Are you on a low FODMAP diet and wondering if cassava flour is safe to consume?
Cassava flour has been gaining popularity as a gluten-free and grain-free alternative in baking and cooking. However, its FODMAP status has been a topic of debate among those with digestive issues.
In this article, we will explore the FODMAP content of cassava flour and whether it is safe for those following a low FODMAP diet.
So, let’s dive in and find out if cassava flour is FODMAP friendly!
Is Cassava Flour Fodmap Friendly?
The answer to whether cassava flour is FODMAP friendly is not a straightforward one. It depends on the serving size and the individual’s tolerance to FODMAPs.
Cassava flour is made from the cassava root, which is a staple crop in many parts of Africa, Asia, and South America. The root is a carbohydrate-laden tuber, similar to potato, taro, and yam. Cassava flour is gluten-free, grain-free, and dairy-free, making it suitable for those following paleo, vegetarian, and vegan diets.
However, cassava root does contain some GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides) at a 100g serve. It’s possible that the GOS might become more concentrated when the root is made into flour. This means that cassava flour may not be suitable for those with FODMAP sensitivities.
According to Monash University’s FODMAP app, cassava flour is low FODMAP in a serving size of 15 grams or less. This equates to approximately 2 tablespoons of cassava flour. However, if consumed in larger amounts, it can become high FODMAP.
It’s important to note that everyone’s tolerance to FODMAPs is different. Some people may be able to tolerate larger amounts of cassava flour without experiencing any symptoms, while others may need to avoid it altogether.
What Is Cassava Flour?
Cassava flour is a versatile ingredient that has gained popularity in recent years due to its gluten-free, grain-free, and nut-free properties. It is made from the cassava root, which is a starchy tuber that is similar to potato, taro, and yam. The cassava plant is a staple crop in many parts of Africa, Asia, and South America.
The process of making cassava flour involves peeling, washing, grating, and then drying the cassava root. The dried cassava is then ground into a fine powder that can be used as a substitute for wheat flour in many recipes.
Cassava flour has a mild flavor and a soft texture, making it a great alternative to traditional wheat flour. It is also suitable for those following paleo, vegetarian, and vegan diets.
However, it’s important to note that cassava root contains some GOS (galacto-oligosaccharides) at a 100g serve. While cassava flour is low FODMAP in small serving sizes of 15 grams or less, larger amounts can become high FODMAP. Therefore, it’s important for individuals with FODMAP sensitivities to be cautious when consuming cassava flour.
Understanding FODMAPs And Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAPs are a group of fermentable carbohydrates that can cause digestive discomfort in some people. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These carbohydrates are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and are fermented by gut bacteria in the large intestine, causing gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
The low FODMAP diet is an elimination diet that involves avoiding foods high in FODMAPs for a period of time and then reintroducing them gradually to identify which ones trigger symptoms. The diet was developed by researchers at Monash University in Australia and has been shown to be effective in managing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in many people.
Foods that are high in FODMAPs include wheat, rye, barley, onions, garlic, legumes, dairy products, some fruits (such as apples and pears), and some vegetables (such as cauliflower and mushrooms).
The low FODMAP diet involves avoiding these high FODMAP foods for a period of time, usually 2-6 weeks. During this time, other foods that are low in FODMAPs can be consumed. After the elimination period, high FODMAP foods are gradually reintroduced to identify which ones trigger symptoms.
It’s important to note that the low FODMAP diet should only be followed under the guidance of a healthcare professional or registered dietitian. The diet can be restrictive and may lead to nutrient deficiencies if not followed properly.
FODMAP Content Of Cassava Flour
The FODMAP content of cassava flour can vary depending on the serving size. As mentioned above, cassava flour is low FODMAP in a serving size of 15 grams or less, which is equivalent to approximately 2 tablespoons. However, if consumed in larger amounts, it can become high FODMAP.
Cassava root contains GOS, which are a type of FODMAP. It’s possible that the concentration of GOS may increase when the root is made into flour. Therefore, it’s important to be mindful of serving sizes when using cassava flour in recipes.
It’s also worth noting that cassava flour is not suitable for those following a keto diet, as it is a starchy flour. However, it is paleo-friendly and a great alternative for those with gluten, grain, or dairy sensitivities.
Potential Benefits Of Cassava Flour
Cassava flour contains resistant starch, which is a type of starch that escapes digestion and has qualities comparable to soluble fiber. Eating foods high in resistant starch may enhance your health in a variety of ways. For example, it may help improve digestive and colon health, as well as improve insulin sensitivity. Resistant starch in cassava flour may also aid in weight loss efforts.
In addition, cassava flour is a good gluten-free alternative to wheat flours. It has a texture similar to several gluten-free flours, such as coconut or almond flour, and has a mild flavor and soft texture. Cassava flour is also a great nut-free option for those with nut allergies.
How To Incorporate Cassava Flour Into Your Low FODMAP Diet
If you’re looking to incorporate cassava flour into your low FODMAP diet, it’s important to be mindful of serving sizes. As mentioned above, Monash University’s FODMAP app suggests a serving size of 15 grams or less, which is approximately 2 tablespoons.
One way to use cassava flour in your low FODMAP diet is by combining it with other low FODMAP flours, such as almond, quinoa, or oat flour. This can help achieve a perfect bready texture in baked goods while keeping FODMAP levels low.
Cassava flour can also be used to make snacks like cassava crisps, cookies, or tater tots. Just be sure to watch your portion size and stick to the recommended serving size of 15 grams or less.
It’s important to note that cassava flour is not overtly FODMAP friendly and may not be suitable for everyone with FODMAP sensitivities. If you’re unsure about whether cassava flour is right for you, consult with your doctor before trying it out.