Have you seen the articles circulating the Internet that raise concerns about almond flour? Many of my blog and fan page followers reached out to me with questions about whether or not it’s true.
Since I often use almond flour in my gluten-and-grain-free baking recipes, I had to get to the bottom of it. If almond flour is a potentially harmful ingredient then I’d quickly remove it from my recipes.
Now I may be a whiz in the kitchen, but I’ll be the first to admit that doing extensive research is not my strong suit. Luckily I know someone who lives to research nutrition…my friend Nick Pineault.
You may have heard me talk about Nick “The Nutrition Nerd” before, since I’ve learned so much from him over the years.
I emailed Nick these 3 concerns about almond flour and asked him to research his heart out! Here’s what he found…
Here are the 3 main issues that have been raised about almond flour:
1. Almond Flour Contains Unstable Fat? The theory here is that heating almond flour will cause oxidation and possibly free radicals to form.
Nick says, “Heated almonds probably get some damage to their fragile fats, but again they naturally contain vitamin E which helps protect these fats. Very hard to say to what extent though!”
2. Almond Flour Contains Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids? This could be a cause for concern since our modern diet is naturally higher in this form of fat, and too much of it can cause inflammation and other problems.
Nick says, “Polyunsaturated omega-6 fats, when consumed in excess (several grams a day), are somewhat detrimental to health. Polyunsaturated fats are fragile.”
3. Almond Flour is High in Calories…Since almond flour contains ground nuts, it packs quite a few calories into a small package. Eating too many items with almond flour could work against you if you have a fat loss goal.
Nick says, “Nuts should be eaten in moderation, and it’s very easy to go overboard with almond flour. Nuts are very calorie-dense, so desserts and meals made with almond flour can be potentially too calorific.”
In conclusion: Moderation is key when eating any baked goods. One portion a day of goods baked with almond flour would be my recommendation on a nutritional and caloric standpoint.
Am I going to ban almond flour from the RHR kitchen? Nope.
It’s clear that, with moderation, almond flour is safe to use as a gluten-free flour substitute. The problems arise when almond flour becomes a large portion of your daily diet.
As the saying goes, too much of a good thing…
Happy Cooking 🙂