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Are Tapioca Pearls Good For Weight Loss?

What are Tapioca Pearls?

Tapioca pearl, also known as sabudana or sago, is a starch that is extracted from the cassava root, a root native to South America. It is rich in carbohydrates and gives a fast energy boost.

The tapioca pearls being very satisfying are often consumed on fasting days in some cultures. It can be made into sabudana khichdi or can be boiled in milk to make kheer.

As tapioca pearls are known to increase satiety, they can be eaten to lose weight, but being starchy is not the best weight-loss choice.

One cup of tapioca pearls contains 544 calories, 1.37 grams fiber, 0.29 grams protein, .03 grams fat, 135 grams carbohydrates, 30.4 mg calcium, 2.4 mg iron, 16.7 grams potassium, and 1.52 mg magnesium.(1)

Are Tapioca Pearls Good For Weight Loss?

Tapioca pearls are not an ideal choice of food to be eaten on regular basis. When wanting to lose weight you need to look for food that can be consumed on daily basis and that provides the body with sufficient nutrients and satiety.

Losing weight needs you to reduce food portions and eating low-calorie food. The foods you choose need to keep you full for a longer period of time. The more full and satisfied you are lesser you would binge or overeat.

Sabudana is high in calories. Eating it more than required can affect your weight loss efforts and might cause weight gain. The carbohydrate content of sabudana is also high, instead of giving a fuller feeling the extra sugar might make you feel hungrier.

Carbohydrates spike insulin levels, which can make people feel hungry and eat more.

Eating food rich in fats and protein help curb hunger and tapioca pearls are low in both nutrients.

Health Benefits Of Tapioca Pearls

Not being a good option when considering losing weight, tapioca pearls are known for other health benefits.

Good Energy Source

  • Being a high-calorie food, sabudana can give an energy boost for a good workout. It also makes you feel less tired.
  • A study investigated the effect of tapioca pearl and soy protein during moderate-intensity cycling exercise. It was found that the endurance of the cyclist was increased by 84 percent.(2)


  • Tapioca pearl does not contain gluten, a protein found in most of the grains.
  • For those suffering from celiac disease or gluten intolerance, tapioca pearls can be a good option.
  • It would not cause any reaction such as bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, and stomach pain.

Improves Digestion

Tapioca pearls are rich in dietary fiber that can contribute to digestive health and bring about an improvement in bloating, constipation, and indigestion.

Weight Gain

  • Tapioca pearls may not be a good option for those thinking to lose weight, but if you want to gain weight, you can count it in your options.
  • It can be a healthy weight gain choice. It can be a good idea to add this food to your diet if you want to gain some kilos.

Reduces Blood Pressure

  • Tapioca pearls are a good source of potassium.
  • Short-term supplementation with potassium can have blood pressure lowering effects.(3)
  • According to the American Heart Association, you should increase potassium intake in your diet if the blood pressure goes above 120/80.(4)

Promotes Strong Bones

Tapioca pearls are a good source of calcium that can help promote strong bones and reduce the likelihood of developing osteoporosis.

Tapioca pearls are a good energy source and have numerous health benefits. But, they cannot be considered as the best choice for weight loss. It is commonly added to bread, sauces, and soups as a thickener and to add texture.

You can add it to your diet, but make sure it is eaten in moderation. You can also increase the exercise to burn away the excess calories consumed while eating it.

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 21, 2021

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