Gluten-free Food for Thought

Today started off with Teff pancakes from a recipe in Bob’s Red Mill Baking Cookbook.  Teff is a very tasty gluten-free grain and the pancakes are always yummy, especially when they get cooked in coconut oil.  But my tummy didn’t seem to appreciate them, after a while I got a pretty bad stomach ache.  I’ve had them before and not had to much of a problem, but sometimes my body is more sensitive than at other times, I guess this may have been one of those sensitive days.

The thing is, it may not be the teff  that bugged me but the large quantity of baking powder that goes into them to get them to raise.  I know that my body would prefer to be completely leavening free but I don’t adhere to its wishes on that completely.  The times are getting rarer, though, when I will have something with baking powder or baking soda.  Not having gluten hardly ever (I’m really not supposed to have it at all on the anti-candida diet) leaves me with only gluten free baking options and they leave much to be desired.  Most recipes call for things I don’t consider whole foods like xanthum gum and often several cups of various starches and only a little whole gluten-free grain.  I don’t care to eat a bunch of stuff, when I can eat so little as it is, that is basically junk food.

A woman I know recently told me that she finally figured out that that gluten-free bread she was eating wasn’t good for her, and she was probably right if it was like many gluten-free breads I have seen on the market.  Gluten-free doesn’t mean healthy and nourishing.  Whole cooked gluten-free grains and seeds are certainly healthy and those teff pancakes really aren’t that bad either.

Gluten-free can be healthy, but it can also just be another form of junk food and empty calories.  For those who really care about their health it would be a good idea to be certain which version they’re consuming on a regular basis.  So often when I pick up gluten-free products and look at the ingredients list I see a lot of sugars and fillers.  That’s sad.  Especially for people with serious health conditions that require them to be gluten-free.  Conditions that are often related to the intestines and can make absorption of nutrients very difficult, meaning what ever they are eating should be as packed with nutrients as possible.

Gluten-free is a big business these days and as with any business there will be those that are out there just to make a buck, not necessarily producing things with our best health interests in mind.   That’s up to each of us to decide if what we are putting into our bodies is really what our bodies need for us to thrive.  I for one want to thrive.

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2 responses to “Gluten-free Food for Thought

  1. My sister is experimenting with GF eating, and I may get to that, myself, someday. But I think you’re right – it’s becoming a big business and therefore, there are a lot of nutritional minefields we have to learn to identify!

  2. Hello Maurie! So good to hear from you and find your blog! I also try to practice gluten free / wheat free living and at first I was amazed at all the new products coming out on the market. But after awhile I mostly started ignoring them for that very reason – they are just another label on packaged junk food!
    Overall I tend to do better when I’m eating healthy well balanced plates full of veggies and simple proteins. Mmmm =)

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