If you’re looking for a healthy substitute for cornstarch – or you just want to add a few more good gluten-free baking flours to your lineup – then you may have heard about arrowroot powder.
It’s commonly eaten on the Paleo diet because it’s grain-free and contains no gluten, but is it keto-friendly?
In this guide, we’ll discuss how many carbohydrates are in an arrowroot and whether or not you can have it on a low-carb or keto diet.
Arrowroot Nutrition Facts
Arrowroot flour and starch is a white, flavorless powder that comes from tubers that are commonly grown in Indonesia.
The starch is usually added to soups, gravies, stews, and puddings as a thickening agent – just like cornstarch – while the flour is used as a gluten-free flour in baked goods – like almond flour.
A 100-gram serving contains the following (*):
- 357 calories
- 0.1 grams of fat
- 88.2 grams of carbohydrates (84.8 grams net carbs)
- 3.4 grams of fiber
- 0.3 grams of protein
Arrowroot also provides a good source of several vitamins and minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and some B vitamins.
How Many Carbs In Arrowroot Powder?
Despite being gluten-free and grain-free, arrowroot powder contains a lot of carbs – just like most starchy tubers. A 100-gram serving contains a whopping 84.8 grams of net carbs.
If you are using arrowroot as a cornstarch substitute, then you probably won’t be using 100 grams. However, even a small amount can pack on a lot of net carbs, partly because it’s lower in fiber than other flours, such as almond and coconut flour.
However, boiled arrowroot has a low glycemic index (GI) rating of 14 while an uncooked arrowroot tuber has a slightly higher (yet still considered low) GI of 32, making arrowroot powder ideal for anyone looking to eat a low glycemic diet (*)(*).
Is Arrowroot Flour Healthy?
If you are not overly concerned about eating too many carbs, then arrowroot can be a healthy addition to your diet.
First, it’s a good source of prebiotic fiber and resistant starch, which promotes digestive health and supports a healthy immune system (*).
Prebiotic fiber has also been shown to reduce the risk of allergies, increase calcium absorption, enhance the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut, and decrease pathogenic bacteria populations (*).
Many experts agree that boosting gut health can help heal the entire body as this is where many neurotransmitters are produced (GABA, dopamine, and serotonin – to name a few). Your gut also houses most of your immune cells and influences the body’s inflammatory response.
Fiber also helps support a healthy weight and blood sugar levels by keeping you full so you eat fewer calories per day and slowing down blood glucose dumping to control insulin levels.
Next, the larger amounts of potassium in arrowroot may help support heart health. Potassium acts as a vasodilator to promote blood flow by relaxing the tension in your veins to decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis (*).
Increasing your blood flow has other benefits, too. It can help support brain health, reproductive health, and muscle growth by delivering oxygen and nutrients all over your body when it’s needed most.
Additionally, as a high-starch and very bland food with a good amount of prebiotic fiber, many people find that eating arrowroot tubers can help soothe an upset stomach due to nausea or gastritis when other hard-to-digest foods are not tolerable.
One study found that eating arrowroot powder was effective at reducing diarrhea and abdominal pain in patients with irritable bowel syndrome – a condition characterized by gut inflammation (*).
Lastly, as a gluten-free and grain-free powder, arrowroot can safely be added to your diet if you have Celiac disease – or if you cannot tolerate other baking flours, such as wheat, white, almond, or coconut flours.
Is Arrowroot Keto Friendly?
No, arrowroot flour and starch is NOT a keto-friendly or low carb food. A 100-gram serving contains nearly four times the amount of carbs that you are allowed for the day on a keto diet.
If you follow a Paleo diet and don’t necessarily need to focus on a low-carb diet, then you can add arrowroot to your diet because it’s grain-free and gluten-free.
Arrowroot also tends to be easier on the digestive system than flour that is gluten or grain-based, and this is one of the key benefits of the Paleo diet.
However, if you are on a low-carb or keto diet, then we recommend sticking to almond flour and coconut flour for all of your baking needs. These flours are better suited for a keto diet because they are low in carbs and provide healthy fats.
If you are looking for a healthy substitute for cornstarch, then we recommend trying psyllium husk. It’s low in carbs because it contains mostly fiber, which can help with digestion, weight, blood sugar control, and immune health. It’s also effective as a thickening agent in most recipes.
Arrowroot powder is made from a tropical tuber. It can be used as a substitute for gluten flour or cornstarch in baked goods and other recipes.
However, arrowroot is incredibly starchy and contains nearly three times the amount of carbs you are allowed to eat on a keto diet in just a 100-gram serving.
We recommend sticking with almond or coconut flour for your low-carb baking needs – and psyllium husk as an alternative to cornstarch in soups and gravies.
See more: Xanthan gum substitutes
*image by [email protected]/depositphotos