Here are the facts on whether flour is bad for you or not. By learning how to make the best choice, you can do what is best for you.
It is true that many foods made with flour are not healthy, but that is not entirely to blame on the flour itself. Also, it is not necessarily the number of carbohydrates or calories those foods have that make them unhealthy either.
If you are familiar with our recipes here at Clean Cuisine, then you know carbs are not a dirty word in my book. However, we do try to eat as many foods in their most natural and unrefined form.
Is Flour Bad For You?
Unfortunately, there is no way to simply answer this. Most flour is derived from whole grains. Which to us, it is better to eat the whole grains themselves rather than eating the whole grain once it’s been refined into flour.
Sure, using whole grain flour is a far superior choice compared to the highly refined “enriched” flour most processed foods are made from. But all flour is going to be metabolized by your body differently than the unprocessed whole grain.
Our Favorite Whole Grain Gluten Free Options
When we do use flour, we prefer to select one that has whole grain ingredients such as brown rice, almond meal, tapicoa and potato starch.
So, as long as you are eating whole grain gluten-free flour and you are not eating an excessive amount, then it’s okay. Just consider that the rest of your foods are part of a nutrient-dense clean eating diet.
#1: Arrowhead Mills is the best.
Arrowhead Mills All Purpose Gluten Free Blend | whole grain brown rice, potato starch, rice starch, whole grain sorghum flour, baking powder, sea salt
#2: King Arthur is delicious!
We use this one the most here at Clean Cuisine because it’s available at our local market and inexpensive to pick up online.
King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten Free Blend | rice, tapioca starch, potato starch, whole grain brown rice
#3: Bob’s Red Mill is easy to find.
Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 Gluten Free Baking Blend | garbanzo bean, potato starch, tapioca, white sorghum, fava bean
#4: Pamela’s Products is premium!
Pamela’s Products All Purpose Gluten Free Blend | brown rice, white rice , cultured buttermilk, natural almond meal, tapioca starch, sweet rice, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, xanthan gum
A Few Bad Qualities to Consider
When a whole grain is finely ground into flour it is absorbed into your bloodstream fairly quickly. Which means, it can spike blood sugar levels and increase the body’s insulin response.
Overweight or Super Thin
If you are overweight this is a particularly bad scenario. Insulin is your body’s primary fat-storing hormone and a rapid rise in blood sugar is always followed by a rapid fall in blood sugar. Then followed by excessive hunger.
However, even if you are rail thin, it is still not desirable to have blood sugar spikes and insulin surges. Both of these things interfere with optimizing your energy levels, cognitive function and overall sense of well-being.
Flour is EVERYWHERE
The other problem with flour has less to do with insulin and blood sugar and more to do with flour’s ubiquity. Flour is everywhere! And the vast majority of it comes from wheat.
If you are eating a lot of bread-based foods, chances are you are getting an excessive amount of wheat. Which means, you are shortchanging yourself on other nutrient-dense foods such as beans, nuts, vegetables, fruit, etc.
Success of Low-Carb Diets
In fact, flour is one of the main reasons I blame low-carb diets for gaining in popularity. Once people stop eating all of those processed flour-containing foods mentioned above and swap them for “whole” foods (vegetables, beans, etc.) they lose weight.
It’s not necessarily because they cut out carbs, they just got rid of the unhealthiest and most processed carbs!
There have been many studies on why low carb diets are not good and I want to encourage you to learn more here.