Many of us will often purchase gluten-free items, even though we don’t suffer from celiac disease. Gluten-free has become part of our lives over the past decade with the move away from heavy carb loaded diets. We have accepted that there are alternatives available for us to purchase that look and often taste like the carbs we are trying to avoid. But unfortunately, they can be a bad choice.

Gluten-free is not what it seems

The idea of replacing complex carbohydrates in our diet is a good one. However, it was never meant to go down the path of replacing them with heavily processed, preservative dense food. The idea was to fill our plates with fresh produce, fruits, and vegetables that are easily digested and leave us feeling full and energised without the bloat.

Let’s look at what gluten-free food from the supermarket looks like at the moment.

The products available for purchase have been created as an alternative to food that contains gluten. Such as pasta, biscuits, pizza bases, cereals, and bread. However, to create a product that looks and tastes like the original a whole lot of manipulation has to happen! Additives, preservatives, artificial colours, flavours, thickening agents, emulsifiers, nasty vegetable oils and a host of other ingredients are used to create that product you have just purchased under the pretence that it is good for us.

The best way to view what is happening is in this area is to compare it to the ‘fat-free’ craze. We all leapt on the low-fat yoghurt, low-fat milk, and low-fat cheese train when it came around. Thinking that we were making the healthier choice for ourselves and our families, unbeknown to us when the fat was removed a whole truckload of sugar and preservatives were added to replace the flavour that was lost. Now we know how wrong that was and thankfully we are going back to basics when it comes to fat.

This is the ‘fat-free’ craze all over again!

Reducing complex carbs is a positive as long as you are replacing them with fresh, natural and preferably organic alternatives.

Here are some ideas:
  • Spiralize zucchini as a pasta/noodle alternative, you can eat this raw, blanch it quickly or lightly fry in coconut oil. It tastes amazing and the kids will not notice!
  • Make pizza bases using homemade cauliflower rice, these basic recipes are everywhere, google one that suits your taste buds. They make the most satisfying meal and you don’t feel revolting if you have consumed the entire pizza.

If you feel the need to purchase gluten-free products, take a moment when you pick them up from the supermarket shelf and read the ingredients on the packet. A good rule of thumb is to never eat anything that you don’t recognise or that has a number. I bet you there are a whole bunch of unrecognisable ingredients and a handful of numbers.

The best gluten-free food free from ANY nasties is fresh organic produce. They are readily available, are safe, nutritious, delicious, and will satisfy your palate. Organic meats, eggs, dairy, poultry, fish, veggies, fruits, potatoes, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils are what we need to be buying. Also, there are naturally gluten-free grains such as quinoa and rice that make a wonderful addition to a balanced diet.

Time and time again we get confused as what is best for us and our families. The latest craze, advertising, and manufacturers managed to convince us that we need to move away from the basic way of eating healthy. We end up making a bad choice when we think it’s a good choice. When all we need to do is make the right natural choice, it’s that easy.

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