The 3 Best Gluten-Free Flour Alternatives
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In an article I wrote a few weeks ago, Why Going Gluten Free Can Be Unhealthy, I explained how many people are trying to do the right thing by eating gluten-free foods, without realizing a "gluten-free" label is not equivalent to "healthy." I showed how going gluten free can be done right and how it can be done wrong, from a health perspective. In reality, one could argue that the standard Western diet is so abysmal that any minor change to it would be an improvement. A relative improvement, from very bad to just bad, does not mean optimal health.

If optimal health is our goal, we need to consider which foods are the most nutrient dense, have the most bioavailable nutrients, and cause the least amount of stress to our bodies.

Let's go over the three gluten-free alternatives that fit that criteria. These are the choices I consider to be the best options if you want to go gluten free the healthy way. Look for these in the gluten free foods you buy or use them as substitutes when you bake:

1. Coconut Flour

This gluten-free option is high in lauric acid. Lauric acid is a healthy saturated fat that's essential to your immune system. Healthy saturated fats are critical for cellular health. These fats are also important for healthy skin and thyroid health. Because coconut flour comes from the meat of dried coconut, it is also high in clean protein. Rich in fiber, coconut flour will also aid in healthy digestion and gut health.

2. Almond Flour

This healthy gluten-free alternative can be found in health food stores or made at home from organic almonds. Almond flour is high in monounsaturated fats, which decrease the risk of heart disease, and abundant in the antioxidant action of vitamin E. Almond flour is also abundant in magnesium and potassium, which are essential for maximized health.

3. Hazelnut Flour

High in protein, hazelnut flour also boasts high levels of the B vitamin folate, which is important for cell health and brain development.Hazelnut flour also has the highest proanthocyanidin content of any tree nut. These helpful compounds may help reduce the risk of blood clotting and urinary tract infections.

Obviously, what works for one person may not be best for the next. We have to take in consideration individual factors such as food intolerances or allergies. It is my passion to design health programs tailored to the individual, navigating them to a path of maximized health.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Dr. William Cole, DC, graduated from Southern California University of Health Sciences in Los Angeles, California. He has his post doctorate education and training in Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition. Dr. Cole consults in the Pittsburgh area and phone or webcam consultations for people around the world. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors and customizing health programs for chronic conditions such as thyroid issues, autoimmune, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders, diabetes, heart disease and fibromyalgia. Visit www.drwillcole.com for more information and subscribe to his free monthly Future Health Newsletter to stay plugged in with healthy tips and recipes.

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