Are you following a low FODMAP diet and wondering if gram flour is safe to consume?
You’re not alone. With so many alternative flours available, it can be challenging to know which ones are low FODMAP and which ones to avoid.
Gram flour, also known as chickpea flour or besan, is a popular choice for those on a gluten-free diet. However, its FODMAP content is still up for debate.
In this article, we’ll explore the potential benefits and drawbacks of using gram flour in your cooking and baking while following a low FODMAP diet.
So, let’s dive in and find out if gram flour is low FODMAP!
Is Gram Flour Low Fodmap?
Unfortunately, gram flour is considered high FODMAP due to its high levels of chickpeas used to make it. Chickpeas are known to contain galacto-oligosaccharides, a type of carbohydrate that can cause digestive discomfort for those with IBS or other digestive issues.
While there is no official serving size for gram flour on a low FODMAP diet, it is generally recommended to avoid it altogether or consume it in very small quantities. This is because the FODMAP content can vary depending on the processing methods used and the individual’s tolerance levels.
It’s important to note that not all gluten-free flours are low FODMAP either. Almond flour, amaranth flour, coconut flour, and lupin flour are all high FODMAP. Soy flour, chickpea flour, besan flour, gram flour, and lentil flour are all suspected to be high FODMAP as well, although they haven’t been officially tested by Monash University.
What Is Gram Flour?
Gram flour, also known as besan or chickpea flour, is a flour made from ground chickpeas. It has a neutral flavor and is very versatile in cooking and baking. Gram flour is commonly used in Indian cuisine to make dishes such as pakoras and chilla.
However, for those following a low FODMAP diet, gram flour is not recommended due to its high FODMAP content. As mentioned earlier, chickpeas are considered high FODMAP due to their galacto-oligosaccharide content. This means that gram flour, being made from chickpeas, is also high in FODMAPs.
It’s important to be mindful of the types of flours used in cooking and baking when following a low FODMAP diet. While gram flour may not be suitable for those on the diet, there are other low FODMAP flours available such as rice flour, corn flour, and potato starch. It’s always best to consult with a doctor or registered dietitian to determine the best options for your individual needs.
The Low FODMAP Diet: What You Need To Know
The low FODMAP diet is a dietary approach that has been shown to help alleviate symptoms of IBS and other digestive issues. FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine, leading to fermentation by gut bacteria and the production of gas, which can cause bloating, abdominal pain, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
The low FODMAP diet involves restricting high FODMAP foods for a period of time, typically 2-6 weeks, and then gradually reintroducing them to identify which ones trigger symptoms. The goal is to create a personalized diet that is low in FODMAPs but still provides adequate nutrition and variety.
Some common high FODMAP foods include wheat, dairy, onions, garlic, beans, and certain fruits and vegetables. However, not all high FODMAP foods need to be avoided completely, as the amount and combination of FODMAPs in a food can vary.
When following the low FODMAP diet, it’s important to work with a registered dietitian or other qualified healthcare professional to ensure that you are meeting your nutritional needs and not inadvertently restricting foods that are important for health. It’s also important to remember that the low FODMAP diet is not a long-term solution and should only be followed under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Potential Benefits Of Using Gram Flour
Despite being high FODMAP, gram flour or besan has a lot of potential benefits for those who can tolerate it. Gram flour is high in protein, fiber, folate, manganese, copper, magnesium and more. These nutrients can support digestive and heart health, aid in weight management, and even help regulate blood sugar levels.
One of the biggest benefits of gram flour is its high protein content. A 100g serving of chickpea flour can contain roughly 22g of protein, making it an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans looking for a meat alternative. Additionally, gram flour is low in calories compared to whole wheat flour, making it a great option for those looking to manage their weight.
Gram flour is also a good source of fiber, which can aid in digestion and promote gut health. The fiber in gram flour can help regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. It may also help reduce the risk of certain diseases such as colon cancer.
Furthermore, gram flour has a naturally sweet and rich flavor that is similar to coconut flour. This makes it a great option for baking gluten-free cakes, breads, muffins, and cookies. Gram flour can also be used as a thickener in soups and stews or as a coating for fried foods.
Potential Drawbacks Of Using Gram Flour
While gram flour may be a popular alternative to wheat flour, there are some potential drawbacks to using it on a low FODMAP diet. As previously mentioned, gram flour is high in FODMAPs due to its chickpea content. This means that consuming too much of it could lead to digestive discomfort and symptoms such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea.
Another potential drawback of using gram flour is that it may not work well as a substitute for wheat flour in all recipes. Gram flour has a distinct flavor and texture that can affect the taste and consistency of baked goods. It may also not work well in recipes that require gluten for structure, such as bread.
Finally, it’s important to note that gram flour is not a complete protein source. While it does contain protein, it lacks some essential amino acids that are necessary for optimal health. This means that those who rely heavily on gram flour in their diet may need to supplement with other sources of protein to meet their nutritional needs.
How To Incorporate Gram Flour Into Your Low FODMAP Diet
If you’re following a low FODMAP diet and looking for alternatives to wheat flour, gram flour may seem like a viable option. However, due to its high FODMAP content, it’s best to consume it in small quantities or avoid it altogether.
That being said, if you do choose to incorporate gram flour into your low FODMAP diet, here are a few tips:
1. Use it in small quantities: As mentioned earlier, the FODMAP content of gram flour can vary depending on processing methods and individual tolerance levels. It’s best to start with small quantities and see how your body reacts before consuming larger amounts.
2. Mix it with other low FODMAP flours: To reduce the overall FODMAP content of your baked goods, consider mixing gram flour with other low FODMAP flours such as rice flour or potato starch.
3. Look for recipes specifically designed for low FODMAP diets: There are many resources available online for low FODMAP recipes that use alternative flours. Look for recipes that specifically call for gram flour or other low FODMAP flours.
4. Consider using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour: This gluten-free all-purpose flour blend has been recommended by many as a great substitute for wheat-based all-purpose flour. It contains several low FODMAP flours and makes substitutions much easier with less room for error.