Tapioca flour is a popular flour derived from the cassava root, and is fast becoming a popular alternative to all-purpose flour due to its low sodium rates – but is tapioca flour low FODMAP?
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols – a bit of a mouthful we’ll admit! These are short-chain carbohydrates that are thought by medical professionals to impact those with bowel conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), as they can be hard for the small intestine to absorb.
Of course, you should only start a FODMAP diet on a doctor’s orders, usually after being diagnosed with a digestive condition such as IBS.
So is tapioca flour low FODMAP?
Tapioca flour is officially FODMAP friendly, provided it’s eaten in small quantities. The recommended quantity for ensuring a low FODMAP diet would be 2 tbsp of tapioca flour.
Therefore if you’re seeking a low FODMAP diet, tapioca flour would be a good choice for you. We do recommend, however, always consulting a medical professional before commencing a low FODMAP diet.
If you’re interested in other types of flour, particularly when it comes to all-purpose flour alternatives, take a look at our blog!
How tapioca flour is made
Tapioca flour is made from a starchy vegetable called cassava root. It is produced by finely shredding cassava root, before going through a washing and dehydrating process.
The dried pulp remaining is then ground down to make a flour consistency and ultimately produce tapioca flour.
It is different from cassava flour in that tapioca flour is made using just the starchy pulp from the cassava root, whereas cassava flour is made using the whole root. For information on whether cassava flour is low FODMAP, take a look at the Coconut Mama blog.
Baking with tapioca flour
Tapioca flour is popular in baking as an alternative to all-purpose flour, mainly due to its lower carbs per cup serving and similar consistency. The substitution ratio for tapioca flour to all-purpose flour is 1:1, making it a simple alternative in baking recipes.
While tapioca flour isn’t suitable for keto recipes, it’s great for those following a gluten-free diet or low FODMAP diet.
Many people like to use tapioca flour in baking, with tapioca flour featured in popular recipes for bread, tortillas, crepes, pizza/pie crusts, brownies, cookies, and churros.
The below table shows other nutritional facts about tapioca flour, with a focus on the comparison with all-purpose flour.
|Per 1 Cup Serving||Tapioca Flour||All-Purpose Flour|
|Best for baking||Bread, tortillas, crepes, pizza/pie crusts, brownies, cookies, churros||Non-yeast recipes (cookies, biscuits, some breads)|
Diets that suit tapioca flour
Tapioca flour suits a range of diets, which is why it’s often used as a substitute for all-purpose flour.
These include those seeking a gluten-free diet, as tapioca flour is naturally gluten-free. It is also suitable for those following a paleo diet.
If you’re watching your weight, tapioca flour may be appealing to you as it has a significantly lower number of carbs per cup serving than all-purpose flour. Its glycemic index is relatively similar to that of all-purpose flour, however, so if you’re diabetic or watching your blood sugar it should be eaten in moderation. If you’re unsure about this I’d recommend consulting with your medical physician.
It’s worth noting that tapioca flour is unsuitable for those following a keto diet, as it’s primarily made up of carbohydrates.
Tapioca flour is believed to be good for those suffering from IBS, as it is fairly easy to digest. Other suitable flours for IBS include corn flour, rice flour, and almond flour. I’d recommend consulting with a medical professional before trying tapioca flour or any other types of flour mentioned if you suffer from IBS.
Tapioca flour is generally considered easy to digest, as it’s gluten-free and has a reputation for being gentle on the stomach. It’s almost pure starch, allowing it to easily pass through the digestive system.
Tapioca starch shouldn’t upset your stomach, however, it may cause adverse effects if eaten in excess. Symptoms may include stomach pain, gas, bloating, and vomiting (in extreme cases).
Tapioca flour is not considered to be inflammatory due to its gluten-free properties. In fact, tapioca is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, as it can cause an increase in anti-inflammatory bacteria which is great for promoting gut health and reducing inflammation.
There are many differences between tapioca and regular flour. The main difference is that tapioca flour is gluten-free, making it a popular alternative to regular flour for those following a gluten-free diet. Another popular gluten-free flour is coconut flour – check out a comparison of coconut flour and tapioca flour via our blog.
Tapioca tends to mix more easily than all-purpose flour, with all-purpose flour requiring longer cooking time to remove powdery textures.
Tapioca flour and cornstarch are similar, but not identical. Tapioca flour is made from the root of the cassava plant, whereas cornstarch is made from maize, a grain.
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