Here is a classic post from my old Wheat Belly Blog. I re-post it here because, despite all my ranting and raving over this issue, many people continue to believe that gluten-free processed foods are somehow healthy.
Eat more sugar!
You likely don’t agree that we should eat more sugar. Neither do I.
Then why is the gluten-free industry promoting foods that are worse than table sugar? Gluten-free foods are made with:
- Rice starch (or brown rice starch)
- Tapioca starch
- Potato starch
in place of wheat and gluten. People go gluten-free because of some real or perceived sensitivity to gluten, and they replace wheat and gluten with gluten-free foods. Big mistake. Go to the online retailers selling these products, for instance, and read the glowing reviews commenting on their baking characteristics, taste, or closeness to mimicking wheat products. These people are oblivious to the destructive health effects of these products. The one product shown above, for example, yields 112 net carbs per cup, the equivalent of 37 teaspoons of sugar.
Gluten-free processed foods made with these ingredients:
—Send blood sugar sky-high. From a blood sugar standpoint, wheat is bad. Few foods are worse for blood sugar than wheat–-except for gluten-free foods made with these junk carbohydrate ingredients.
—Cause insulin resistance–the fundamental process that leads to type 2 diabetes, coronary disease, obesity, and risk for dementia.
—Grow abdominal visceral fat–-the inflamed fat, expressed on the surface as a “muffin top,” that causes hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
—Trigger high triglycerides–-which thereby leads to formation of small LDL particles that cause heart attack
—Trigger the phenomena of glycation, i.e., glucose modification of proteins, that leads to cataracts, knee and hip arthritis, hypertension, and heart disease.
I’ve said this before, but I will say it again: Conventional gluten-free foods are a big mistake. NOBODY SHOULD EAT GLUTEN-FREE PROCESSED FOODS, at least as they are currently conceived. You shouldn’t eat gluten-free processed foods if you have celiac disease. You shouldn’t eat gluten-free processed foods if you have gluten-sensitivity. You shouldn’t eat gluten-free processed foods if you are trying to be wheat-free.
This causes confusion among many people. People with celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity need to avoid wheat and gluten sources (e.g., barley, rye, triticale, bulgur, oats), of course, but should not eat gluten-free junk carbohydrates.
What’s the point of avoiding wheat if you don’t have celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity? Many reasons:
1) You avoid the gliadin protein of wheat, the protein in wheat that, due to incomplete digestion, yields peptides that act as opioids on the opioid receptors of the brain, stimulating appetite and increasing calorie consumption by 440 calories per day. (Eliminate gliadin and calorie consumption drops by 440 calories per day.)
2) You avoid the lectin in wheat, wheat germ agglutinin, that is directly toxic to the intestinal tract and causes abnormal intestinal permeability that Trojan horse’s foreign substances into the bloodstream, causing multiple inflammatory diseases.
3) You avoid the amylopectin A of wheat, the “complex carbohydrate” that accounts for the fact that two slices of whole grain bread increases blood sugar higher than 6 teaspoons of table sugar.
4) You avoid the alpha amylase inhibitors that trigger wheat allergy, likely the trigger for the boom in wheat allergy among kids.
There’s more, but you get the idea. Wheat is a perfectly crafted poison to humans. Wheat is such an effective destroyer of human health that you’d think that, if terrorists wanted to bring America down, they wouldn’t fly airplanes into buildings. They would just feed us turkey sandwiches on multigrain bread.