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Saturday, February 21, 2015

The latest wonder food: More and more crave banana flour as a way of curbing the carbs because it helps you feel fuller for longer

It might sound, well, a bit bananas, but making your bread and cakes with green banana flour could be a healthier way to satisfy your carb cravings.

The flour – which does not actually taste of bananas – contains resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate which behaves like fibre by helping to control blood sugar levels and keeping us fuller for longer.
And because resistant starch cannot be completely absorbed by the body, we take fewer calories from it.

Like bananas, the flour has high levels of potassium, which helps control the electrical activity of the heart, and magnesium, which aids nerve and muscle activity.
James Taylor-Grime, whose company Nutryttiva sources the ingredient from unripened bananas grown in Brazil, said: ‘We only started selling it last month, but so far sales are doubling each week.’

‘At £10 for a 400g packet it’s more expensive than your average self-raising, but you don’t need as much of it.
‘You use about 25 per cent less than normal wheat flour when baking.
‘Taste-wise it has a slightly nutty, clean flavour, but it is almost flavourless. It can also be added into smoothies and salad dressings.’

Ursula Philpot, consultant dietitian and senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, said banana flour could also help those who needed a high-fibre diet.

Gluten-free, and with a subtle nutty flavour, the banana flour can be substituted for ordinary wheat flour in nearly every recipe, converts claim.
Ordinary starch, found in regular bread, potatoes and pasta, is rapidly digested in the small intestine and absorbed as glucose into the blood.
But not all resistant starch is absorbed by the small intestine, so sugar is released into the blood more slowly, and insulin levels don’t rise as quickly.

This prevents a subsequent drop in blood sugar levels - which makes us feel hungry.
Ursula Philpot, consultant dietitian and senior lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, said: ‘The resistant starch in green bananas slows the release of food through the gut which helps slow the insulin response.
‘This will have a knock-on effect on weight management by controlling blood sugar levels throughout the day.
‘It can help some types of IBS sufferers as well – those who need a high fibre diet.’