13 Gluten Free & Grain Free Carbohydrates  

Written by Katherine Ung on Monday, April 14th, 2014

Photo credit: Root vegetables by Gunnar Magnusson

Is something upsetting your gut? Do you suffer with joint pain, sinusitis, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), foggy brain, hives, sluggishness or fatigue? Do you suspect you may be suffering with a food intolerance? Well 45% of the population do suffer with a food intolerance and that could include you.

Whether you have been tested to have a food intolerance or not, it is important to understand that you could develop a food intolerance in the future if you continue to eat the same aggravating foods on a daily basis. Gluten is one of the most common food intolerances and wheat is the most commonly eaten grain that contains gluten.

Wheat is found in bread, pasta, couscous, breakfast cereals, cakes, biscuits and cookies, pies, pastries, bulgar wheat, semolina and foods with batter or breadcrumbs. To make matters worse, wheat as “modified starch”, is added to processed foods to cheaply bulk out food products. Other foods that contain “hidden” gluten include TVP textured vegetable protein, barley malt, maltodextrin (commonly added to supposedly “healthy” milk alternatives eg. almond milk, so be sure to check the ingredients or even better make your own), ice creams with gluten stabilisers & processed cheeses containing wheat flour or oat gum.

Gluten is also found in the following grains and flours:

  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Farina
  • Farro
  • Graham
  • Matzoh Meal
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Wheat Germ
  • Wheat Starch

Kamut, Spelt and Triticale are wheat free grains but they still contain Gluten.

Note that oats are not on the list as they are naturally gluten free however during transportation they get contaminated with gluten from other grains. You can now get Oats which are listed as gluten free (ie. free of being contaminated with gluten through separate transportation).

45% of the population do suffer with a food intolerance and that could include you.

Read my blog post about food intolerances to learn more about common food intolerances and how to prevent developing a food intolerance by elimination and/or food rotation or how to recover from a food intolerance with a 12 week abstinance period.

So now that we’ve decided gluten isn’t such a lovely friend and is perhaps one of our biggest enemies, perhaps we can just stick with gluten free grains?

Well some people believe that all grains, whether gluten free or not, are in fact a “new food” that are not suitable for us mere mortals and only came into our diets when we moved from being hunter gatherers to being grain eaters during the agricultural revolution.

The Paleo way of eating is now becoming popular based on the theory that we were hunter gatherers.

Whether you go along with the hunter gatherer theory or not, grains have high levels of phytic acid, a substance that reduces your absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

That’s not such a great thing right? After all you need these minerals, they are good for you!

To reduce phytic acid in grains it is important that you soak or sprout them.  For example soaking gluten free oats for birchir muesli.

However is soaking and sprouting enough? Well our grain free paleo friends would say that most cereal grains contain toxic proteins called “promalines” that humans cannot digest and instead irritate the gut lining. While we know Gliadin is the promaline in wheat, other gluten free grains contain other promalines that also irritate the gut, such as zein in corn, avenin in oats and orzenin in brown rice.

More reasons to steer clear of grains then or at least eat them less often then.

Now you could just cut out all carbohydrates. That would be a nice simple way to keep grains off your plate right?. However that might not keep grains and gluten off your mind. In the long run that may just leave you craving for all the “wrong carbs” such as pasta, pizza, bread and cakes. Perhaps you’re thinking, “I’m doing just fine without carbs.”, when you’re really having more than your fair share of chocolate and red wine?

So it is best instead to focus on all the carbohydrates that are naturally gluten and grain free and discover a whole new group of “friendly carbs” that everyone can eat whether you on a grain free, gluten free or on a paleo plan or not.

These rainbow coloured carbohydrates are suitable for all of you to keep your palate and your digestive system happy and supply you with vitamins and minerals to boot.

1. Pumpkin

Pumpkin soup by pamelasvoboda

Pumpkin soup by pamelasvoboda

2.Butternut squash

Roasted butternut squash salad with warm cider vinaigrette by Bobbi Bowers

Roasted butternut squash salad with warm cider vinaigrette by Bobbi Bowers

3. Sweet potato

Fun baked sweet potato by Stickyii

Fun baked sweet potato by Stickyii

4. Turnip

Turnips in mustard sauce by mollyjade

Turnips in mustard sauce by mollyjade

5. Parsnip

Parsnip soup by Ouellette

Parsnip soup by Ouellette

6. Carrot

Colourful carrot bunch by Farmanac

Colourful carrot bunch by Farmanac

7. Beetroot

Beetroot salad by Joana Petrova

Beetroot salad by Joana Petrova

8. Taro

Taro, staple food of most Melanesian cultures by Greg Watt

Taro, staple food of most Melanesian cultures by Greg Watt

Historians think poi, a sticky, nutritious food made from pounded taro root, has been eaten in the Hawaiian islands since the time of the ancient Polynesians.

Taro is used to make Hawaiian Poi that is Hawaii’s recipe for revitalisation.

Hawaiian Poi

Hawaiian Poi

9. Chestnuts

Roasted chestnuts by Michele Lee

Roasted chestnuts by Michele Lee

10. Lotus Root

Little pepper lotus root by Krista

Little pepper lotus root by Krista

11. Chinese water chestnut

Water chestnut with sweet osmanthus sauce by Leslie

Water chestnut with sweet osmanthus sauce by Leslie

12. Arrowroot

Queensland Arrowroot by Glen

Queensland Arrowroot by Glen

Arrowroot noodles by Han Joo Chik Naeng Myun & BBQ

Arrowroot noodles by Han Joo Chik Naeng Myun & BBQ

13. Oca or New Zealand Yam

oca

Try growing your own. You can eat them raw or use them in recipes instead of potatoes.

These carbohydrates are suitable for all of you to keep your palate and your digestive system happy.

Naturally Gluten Free vs Commercial Gluten Free

Now some of these foods you may already be familiar with and some may be new to you. What you’ll notice though is that these roots vegetables, nuts and veggies aren’t labelled as “gluten free” because they have always been gluten free, just the way mother nature made them, since time began.

These foods are then labelled as “gluten free” so that you, the public, view them as “healthy”.

Supermarkets and food brands are aware of the trend to go “gluten free” and so have manufactured a whole range of ‘gluten free’ junk foods for your convenience and consumption. That’s why it’s more beneficial to focus on foods you can eat and not to buy foods just because they are labelled “gluten free”. Commercial food manufacturers use potato starch, high levels of sugar or high glycemic index corn, genetically modified soya (read more about soy/soya and unfermented soya foods to be avoided), and industrial non cold pressed oils in their ‘gluten free’ products.

These foods are then labelled as “gluten free” so that you, the public, view them as “healthy”. Unfortunately it’s just a marketing strategy which has nothing to do with your health and is just a way to keep you on processed foods.

A course of colonic irrigation treatments or colon hydrotherapy is a great way to ‘clean you out’ and motivate you to start afresh. Unhealthy excess mucous that is cloudy and sticky is formed in response to foods which irritate your body and gut and this clingy mucous lingers around, clogging you up. So after you’ve been “cleaned out” with colonics, it’s down to you to maintain the results. So give the bread and pastry aisles a wide berth and instead of heading to the “gluten free” or ‘free from’ aisles, make a beeline for the vegetable aisles or even better support your local farmers market.  For some of the less common veggies, have fun exploring exotic or asian supermarkets and enjoy eating your way to better health, energy and digestion.

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About Katherine Ung

Katherine Ung is a therapist that has been passionate about nutrition and colonic irrigation since 1999.

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  • Pingback: How to get rid of Candida: 10 tips, HydroHolistic

  • Added by Kat on September 17th, 2016 at 2:21 pm  #

    Very interesting reading. I suffer from psoriasis & have eliminated certain things from my diet (milk & bread being just some) & it’s had a massive effect. I’ve been considering paleo for a while & wondering where to get carbs from, so this article has been very helpful, thank you 🙂

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