Gluten free. Don't make this mistake

Eating Gluten Free? – Don’t Make this Mistake! 16

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Eating gluten free? – Don’t make this mistake!  

So why do people ditch the gluten?

  1. The first group is those with the very serious celiac disease. Celiac disease is thought to be an autoimmune disorder and eating gluten is detrimental.

2. The second group is those with a sensitivity to gluten. The symptoms can be in varying degrees of severity. The sensitivity is often manifest in joint pains. Removing gluten from the diet results in joint inflammation settling down giving much relief.

3. The third group is the silent sufferers who do not know why they are chronically feeling unwell. They try many things and going gluten free is one thing they feel is worth trying. It may not be gluten.  To this group I would say, don’t give up seeking a solution to your problems.  I have a link to a video at the end of this post to help expand your knowledge.

A healthy balanced gluten free diet. Eating gluten free? - Don't make this mistake!

A healthy balanced gluten free diet. Eating gluten free? – Don’t make a common mistake!

Where does gluten come from?

Gluten comes from three grain sources, rye, wheat, and barley.  Related variations of those grains e.g. kumut and spelt, belong to the wheat family, and also contain gluten.  These grains find their way into most processed foods.

There is no gluten in proteins like meat and eggs. Also, fats, fruit, and vegetables do not contain gluten.

Eating gluten free – Don’t make this mistake!

The mistake often made when eliminating gluten from the diet  –

Is to think – because the recipe or packet says Gluten Free that it is going to be good for you.

The danger lies in the fact that many of the ingredients used to substitute the gluten ones are high in carbohydrates.  Carbohydrate already dominates typical diets so it would need to be reduced, not increased.

What are carbohydrates?

“Carbohydrates are sugar-based molecules found in many foods, from cookies to cantaloupes.

If you have diabetes, planning your carb intake—is critical to keep blood sugar on an even keel and to cut your risk of diabetes-related problems like heart disease and stroke.” (Source:

50% of the US population is estimated to either have diabetes type 2 or are Insulin resistant. (Source:

Insulin resistance is a mostly silent pre-diabetic 2 state; without lifestyle and diet changes this person will most likely develop diabetes type 2. It is a preventable disease basically caused by eating an oversupply of carbohydrate.

Often thought to be incurable, developments over the last five years have turned the treatment of diabetes 2 right around. This has been headed by the Canadian doctor Jason Fung, he is having enormous success and the majority of his patients no longer have diabetes.  (That is a post for another day.)

Our bodies need carbohydrate. I am not an authority on that subject, but for me, being inclined to weight gain, I thrive on 20g to 80g per day. I exercise every day. Of course, if I was an athlete or doing intense exercise, I may need more. (I won’t be testing this.)

How many Carbs is right for you?

Jenny Yelle, MHNE, is a Holistic Wellness Educator with a master’s degree in Health and Nutrition Education.  Below is a quote from her blog post The Au Naturale Nutrition Guide to Carbs Use this link to read her whole article.

“0-50 grams per day: Ketosis and Intermittent Fasting zone. Excellent for rapid fat loss. Not recommended for prolonged periods (except in medically supervised programs).

50-100 grams per day: Sweet Spot for Weight Loss. Minimizes insulin production. Enables 1-2 pounds per week of fat loss with satisfying, minimally restrictive meals.

100-150 grams per day: Maintenance zone. For individuals at their goal weight or ideal body composition. You can maintain it quite easily while enjoying abundant vegetables, fruits, and other healthy foods.

150-300 grams a day: Insidious Weight Gain zone. Most low-fat, low-calorie eaters, and unsuccessful dieters end up here, due to frequent intake of sugar and grain products (breads, pastas, cereals).  Average gain of 1.5 lbs per year.

300+ grams a day: Danger Zone of the average American diet. Produces excessive insulin and storage of excessive fat at this intake level. Increases risk for obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.”

Supermarket gluten free products

You do not want to exchange gluten intolerance for diabetes 2!

The supermarket shelves have whole sections devoted to gluten free products, it looks great. But, take your glasses and read the packets before buying.

Reading packets

Eating Gluten Free? - Don't Make this Mistake! Cereal Special K, gluten free – 1 cup of Special K yields 33g of carbohydrate. Add milk and fruit and the carbs increase even more.  It would be better to spend your carbs on a little fruit and lots of vegetables.




Tasty gluten free rice snacks have around 6 oz in the pack. By consuming a quarter of the chips Crisps Eating Gluten Free? - Don't Make this Mistake!you have added 21g of carbohydrate. I could eat this whole pack and that would come to 94.5g and I would still be hungry.

Potato crisps are also gluten free, unless gluten is added with the flavorings. The carb load would be around the same as for the rice chips.



Small gluten free choc cookies each yield 13.4g. Who stops at one cookie?

Check homemade recipes as well.

Choc cookie Eating Gluten Free? - Don't Make this Mistake!Often a recipe blogger will only be thinking about providing a gluten free recipe and not thinking about carbohydrate. I went to one site and the delicious cookie recipe yielded a whopping 27g of carbs per cookie. If I am trying to lose weight, that one cookie would be my carbohydrate total for the whole day.

Here is how to gauge a homemade gluten free recipe. Check the sweetener and the type of flour.  A recipe using just 5 teaspoons of sugar will add 25g of carbohydrate.

Flour Comparison Chart

A serving size is 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons

This chart is used with permission from its creator, Gretchen, visit her site via this link.

Note: The chart shows both net carbs and carbs. Fiber is not digested, therefore only the net carbs need to be counted.

Nearly any low carb recipe can be made using either almond or coconut flour. They are both extremely low in carbohydrate.

Don't allow a gluten free diet to turn into a high carb diet predisposing you to diabetes 2. Click To Tweet

Eating gluten free? – Don’t make this mistake! Don’t allow a gluten free diet to turn into a high carb diet predisposing you to diabetes 2.

A gluten free low carb diet is not dull and boring, there are amazing recipes so delicious that you would choose them over high carb meals.  An amazing side effect is no more bloated, gassy tummies 🙂

Here are some further studies on gluten and wheat.  If you are serious about your health you will love this video.

Join us – we uplift and encourage each other –

Enjoy these low carb recipes

Meatloaf Low Carb Nutrition

Meatloaf Low Carb Nutrition

Low carb lemon meringue pie

Low carb lemon meringue pie

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16 thoughts on “Eating Gluten Free? – Don’t Make this Mistake!

  • Melissa Ruddy

    This is a really good point. I had a friends who suffered from Celiac and said that this was one of her issues. She frequently ate gluten free convenience foods and found she was gaining weight because they had added sugar and carbs. I also appreciate that you added the proper amount of grams of carbs for a healthy diet in your post. For some reason I have been having a hard time finding this information . Thanks for educating me.
    Melissa Ruddy recently posted…Hosting a Dog Birthday PartyMy Profile

  • Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    This is such a helpful and informative article Kathleen. I think the problem is that we hear about certain things, in this case, GF and we go off half-cocked thinking we have to do it without really finding out all of the information. I didn’t think about looking at GF products and carbohydrate content. I’ll be sharing this with the Fab Fitters at #couchpotatotofabfit FB group

  • Leanne

    This was all really interesting Kathleen – I’m sure my carb intake is too high and is probably responsible for those kilos that keep creeping up. I’m going to have to take a more serious look at what I’m eating and what the carb content is. We spend so much time focusing on fats and sugars, but obviously carb content is a big contender too.

  • Jean

    Kathleen, “Of course, if I was an athlete or doing intense exercise, I may need more. (I won’t be testing this.)” cracked me up! 😀 But, seriously, this is THE best article I’ve ever read on this subject. Interesting to see that two of the most popular components in gluten-free blends, sweet white rice flour and potato starch, are the very highest in carbs.

    I am a breadaholic and a wonderful bread baker, if I do say so myself, but I don’t eat bread every day. And when I do, I limit it to a reasonable amount, not the crazy overboard amount I’d like to eat! I think it’s that, along with my 6-teaspoons-per-day limit on sugar, that keeps me out of the “Insidious Weight Gain Zone” without even thinking about it.
    Jean recently posted…Yorkshire Pudding – YorkiesMy Profile

  • candy

    I have several friends who doctors told they needed to be gluten free. After doing this they all slowly added back in the whole wheat etc. They can now eat what they want. I’m not saying it doesn’t exist just be careful and keep learning.

  • Fabiola

    This is very interesting, Kathleen. I dare say going gluten-free is in fashion, and as a result, people don’t take it with the seriousness it deserves. Just like “fat-free” and “sugar-free” products, “gluten-free” also comes with a catch. It’s good advice to always read the labels, but the best thing to do is to eat healthy, not just gluten-free (unless you have celiac disease, of course).

  • Menaka Bharathi - Bloggers Pit Stop Crew

    Very clearly explained post Kathleen! I have come across quite many people who have gone gluten free yet begin consuming huge carbohydrates. Gluten alone is not a reason fro weightgain, sugars and carbs do the same too. I have a friend who is totally gluten free- because she has thyroid problem and gluten makes it worse. Though she is totally on rice diet – she is able to manage her weight quite well.

  • Michele

    I haven’t been trying to be gluten free, but I am eating a lower carb diet so many gluten free recipes work well for me. One thing i do not do is buy packaged gluten free things. I am trying to eat most protein, fruits and vegetables with a bit of dairy and it is working pretty well for me. I have developed a gluten free lifestyle just through my food choices!