In moderation, almond flour should not be harmful to your health. However, almond flour tends to be calorie-dense and not as healthy as many believe.
Almond flour, or almond meal, has recently become a popular paleo-baking staple because it provides a grain-free, low-carb alternative to regular baked goods. Though many consider almonds to be nuts, they are actually the seeds from almond trees. Almonds are an excellent source of protein and antioxidants. Many studies have found that eating nuts, particularly almonds, lowered cholesterol and reduced heart health related problems. Almonds also contain healthy doses of vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, and potassium. Because of their low-carb and high nutrients, almonds are usually said to be healthy snack alternatives. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even issued a statement promoting the consumption of almonds for their heart health benefits.
Almond flour is made by grinding up blanched almonds into a meal or a powder. Given their tiny size, more almonds are needed to make a small amount of flour than what you would normally consume on a healthy diet. This means that instead of being a healthy replacement for flour, almond flour tends to be much more calorie-dense. To bind ingredients in a baked good with almond flour, more eggs are required in order to provide added structure when baking. This means that while almonds lower cholesterol, the additional eggs may be counteracting the heart benefits of the almond.
Almond flour is also high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs, which makes almond flour chemically unstable, and can cause the possible oxidation of fats when baking. This oxidation of fats can lead to the consumption of free radicals, which can cause cell damage to the body. This can lead to inflammation, cell damage and can be harmful to your overall health.
Almond flour is high in enzyme inhibitors, which can cause indigestion and stomach pains. Almond flour contains phytic acid, which can be a stomach irritant, causing stomach cramps and gas. Though these short-term side effects may not affect everyone, almond flour should not become part of a regular diet.
Possible short-term side effects
- stomach pains
Possible long-term side effects
- weight gain
- inflammatory diseases
- cell damage
Ingredients to be aware of
- excessive amount of calories
- good source of:
- vitamin e
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Written by Viviana Del Manzano | 05-24-2016
Written by Viviana Del Manzano
Suggest improvement or correction