol includes three levels: Wahls DietTM, Wahls Paleo PlusTM, and the elimination diet. The Wahls DietTM is the foundation of the protocol and includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, meats, and healthy fats. The Wahls Paleo PlusTM level is more restrictive and eliminates grains, legumes, and dairy. The elimination diet is temporary and is used to identify potential food sensitivities.
While the protocol restricts certain foods, it does allow for flexibility in choosing alternative ingredients. Cassava flour is one such ingredient that may be allowed on the Wahls Protocol. However, it’s important to consume cassava flour in moderation and choose high-quality options that are free from additives and processed in a way that preserves its nutritional value.
Understanding Cassava Flour
Cassava flour is a popular alternative to wheat flour for those following a gluten-free or grain-free diet. It is made from the cassava root, which is a starchy tuber native to South America. Cassava flour has a mild flavor and can be used in a variety of recipes, including baked goods, pancakes, and tortillas.
One of the benefits of cassava flour is its high resistant starch content. Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine and instead ferments in the large intestine. This fermentation process produces short-chain fatty acids, which can help support gut health and improve insulin sensitivity.
Cassava flour is also a good source of fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness and regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, cassava flour is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, and potassium.
When choosing cassava flour, it’s important to look for high-quality products that are free from additives and processed in a way that preserves their nutritional value. Some brands may add fillers or use harsh processing methods that can strip the flour of its beneficial nutrients.
Nutritional Benefits Of Cassava Flour
Cassava flour is not only gluten-free and grain-free, but it also offers several nutritional benefits. For starters, cassava flour is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help prevent cancer and promote skin and eye health. Although the manufacturing process may reduce the amount of vitamin C in cassava flour, it still contains more vitamin C than many other staple crops and grains.
Cassava flour is also rich in resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that resists digestion in the small intestine and reaches the colon intact. Resistant starch acts as a prebiotic, feeding the beneficial bacteria in your gut and promoting gut health. It can also improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for managing blood sugar levels.
Additionally, cassava flour is low in fat and calories, making it a good choice for those looking to maintain or lose weight. It’s also suitable for people with nut or coconut allergies who cannot consume other gluten-free flours.
Potential Drawbacks Of Cassava Flour
While cassava flour has many potential benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. One of the main concerns with cassava flour is its high carbohydrate content. This can be problematic for individuals with conditions such as diabetes or those following a low-carbohydrate diet.
In addition, cassava flour has a high glycemic index, which means it can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This can be particularly problematic for individuals with insulin resistance or other blood sugar imbalances.
Another potential issue with cassava flour is its anti-nutrient content. Raw cassava contains compounds such as cyanide and lectins, which can be toxic in high doses. While the processing of cassava into flour typically reduces the levels of these compounds, it’s still important to choose high-quality cassava flour and use it in moderation.
Finally, some individuals may experience digestive issues when consuming cassava flour. This may be due to its high resistant starch content, which can feed beneficial gut bacteria but may also cause gas and bloating in some people.
How To Incorporate Cassava Flour Into Your Wahls Protocol Diet
If you’re interested in incorporating cassava flour into your Wahls Protocol diet, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, it’s important to choose high-quality cassava flour that is free from additives and processed in a way that preserves its nutritional value. Look for brands that are organic and non-GMO, and check the ingredient list to ensure there are no added ingredients.
Once you have your cassava flour, you can use it as a substitute for wheat flour in many recipes. Cassava flour can be used in a 1:1 ratio to replace wheat flour in baked goods such as cookies, pie crusts, and bread. However, it’s important to note that cassava flour can be “thirstier” than wheat flour, so you may need to adjust the liquid in your recipe or use slightly less flour.
In addition to baked goods, cassava flour can also be used as a thickener in soups and stews. It can also be used to make tortillas, which can be filled with nutrient-dense ingredients such as vegetables and grass-fed meats.
When using cassava flour in your Wahls Protocol diet, it’s important to keep portion sizes in mind. Cassava flour is still a high-carbohydrate food and should be consumed in moderation. Be sure to balance your intake of cassava flour with other nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.