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Will the Healthiest Flour Please Stand Up?

Recently it was brought to my attention that I made a rather large factual error in my post Gluten Free is Not Healthy. You see, in this post I claimed:

Gluten free goods are generally made with ingredients such as rice, corn, potatoes, sorghum, tapioca and millet, which are higher in carbohydrates and lower in protein and other nutrients than wheat flour.

I apologize, as I did make a mistake in claiming that sorghum is not as healthy as wheat flour itself. Sorghum is not higher in carbs and lower in protein as I claimed, as you can see in the tables below.

Nutrition facts from: Self Nutrition Data

Those who addressed my mistake, also helped me crystallize my point, which is that grains are not a nutrient dense food when compared to meat, nuts and vegetables. I don’t eat grains. I’ve been entirely grain free since 2001.

Nutrition facts from: Self Nutrition Data

Sorghum flour and wheat flour have a similar protein to carbohydrate ratio of 1:7. Sorghum flour is actually the winner when it comes to glycemic load.

However, take a peek at the table below. As you can see, almonds have a protein to carbohydrate ratio of 1:1 and a glycemic load of 0. Far superior to both wheat and sorghum.

There are many ways to look at nutrients. Addressing nutrition from the perspective of a carbohydrate to protein ratio is merely one very simplistic and myopic way. However, as someone with celiac, this type of analysis is critical because celiac and diabetes ride on the same gene. For this reason, I make a point of controlling my carbohydrate intake and making sure that any carbs I eat are slowed down by either protein or good fats.

Nutrition facts from: Self Nutrition Data

To make things even more complex, let’s consider the protein to carbohydrate ratio of broccoli. It is 1:2, not as good as almond flour, yet far better than grains. However, I’ll take my broccoli over almonds any day. And then there are folks who can’t eat raw broccoli because of thyroid issues. But that’s a topic for another post entirely. I think you get the idea. Nutrition is complex.

My point? I wrote the post Gluten Free is Not Healthy to illustrate that fads can’t automatically make certain unhealthy foods healthy again, and that junk food is still junk even if it’s gluten free. I stand by that idea.

Finally, I want to thank you for your delightful comments, whether they agreed with my point or took it to task.

I am grateful for the respectful tone in which so many criticisms were made. The point of this blog is to provide information and conduct a positive and lively dialogue –that is the type of discusion that I will continue to encourage, and with which I will continue to directly engage on both Twitter and Facebook.


posted on July 19, 2012

63 comments leave a comment

  1. Betsy

    I agree that grains are not nutrient dense and I personally refuse to consume them. However, I really believe people should limit their omega six intake from nuts, vegetable oils, grain fed meat etc., particularly if dealing with autoimmune issues as these can really throw off your O6;O3 ratios, resulting in inflammation, which is the root of all disease.

    • Amy

      In my work as a nutrition counsellor I often explain to people that going gluten free and continuing to eat grain-flour-based foods often results in an increased glycemic load and the problems associated with that unhealthy change. (Sorghum is rarely the main ingredient in gluten-free flour-based foods. Most often it is corn or rice.)

      Eating well is so much easier than we want to believe it is.

      Simply put, eat only food that you could eat just as you would find it in nature. People don’t realize how processed even “whole grains” are. (If you can wade into a wheat field and chow down on tassles, or into a rice paddy and munch away, then go for it.)

      Bring home only real food that appears just as it would in nature, that has been grown with it’s natural nutrients and protections, and that has not been subjected to unnatural chemicals that it would not encounter in nature.

      Bring home only animal food that has itself eaten it’s own natural food and lived it’s own natural lifestyle, without added chemicals.

      Once you have that real, natural food home, prepare it!

      That is all we need to do to bear healthy children. That is all we need to do to maximize our own health status. Because we now know about epigenetics, we know how to correct the health problems that plague our most recent generations. The problem is that we don’t have the collective will to get it done.

    • Hi Kate,

      Fat alone certainly does not make you fat. For some reason, we have been trained to look at the fat content of food to estimate if it is healthy or not. Foods higher in fat do generally have more calories, but the main problem is empty carbs and sugars. I think it is so ridiculous when I see candy being advertized as low-fat to seem healthier. The sugar will just be stored as fat in your body. I think it is important to note that in other languages, different words are used for the fats found in food and when describing a person who is overweight. It is a bit deceptive to use the same word for both meanings, as they are completely different!

    • Ally

      I agree with you & have started only baking with coconut flour and squash based recipes. :)

    • Shelly

      Wow I didn’t know this thanks.

  2. I don’t understand why high fat content is more desirable than high carbohydrate content. Don’t all of the fats make you fat?

    • Hi, Kate~
      In response to your question about fats…
      I know it seems counterintuitive but you will actually lose more weight and be healthier by cutting carbs and eating more lean fats and proteins.
      Some carbs can be very healthy, but unfortunately even food items marked “whole wheat” or “whole grain” usually are NOT in fact “whole” and in most cases not very healthy.
      It has to do with the science of the glycemic index and how your body processes different kinds of foods, especially simple carbs (primarily sugary and refined white flour foods).
      A good place to start is to read the original South Beach Diet book, by renowned cardiologist, Arthur Agatston. There is tons of information on this subject, but this is the one I am most familiar with.
      Since February, I have changed my lifestyle to a South Beach lifestyle and lost 30 pounds in the process. I also discovered I feel much healthier when I do not eat wheat and gluten containing products, since they make me bloated and just generally uncomfortable.
      Hope this helps, Kate!

      • Lisa

        My diet is 40-45% fat, only from animal fats, coconut oil, avocadoes and olive oil. 25% carbs (mostly veggies and moderate fruit)- no grains. I am healthier than I have ever been, and have 20% body fat (I am female) and fabulous bloodwork. Go Paleo – you won’t regret it. But first, you have a lot of “ünlearning” to do. Biggest health lie ever is that fat makes you fat. CARBS especially grains and sugar are making us fat and sick.

        http://www.marksdailyapple.com/saturated-fat-healthy/#axzz216YfhfCf

    • Amy

      No, absolutely not. Fat does not make you fat. And in many cases, the opposite is true. The “fat enemy” is industrial seed oils – the stuff that comes in bottles at the grocery store – that have been heat processed, and the reasons are many. Fat that comes with the food it’s attached to, whether it’s an avocado or properly-raised, grass-fed beef, is healthy.

      For those who want to eat a varied diet that includes all the food groups, whether to lose weight or not, I highly recommend Michael Aziz’s book The Perfect 10 Diet. Dr. Aziz is a medical scientist who relies only on clinical research, not on the “observational studies” masquerading as science that so much of the “natural” or “vegan” movement references.

      Also, Dr. Aziz is not telling you never to eat grains, or meat or whatever, he is simply explaining what we know without a doubt happens in our bodies hormonally when we eat certain foods and additives, and what happens when we don’t eat them. After reading this book, you will be able to identify your own challenges, and know what you should eat, how you should prepare it, how often you should eat it, and even when you should eat it!

      The first three chapters are the most accessible writing about what our grain-based diet (including feeding grains to animals) has done to our health that I have seen anywhere, although he doesn’t really frame it that way. Further, the way we treat the animals in our food production chain has negatively impacted our health.

      In this book, Dr. Aziz does not talk much about gluten sensitivity, which is a disease that plagues our society and leads to many other food sensitivities and chronic illnesses. He is talking about the relationship between food and hormones. If you are gluten sensitive, you need to sort that our for yourself.

      In my view, every woman in the western world needs to read this book.

      The real ugly truth that no one wants to say out loud is that we are not all the same, in fact, far from it. There simply is no one diet that is best for everyone. We all have to be our own diet detectives.

  3. As someone living with autoimmune disorders related to thyroid problems, I’m astounded that my doctor has never once mentioned anything about nutrition. Then again, I am looking for a new doctor.

    Thank you for being a source of education for those of us who might not get it from the health care professionals we rely on.

    • Tiffany McCullough @ None

      Lisa, You may have a difficult time finding an Alopathic doctor that knows anything about nutrition as they are not taught about nutrition in medical school. I’ve had good luck with a homeopathic doctor in my small town and maybe that’s where to begin looking for a new doctor.

    • Carla

      I’ve only had good experiences with Natropathic Doctors when it comes to learning about nutrition, healing foods, food intolerance, etc. Like Tiffnay mentioned, most Alopathic doctors are not taught nutrition in medical school. If they are, most of what they learn is not accurate anyway.

    • Cate Mattison

      I have auto-immune thyroid disease and have (had) been struggling with my steadily increasing weight. I asked my Endocrinologist what I needed to do, and he said: Eat Less. A calorie is a calorie. You’re a Prius now(menopausal), so you need less gas.

      Then I went on the South Beach diet in April, and have been wheat free ever since. I’ve lost nearly 20 pounds so far. I’ve been going closer and closer to Paleo. I find that it’s been helping. I’m interested in seeing what my blood work is the next time I go to the doc!

  4. Erin Witt

    I found your site when trying to reduce “BAD” carbs while satisfying sweet cravings while pregnant. Being totally against artificial sweeteners, I started using your recipes to bake treats and make healthier breakfasts. I just want to say you and your site have been a complete inspiration to me. I would like you to know that one person CAN make a difference in the life of many others, and you have definitely made a huge, positive difference in mine, my husbands, and our unborn child’s life. I bought both of your books and I sincerely hope you have the energy to continue your work that is so vital for so many of us. You are awesome, and I want you to know that you are appreciated! Thank you so much!

    • MamaCassi

      yeah- totally nailed it!

      I’ve had 4 lovely healthy pregnancies, the last 2 sugar free, and all mostly grain-free (for the last 9 years), and Elana’s recipes have opened up the door for treats for our family. I grind my own almonds and use natural sweeteners, and found for the first time that my ‘cheating’ was a delight and not a pain. I end up here every time I start looking for pregnancy/breastfeeding foods that are good for me and my children.

      That and I’ve been able to encourage other mothers and help them naturally treat gestational diabetes, digestive disorders, and provide healthy treats for their kids from this site. Anytime anyone’s looking for good gluten-free baking, this is the only blog/site I follow and can honestly recommend b/c of the no grain, nutrient dense, natural approach to delicious foods.

      And Elana’s recipes are 1000x easier than traditional gluten-free baking, and more affordable, and all-around better. My life and my family’s and all those we share life with have benefited from this wonderful resource and Elana’s wisdom and generosity!

    • Patty

      I totally agree with what you’ve written, Erin Witt. You said it all for so many of us who are Elana’s admirers. I am totally impressed with the amazing Elana. Luckily for all of us, Elana is helping so many to be more diligent about our food intake. We are blessed in that we are able to learn from such a talented lady. Thank you so much Elana! Although I do not have an apparent health issue, I am now eating gluten-free by choice. I follow a super diet which is so very tasty and fun to prepare for myself and my family. Kudos to Elana!

  5. robin in Washington

    Hi Elana,

    Thanks for correcting your error. I did not catch it myself, but I respect your views even more because you are willing to correct an error. When I read your original post, I did come away with your original intent–just because it’s gluten free does not make it healthy for you. My husband is celiac and a total carbaholic. Thanks to you and others on the internet and in books, I’ve found a couple of recipes that my husband loves and hopefully has enough protein to offset the carbs. I haven’t gotten technical with it yet–but someday. Thank you for sharing your brains, experience, research and everything else that you do and share with us. I appreciate it. I didn’t know that the diabetes and celiac ride on the same gene. I guess I need to relook at what we do and see how/if I need to do it better!

  6. Sylvia

    Thank you! I loved that you pointed all this out. I recently am gluten-free due to an auto-immune thyroid issue. You have many great ideas and recipes. I’m excited to try them. Thank you!

  7. Chris

    Absolutely adore you Elana. Respect is the name of the game. No one knows it all. Together we can put all the pieces together and still be wrong but figure it out down the road. :)

    Thanks for providing great info, alternatives and delicious recipes!

  8. heidi

    I didn’t read the comments about the gluten-free bashing article, but I’m wondering if anybody also read this article about nuts/almonds by well-known paleo guy Mark Sisson http://www.marksdailyapple.com/nuts-and-phytic-acid/#axzz217aqaLww

    h

  9. Arlene

    Hi Elana,

    Just want to say you provide a tremendous service and I thoroughly enjoy your personality that speaks clearly through all you write. Your books are so well done – well organized, beautiful pictures, full of clear explanations and much more. Thank you for the delicious recipes and the joy of your presence on each page.

  10. Moriah

    Elana, what integrity you’ve shown to correct a mistake-a mistake I didn’t even catch because I caught the point you were making. Thx 4 everything you do!!!

  11. cheryl

    Elana,
    You are a wonderful inspiration and all-round fantastic gal!

    Celiac genes track with type 1 diabetes. Not type 2. While we’re not sure what causes Type 1, it’s not obesity related, like 80+% of type 2 is. There are some thoughts that type 2 may be related to an infection and some suspect wheat may be somewhat of a trigger, but largely, we don’t know what causes it. It isn’t related to the amount of sugar consume, glycemic index or the like.

    This may sound like nitpicking, and that’s not my intent. The only reason it’s significant is that you reach such a broad audience. I do see type 2 diabetics going gluten-free essentially as a fad to help with their diabetes, and generally it backfires, as you pointed out in your last post.
    Thanks again.

    • Paige, RD CDE in training

      I agree with Cheryl, time for another facts correction if we may.
      Stating that diabetes is linked with celiac is too broad a statement. There are many many types and reasons for diabetes. Type , Type 2, type 1.5, MODY, LADA, Gestational onset,and more…. People hear the word “Diabetes” and think of overweight or the elderly without knowing that more than likely they are picturing Type 2 in their heads. Type 2 ( 95% of Diabetes cases are this type) is usually a result of genetic predisposition and nutritional neglect. but not all overweight people are diabetic and many type two diabetics have never been overweight.
      Type 1 is autoimmune just like Celiac,lupus, ms, rheumatoid arthritis, some thyroid disorders, etc. Autoimmune is just unfortunate bad luck for most.( possibly strep throat gone wrong, environmental factors, we still don’t know what causes it) for some it’s a strong genetic link too.
      But if you have the antibodies that are shutting down your insulin producing cells in your pancreas, there is no amount of low glycemic foods you can eat to stop that process. Antibodies don’t care about your blood glucose level and are not triggered into action by it.
      Many autoimmune diseases do “cluster” that is why, as elana stated, you see so many type 1 diabetics with celiac.( My son was diagnosed with both at the age of 3) but since we don’t know what causes it,then we can’t prevent it.
      So yes, eat low glycemic foods, stay active, stay healthy, don’t carry around more fat than is good for you and you will be on your way to preventing type 2 diabetes :)

  12. I’ve never been a big carbs fan, and find the highly-processed gluten-free flours mainly empty calories. Only on the rare occasion will I use GF-free flour mixes instead of almond flour, such as when baking a once-a-year special cake that requires the lightness cake flour can give.

    After all, one of the reasons old European traditions involve fruitcakes and sweets as holiday gifts is because refined sugars and flours were expensive and hard to come by. Such ingredients were never staples.

    Give me almond and coconut flour, veggies and proteins, any day :)

  13. I think you’re fantastic and appreciate all your hard work and research into keeping me healthy! I have been able to eat whatever I want and have never had an issue until my late thirties. Suddenly with a the birth of my second son I could not recover. After 2 1/2 years of various doctors making me feel like I was crazy and wanting me to take pill after pill, I found one who spent a lot of time getting to the bottom of it. Being told in one day that you have to completely change your way of life was overwhelming and for a second I thought being sick would be easier! If not for your blog and cook books, and your references to the Spunky Coconut I would still be starving to not be sick! I know it’s hard to have a blog and try all the new recipes, but I REALLY apprecaite it!

  14. Deborah Penner @ optimun-wellbeing.net

    Thank you again!!! You’ve inspired me to full on do it and eliminate grains.

  15. Nenah Sylver @ rifehandbook.com

    I find the glycemic index only minimally useful. Below are four paragraphs from my book, The Rife Handbook of Frequency Therapy and Holistic Health.

    —begin quote—
    The glycemic index, invented in 1981 by two researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada, presumably addresses this very issue. The index classifies high carbohydrate foods according to how fast they raise glucose and insulin levels in the blood. Foods that raise blood glucose levels quickly have a high glycemic value, and are considered unsuitable for blood sugar control. Foods that raise blood glucose levels slowly have a low glycemic score, and are considered desirable for blood sugar control. At the very low end of the scale are animal proteins, which contain virtually no carbs. Non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, leafy greens and zucchini are also low-carb. As one might expect, grains, beans, fruits, and root vegetables (like potatoes and carrots) load the system with easily absorbed sugars, as do concentrated sweeteners.

    The problem is, the glycemic index system is abused. First, different databases give radically different advice as to what’s low carb/low glycemic. According to the Official Website of the Glycemic Index and Database (note the authoritative tone implied by the word “official”),
    “High is 70 and above; medium is 56 to 69; low is 55 and under.” Not surprisingly, we are encouraged to enjoy grains and noodles. Another website encourages the drinking of wine and beer–even though alcohol is a very rapidly metabolized carbohydrate (which is why people are supposed to drink slowly). Since grains and liquor score high on the glycemic index, one way to make them more acceptable is to raise the baseline for a low score. But reassigning starchy foods to the more desirable “low GI” category does not fool the body into
    assimilating them differently. For many people, foods in even the 30 to 50 range can produce insulin and blood sugar spikes. This is why the more sedate Harvard School of Public Health database states: “In general, a glycemic load of 20 or more is high, 11 to 19 is medium, and 10 or under is low.” If you liked to eat carbs, which database
    would you prefer using?

    Another problem with the glycemic index is its lack of precision. Numerous studies show that blood glucose levels from a food can vary, depending on how the food is cooked or prepared, whether it’s eaten mashed or whole, and whether the targeted food is consumed with fats and proteins (which reduce the GI of the targeted food). These are too many variables for the GI to be of much use!

    Moreover, most people don’t realize that controlling blood sugar via insulin levels is only one aspect of managing weight. Another aspect is reactivity to specific foods. Elsewhere in this chapter I discuss the systemic damage that grains and fruit can cause in sensitive people. In light of this information, one must wonder: whose interests are these glycemic index databases serving?
    —end quote—

    Just something to think about….

  16. Rita

    You hit the nail on the head with this one statement…”junk food is still junk even if it’s gluten free”!

  17. trudy vanoosten

    Hi Elana…. I really enjoy your blog and will continue to view it. I have ordered your books and look forward to getting them.

    I have a question about gluten free….Is wheat grass powder or barley powder consistered gluten free???

    I look forward to your answer… either direct or through your blog.

    thank you

  18. Christina

    Thank you for your information. Nutrition/diet certainly IS confusing. There are so many differing opinions that exist, especially for those of us with autoimmune issues. Choices are cegan, raw vegan, paleo, etc. Meta, no meta. Carbs, no carbs. Someone with IBS should eat soluble fiber (including grains) to help with IBS symptoms of diarrhea and constipation (according to help for ibs.com). I am SO confused. All I know is that I have gotten to where even eating food “scares me as I wonder if it is contributing to my fibro/ Hashimoto’s, pain, etc. And, not knowing what to eat. I just read today it is ok to eat chicken, pork, etc. (chinese medicine) if a person is too yang (heat in body) , but not beef. In the blood type diet chicken for type B is a no-no. So, again, what the heck does one eat? And for me, I am looking for health AND trying to gain healthy weight. (I dropped 100 pounds, not on purpose in 10 months). Anyway…everyone has an opinion. And, it is making me nuts. Speaking of nuts…. which I LOVE – no nuts for someone with autoimmune illness? Oh brother!

  19. Lindsay @ honeyhoneys.com

    I found your site when I was at my wits end. I had given birth to my second baby and found out I had post partum thyroiditis because of having undiagnosed Hashimoto’s. I was trying to cut everything out so that I would feel better, because I was feeling awful, and it wasn’t easy. I never knew things like almond flour and coconut flour existed until I discovered your site! I never knew how much I could love to bake! I’ve been grain free ever since and feel so much better. I love baking and my family loves the recipes I’m always trying out. You and your site have been an inspiration to me as well! I will continue to use almond flour. I’m not planning on eating a dozen cookies or muffins a day so I don’t see a problem with it. Thanks for all of your hard work and great recipes!!

  20. Tabitha

    Wow, Debbie. I thought I was fine until my third baby was born (at the time, my age 34), too. I had an allergic reaction to some part of the epidural process (my 1st and last epidural) and thought I must’ve gotten a bad flu bug at the hospital. A few months after the baby, I learned I couldn’t process gluten anymore (or maybe it was always a problem). Then had issues a few months layers with all grains and pseudocereals. Elana’s site saved me from living on Larabars, proteins, fruits and veggies. She provided a way to eat well without digestive distress. I also met some other grain free bloggers through her. Elana, you are right. It’s still junk food even if it is gluten free. The path to healing points to eating foods closer to their natural states; the opposite of swapping gluten filled processed food for gluten free processed food. I can feel my blood circulation change when I have “safe” grains. It was bad enough giving up gluten, but I flat out panicked when I learned the other grains were problematic for me, too. Elana was the biggest encouragement for me and my grain-intolerant baby. Thank you, Elana.

  21. Terry

    I am grateful for you wonderful recipes and informative blog. Unfortunately, my signifIcant nut allergy prohibits my baking with or using almond flour/almond milk.

    • Christina

      May I ask – how do you know you are allergic to nuts? Through a specific type of “testing”? Or, elimination diet? Those are hard to determine for me because something you eat one day can delay a reaction for 3 or 4 days, so it is difficult to tell… Thank you.

  22. Jane

    this is good info. . thanks so much,
    one new question: I just found out I’m allergic to almonds.Is there another nut I can use to bake my amazing muffins, cookies, etc?
    thanks

    • Amanda

      Try Garbanzo Bean Flour (if it’s a healthier alternative to those mentioned by Elana up top). I use it without adding other flours to it, but do have to modify recipes a bit (like more applesauce or coconut oil).

  23. Karen

    Ok…you can’t bring up a topic and not explain. Why no broccoli for people with thyroid issues?

    • Christina

      Karen,
      You can have broccoli and other cruciferous veges, but they should be
      steamed or cooked to get rid of the goitrogenic properties (that can
      affect the thyroid and block the release of the hormones from it). You can find info about goitrogenic foods on the internet, but don’t get dismayed or scared. Cooking helps. So does not consuming broccoli everyday , seven days a week… Hope this helps.

    • Nicole

      A really simple answer is that broccoli is a goitogenic food which means it can negatively affect your thyroid if you have thyroid functioning issues (google goitogenic foods for more info). When cooked, the goitogenic properties are reduced. A bonus is that most vegetables, when cooked and paired with a healthy fat, have more nutrients available to your body.

  24. Tamika

    Elana,
    Thank you for providing the facts. I sincerely appreciate the education you provide through your blog. Keep up the good work!
    Tamika

  25. Elana Daley @ conceptsintraining.com

    Elana-

    When I first became introduced to your blog it was 5 years ago. Sam was starting to eat solid food and I was making homemade babyfood from the fresh veggies we live on. It was cost effective and easy but more importantly it was healthy.

    When I started researching and learning about gluten free living my reasons were purely to maximize my food. In other words a muffin made with almond flour was far superior nutritionally than one made with wheat/white flour. I was able to go on a run or swim, eat a muffin, and feel good about my consumption mentally and physically. My glycemic reaction was nullified and it tasted so much better.

    While I do not suffer celiac, I cannot consume dairy and have been caseine allergic from birth. Many of your gluten free recipes do not require dairy products which made it even more enticing and easy to make the change.

    I now have a colletion of gluten free recipe books and have researched and continue to research and play with a variety of bread recipes. Yes, many call for ingredients like white rice, but experimenting and playing with recipes is a passion so I attempt substitutions as I have done with many of your recipes.

    It’s a welcomed relief and hopeful future to know you have broadened my foodie experience and my family’s and my community’s. More and more local coffee shops are serving gluten free products and their eduction is broadened because you inspired and educated so many of us.

    Keep it up, Elana. We share the same name and the same passion for food perhaps for different reasons. The process and outcome are all great. You are truly my inspiration.

    Thank you very much,
    Elana Daley

  26. Amanda

    I’m very grateful to have stumbled onto your site, Elana! I have been gluten free for 3 years and still struggle with feeling very tired, bad skin, and daily nausea so I’ve done research into being grain free. I think it’s a right fit for me, as it’s been 2 months and I’m beginning to feel a difference.

    My comment / question is about Garbanzo Bean Flour: do you (or anyone) have experience using it to bake/cook with? I really enjoy using just garbanzo bean flour and not combining other flours with it. The “bean” smell goes away during cooking, and the only thing I’d say is different is that it makes food much more dense. I hope it’s a healthy alternative to the potato/rice/corn/etc flours that usually make me sick! Thanks for your dedicated work on this site!

  27. Lelsie

    All your comments are very informative and helpful…Thank You and keep up the Good Work!

  28. Linda

    Thank You for all you do :))

  29. Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy @ glutenfreehappytummy.com

    what an interesting post! i’ve been loving almond flour lately!

  30. Fantastic post. I’ve been solidly grain free for a few months now (though with a few slip ups). I’ve been fighting candida, so the best way to me seemed to just go Paleo. I love your recipes!

  31. Excellent information. I will pass this with my page.

  32. stephanie

    I just looked up brown rice pasta on the glycemic index and was horrified to find it was 92. I might as well eat ice cream. It must change the way it metabolizes in your system once you grind up the outer coating of the rice. I have gained weight since being gluten free. I really try to “not” eat many products that are gluten free-they are ridiculously expensive and also are not healthy overall.

  33. Amy

    I agree with you, Elana. Processed foods just aren’t worth it. I feel so much better since I’ve gone gluten free, and one of unexpected outcomes is that my appetite for sweetness/sugar has greatly decreased. I don’t crave candy or ice cream, whereas I used to crave them often.

    Even a simple pitcher of cold water with cucumber slices is so much more appealing than juice or soda.

  34. sandy

    Thank you Elana for sharing what you have learned along your life’s journey. I have a few autoimmune issues as well as type 2 diabetes. Upon diagnosis of the diabetes I began searching for low carb wheat flour alternatives after going through the diabetes education program offered by my local hospital. Needless to say the nutritionist had little to offer when I asked about replacing wheat flour.I began thinking about what celiac sufferers do, how do they deal with this hurdle of wheat flour(obviously for different reasons)I was thrilled to find your sight as well as a few others. I have since lost 100 lbs, astounded my dr. and diabetes team with my glucose control(in less than a year). I go to diabetes education classes and share food, recipes and information on flour alternatives. The nutritionist still scratches her head as to how I have done so on such a high calorie and fat content diet, but she is all for it. I encourage everyone to think outside the box and also to think for ones self.Find what works best. I also stumbled upon the paleo diet concept about the same time. My diet resemble it greatly(I have yogurt and cheese which is not true paleo). So thank you for sharing and giving me facts to chew on and recipes to try.

  35. Lisa

    Thanks Elana for pointing out that gluten free /= healthy.

    I think we get into a lot of trouble because we use “diet” to mean both “what you eat” (whether or not you have a plan) and “a food plan meant to make you lose weight.” Similarly, “fat” is both a term for something that naturally or unnaturally exists in the food we eat and for being overweight.

    It’s not all that surprising that many people hear “gluten-free diet” in the same way they hear “South Beach Diet” or “grapefruit diet.”

    Gluten-free, grain-free, nightshade-free (to name a few) are all dietary components that work for some people to reduce certain health issues. And none of them are inherently healthy, even if you’re a person that they work for, as illustrated by my last night’s dinner of raw ginger snap cookies and passionfruit sorbet.

  36. Christina

    Elana, is your “diet” more GAPS, then Paleo? And, what is the basic difference of both if anyone knows please? Thank you!

  37. Donna Whitesel

    Hi. I just purchased your Almond Flour Cookbook in hopes of making my grandson some “grandma-made” treats. I went to Whole Foods, bought Bob’s Red Mill almond meal/flour, but now I’m worried it’s wrong for these recipes! Meal vs flour. Can you you assist?
    Grandma Donna

  38. I love this post! Gluten-free is not a weight-loss diet; it is a necessity for those who are intolerant of gluten. A gluten-free donut is still a donut.

    To Donna: I don’t know if anyone responded to your post but almond flour and almond meal are basically interchangeable but almond meal is a bit coarser and oilier than almond flour. If you use almond meal instead of almond flour, your treats will probably be a little denser.

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  40. Theo

    Hi Elana: Using wheat flour as a benchmark (per 1oz) with 1:7 protein/carb ratio & GL of 14. Your Bread 2.0 recipe calls for almost a cup of arrowroot flour (a GL flour)in adjunct with the almond flour. Looking at nutritional profile of arrowroot flour (per 1oz), there are no proteins, 25g of carbohydrate & a GL score of 17 (3pts higher than wheat flour).See link below. The GL for (1oz) sugar is 15. The $64K question: As a healthier alternative to wheat flour, even though arrowroot flour is GF, is it the ‘lesser’ of the 2 evils?

    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5677/2

    Theo

    • Elana, I agree with your idea that almond is the healthiest, but I am finding out that cheaper as well as healthy alternative.

      HOWEVER, In all my research I have found NutritionData.self.com to be in error NUMEROUS times in BOTH conversion calculator to different sizes as well as the data as compared to the USDA. Since they were bought out Self, they seem to make all their advertisers and sponsors look suddenly better :)

      If you do not wish to look an idiot, PLEASE do not go by that incorrect information.

      Also if you will notice, most nutritional studies are based om 100g serving size, which is then easier to compare apples to apples.

      For your information, Gluten allergies do not exist scientifically. There is a such thing as wheat allergies, and gluten sensitivities. “Sorghum” IS a healthy alternative with very little know sensitivities or allergies. ALSO OAT flour is a cheap healthy fantastic alternative … as ell as easy to swap out.

      Oat is Low GL (11), gluten Free, low inflammatory index, easily obtained (can be made from ground rolled oats), cheap, almost as white as wheat flour (so can deceive kids) virtually tasteless, almost a 1-for-1 swap in many recipes. EASY to swap for flour in rue, gravies and thickeners in soups or sauces. A ACTUALLY HEALTHY RUE IS OAT FLOUR AND COCONUT OIL! Can be used with nut flours to make a smoother, lighter, and less obvious that it is a NUT-bread.

      Although a little more expensive than oat flour, sorghum is also low GL (14),gluten Free, non-wheat related, low inflammatory, and EXTREMELY low in problems with allergies.

      BOTH sorghum AND oats flour is FAR LOWER glycemic load as well as lower on the inflammatory index than ANY RICE PRODUCT — INCLUDING BROWN RICE! These are two “grains”that are far healthier in every way than rice. Not quite sure why so many people use such an unhealthy product and call it healthy?

      Potato flour is also another unhealthy food in all ways as compared to these “grains.” Need to make sure that when people SWAP they do it for a MORE healthy food rather than worse.

      Healthier STARCH SWAP OUT: Corn starch has MANY draw backs, as grain(corn) higher GL, ZERO fiber, higher on the inflammatory index than arrowroot … so therefor a good swap out. Potato starch is even worse than corn starch.

      Keep in mind most readers are poor and unable to afford higher priced flours and any healthier swap-out for wheat is a step up.

    • THEO,
      Oops on the last message left it to the wrong person LOL

      I acknowledge that much arrowroot flour is a bad choice (although better than cornstarch).

      As far as the carb/protein ratio, many people do not realize that oat flour has a higher ratio than white wheat flour … plus it has mare fiber, lower GL and lower inflammatory rating. It would have been FAR healthier if she used oat flour instead as well as lower GL AND lower on the inflammatory index.

      When grains and flours are so close, the deciding factor has to be the inflammatory index, and the inflammatory index on wheat and corn is FAR HIGHER than alternatives like oat, sorghum, etc.

  41. Theo

    P.S. (GL flour)GF flour.

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