Following a gluten-free diet has become one of the most popular health and weight loss tactics around. Avoid gluten and opt for all of the gluten-free options out there and you’re all set, right? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy – and we’re not talking about how “not easy” it is to avoid eating bread and butter. Many people fall victim to the gluten-free gimmick that turns out to be a not-so-healthy option.
What is the gluten-free gimmick?
The gluten-free gimmick is all in the marketing of the stores and brands that market their products as gluten free. When you see products that say “Gluten Free” on them and are clearly overpriced, it is common to think that the product must be good for you. Surely this overpriced bag of gluten-free chips is the healthiest option out there. Well, while they may not be lying to you, they aren’t exactly telling you the whole truth. The food industry has used their gluten-free tactics by replacing gluten with unhealthy, gluten-free junk-carbohydrates in their place. Thus, turning your “healthy” snack into a trail to diabetes.
What’s in my gluten-free food?
Just because the store or brand markets the food as gluten free, doesn’t mean it’s healthy! Before you purchase the food, check the ingredients on the back of the label. Many times brands will replace the gluten with junk-carbohydrates such as potato flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, and rice flour. All of these ingredients can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, dementia, and obesity. Doesn’t that sound like they’re replacing one problem with a much larger one?
Where can these junk-carbs be found?
These gluten replacements are often found in gluten-free bread, crackers, and pasta. Many of these are made with potato flour or rice flour that is guaranteed to raise your blood sugar – one of the common reasons for going gluten free in the first place.
What do I look for to guarantee it’s gluten free?
It is best just to avoid gluten products as a whole including: pasta, bread, noodles, baked goods, crackers, tortillas, cereal, and beer – just to name a few. If you are looking into the ingredients, lookout for wheat, barley, rye, malt, brewer’s yeast, and oats. To make things easier, if you are second-guessing an ingredient, it’s best to avoid even buying it. Overall, you must remember that going gluten free should be more of a lifestyle than a simple trend of cutting out certain foods. If you have a gluten-intolerance (celiac disease) or are just looking to lose a few pounds by cutting out gluten, living a healthy, grain-free life is the way to go. This eliminates the questionable ingredients all together.
What are my grain-free options?
While eliminating all grains seems like a tragedy, there are actually several options out there that look and taste great. Blogs such as Wheat Belly offer plenty of options that don’t sacrifice your taste or nutrition. Give a few recipes a try and you may be surprised at how good they are without the grain!