Chickpea flour is gluten-free and healthy food ingredient. It is a blessing for people like me who are conscious of adding gluten to their diet chart. Ever since I found this alternative to wheat flour, my diet game has changed.
Similarly, this chickpea flour has been gaining popularity in the West as a gluten-free alternative. Especially for health-conscious people. Now, the real question remains, is chickpea flour keto friendly?
Well, chickpea flour contains about 21 grams of carbohydrates and 5 grams of fiber for every 1/4 cup of flour. So, the total net carbohydrate becomes about 16 grams. In addition, it might build up while baking.
So, is it suitable for keto diets? It is not completely bad for keto. However, not entirely suitable either. I will discuss that thoroughly in this article.
Facts About Chickpea Flour
Chickpeas are also known as garbanzo beans. It is renowned for being the main component in hummus, falafel, and chana masala. Now, if you are wondering, is not chickpea flour just crushed up chickpeas? Yes and no, both are the answers.
Chickpeas can be used for thickening or binding batters. On the other hand, there are three varieties of chickpeas. The most significant difference between these three varieties is that they’re produced from two different types of chickpeas.
One way to make chickpea flour is to crush chana dal into a fine powder. It is called the gram flour or Besan variation. Then comes Kabuli chickpeas, the most known variety with the typical tan color. And the last one is desi chickpeas, which are smaller and have rougher hulls.
When you pick the seedpods, desi chickpeas can be deeper in color. The dark variant of desi chickpeas is Kala chana or Bengal chickpeas. We use it to make the traditional chickpea flour.
The desi chickpea ranges from green, brown, and black. They peel the brown hulls of dried chickpeas. And, then they split the inside seed to make flour. Thus, the final result of split chickpea is what we call chana dal.
This reference to chana dal can confuse you because the word dal is frequently used to indicate lentils. When you hulled and split the desi chickpeas, they resemble yellow lentils or similar colored split peas.
The Usage Of Chickpea Flour
You can use Chickpea flour to make patties and veggie burgers, thicken sauces, soups, stews, etc. Furthermore, you can produce flatbreads and batter-based dishes such as pancakes and waffles and prepare batters for deep-frying other foods.
The different varieties of chickpea flour produce different types of delicacies. Each requires a separate water ratio to make a batter of similar consistency. Batter preparations are also different based on variations.
Now, you could be wondering, is chickpea flour keto friendly or not based on this discussion. Also, what does the variation has to do with its keto-friendliness? Well, you will find your answer in the further discussion.
Why Is Chickpea Not Suitable For Keto?
Many people still think that chickpea flour is suitable for ketogenic diet plans. The main reason for this belief is that this flour is lower in carbs than other flour and wheat. The carbohydrate content of chickpea flour is lower than grain or cereal flour.
However, that does not make it keto-friendly. The confusion people create because of its high fiber and gluten-free properties. Even though it is true that this ingredient is an excellent option for low to moderate carb diets, the keto diet is different.
Chickpea flour provides about 13g of net carbohydrates in a modest 1-ounce serving. That’s 26% of the average keto eater’s daily carb limitation, which is 50 grams. Therefore, it takes up too much of the carb intake allowances in the daily chart.
On the other hand, chickpeas are from the legume family. We already know that most legumes are incompatible with a ketogenic diet. So, Chickpeas are not the best option as a keto-friendly ingredient.
Chickpea Based Meal Consumption
As we have already discussed, chickpea flour is moderately high in carbs. So, it is not suitable for a ketogenic diet plan in many cases. In addition, the amount of carbs multiplies as the flour is made into a batter and baked into various recipes.
On specific recipe I can tell you about is chickpea pasta or Banza chickpea pasta. This pasta is made with chickpea flour. It is not your typical one with durum wheat and semolina-based pasta. Banza chickpea pasta exists in a variety of forms similar to wheat-based ones.
People often choose gluten-free options like Banza’s chickpea pasta when they have gluten intolerance. Chickpea pasta has been getting famous because of its wheat-free and gluten-free properties.
Another reason to choose Banza over whole wheat pasta is that chickpea flour has higher mineral and vitamin content than wheat flour. However, this nutrition proportion comes with a problem. The necessary properties required for a ketogenic diet remain missing from this meal.
Chickpea Pasta contains 45.61 grams of net carbs per every 100g serving. It exceeds your carb intake allowance in a day if you are following a keto diet plan. It is necessary to keep your net carb intake between 20 and 30 grams per day in the ketogenic diet.
You can calculate your optimum daily net carb limitation with the help of a keto macro calculator. It will help you to keep notes of your carb consumption.
As we all know, keto is a low-carb and high-fat diet plan. Chickpea Pasta is rich in carbohydrates and low in fats. This proportion is the polar opposite of the macros you need on a ketogenic diet.
You need 70 percent fat, 20-25 percent protein, and a 5-10 percent carbohydrate ratio for a keto diet plan. It means your need to balance out your meals based on heavy fat and low carbohydrate properties.
As the chickpea pasta contradicts that ratio, you cannot include that in your meal plans. The same goes for other similar chickpea flour recipes. Not to mention, this pasta is minimally processed.
Users of other high-carb-based diets or balanced dietary programs will love this food. This enhances the nutrition of the food, but it also helps with hunger reductions. Therefore, it is excellent for many other different diet plans.
Chickpea flour recipes tend to keep your stomach full for a longer time. Furthermore, low-fat foods are healthy for any other health-conscious diet plan. So, this chickpea pasta has been popular among consumers lately.
However, these healthy proportions make this food unfriendly for ketogenic. Similarly, other chickpea flour recipes lose their ketogenic ratios while processing. So, you should be careful when choosing grain-based foods.
The “Gluten-free” Misconception
Many people think that chickpea flour is keto-friendly because it is gluten-free. There is a misconception that being gluten-free indicates being carb-free or less carb. However, that is not the case.
Various flours are made from gluten-free cereals. For example, amaranth, rice, quinoa, etc., are gluten-free. Other flours use different blends, mostly with bean and cereal flours.
On the other hand, gluten-free flours are similarly low in carbohydrates. These differences in blends leave many people confused. So, it is better if you read the label to verify the contents and carb count before purchasing.
Similarly, people get confused with chickpea flours because of their gluten-free proportions. However, despite being gluten-free, it is moderate in the carb. Even though the carbohydrate proportions in this flour do not destroy the keto-diet plan, it puts the follower on a borderline of carb consumption.
Chickpea Flour Nutritional Properties
Chickpea flour might not be suitable for the ketogenic diet. However, you cannot deny that it is high in essential nutrition elements. Here is the complete chart.
1 cup consists of 92 grams of chickpea flour. The nutrition proportions it contains are:
- 356 calories.
- 20 grams of protein.
- 6 grams of fat.
- 53 grams of carbohydrates.
- 10 grams of fiber.
- 30 percent of the Daily Reference Intake of Thiamine (RDI).
- 101 percent of the RDI for Folate.
- 3 percent of the RDI for Calcium.
- 25 percent of the RDI for Iron.
- 17 percent of the RDI for Potassium.
- 29 percent of the RDI for Phosphorous.
- 38 percent of the RDI for Magnesium.
- 42 percent of the RDI for Copper.
- 74 percent of the RDI for Manganese.
Various Health Benefits Of Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour has various potential health benefits, as you can tell by the nutrition ratios. It is high in vitamins and minerals. There are other advantages listed below.
Rich In Vitamins
One cup supplies 101 percent of the recommended daily intake for folate. This vitamin is essential for avoiding birth complications and spinal cord damage during pregnancy. It covers more than a quarter of your daily requirements for numerous other nutrients.
Reduces Harmful Substances
Chickpeas are high in antioxidants. This component can help to fight against the toxic substances in the food. Furthermore, researchers have claimed that this flour lessens the harmful chemicals in processed meals which are often stored and served with preservatives.
Reduces Sugar In Blood
Researchers have claimed that chickpea flour-based dishes have lower blood sugar proportions. Thus, this might be beneficial for people with sugar intolerance. The researchers have conducted the study in several small trials.
You might still be wondering, is chickpea flour keto friendly or not? Even if it is not ketogenic, this ingredient is still full of beneficial elements. However, if you are a strict keto-diet follower, the proportion might be problematic to you. It will be best for you to avoid this food.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why can’t you eat chickpeas on a keto diet?
Even in tiny amounts, Chickpeas can cause an imbalance in your daily macros. The experts do not typically suggest chickpeas on keto-diets because they are moderately high in carbohydrates. Most keto dieters try to consume carbs less than 50 grams per day.
2. Is chickpea flour pasta a low-carb option?
Even though chickpea pasta is low in carbs, it is still high for ketogenic diets. Furthermore, the carb properties will naturally rise while being processed. For example, you get 32 to 37 grams of carbs in one serving of chickpea pasta.
High fat is an essential part of a ketogenic diet plan. Furthermore, the fat properties in chickpea flour pasta are relatively low. Therefore, chickpea flour pasta is not keto-friendly.
3. Can I substitute chickpea flour for almond flour?
Despite being gluten-free, chickpea flour functions similarly to gluten-containing flours. Hence, a small amount is sufficient to substitute this for almond flour.
For example, 1 cup almond flour can be replaced with 3/4 cup chickpea flour. So, using a proper measuring cup is essential in this case.
4. Is gram flour similar to chickpea flour?
Usually, garbanzo beans or dry chickpeas are used to make chickpea flour. Gram flour is a similar flour made from split chickpeas and yellow gram lentils.
Chickpea flour is commonly used to describe this ingredient. In Hindi, they refer to split chickpea flour as Besan. So, these two are the same ingredients.
5. Is it better to use besan flour or chickpea flour?
Chickpea flour has a solid base for high-volume bakeries. For example, Burmese Tofu produced with chickpea flour is tougher and more durable than Besan tofu.
Besan tofu is mushy and gel-like. It tends to have a softer base and lasts less than chickpea flour-based items.
6. What is the Gujarati name for chickpea flour?
Chickpea flour has various names across the countries. For example, it is known as chana no lot, Besan, and vesan – Shweta in Gujrati.
7. What are the dishes made of chickpea flour?
You can use chickpea flour to make patties and different bakery items. You can also make,
● Thicken sauces, soups, and stews.
● Flatbreads and batter-based dishes such as pancakes and waffles.
● Batters for deep-frying frozen and processed foods.
8. Does chickpea flour have a shelf life?
Chickpea flour has an estimated shelf life. You should store them in a sealed container to keep moisture, insects, and impurities out.
This flour usually lasts around 6 months of shelf life. However, you can make it last longer if you keep it in the fridge or freezer. You can increase its longevity by storing it properly.
After going through the discussion, you might still wonder, is chickpea flour keto friendly or not? The answer, in general, will be no. It is not entirely an imbalanced ingredient for keto but is not recommended either.
The carb proportions are the real reason as the net carbs in chickpea flour increase while processing. However, this flour is an excellent option for other diet plans with numerous health benefits. So, I hope you find the above discussion helpful.