GLUTEN FREE Does Not Equal HEALTHY!

Just because a product is Gluten Free, doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

Granted cake isn’t going to be the most nutritious food you’re going to buy, but it doesn’t have to be practically void of nutrition!  Remember that the only carbohydrate foods you should be eating are those with a healthy fiber to carb ratio.

FORMULA:  Fiber x 10 should exceed total Carbs… the larger the difference, the better.Arrowhead cake

Let’s take a look at:

Arrowhead Mills Fudge Brownie Mix

This product is empty, empty calories:

  • The FIRST ingredient is SUGAR
  • The SECOND isn’t much better… RICE FLOUR (another simple carb to spike your blood sugar).. not even raising the bar an inch to Brown Rice Flour
  • And just in case you’re missing sugar about now, the FOURTH ingredients main feature is… what else?  SUGAR!

Seriously, is this a company you want to trust with your health?  Arrowhead Mills is banking on the Media-inspired belief that “Gluten Free” = Healthy.  Well I wish that were so, but no… that doesn’t make a product magically good for you.

They also miss the second boat by not even deigning to add a teeny weenie bit of FIBER to their product to slow down the glycemic effect of all the Sugar and White Flour…  Less than 1 gram!  You’ve got to be kidding.Arrowhead cake ingred

Ingredients: Organic evaporated cane syrup, rice flour, organic dutch cocoa powder, organic chocolate chips (organic cane sugar, organic chocolate liquor [contains traces of milk], organic cocoa butter, soy lecithin, organic vanilla), sea salt, leavening (monocalcium phosphate, baking powder).

I refuse to buy a carb-based product that offers less than 3 grams of fiber/serving.  Usually I’m looking for 4 -5 grams, and less than 30 grams of Carb.

So, put those glasses on  and read those labels!  Don’t let the food industry dictate to us what we eat, start dictating to THEM what you want on the shelf and in your family’s tummies.

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Another popular Gluten Free Company is:

Bob’s Red Mill

Bob's pizza mix 2

 

 

I like some of the organic flours they sell, and even one or two of their mixes.  Let’s take a look at the Pizza Crust Mix.

 

 

 

 

Bob's pizza mix

This product is not bad on protein, a bit high on sodium for 1 serving…almost acceptable Fiber to Carb ratio. The list of ingredients is respectable; they use whole grains for most of the flours. Sugars per serving are pretty good.

Since this is a base for pizza you can add the topping of your choice to influence the final nutritional content. For example, you can easily boost the fiber by including veggies, flax seeds, nuts or chia seeds.  A higher fiber to carb ratio is within reach.

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And one last product…

Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Pasta

It’s difficult to find pasta that’s going to meet our Good Carb Formula.  Pasta’s can’t be nice and smooth if you’re going to keep some of the grain intact in the flour.

So this product is exceptional, since most Pasta has 2 grams of fiber to 35+ grams of carb.  Here we have a respectable 4 grams of Protein, and 4 grams of Fiber to 40 Carb… just on the border.

Once again, you can boost the fiber easily by adding flax seeds, or vegetables to your pasta sauce. A dash of nutritional yeast couldn’t hurt.  😉

Be vigilant about ingredients in the packaged foods you buy.  Sometimes there are additions you would never expect, like wheat in Salad Dressing!  And please stay away from preservatives and food coloring, not only in your food but also in your cosmetics. PARABENS,  BHT, EDTA,  are in everything!

Read more here.

~ To Your Health!

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4 thoughts on “GLUTEN FREE Does Not Equal HEALTHY!

  1. Thanks SO much for a descriptive post showing us how to read these nutrition facts! If I’m not making it myself, I have a hard time getting a sense of the interplay between ingredients and how “healthy” an overall product is. This explanation really simplified assessing these labels.

    1. You’re most welcome Magic. I want to add a new favorite product called “Beanitos Black Bean Chips”. They also make a Pinto Bean version. Very yummy and 5 grams of Fiber to only 15 grams of carbs per serving. Awesome!

  2. Good to see you covering this! The whole “gluten free” food trend is a new marketing scheme disguised as a way to eat healthy… but the VAST majority of GF foods available are almost as damaging to health as their grainy counterparts. I’ll personally still stay away from the pasta because I also aim to keep my overall daily carbs low, but for those who aren’t being as restrictive, the Lundberg may be a good option.

    I would say that the GF craze is partially a case of too little information being a dangerous thing. If people only follow the media trends and don’t delve deeper into which foods heal and which cause harm, they can do a world of damage by eating GF. Bring on the whole, healthy foods!

    I’ve also tried the Beanitos… they taste great and I really enjoyed them, but legumes aren’t wonderful for me during digestion. If someone isn’t sensitive to beans (like my son) they are a great option!!

    1. Gretchen, you and I are on the same page. One can do what one can to enlighten others. I have a HUGE beef (or in my case ‘BEET’) with corporations that are allowed to launch marketing campaigns with little accountability for full disclosure or honesty! No one is looking out for our health, but US!

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