What You Should Know Before Choosing a Gluten Free Diet

I am gluten “intolerant” but I don’t necessarily eat “gluten free”.

Gluten free is all the buzz these days and if you haven’t been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, I applaud you for taking a serious look at your diet and considering alternatives to achieve a healthier life. However, just because its gluten free doesn’t mean it’s better for you, especially if you are just replacing whole wheat products and still consuming an abundance of them several times a day.

Gluten free has become a huge market with sales doubling over the past five years. Large food manufacturers are using this new trend to roll out gluten free products at an astounding rate.

Oftentimes, people believe they can switch out their morning cereals, bagels, pancakes, waffles, lunch breads, pastry treats, and dinner pastas and replace them with the gluten free varieties and still indulge in supersized portions several times a day.

Here’s the issue, gluten free products have become convenience foods that still have additives like flours, sugar, and natural flavors, and are devoid of nutrients, fiber, and flavor.

Products such as gluten free crackers, breads and pastries are still made with powdered starches (potato, rice, and tapioca) that can sabotage your health by increasing blood sugar and triggering weight gain, insulin resistance, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. They should not be treated as a replacement for wheat flour.

Whatever your reason for giving up gluten, whether you are gluten sensitive, diagnosed with celiac disease, or you’ve read or heard that it was healthier to switch to gluten free products, this will not have the greatest impact on your health.

EVERYTHING STARTS WITH WHAT YOU PUT IN YOUR MOUTH

What you need is to fill your diet with nutritious “whole” foods, mostly vegetables and leafy greens, moderate amounts of fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes (not everyone can eat legumes), fish, and grass-fed antibiotic free meats in proper portions that will nourish your body. 

Whole foods offer three main benefits: greater nutrition, essential fiber, and protective substances such as phytochemicals that help protect you against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.  And here is the hard part:

You need to eliminate or dial down on your grainy, starchy carbohydrate intake – especially all products made with flour and powdered starches!

UNDERSTANDING WHAT FLOUR IS

Flour is made by smashing an ingredient like wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice to smithereens. Wheat flour is the most popular and there are many different varieties. White flour contains 75 percent of the wheat grain, with most of the bran and wheat germ taken out and then it’s usually bleached.

Learn the truth about modern wheat - why it's making us a chronically ill nation.

When consumed, products made with flour digests fast causing blood sugar to spike, which causes a rise in insulin.  This not only causes a food craving hours later, but it also paves the way for insulin resistance and diabetes. This constant spike in insulin is going on all day long for those of you who are consuming it several times a day.

Most people don’t understand the impact that the speed of digestion has on their health.  It all boils down to the glycemic index, how quickly your body turns food into fuel, or glucose. Believe it or not, wheat flour is the most damaging of all flours because of a carbohydrate in wheat known as amylopectin A, which is easily converted to blood sugar. One slice of whole wheat bread will raise blood sugar higher than three teaspoons of sugar.

Learn why it’s hard to stop eating wheat products once you get started

Unfortunately, many of the gluten free flour options such as potato flour, rice flour and tapioca starch aren’t any better. They digest even faster than wheat flour and, therefore, may exacerbate many of the health issues they promise to quell.

It’s so easy to over consume products made with flour because they require little chewing and slide down quickly. But over consuming flour, which we all do or have done thanks to food science, food marketers and the ever changing government guidlines, can lead to a number of serious problems in our body including:

  • Food cravings,
  • Blood sugar spikes
  • Inflammation
  • Acid-Alkaline Imbalance
  • Food allergies and intolerance
  • Skin disorders (psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, acne, skin tags, rashes, and keratosis pilaris)
  • GI disorders

Flour and now powdered starches are a menace, and I know, first hand, how difficult it is to reduce and eliminate products made with it, but there are so many positive health reasons and benefits in doing so. Most of all it gives you room to eat more real food the way mother nature intended; foods that are nutrient rich; lots of vegetables, leafy greens, squashes, nuts, seeds, sweet potatoes, fish and grass-fed antibiotic-free meats. Your body will simply thank you.

WHY YOU NEED TO CARE ABOUT DIABETES

According to a recent study from the American Diabetes Association, updated April 2017, the number of Americans diagnosed with diabetes and prediabetes are rising.  Diabetes is an expensive disease to treat and manage.  Prevention is key. 

  • New Cases: 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year.

  • Prediabetes: In 2012, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes; this is up from 79 million in 2010.  One out of every three adults is believed to have prediabetes.

Learn more about the symptoms of diabetes here.  If you have any concerns about your health ask your physician,

If you are suffering with any skin related problems such as eczema or psoriasis, which are directly linked to poor nutrition and diabetes, be sure to cleanse your skin with a mild cleanser like our Goat's Milk Soaps, and if you are looking for an alternative to steroid creams that are often prescribed to treat these conditions, try our Neem Cream, that's formulated to treat these conditions with natural ingredients to soothe, heal and rejuvenate the skin.

Author: Mary Wank, Natural Skin Revival.