As a Consultant Nutritionist I often hear patient’s say they have switched to the Free-From range of breads, cakes, biscuits and pastas. They have filled their cupboards with various packets and jars, seeking to mimic gluten containing foods such as their lunchtime sandwiches, breakfast options and of course pasta which has become a regular food on our tables these days. Swapping out gluten can seem very daunting and time consuming to some.
I see a considerable amount of IBS sufferers and patients with other gastric symptoms who expect to see a reduction in their symptoms by using these foods, but instead they either stay the same or worsen.
Why is this ?
•Some gluten free products, despite being ‘safe’ to eat, do have added sugar, so their glycaemic load is higher. This leads to an energy spike, which will be followed by the familiar slump in energy. Hence people whose diet are dominant with gluten free products can experience brain fog, feeling tired, lethargic and low mood.
•The gluten free products are often highly refined, so the fibrous husk of the grain used is missing. This reduces the fibre effect on the colon, leading to constipation, and the familiar bloat.
•Bloating and gas is a common bi-product of eating ‘Free-From’ foods, but IBS can get the blame.
Why use Free-From Foods ?
•I call it ‘The Vicky Pollard Syndrome’ or ‘The Yeah But Phenomenon’. We are all guilty of saying ‘I don’t have the time’, ‘I have to have bread’, ‘I can’t make bread’, ‘There isn’t anything else too eat’.
•We have become comfortable with rip and go packets, and easy options, to the point of being brain washed that we can’t live without them.
•The consequence of this is that we are also becoming less familiar with experimenting and thinking ‘outside the box’ when it comes to food.
•Free From packet foods should be used sparingly and should be a dominant part of our diets.
•On the whole it is a good idea to find some good staple options to replace breads, biscuits and pasta to ensure you are eating whole, nutritious, low sugar foods.
•IT IS EASIER THAN YOU THINK.
Simple Steps To Replace Free-From Breads and Bakes
•Buckwheat Flour – It isn’t wheat, buckwheat is from the rhubarb family and can used in the same way as wholemeal flours.
•Use soda bread recipes to cut out the yeast, kneading and proving involved with making conventional breads.
•Flat breads, pancakes and crepes can all be made with gluten free flour alternatives.
•Ham slices and turkey slices make great alternatives for wraps. Make sure they are GF.
•Zucchini sheets (wafers of courgette or spiralizer courgette) can be used as a pasta alternative.
•Spiralized sweet potato, courgette or butternut squash are a great and very quick replacement pasta.
These are just a small selection of ideas to replace breads, rolls, pasta etc.
At www.eattolive.org.uk there is a selection of recipes, which we will be adding too regularly to help you build up your repertoire of dishes.
You will be pleasantly surprised how easy they are.