CAREFUL! Gluten free does not Mean HEALTHY!
Over the past few years, we have seen the sales of gluten-free products sky rocket. The larger food companies have caught on to this marketing trend and are now creating all kinds of Gluten-free products which truly have no health benefits or nutritional value. If you see a product labeled GLUTEN FREE — that certainly does not mean it is healthy!! Be careful and lets not trade in gluten based junk food for gluten-free based junk food and think this is a healthy choice. Of course, I am not a fan of gluten overall. Yet, I am also not a fan of what these bigger companies are using to replace gluten in their products. This is one of the issues we discuss with all of our HCG Diet patients at The Natural Path before they go into Phase IV of the program.
WEIGHT GAIN ON A GLUTEN FREE DIET — BE CAREFUL!
Gluten free has gotten this stigma of being “healthy.” Gluten free is very healthy if you are choosing clean proteins, vegetables and fruits as your food. However, when you begin to try to replace your glutenous snacks with gluten free snacks you are not making a healthy move for your body. The avoidance of gluten is crucial for those with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and other health issues. When patients have celiac and they begin to follow a gluten free diet they will have improved digestion and even gain weight in a healthy way. Still, it is very important to read labels and be aware of the types of food and macro nutrients that you are putting into your body. Be extra cautious of gluten free snacky foods as they are simply “junk” food with additives, empty calories and much of the gluten free industry has become processed foods.
The powdered starches used to replace wheat gluten is foods are often food that will elevate blood sugar and trigger abdominal weight gain, insulin resistance and a host of other health issues if eaten in large quantities.
THE COMMON GLUTEN REPLACEMENTS
One of the most common ingredients used to replace gluten/wheat flour is Tapioca Starch. Tapioca Starch is a simple sugar and high in carbs. It is basically just empty calories and provides the body with very little nutrition. On top of that, it can spike the blood sugar in the same way that refined sugar does. On a gluten-free diet it is hard to avoid tapioca starch in entirety. However, there are many healthier options that could be used.
Rice starches and rice flours are another common wheat/gluten replacement. Unfortunately, much of the rice grown in the US has been found to be contaminated with arsenic. It makes me sad that our food chain is becoming laden with toxins. We cannot avoid toxins by any stretch of the imagination. However, we can be mindful.
Products of Corn and Soy including corn starch, soybean products, corn meal, corn syrup, soybean oil and soy lecithin are fthe main component of many gluten free carb products such as pasta, cookies, crackers, etc. Of course, corn and soy are very common genetically modified ingredients and that it is important to look at non-gmo preparations of these products. Round up ready GMO crops are sprayed with horrible pesticides. I would avoid GMO corn and soy for sure!
Refined Sugar is easy to add into gluten free foods to add in the sweet flavor that the majority of people crave these days.
Unhealthy Oils are found in gluten free foods. Most gluten free food makers are not looking out for the quality of the oils that go into their products. I often see that most of the oils used come from genetically modified foods – canola, soy, and cottonseed oils are super processed and create inflammation in our bodies.
Xanthan Gum is added into gluten free foods to help bring back the texture that gluten can bring to food. Xanthum gum is not shown to have too many side effects but some people are allergic to it and it can create gasto-intestinal issues. It is often genetically modified as well!
ADVICE on Gluten Free Foods
My best advice always is to eat from the earth. Let nature package your food. Clean proteins, vegetables and seasonal fruits are the main stay of most healthy diets. I would avoid all processed foods that are gluten free or not!
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