Is Arrowroot Keto? And How to Incorporate It into Your Diet Safely?

arrowroot flour

First cultivated around 7,000 years ago, Arrowroot is obtained from the rootstock of its plant, Maranta arundinacea, the roots are then dried and grinded into powder to form the famous arrowroot powder, which is known to be a good option to use in gluten-free and corn-free cooking.

So since it has that healthy vibe to it the question “Is arrowroot keto?” seems more than fair. And that’s what I am going to investigate in this article. 

Do you have a particular question about keto and arrowroot? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

 What is arrowroot flour?

Arrowroot flour is a white starchy powder usually extracted from the arrowroots. These tubers are first washed thoroughly in cold water and peeled to remove the outer covering. They are then washed again, drained, and then crushed into a pulp using a mortar.

The milk-like pulp is then sieved and dried into a powder which is the arrowroot flour. This flour is light, white in color, has a firm feel, and swells to form a jelly upon cooking. Arrowroot flour also produces a peculiar smell when mixed with boiling water.

How to use arrowroot?

My favorite brand of keto baking ingredients. arrowroot flour is found on Amazon. 

Arrowroot flour has various uses. It includes treating digestive issues such as diarrhea especially in people with irritable bowel syndrome. It can also be used as a thickening agent in sauces.

As I stated earlier, arrowroot flour forms a thick jelly upon boiling with water. It does not only thicken in boiling water but also in any hot liquid making it perfect for a sauce. Arrowroot flour also lightens the texture in cakes.

Arrowroot flour can be used as a keto flour replacement but only in very small amounts since it is high in carbs and for this reason, it’s definitely not the best alternative as compared to other flours. 

You can even use  arrowroot powder as a dry shampoo. If you massage it into your hairs’ roots it will absorb the excess of grease and fat. And it’s natural. Cool. 

Carbs in cornstarch vs arrowroot

Arrowroot is often presented as an alternative to a cornstarch in cooking (particularly amongst people who are not a fan of GMO since corn nowadays seems to be full of it). However can arrowroot be a cornstarch substitute for those following a ketogenic diet?  

In terms of macros I’d say none of those two are good for keto. Cornstarch has 91.3g of carbs (including 0.9g of fiber) per 100g. And arrowroot comes with 88.2g of carbs (including 3.4g of fiber). So it’s 90.4g vs. 84.8g of net carbs per 100g.

While arrowroot is slightly better in the carbohydrates department is far from being keto friendly. Although if you only need to use a tiny amount of it for your recipe you might get away with it. Otherwise check my guide about keto baking ingredients for some workable alternatives. 

Is arrowroot powder the same as arrowroot flour? 

Arrowroot powder and arrowroot flour are one and the same thing. Different people call it different names. Some people also prefer calling it arrowroot starch but there is no difference at all between these two substances.

Might be just the slight difference in the grind quality. But overall, it is basically the same gluten-free, grain-free, and vegan-friendly baking ingredient.

Is arrowroot powder keto-friendly?

Arrowroot flour cannot be considered keto-friendly if you are looking at the macronutrient makeup. Having said that, arrowroot flour can still be taken in a keto diet if it is served in minimal amounts in order to take less amount of carbs in the arrowroot powder.

According to Marsono (2001), the arrowroot glycemic index is 14 (although there’s no well-research data on it’s insulin index). This means that arrowroot flour most likely won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar level once you take it if we are talking about tiny servings for your recipe. 

What can I use instead of arrowroot flour?

There are very many arrowroot substitutes that are much more nutritive and also vegan and keto-friendly.

Some of these arrowroot powder alternatives include tapioca flour which is gluten-free and possibly the best substitute for arrowroot powder, almond flour which is low on carbs (it has 1 gram of carbs in a single tablespoon) and great for making baked goods due to its rich flavor, xanthan gum which works as a thickener and coconut flour which is high in carbs but low in protein and fat.

In general, arrowroot is a healthy addition to your diet if the right amount is used. Its high fiber, high folate content, non-GMO, and gluten-free properties can be of help to many people.

Arrowroot bread recipe (Keto and Vegan friendly)

Thanks for the graphics:

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