Tapioca Starch Carbs: Is Tapioca Starch Ketogenic? (TRUTH)

image of Tapioca StarchFlour Ketogenic

Boba tea has taken hold of the world but did you know that it has been around since the 80s? 

But what are those beads made of and are they keto? 

If you think the ketogenic diet is for you but haven’t started yet, then we have the best tip for you. It’s something quite simple really but takes some commitment. 

So what’s the secret?

Getting a good understanding of what exactly goes into your food is the best way to start a keto diet. Carbohydrates are the number one component to avoid with keto. (*)

What does this mean?

Well, carbohydrates usually come in the form of any flour products, but it’s not limited to it. 

People on this diet often seek out keto approved flour and find cassava or tapioca starch. (*)

All this research inevitably sparks questions like: 

Is tapioca starch keto friendly?

Let’s see!

What is tapioca starch(or tapioca flour)? 

Extracted from the root part of the cassava plant, tapioca is a starch. Native to South America, the cassava plant is used in many countries of the world. (*)

What is tapioca starch used for?

  1. Gluten-free baking 

Tapioca starch is very often used to make food products like crackers mainly because it can make the crunchy consistency required. 

  1. Tea and sweets

More recently, the popularity of boba tea is a prime example of where tapioca is used in making the pearls that give the tea its distinctive look and name.

There is also tapioca pudding that has a characteristic smooth texture to it.  

  1. Thickening ingredient

Tapioca starch also works great as a binding agent to thicken soups, sauces, or other such liquids. 

  1. Breaded coating

Fried food sometimes has that golden coating that offers an interesting flavor. Tapioca is used in many such meals like with fish or other meat-based dishes. 

It gives it its crispy texture that is so prized among consumers. 

How healthy is tapioca starch?

We know you wish to answer the question: is tapioca starch keto friendly? The road to finding this out comes with analyzing how it can affect your health. 

Many other consumers use tapioca starch to avoid getting an allergic reaction to gluten or grains. (*)

Traditional flours are often cited as not being so healthy and so many look to other options. Tapioca is grain-free and gluten-free, so many believe it to be healthier.

The truth?

Tapioca starch nutritional profile 100 g (*):

  • Carbs: 87.5 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0 grams

Tapioca scratch is not exactly as healthy as it sounds. It has what we would call empty calories which means it’s extremely low on protein, fat, and micronutrients while high on carbs. 

Should tapioca starch be avoided on a keto diet?

A lot of new keto enthusiasts will be wondering: is tapioca flour (or tapioca starch) keto friendly? Tapioca starch is high in carbs and has very little fat, which is the exact opposite of what keto requires. 

For this reason alone we believe tapioca starch should be avoided if you follow the keto diet. Its high glycemic value will take you out of ketosis very fast.

And that’s not all!

Not only does it pose a risk to your ketosis but tapioca starch is also lacking in healthy nutritional components.

Other more nutritious types of flour would be a better option to use with the keto diet.

Who should avoid tapioca?

  • Anyone that requires insulin
  • People that want to lose weight
  • Keto diet followers

Tapioca is carb-loaded and its presence in packaged food makes it harder to eliminate completely. Keep a vigilant eye out so that you won’t unwittingly consume it. 


  1. Why is tapioca starch so popular?

A large diversity of diets have risen over the years, and they are not all the same. Tapioca is an ingredient that is present in paleo or gluten-free diets and as such rose in popularity. 

Less gluten or whole foods diets don’t have the same core principles as the ketogenic diet. Although tapioca is approved in diets that require less gluten, it’s not keto approved. 

Tapioca starch is also quite inexpensive and has a multitude of uses in packaged foods. For this reason alone, tapioca is very favored. 

  1. What’s the difference between cassava flour and tapioca flour?

Both cassava flour and tapioca share the same origin which is from the root part of the cassava. 

These two get paired together and confused with each other on a regular basis. But in spite of that, there are certain differences that separate the two. 

  • The source: Cassava flour and tapioca don’t come from the same pat of the plant. Cassava flour is made of the whole root while tapioca is only from the starchy part. 
  • Taste: tapioca tastes quite plain while cassava flour has a nutty flavor to it. 
  • Caloric value: cassava flour has far fewer calories than tapioca. 
  • Amount of fiber: tapioca doesn’t have as much fiber as cassava flour.
  • Their uses: although they are used similarly, cassava might work better as a thickener because of its higher fiber content. 

Although they have the same source tapioca and cassava flour could not be more different. 

  1. What are some tapioca starch replacements?

Restricting tapioca starch is something we suggest you consider if you are trying the ketogenic diet. Tapioca can be found in other types of flour so always check the label. 

Fortunately, many alternatives can be found for tapioca starch.

Some of the best keto flour options:

  • Almond flour – an easy-to-find substitute and rivaling tapioca in popularity.
  • Coconut flour – this alternative is one that can help those with nut allergies.
  • Psyllium husk – has laxative properties and maintains the pancreas and heart. (*)
  • Flax flour – rich in vitamin B1, B6, and Omega-3.

Main takeaway

The search for a healthier lifestyle seems a neverending one. That is why so many different types of diets have become popular.

The ketogenic diet is one that it’s beautiful in its simplicity. Carbs are to be avoided, while meat and fats are included. 

The reality?

The food industry has evolved and that’s what makes it more difficult to figure out what you eat and what exactly is in your food. 

Tapioca flour (or tapioca starch) is an ingredient that at face value seems perfect for health-conscious people. But for the keto diet, it’s not quite ideal. 

image of Tapioca flour Keto Friendly

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