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Net Carbs in Arrowroot: Is Arrowroot Keto-Friendly?

Latest updates by: Susan Rov

If you’ve been looking for keto-friendly baked goods recipes, you may have come across a few recipes that use arrowroot flour. 

But wait, is arrowroot flour keto-friendly? 

You might be thinking it isn’t, right? 

After all, how can a tuber that’s rich in starch be considered keto-friendly? 

How can the flour be low carb and keto? That’s absurd.

Unfortunately, not everything is black and white when it comes to arrowroot flour. There’s more to this question than meets the eye.

That’s why we’ve decided to dig deeper about arrowroot and its nutritional content.

Read on to know what we found out!

What is Arrowroot?

image of Arrowroot powder arrowroot flour keto diet or just low carb - ketoaholics.com

Arrowroot is a tropical tuber that’s commonly found in Indonesia.

It’s primarily used as an ingredient in certain dishes as it can be a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes.

As a food ingredient, arrowroot is often processed into a powder that they call arrowroot flour, a vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and grain-free baking ingredient.

The powder is extracted from the plant’s rhizomes, the plant’s underground stem, where its starch and energy are stored.  

Arrowroot Flour vs. Arrowroot Powder

Image of Arrowroot Flour vs. Arrowroot Powder and Its health benefits

Arrowroot flour and arrowroot powder are two popular terms in the culinary world. However, if you’re just starting your cooking journey, you might get confused about whether or not these two terms refer to the same food item.

We’ll clear things out for you. Arrowroot flour and Arrowroot powders are the same; therefore, you can use these two terms interchangeably.

Benefits of Arrowroot

Aside from its wide culinary use, it’s noted that arrowroot can also be used medicinally. This vegetable has been associated with the following benefits:

Weight Loss

The arrowroot powder/ flour is made up of 32% of starch. The type of starch that it contains is similar to the characteristics of soluble fiber, in which it produces a viscous gel when mixed with water.

Because of this, its effect on the body is the same as the effects of soluble fiber. For one, it gives you a prolonged feeling of fullness. (1) As a result, it can help regulate your appetite and promote weight loss.

Immune System Boost

The arrowroot’s ability to boost the immune system is also due to its resistant starch content, which is said to be a good source of prebiotics, the type of fiber that’s great for sustaining your gut bacteria.

In addition to aiding in your digestion, these bacteria can also produce the necessary vitamins and minerals that our immune system needs. (2)  

Gluten-free

Same with all tubers, arrowroot is also gluten-free. Because of this, it can be used as a substitute for wheat flour by people who have celiac disease, which is a digestive disorder wherein the consumption of gluten may lead to the inflammation of the small intestine. (3)

Nutrient Dense

This means that arrowroot is packed with nutrients. For example, 100g of arrowroot can give you your 12.5% DV of iron, 85% DV of Folate, 9.2% DV of potassium, and 14.2% DV of phosphorus.

Low Glycemic Index

One great thing about arrowroot is it has a low glycemic index—14—when it’s boiled. This means that it can prevent sugar crashes and help you maintain your blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Arrowroot Nutrition Facts

image of  Arrowroot Powder Nutrition Facts - Its Net Carbs for Keto Diet

If arrowroot powder is keto-friendly, the most important thing that we need to consider would be its nutritional content. Here’s the expected macronutrient content in one serving of arrowroot flour (100g):

  • Calories: 357 kcal
  • Fats: 0.1 grams
  • Protein: 0.3 grams
  • Total Carbs: 88.2 grams
  • Fiber: 3.4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 84.8 grams

Based on its macronutrient content, it may seem that arrowroot flour is similar to that of the macronutrient content of other flours. But what makes it stand out is its nutrient content—iron, phosphorous, and many more.

Is Arrowroot Keto Friendly?

Let’s get down to brass tacks—is arrowroot powder keto-friendly?

We’re afraid that there isn’t a simple answer to this. You see, arrowroot has one drawback for a ketogenic diet.

Based on its nutritional content, we can say that it is rich in carbohydrates.

Yes, it’s a tuber, so naturally, it is rich in starch. So 100 grams of this flour will give you 84 grams of carbohydrates. That’s certainly enough to kick you out of ketosis.

But wait, we’re not saying that arrowroot is not keto-friendly.

It can be used for preparing food for the ketogenic diet.

How can that be?

It all boils down to one thing—the portion size. While it doesn’t seem logical to consume a rich carbohydrate powder when on keto, you have to keep in mind that you’ll only be needing small amounts of this powder when cooking your food or baking certain products.

You would often need only around 1 to 2 tablespoons of this powder—not enough to kick you out of your ketogenic state.

The Best Way to use Arrowroot in Keto Diet

Now that we’ve got that figured out, it’s time that we learn how to use Arrowroot in the keto diet. 

Here are some of the best ways on how you can do it:

Cornstarch Substitute

image of Using Arrowroot Powder as Cornstarch Substitute for Ketogenic diet

If you’ve come across some of the non-keto recipes which contain cornstarch, you can substitute it with arrowroot to make the recipe keto.

Same with cornstarch, you can use arrowroot to get the thick consistency you want for soups, sauces, and even smoothies.

Since it is highly absorbent, you may use only around half as much cornstarch as you would typically use in the recipe.

Thickening Agents

If you’re a vegan who’s also on keto, you’ll be happy to know that arrowroot can be used as a thickening agent, too, so you can use it in place of egg whites in specific vegan dessert recipes.

Flour Alternative for Baking

image of Using Arrowroot Powder as Flour Alternative for Baking for Ketogenic Diet

Since it’s a lot easier for people to digest, plus it’s a gluten-free, keto-friendly, and low-carb baking ingredient, you can use it in place of flour for baking purposes.

But please keep in mind that this may not be the best flour substitute for keto as it still contains a relatively high amount of carbs when you use it excessively.  

Some of the Arrowroot Substitutes You Can Use in Keto

Yes, arrowroot can be used in keto. However, you should use it only in moderation since it’s high in carbs. But if you’ve come across a recipe that requires high amounts of arrowroot flour, using arrowroot is not recommended; instead, you should look for substitutes that have lower carb content.

Don’t despair since we already did the research, and here are some of the excellent alternatives that we’ve come across (together with their nutritional content):

Among all the arrowroot substitutes, it’s almond flour that has the lowest grams of carbs. Additionally, it has the highest amount of carbs to be an excellent alternative for people on keto.

The Arrowroot Recipes to Try on Keto

As long as you use this type of flour in moderation, you can find a way to incorporate it into your keto diet.

Here are some fantastic examples:

Keto-friendly Bread

image of Making Low-carb Keto Recipes Bread by using arrowroot powder/arrowroot flour

Before, you can never consume bread on keto. But with the rise of low carb flours and baking agents, you can now bake your very own low carb bread so you can enjoy your favorite sandwiches or snacks without going beyond your carbohydrate restrictions.

Just keep in mind that most of the bread recipes you’ll find online contain a bit of sugar which is fine if you’re on dirty keto. However, it’s recommended that you skip the sugar if you’re on a strict keto diet.

You can also add chia seeds to boost the bread’s fiber content.

Keto Fudge Brownies

image of Making Keto Fudge Brownies by using arrowroot powder/arrowroot flour

Yes, brownies can also be keto if you’ll use a chocolate that’s sweetened with Stevia or unsweetened chocolate chips.

A flourless brownie recipe is also made possible with the use of arrowroot powder.

You’ve got arrowroot and your chocolate ingredients. What else?

You may also want to buy your eggs, artificial sweetener, coconut oil, and cocoa powder, and you’re good to go!

Keto Lemon Bars

image of Make Keto Lemon Bars by using arrowroot powder/arrowroot flour

Lemon bars are one of the things that you can’t resist—even on keto.

Fortunately, you now have the opportunity to bake lemon bars that are keto compliant.

The arrowroot in this recipe is used to make the lemon curd.

We suggest going for almond flour for the tart since you would need 1 to 2 cups for the recipe.

Final Words

Yes, arrowroot has both drawbacks and benefits. Its nutritional profile makes it one of the most nutrient-dense powders on the market.

On the other hand, its macronutrient makeup may not be what we consider keto since it’s high in carbs.

The key to using this powder for keto will be determined by the amount of powder you use, so you should only use it in moderation.

For recipes that require greater amounts, we suggest going with the other flour substitutes that contain a lower amount of carbs.

In this way, you can get to enjoy your baked goodies without getting kicked out of ketosis. It’s a win for all!


Susan Rov

Susan is a health and fitness copywriter certified in Nutrition and Weight Management. She is interested in the ways nutrition influences fitness performance and providing realistic advice that people can implement in their day-to-day life.


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