According to new (August 2021) research published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, a low carbohydrate, high fat (LCHF) flour that was produced using:
- almond flour: 30%
- desiccated coconut flour: 30%
- defatted soy flour: 10%
- dry gluten powder: 10%
- psyllium husk: 10%
- skimmed milk powder: 10%
As a result, LCHF dough and bread had either little or no starch granules. Starch is known to be a poor nutritional source that can increase blood sugar rapidly due to high carbohydrate content and high glycemic index. The type of starch has an effect on glycemic index of starch as well and the ratio of amylose vs. amylopectin determine the glycemic index. A high amylose, low amylopectin puts the food (e.g. long grain rice) on the low end of the glycemic index range. Foods that support a sustained, slow release of sugars are desirable for diabetics.
The research from CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute at Mysore, Karnataka, India also presents the evidence that this low carbohydrate flour from almond and coconut has:
- 25% to 35% slower staling rate during storage between 1-5 days
- lower carbohydrate (with 13.7% vs. 51.9% in wheat flour)
- higher protein (with 22.51% vs. 12.57% in wheat flour)
- higher fat (with 11.01% vs. 3.78% in wheat flour)
- in-vitro starch digestibility (with 17.3% vs. 38.2% in wheat flour)
- higher amount of medium-chain fatty acids that serve to increase good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, HDL)
Almond flour provides a wide variety of proteins, unsaturated fatty acids and essential amino acids (e.g. lysine, methionine and threonine) and offers an excellent nutritional value.
According to Namsirilert et al. (2015), replacing 20% to 30% of wheat flour when baking a carrot cake, coconut flour significantly slows down glucose release throughout starch digestion process. Despite replacing wheat flour by up to even 40%, no significant change in taste could be identified. Having significant beneficial effects on countering blood sugar swings, containing 29.30% fat, 5.77% protein and 19.82% fibre, coconut flour is a good choice to include in this low carbohydrate, high fat flour mix. Coconut flour also has a role in lowering total cholesterol levels and blood pressure and the risk of colon cancer with high fibre content.
Another good substitute for wheat flour is defatted soy flour which contains around 40% protein, only 1% of fat and isoflavones. Through isoflavones, soy flour supports arterial function, lower plasma lipids and helps to avoid cardiovascular diseases.
Psyllium husk is another component in this low-carb flour that contains 74.5% dietary fibre. Consuming psyllium for three weeks or longer significantly lowers blood cholesterol and can lower blood glucose levels in people with type-2 diabetes. Significant reductions in total and LDL-cholesterol concentrations were observed with a twice-daily regimen of 5.1 g psyllium as well.
As a result of this research, coconut flour contributed a high amount of lauric acid to this new LCHF flour. Lauric acid, which is a medium-chain fatty acid, helps increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good cholesterol"). On the contrary, wheat flour is rich in palmitic acid, which is a saturated that raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad cholesterol").
On a last note, LCHF bread made out of this flour was observed to have:
- significantly better moisture (with 43.15% vs. 28.06% in wheat flour)
- lower pH (with 4.57 vs. 5.43 in wheat flour)
With a significant benefits and made out of independently healthy and beneficial foods, this new low carb high fat flour could serve as a great alternative for diabetics.