Gluten-free product sales have doubled in the past four years and are now at an estimated $23 billion per year! It’s a huge market, but it could lead you down the wrong path.

Are you eating any convenient gluten free replacements for the baked goods that you used to love?? Or are you trying to eat gluten free to lose weight? If you are gluten sensitive or have celiac disease, I realize you may have to buy a loaf of gluten-free bread or crackers but not all gluten-free products are created equal or healthy!  Let’s do a reality check.

TRYING TO AVOID GLUTEN

You may not realize that a gluten free protocol is not designed to help you lose weight. It’s a specific protocol for people who either have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or are allergic to gluten. So  if you gain weight on a gluten free protocol, it is because you are  picking up gluten-free hamburger buns, breads, and pizza crusts that are truly not gluten free. You also may be in need of a detox cleanse to rid your body of toxins as well.

The popularity of the gluten free protocol has given rise to an industry of gluten free convenience foods that contain questionable additives, added sugar, and even nutritional deficiencies.

WHAT TO EAT

You probably already know what I’m about to say…. Simply stop buying processed gluten free replacement foods that can sabotage your health and fill your diet with healthy whole foods (vegetables, fruits, beans, seeds, lentils, nuts) that nourish your body. Be cautious on how much of the following ingredients you are eating:

Tapioca Starch:

One of the main ingredients used to replace wheat flour is “tapioca starch”, which is very high in carbohydrates, but hardly contains any fiber, fat, protein, vitamins or minerals, and basically just supplies empty calories that can spike blood sugar more than refined sugar does. This ingredients is often used as the primary flour replacement in so many foods that could be using healthier gluten free flours. I realize tapioca starch can be hard to avoid completely on a gluten free diet, but it’s something to make sure you are not eating a lot of.

Rice Starch, Rice Flour & Brown Rice Syrup:

Rice is a very common in gluten-free diets, but it’s notoriously contaminated with arsenic, which is a “potent human carcinogen” according to scientists at Consumer Reports and classified as a group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. In 2012, Consumer Reports tested more than 200 rice products and found significant levels of arsenic in several rices (especially brown), rice cereals, rice cakes, rice crackers, rice pasta, rice flours, and brown rice syrup. This can be a problem in gluten-free diets, because rice is found in so many gluten-free foods.

If you find yourself eating rice or rice-based ingredients every day, you may want to limit your intake and seek out alternatives. Contact the companies that you buy rice products from and ask them if they test for arsenic and where their rice is grown. Rice that is grown in California has been shown to contain lower amounts of arsenic than rice grown in other parts of the country.

Corn & Soy:

Corn and soy ingredients (corn meal, corn starch, corn syrup, soybean oil, soy lecithin) are found in a lot of gluten-free pastas, crackers, and cookies. When you see anything made from conventional corn or soy on a label, it’s a pretty safe bet that it’s genetically modified (GMO) because the vast majority of these crops in the U.S. are GMO. Roundup-Ready GMO crops are designed to be sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate and have been shown to accumulate glyphosate.

This is a big deal because glyphosate has been deemed a “probable carcinogen” according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and is also believed to destroy healthy gut bacteria, just like antibiotics do. So, it’s not something that I want sprayed on my food!

Refined Sugar:

Gluten-free foods use sugar to replace the flavors lost when grains were removed, and it’s almost impossible to find a gluten free product without added refined sugar. Just do your best to find products with the least amounts.. You’ll often see sugar listed several times on the ingredient list in its many different forms: corn syrup, maltodextrin, dextrin, sugar, etc.

Inflammatory Oils:

Besides coming from GMOs, canola, soy, and cottonseed oils are processed to death before they end up in our food. The most commonly used is soybean oil, which is high in omega-6 fatty acids that increase the risk of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

Xanthan Gum:

When the gluten is taken out of baked goods, food companies often add the additive xanthan gum for texture and softness. This is often derived from GMO corn and triggers allergies or gastrointestinal issues in some people.

HEALTHY EATING TIPS

Instead of using a gluten-free tortilla, use a coconut and vegetable based wraps.

Choose pastas that are made from lentils or beans, from Tolerant Pasta or make your own “noodles” out of spaghetti squash and zucchini

Substitute sprouted quinoa for rice when making stir-fry’s and other dishes that are typically served over rice.

Use baking recipes that primarily call for flours with healthy nutrients; such as coconut flour, almond meal, buckwheat flour, quinoa flour, chickpea flour, or teff flour.

If you can’t bake your own bread, seek out store-bought breads that are made from nutrient-rich grains. I use and love www.theloafgrainfree.com

Make pizza crusts from cauliflower. Cauliflower also can be blended up in a food processor into “rice” that you just saute for a few minutes to make the perfect rice substitute.

There are great snacks too. I am a fan of Mary’s Gone crackers (they grow their rice in California where arsenic levels are lower, and contain no refined flours or sugars). My favorite ones are the rosemary super seeds.
Iherb.com

I also choose bars like Raw Crunch that have organic seeds, nuts and dried fruit.
https://www.rawcrunchbar.com/

Last but not least… Eat more produce! Fruit, veggies, beans and salad greens are all naturally gluten-free, so don’t be afraid to try new ones every week until you find your favorites.

Most importantly, be aware of hidden ingredients.

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About The Author

Julie Bishop, RDH

Hi, I am Julie Bishop, a mother to an awesome daughter named Mackenzie. I reside in Cincinnati, OH and I help others heal and feel whole again. I have guided many people for healing through an awesome detoxification protocol, infrared therapy, and practicing a holistic lifestyle. I want my journey to be an inspiration for you.

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