Unlock the Secret to Deliciously Healthy Cookies: The Surprising Benefits of Almond Flour

By: Robert Csete

Almond flour is a popular gluten-free alternative to wheat flour that is made from ground almonds and has numerous nutritional advantages. The process involves blanching almonds in boiling water to remove the skins, then grinding and sifting them into flour. In contrast, white flour, which most cookies are made from, is produced by stripping the outer layer of the grain like the bran and germ during its processing. This is what makes white flour high in calories and carbs, but low in fiber or any nutrients. White flour has no fiber, and sparks a high glycemic index response in comparison to almond flour. The reason why a rapid glycemic index response is not great is that your blood sugar levels rapidly rise, triggering your body to release more insulin in response, and then quickly fall. This results in cravings, overeating later, and the feeling of tiredness sometimes known as a “sugar crash.” Almond flour, since it is lower in carbs, but high in healthy fats and fiber, has a low glycemic index and so it releases sugar slowly into your blood and provides a steady source of energy. Almond flour may be slightly more caloric than white flour – per one ounce almond flour has 163 calories vs 103, but the differences in nutrient density outweigh the slightly higher caloric value. Per one ounce of white flour there is about 22g of carbs, 3g of protein,  0g of fiber, and 1% of your daily value of manganese and iron. White flour basically has no nutritional value and is just empty calories. On the other hand, per one ounce, almond flour has 6g of carbs, 3g of fiber, 35% of the RDI of vitamin E, 31% RDI of manganese, 19% RDI of magnesium, 16% RDI copper, 13% RDI phosphorus. Almond flour is high in vitamin E, which is a group of fat soluble compounds that act as antioxidants in the body. Several studies show that higher vitamin E intakes tend to lower rates of heart disease and Altzeimers. Magnesium is another nutrient abundant in almond flour – that has been shown to improve blood sugar control, reduce insulin resistance and lower blood pressure. Almond flour, because it lacks gluten, creates products that are denser than those baked with white flour and because of their high content of healthy fats, is able to create a cookie that is tender and rich, with a naturally sweet nutty undertone.