With Celiac Disease on the rise, and a growing intolerance to gluten, there are more and more people who are avoiding wheat. This expanding movement has created a whole new industry for gluten-free foods. Anyone who has gone to a grocery store in the last couple of years has seen the influx of new gluten-free products on a monthly basis. People with Celiac Disease often seek out gluten-free alternatives that are wheat-like in taste and texture and food companies have picked up on it.
So here's why this isn't always a good thing…
Gluten-free food products are made by replacing wheat flour with cornstarch, potato starch, tapioca starch, or other starches. Starches are extracted from whole foods so they are not a complete food and they act much like sugar in the body. The gluten-free food products are made with a large percentage of starches and not a lot of fiber, protein, or fat to balance this out which causes spikes in blood sugar and insulin response. Wheat flour food products also cause this response in the body but interestingly, foods made with a high quantity of starches increase blood sugar even more then wheat flour products. This is an explanation for those who have cut gluten out of their diet but still can't seem to lose weight. These high starch gluten-free products are the culprit.
Gluten-free Food Products are Still Processed Food
Yes gluten-free products do not contain wheat or other gluten containing grains, which makes them safe to eat for Celiac Disease sufferers but this fact does not make them healthy. It is not uncommon for people to think that just by switching from wheat bread to gluten-free bread they are “being healthy” but in order to be really healthy bread should be homemade or cut out all together.
Don't Take this the Wrong Way…
I'm certainly not saying you should give up gluten-free and go back to wheat products. Gluten is extremely hard to digest – even for people who do not have Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance.
Here is what I am saying… Don't believe that food products are healthy purely because they are labeled as gluten-free. It is still processed food and should be treated as a once in a while thing, not a regular staple. Never blindly buy any food product, no matter what it says on the front of the box. Always read ingredient lists!
There are more and more healthy gluten-free products being developed and there are many sources for good gluten-free and recipes online. Products labeled as Paleo or Primal are much better options then products just labled as gluten-free. The Paleo and Primal diets do not allow most starches so this eliminates the current problem with most gluten-free food products on the market.
This topic is something I am going to talk about much more in depth in my new program, Gluten-free Made Easy, coming up in the next few weeks. Participants of this program will learn how to eat a gluten-free diet the healthy way. Enter your e-mail address here to get my free report, 10 Surprising Hidden Sources of Gluten You Probably Don't Know About (and you'll also get my free mini-training video series!)