As I mentioned in my previous post, just because you are gluten-free does not necessarily mean you are eating a healthy diet. I have seen people gain weight and acquire a new set of health problems on a gluten-free diet. Adopting a gluten-free diet should be a change in lifestyle and eating habits. It is an opportunity to discover new foods and have a different relationship with food. It is not always easy initially but the long-term benefits are well worth it.
Tips for doing gluten-free right.
1. Start by cleaning out your kitchen. Stock up on organic fruits and vegetables. They are chock full of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that nourish your body. You are more likely to snack on fruits and vegetables instead of cookies if that is all you have at home. This is your opportunity to eat a whole foods diet.
2. Avoid or limit your intake of low nutritional carbohydrates such as potato starch, rice starch, corn starch and tapioca starch. These types of carbohydrates all contribute to excessive weight gain since they increase blood sugar. It is near impossible to bake gluten-free without using some kind of starch. This may be a great opportunity to introduce raw desserts into your diet.
2. It is ok to use nut flours like almond flour in moderation. Most nuts are high in omega 6 fatty acid and they contain phytic acid which can block the absorption of other minerals. More about phytic acid in a later blog.
3. Consider alternative flours such as: quinoa, sorghum, buckwheat, amaranth, coconut and teff. These are all nutrient dense as they provide protein, fibre and essential minerals and vitamins.
4. Rotate your diet. Try not to eat the same thing repeatedly. Food allergies/sensitivities develop as a result of repeated exposure to the same foods over a prolonged time period.
5. Get into the habit of reading labels. Just because it says gluten-free doesn’t mean it is healthy. Some gluten-free manufacturers load their products with sugar in addition to cheap starch. This wrecks havoc on your metabolism and endocrine system.
7. Stay away from packaged foods as much as possible. A gluten-free packaged bagel is just as detrimental to your health as a regular whole wheat bagel. Eat food in its natural state. Eat organic and local food as much as possible.
8. Remember to be kind and gentle to yourself. Adopting a gluten-free diet is not going to happen overnight. You have a lifetime of discovering delicious food and your philosophy and food attitude will most likely change as time goes by.
Please consult a licensed naturopathic physician if you have an ongoing medical condition. Food can be a powerful tool for self transformation and healing.
How has your health changed since becoming gluten-free?