You only need to wander through your local supermarket to see that gluten-free foods are becoming more abundant on the shelves. There are wheat and gluten-free replacements for all breads, biscuits, pies, pizza and pastas. This is a clear sign that word is getting out just how bad wheat and gluten are for our health and that people are clearly seeing some amazing changes to their life by giving them up. The downside, however, is that these gluten-free replacements can lead to more health problems than what they replaced.
Why are gluten-free products so bad for our health…? Well, for one thing, one only has to read the label to see that the main ingredients on a gluten-free loaf of bread are very high on the glycemic Index, meaning they will very quickly turn to sugar in the blood. In fact, most are higher on the G.I. than the wheat bread they are replacing. Constantly elevated blood sugars lead to weight-gain, diabetes, cataracts, heart disease and dementia!
The first four ingredients on gluten-free bread tends to be tapioca starch, rice flour, potato starch and maize (the higher up on the ingredient list the greater the content), all of which break down to sugars in the body super-quick! This coupled with a long expiry date (longer the expiry dates, the more the preservatives) means these products will have a detrimental effect on our health.
If one decides to give up all wheat and gluten, only to replace it by gluten-free processed foods, you may well very quickly gain weight and feel no better than before. That said, it does not mean you have to go without bread, cakes and baked goods. Cooking them from scratch at home with high protein, low G.I. ingredients such as almond meal/flour, ground flax seed, coconut flour and eggs will ensure you are eating nutritionally dense baked goods packed with essential amino acids that won’t spike the blood sugars, even if mixed with small amounts of gluten-free starchy flours. Eating high protein, home cooked breads and sugar-free muffins will go a long way in helping shed excess weight. They will also contribute to much improved physical and mental health (providing one does not suffer with autoimmunity, click here to learn more). For an easy, high protein bread recipe: Click here.
An occasional indulgence in gluten-free replacement foods will be tolerated by the body for most. And in some cases, especially when eating out, will be unavoidable. However, to ensure you don’t spike blood sugar levels when eating gluten-free foods, never eat products that has sugar as the first ingredient and make sure, when eating breads, pastas and pizzas they are eaten with adequate, quality protein and healthy fats (no trans-fats), to keep the overall glycemic load low. For example: gluten-free rice pasta served with tomato sauce, olive oil and chicken would be a good choice if dining in an Italian restaurant.
For your health’s sake, do not consume gluten-free products on a daily or weekly basis. Bake your own at home. It is simple and does not take much time. Not only will your baked goods be delicious but you will know exactly what goes into them. This will go a long way to turning around your health and the health of your family!
If you need further convincing why you should avoid gluten-free products click here to read a blog post by the brilliant Dr William Davies, author of Wheat Belly.