Vol. 3.27.15 Grain-FREE Darling…NOT! – Your Health Detective

As always, I’m “digging” for clues to foods and substances that either cause or accelerate inflammation – particularly since my specialty is fibromyalgia and the inflammatory syndromes.

Yes, this little darling of the flour family excels conventional flours in its ability to produce a tender fluffy baked delight. Unfortunately, new research has emerged that is especially disturbing to me since I’ve been working with professional bakers to perfect gluten/wheat free recipes that are mouth-watering and light rather than simply a healthy version of their former recipe.

Before you scream, “now what?” keep in mind that everything in moderation is generally healthy. I advocate the 80/20 rule AFTER an inflammatory condition is either completely resolved or under control. That said, it doesn’t mean to eat foods you are truly allergic to or have allergic responses of any kind. I, for one, can consume the occasional wheat with no symptoms. However, if I eat it two days in a row I definitely feel the inflammation of that old fibro in my hands and fingers and they’re stiff in the mornings where normally I have absolutely no pain or inflammation with the healthy diet I consume…click to continue reading…

YOU NEED to KNOW…

Almond flour …“the darling” of grains… contains…

  • The equivalent of 90 almonds in just one-cup of almond flour. There are 7 calories in one almond, therefore, one cup of almond flour contains approx. a whopping 640 calories!
  • PUFAS (Polyunsaturated fatty acids) accounting for about 20% of the fat in almonds. PUFAS overburden our bodies and are known to lead to numerous health disorders including, but not limited to:
    • Suppressed mitochondrial energy production – they slow down metabolism;
    • Encouraging an inflammatory response in the body;
    • Cause digestive issues by impairing action of certain digestive enzymes;
    • Slow down thyroid function;
    • Inhibit detoxification enzymes;
    • Deplete antioxidants in the body;
    • Inhibit production of progesterone and androgens while also activating production of estrogen – encouraging estrogen-dominancy that contributes to health issues like weight gain, PMSA, hormonal acne and much more;

NOTE: Polyunsaturated fats aren’t absolutely all evil, only unhealthy when consumed in excess as reported by research expert Sébastien Noël at Paleo Lifestyle.

Enzyme Inhibitors & Digestion

We know that enzyme inhibitors are very concentrated in all nuts and seeds, therefore, almond flour contains significant amounts. Yes, enzymes are necessary for all phases of digestion from carbohydrates to proteins and fats. Food ingested is only partly digested by stomach acids and then travels to the small intestine where the acidity of the food mixture (chime) signals the pancreas to proceed in releasing digestive enzymes to further break-down the food.

Enzyme inhibitors are present in the chyme from food we consume. If this chyme contains enzyme inhibitors, digestion can’t complete its job. When the body senses a need for more enzymes, it overcompensates and the pancreas releases even more enzymes. Extra digestive enzymes become problematic because they further deplete the pancreas – the reason over consumption of nuts and seeds cause enzyme imbalances that bring on symptoms such as gas, bloating and stomach/abdominal discomfort.

Dr. G’s Healthier Favorite Flour

Coconut flour is my favorite in grain-free baking. Unlike almond flour, the fat in coconut flour is primarily saturated fat – safer to heat and is NOT toxic to the body. Coconut oil contained in coconut flour is a veritable SUPERFOOD. It is credited for, but definitely not limited to, weight-loss, anti-inflammatory, candida control, boosting the metabolism and many more health benefits.

Metabolism FACTS: Almond flour SLOWS metabolism – Coconut flour SPEEDS metabolism!

Almond Flour’s OTHER Anti-Nutrient…

A substance known as phytic acid prevents your body from absorbing minerals. For instance nuts and seeds like almonds contain very high levels of phytic acid IF they’re not soaked and/or dehydrated. Almonds contain most of their phytic acid in the brown skin, which is removed BEFORE they are processed into flour, therefore, this acid is a minor issue when almond flour is used verses eating raw almonds.

“Nature’s Football” – Coconut Flour is…

•          40 % Dietary Fiber

•          100% Organic

•          Gluten-free

•          Raw – from unheated coconut

•          Unbleached

•          Unrefined

•          Low Calorie

•          Low Carbohydrate content (low Glycemic index)

•          Low Fat

•          Digestive Health Aid

•          Blood Sugar Balancing

•          Vegan

Health Secrets of Coconut Flour

Raw coconut flour is made in small batches from unheated coconut meat and dried using proprietary tumbler-dry methods. In addition to the benefits listed above, the very low carbohydrate content of coconut flour actually lowers the calorie content of food, contains 40% dietary fiber, and promotes lipid oxidation (helps burn fat).

Recipe Tips and Suggestion:

Use for baking, to thicken gravy, or as a supplement to super-boost fiber content in smoothies and any recipe! Coconut flour readily absorbs moisture, so I suggest that you either blend with other flours at a ratio of ¼ cup coconut flour to ¾ cup alternate flour. A second popular option for those wishing to use 100% coconut flour, is the addition of eggs at a ratio of 4 eggs to ½ cup flour. Since coconut flour is gluten-free, eggs act as a gluten substitute in any recipe. It can also be helpful to increase the liquid content in coconut flour recipes by adding an extra 1-to-1 ratio of liquid per equal amount of flour. It’s also great for breading fish and chicken, and very tasty when combined with chopped macadamia nuts or pecans.

Dr. Gloria’s Drop Biscuits

Ingredients

1/3 cup sifted Organic Coconut Flour

¼ cup melted Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (or butter),

4 eggs

2 Tablespoons coconut honey, honey, or Stevia

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

Optional additions:

Herb—such as rosemary or dill

1-2 ounces grated cheese

Garlic finely minced or chives

For a saltier dinner biscuit, omit any sweetener – the flour already provides a mild, gentle sweetness.

Method

Blend together eggs, butter/oil, honey/sweetener and salt. Combine coconut flour with baking powder and whisk into batter until there are no lumps. Drop batter by the spoonful onto a greased or parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake on center rack at 205 Degree C (400F) for 12-14 minutes. Makes 8 biscuits.

To Your Health, Naturally.

Dr. Gloria

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