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Thread: Newbie question #2: tapioca starch vs. flour

  1. #1
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    Newbie question #2: tapioca starch vs. flour

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    Are they the same thing? I'm guessing no...
    5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
    Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
    Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

    More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judg View Post
    Are they the same thing? I'm guessing no...
    Probably the same. Gluten-free, maybe. Paleo/Primal - not really. I hate to sound like Choco, but eat whole, real food, at least until your body adjusts to it. Then you can throw it a starchbomb, processed curveball once in a while. Stay away from what Kurt Harris calls "candy cigarettes," at least until you've met most of your goals, then use them as your "occasional treat" or the oft misunderstood "20%"

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    Tapioca flour, starch, and powder are usually the same thing. It is the dried and milled root of cassava, which is completely primal. Cassava is even on the primal shopping list. Sure, it's high in carbs, but I'm pretty sure it's been established that primal isn't necessarily low-carb; only if you prefer it to be.
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    Tapioca starch is not a whole food. You're comparing apples and applesauce.

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    Thanks, j3nn. I am primarily concerned with eliminating grains at this point, although I have been eating only very tiny amounts of starches of any kind.

    Rich, thanks for your input. I am quite honestly still feeling my way on these things. I have no intention of eating bread substitutes on any regular basis, but as an occasional "cheat", why not? I'm afraid I don't really understand what the issue is here. I have been avoiding processed foods for a very long time, and had been cutting back on carbs long before I even heard of primal. I don't have a junk food habit I am trying to compensate for. The science of why grains are less than optimal has convinced me, and I strongly suspect that I am one of those who has suffered from grain intolerance without realizing it.

    Right now I am exploring the possibilities of the primal way of eating, and finding out what works for me, and so I'm asking for information. If I do use the tapioca starch/flour/meal for anything other than thickening sauces, you can be quite sure it will be in very small and cautious amounts. Not interested in starch bombs. On the other hand, it would be nice to have something to serve guests without leading myself into excessive temptation. Like I said, still feeling my way here.
    5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
    Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
    Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

    More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
    - Lewis Mumford

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Tapioca starch is not a whole food. You're comparing apples and applesauce.
    Why are cooked and mashed apples not a whole food? Some people dont eat sweet potato and chicken skins, sometimes you dont eat apple skins. It happens. By your logic, butter and almond butter and coconut butter are not whole foods either. Single ingredient foods are still whole foods. Aside from chemically altering a food, how you process them makes little difference if it is still the same lone ingredient. Food preparation is a preference, not a law. Preaching absolute purity is a quick way to turn anyone off to eating real foods. Olive and coconut oil are not foods in their entire original form, doesn't mean they're bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by j3nn View Post
    Why are cooked and mashed apples not a whole food? Some people dont eat sweet potato and chicken skins, sometimes you dont eat apple skins. It happens. By your logic, butter and almond butter and coconut butter are not whole foods either. Single ingredient foods are still whole foods. Aside from chemically altering a food, how you process them makes little difference if it is still the same lone ingredient. Food preparation is a preference, not a law. Preaching absolute purity is a quick way to turn anyone off to eating real foods. Olive and coconut oil are not foods in their entire original form, doesn't mean they're bad.
    I'm actually convinced you didn't read a single word I posted.

    To the OP - If you're talking about a small quantity to thicken a sauce, I think they're the same thing and definitely a better choice than cornstarch or flour.

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    I'm planning to try some tapioca 'bread' rolls. If nice I can go back to an occasional burger with a bun. Tapioca is not a grain, and I don't intend to have the stuff every day - more like once a fortnight. I can't see anything wrong with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog6 View Post
    I'm planning to try some tapioca 'bread' rolls. If nice I can go back to an occasional burger with a bun. Tapioca is not a grain, and I don't intend to have the stuff every day - more like once a fortnight. I can't see anything wrong with it.
    Let us know how they are, Analog. I have been avoiding starches pretty religiously, mainly because I really want to shift my metabolism over to fat-burning as effectively as possible, but I'm with you, the occasional divergence will not be the end of the world. As long as I keep it occasional and eaten with other foods.

    And thank you for the information, people. Now I know how to handle my new purchases better.
    5'2", 55 years, Primal since April. Pre-Primal weight loss, from 216.6 to 157.8
    Primal low: 140.2 (Dec. 3) Goal weight: 135?
    Main Primal goal: beating back my CFS enough to function more normally and start writing again

    More and more, our life has been governed by specialists, who know too little of what lies outside their province to be able to know enough about what takes place within it.
    - Lewis Mumford

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