Posts Tagged ‘Nutrition’

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism and Treatment

Video from Dr. Mercola. A great introduction to hypothyroidism.

Notes from the video clip below:

If your TSH blood test is over 1.5 (not 5.0) you likely are hypothyroid, confirm this with a free T3 and free T4 tests

Iodine deficiency is a common cause of hypothyroidism. Get enough Iodine , use SSKI to get Iodine

Avoid soy (it induces hypothyroidism) especially un-fermented soy

Use coconut oil

If you are hypothyroid, hormones can be used, Synthroid (T4) and other synthetic hormones are not recommended. If you have not been on synthetic hormones for a long time using armour thyroid is better (gives you T1, T2, T3 and T4). Eventually you may be able to not need hormones at all. Your allopathic physician will prescribe synthetic drugs, a holistic doctor will prescribe armour thyroid instead.


I take Iodoral or Lugols and eat sea weed to get iodine into my diet. I do “not” use table salt. Table salt should be avoided. Also cruciferous vegetables inhibit the thyroid and they should be steamed before being eaten to remedy this.


Useful Advice from Dr. Gregory A. Plotnikoff

This article contains a couple videos featuring Dr. Plotnikoff offering real, practical and helpful advice to any person with health issues (not only cancer patients)

1-Fundamentals for Cancer Patients, Gregory A. Plotnikoff, MD, MTS, FACP
Dr. Plotnikoff provides insights into some fundamentals for cancer patients through supportive strategies for body, mind, and spirit.

2- Tips for Cancer Patient Appointments & Stress Reduction
Dr. Plotnikoff provides insightful tips to help people with cancer optimize their medical appointments, be supported, and find calm with “skills before pills” in the midst of stress.


If the videos are not playing let me know, I have these clips saved for my personal archive.

Vitamin C vs. Betaine HCl

I’ve read it is preferred to not take vitamin C with food because it increases iron absorption and too much iron feeds cancerous cells.

Would taking Betaine HCl with enzymes also increases the absorption of iron?

Thank you for this question, you make good observations.
I take both vitamin C and Betaine HCl with pepsin daily.
Vitamin C is a very beneficial supplement. I take vitamin C on an empty stomach, 2 hours away from food.
Stomach acid (increased by Betaine HCL supplementation) is also very much needed, and is essential. It does increase the absorption of iron, but not having enough stomach acid means you’ll get too little iron and too little protein and not enough minerals.

The Best Health Info Websites!

I have found these websites to be more trust worthy than others when it comes to nutrition/diet and health info.

Grounding or Earthing and Holistic Health

GroundingHow I learned of grounding:

I always had a connection (felt connected) to nature and our planet, once this connection was compromised I experienced dis-ease. I know this from personal experience.

In my quest to reverse my male pattern baldness, improve my vision and heal decaying teeth I researched many diets and theories, trying to figure out what the right thing to eat was, more accurately what my body evolved to eat.

I learned of great concepts such as paleolithic dieting and metabolic typing. Dr. Weston Price, like many others, also figured it was all in the diet, that natives and uncivilized people had great teeth (and hair) due to their diet.

One morning as I continued to research the correct genetic type of foods for me, I had a very simple idea sprout from my mind and catch my attention, “it’s not all in the diet”. While diet is a major factor of the body’s health, I believe looking at diets, supplements and chemicals only for an answer misses 1/2 the reality.

Yes the paleolithic humans ate differently, yes the uncivilized white-teethed tribes ate differently. Some ate raw foods, some ate a vegetarian diet of roots and fruits, some drank raw milk, others ate mostly sea food or meat. Finding commonalities in these diets has been the obsession of many researchers and remains an interest of mine; the same with metabolic typing. One convincing answer that explains why different diets had similar results in natives is that these people ate what was right for their metabolic type.

Keeping that in mind, I sifted through facts and theories on ancient and uncivilized diets, then I noticed something that was even more in common between these ancient people, besides how different their diets were than the typical SAD (Standard American Diet). they all were barefoot (or used thin leather sandals), sat on rocks or the ground, climbed trees, swam, and got a lot of sunshine. These people were more “grounded” than us today. I cannot comment on their spirituality, life habits, culture, mind-set, or rituals but I know they were grounded, got a lot of sun and plenty of functional physical activity.

I theorize that it was not just the diet that made our ancestors healthy, it also must have been their lifestyle: especially grounding activities, functional paleo-type physical activity, and plenty of sunshine. This is not to discount diet, diet is a huge part of health, but not the answer-to-all solution to a holistic whole health.

Recently I came across a book that got many 5 star reviews on Amazon. Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? today has 30 5-star reviews, 2 4-star reviews and 1 1-star review. The 1-star review does not dispute the concept of earthing rather was given because the book felt like an infomercial.

I am not concerned with the book or the products that the book mentions. Earthing is as basic as breathing, no one should have to pay for it. When we sit on the grass, walk barefoot on the beach, or swim in the ocean, we all feel great. According to the “grounding” theory we feel great because we become grounded to the earth, the planet, as our ancestors always were.

Watch this 9 min clip, where David wolfe talks about “grounding” and how it fights inflammation, skin conditions, free radicals, and much more.. In this clip they talk about deficiency in charges, tumors, inflammation, ovarian cysts, show skin conductivity changes, images of blood sample changes are also shown and something called the “sarcadian rythm” is mentioned:

It is worth watching all five clips.

These are some studies relating to grounding:

1. Pilot Study on the Effect of Grounding on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness

2. Changes in Pulse Rate, Respiratory Rate, Blood Oxygenation, Perfusion Index, Skin Conductance, and Their Variability Induced During and After Grounding Human Subjects for 40 Minutes

3. The Effect Of Earthing On Human Physiology, Part 2

4. The Effect Of Earthing On Human Physiology, Part 1

5. The Effectiveness of a Conductive Patch and a Conductive Bed Pad in Reducing Induced Human Body Voltage Via the Application of Earth Ground

6. The Biologic Effects of Grounding the Human Body During Sleep as Measured by Cortisol Levels and Subjective Reporting of Sleep, Pain, and Stress

7. Medical Thermography Case Studies

8. Grounding the Human Body to Earth Reduces Chronic Inflammation and Related Chronic Pain

9. Grounding The Human Body to Neutralize Bioelectrical Stress From Static Electricity and EMFs
It just makes so much sense that we, people and animals, benefit from walking barefoot, swimming, being on trees, sleeping on the ground.. These activities offer grounding, these human bodies evolved being mostly grounded.

To recap,

The secret to health lies in all of these: Diet, mind-set, a healthy spirituality, love, socializing/healthy relationships, sun light exposure (but not sunburning), sun gazing, grounding, paleo/organic physical activity/exercise. Honoring the spiritual being that you are and the electrical/energetic aspects of your body, in addition to the physical body.

Pursuing these will improve physical health (such as hair, skin, your eye sight, weight, digestion) and your sleep, emotional state, mind-set, mental-sharpness and stability, ability to love, have fun, re-connect with forces of nature that are very fulfilling, find wisdom, enjoying being and enjoy an overall well-being, getting you closer to experiencing your full potential on earth at this time.

Grounding / Earthing Commentaries
Below you will find commentaries relating to human earthing and grounding

  1. Gaetan Chevalier, Ph.D., The Earth’s Electrical Surface Potential A summary of present understanding | View
  2. James Oschman, Ph.D., Can Electrons Act as Antioxidants? A Review and Commentary | View
  3. James Oschman, Ph.D., Charge transfer in the living matrix | View
  4. James Oschman, Ph.D., Perspective: Assume a spherical cow: The role of free or mobile electrons in bodywork, energetic and movement therapies | View
  5. Stephen Sinatra, MD, FACC, FACN, CNS | View

If any of these documents or links are missing/broken please contact me I have copies.

A Brief History of Medicine

A Brief History of Medicine

2000 B.C.
Eat this root

1000 B.C.
Roots are heathen. Say A Prayer.

1850 A.D.
Prayer is superstition. Take this potion.

1900 A.D.
That potion is snake oil. Take this pill.

1940 A.D.
That pill is useless. Take this antibiotic.

2000 A.D.
That antibiotic is no longer effective. Eat this root.


The above is found at: 12/8/2010

Categories: Fun Tags: , , , ,

A Modified Elimination Diet

This is one version of a modified Elimination Diet that I like. It removes any possible allergen or inflammatory food, you most likely can tolerate most these but while on this diet the idea is to not eat anything that could remotely cause you inflammation. If some people had an inflammatory reaction then this food is listed in the Foods to Avoid column.

-::- Note: The below is posted here for archival and educational purposes -::-

Modified Elimination Diet

Foods to Include Foods to Avoid
Fruits Unsweetened fresh, frozen, water- packed, or canned; unsweetened fruit juices except orange Oranges
Vegetables All fresh raw, steamed, sautéed,juiced, or roasted vegetables Corn; creamed vegetables
Starch Rice, oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth,teff, tapioca, buckwheat Wheat, corn, barley, spelt, kamut, rye;all gluten-containing products
Bread/Cereal Products made from rice, oat, buckwheat, millet, potato flour, tapioca, arrowroot, amaranth, quinoa Products made from wheat, spelt, kamut, rye, barley; all gluten- containing products
Legumes All beans, peas, and lentils unlessotherwise indicated Soybeans†, tofu, tempeh, soybeans,soy milk, other soy products
Nuts and Seeds Almonds, cashews, walnuts; sesame (tahini), sunflower, and pumpkin seeds; butters made from these nuts and seeds Peanuts, peanut butter
Fats Cold-expeller pressed olive, flax, canola, safflower, sunflower, sesame, walnut, pumpkin, or almond oils Margarine, butter, shortening, processed (hydrogenated) oils, mayonnaise, spreads
Beverages Filtered or distilled water, herbal tea, seltzer or mineral water Soda pop or soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, other caffeinated beverages
Spices & Condiments All spices unless otherwise indicated. For example, use: cinnamon, cumin, dill, garlic, ginger, carob, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, turmeric, vinegar Chocolate††, ketchup, mustard, relish, chutney, soy sauce, barbeque sauce, other condiments
Sweeteners Brown rice syrup, fruit sweetener,blackstrap molasses, stevia White or brown refined sugar, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, candy; desserts made with these sweeteners
†Note that soy is an ingredient in some of the recommended medical foods and supplement formulas. Therefore,those products are only recommended if your healthcare practitioner has determined you have no intolerance to soy.††Note that chocolate is an ingredient in some of the recommended medical foods. Therefore, those products are only recommended if your healthcare practitioner has determined you have no intolerance to chocolate.

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 January 2009 03:22

:: The diet above has been posted here for archival and educational purposes only. PLEASE do me a favor and visit the author’s website, i.e. the ORIGINAL website where this diet was found, by following this link, and considering using their services and/or visiting their sponsors’ websites: ::

Why Saturated Fat is Good for You

Although we don’t normally consider saturated fat as an essential nutrient, it is just as essential to good health as the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids. We need saturated fat for proper digestive function, growth, and a host of other processes. In fact, saturated fat is an essential component of every single cell in our bodies. It is so important to proper function and good health that nature has incorporated saturated fat into almost all of the foods we eat both of animal and plant origin. Even the so-called polyunsaturated oils like safflower oil, corn oil, and even flaxseed oil contain saturated fat. The World Health Organization and even the American Heart Association recommends that we get saturated fat in our diet to maintain optimal health. This type of information is usually ignored because saturated fat is considered a health hoodlum lurking in our food just to cause problems, and the less we eat the better. But this is simply not true. Nature doesn’t put saturated fat in vegetables, mother’s milk, and other foods for kicks. It’s there for a reason.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), two international committees, recommend a polyunsaturated to saturated fat ratio (P:S) of 0.6:1.0. Or almost twice as much saturated fat as polyunsaturated fat in the diet. The membrane of our cells preferentially chooses saturated and monounsaturated fat for incorporation into its structure. Only in a few specialized structures are the polyunsaturated fats preferentially selected over saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.

Saturated fat has been tagged a dietary monster, sneaking into our foods to cause untold health problems. Isn’t it interesting that saturated fat has been a staple part of the human diet for thousands of years and yet only recently has it turned bad, or so they say. In reality, saturated fat isn’t as bad as it has been portrayed; most of this negative publicity is profit motivated.

Cholesterol and saturated fat have been tagged as the biggest dietary villains of all time. Scientists are now discovering that cholesterol is not as bad as it has been made out to be. It is, in fact, vital to good health. Cholesterol is so important to the basic operations of life that without it, every cell in our body would become dead masses of fat and protein. Cholesterol is found in all body tissues and comprises an integral part of the cell membrane. Nine-tenths of all the body’s cholesterol is located in the external and internal membranes of cells. It is essential in the production of nerve and brain tissue. It is used by the body to make bile acids necessary for digestion of fats and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). Our bodies transform cholesterol into a variety of important hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, cortisol, and others. Simply put, without cholesterol we would be dead.

As knowledge of dietary cholesterol has increased, its status as a troublemaker has fallen. As a result, more heat has been placed on saturated fat, which is now considered a much more serious problem. According to the cholesterol theory, coronary artery disease is caused by cholesterol buildup in arteries, so why is saturated fat condemned? Saturated fat is attacked because our bodies can turn it into cholesterol. We get more cholesterol from saturated fat than we do from the cholesterol in our food. But this native cholesterol, which is made by our liver, is the naterial used to build healthy cells and is not the “oxidized” or damaged cholesterol that finds its way inside artery walls. So eating saturated fat contributes little, if anything, to the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Since ordinary cholesterol is not a factor in the development of heart disease, saturated fat, likewise, is not the problem it is made out to be.

History has proven this fact. Our ancestors lived on a diet rich in grease, lard, and butter. Those were the only oils they ever used. It wasn’t until the 20th century that vegetable oils became widely available. Use of oils rich in saturated fat have declined over time while vegetable oils have skyrocketed. Along with the greater use of vegetable oil and the decreased use of saturated fat has come a plague of degenerative diseases that the world has never known before. To blame cholesterol and saturated fat for the heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative diseases does not fit the facts and is inconsistent with the historical record.

There have been many studies that demonstrate that saturated fat is not nearly as bad as it has been made out to be. If saturated fat consumption caused heart disease then eliminating it from the diet would prevent the illness. The Lancet reported a study of 2,000 men who went on a low saturated fat diet to see how that would affect cardiovascular health. The study found that those participants who went on diets low in saturated fat didn’t experience any reduction in heart attack death risk over a two year period. If eliminating saturated fat didn’t stop heart disease from developing, it is logical to assume there is another cause.

Researchers have shown in animal studies that saturated fatty acids actually help to prevent stroke rather than cause it. In particular, Dr. Yamori reported decreased stroke incidence among rats fed a high-fat, high cholesterol diet. In addition, Dr. Ikeda demonstrated a dcreased stroke risk among rats fed a diet high in milk fat.

Two ecological studies in the 1980s from Japan found correlations between increased fat intake and decreased death from ischemic stroke in humans. In another cohort study of Japanese men living in Hawaii, intake of both total fat and saturated fat was inversely associated with all stroke mortality, after adjustment for multiple risk factors. These studies were generally ignored because they were contrary to the prevailing belief that saturated fat promotes ischemic stroke rather than protects us from it.

On December 24, 1997, headlines around the world proclaimed that saturated fat lowers rate of strokes. This pronouncement came after the publication of a 20-year study performed by Dr. Matthew Gillman and coleagues at Harvard Medical School and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study involved 832 men aged 45 through 65 years of age who were initially free of cardiovascular disease. The results of the study raised howls of protest from health experts who had spent years telling us to eat less saturated fat. Yet many researchers familiar with fat metabolism and cardiovascular disease were not surprised at the results of this study.

The pupose of the Harvard study was to examine the association of stroke incidence with intake of fat and type of fat during 20 years of follow-up among middle-aged men participating in the Framingham Heart Study. In conformity with other studies performed in Japan, intakes of saturated fat were associated with reduced risk of ischemic stroke in men. The study also showed that the highest incidence of stroke was associated with the most polyunsaturated fat consumption.

When you take into account the above facts saturated fat becomes a relatively harmless food if eaten in moderation. In some cases it can even promote better health.

Much of the chemical properties of fats are determined by their molecular size. Individual fat molecules are called fatty acids. Small fat molecules (or fatty acids) have a different effect on us than larger ones. The smaller molecules are referred to as medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). The larger as long-chain fatty acids. Researchers have discovered a multitude of health benefits associated with the medium-chain saturated fatty acids. Unfortunately these fatty acids are relatively rare in the foods we eat. The richest source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) is found in coconut oil. For this reason, coconut oil has been emerging as the premier dietary oil.

Some of the main benefits researchers have discovered from the fatty acids in coconut oil are described below:


Most all fats in our diet are absorbed directly into the blood stream where they are distributed throughout the body. MCFA, however, are not. Because of their small size digestive enzymes are not necessary to break them down and they are transported directly to the liver where they are, for the most part, burned as fuel much like a carbohydrate. In this respect they act more like carbohydrates than they do fats.

Because of the ease of digestion, coconut oil has been a lifesaver for many people. It is used medicinally in special food preparations for those who suffer digestive disorders and have trouble digesting fats. For the same reason, it is also used in infant formula for the treatment of malnutrition. Since it is rapidly absorbed, it can deliver quick nourishment without putting excessive strain on the digestive and enzyme systems, and helps conserve the body’s energy that would normally be expended in digesting other fats. Coconut oil is one of the major ingredients in most infant formulas commonly used today.

MCFA can also improve the absorption of other nutrients. The absorption of calcium and magnesium and also amino acids has been found to increase when infants are fed a diet containing coconut oil. Coconut oil has been used to enhance absorption and retention of calcium and magnesium when a deficiency of these minerals exist. This is especially true in the case of rickets which involves a vitamin D deficiency and the demineralization of the bones. For those who are concerned about developing osteoporosis as they get older, coconut oil may be useful in helping to slow down this degenerative process by improving mineral absorption.

Weight Reduction

One of the remarkable things about coconut oil is that it can help you lose weight. Yes, there is a dietary fat that can actually help you take off unwanted pounds. That fat is coconut oil. Coconut oil can quite literally be called the world’s only low-fat fat.

Unlike other fats, MCFA in coconut oil are converted to energy rather than packed on the body as fat tissues. So when you eat coconut oil it provides energy, much like a carbohydrate, and does not contribute to body fat.

Coconut oil also has fewer calories than any other fat. Because of the small size of MCFA, coconut oil supplies slightly fewer calories than other fats. Coconut Oil is truly a low-fat fat.

The most remarkable effect coconut oil has in regards to weight loss is that it stimulates the metabolism. The faster the metabolism the more calories are burned and the less calories available to be converted into body fat. By eating coconut oil you rev up your metabolism and thus burn more calories. You can eat more and weigh less.

Cardiovascular Health

All of the criticism that has been aimed at coconut oil is based solely on the fact that it is primarily a saturated fat and saturated fat is known to increase blood cholesterol. No legitimate research, however, has ever demonstrated any proof that coconut oil consumption raises blood cholesterol levels.

The MCFA of coconut oil are burned almost immediately for energy production and so are not converted into cholesterol and do not affect blood cholesterol levels. Numerous studies have demonstrated that coconut oil has a neutral effect on cholesterol levels.

An even more important factor in relation to cardiovascular health is the blood’s tendency to form clots. Special proteins in the blood called platelets cause clotting when they become sticky. Numerous studies have demonstrated that all dietary fats — beef fat, lard, butter, vegetable oil, and even canola and olive oils — promote platelet stickiness. The more you eat, the stickier the blood gets, and the greater the risk of developing blood clots. The omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish oil, are an exception. They have the opposite effect on blood platelets. This is the main reason why they have been recommended for those at risk of heart disease. Too much, however, which is easy to do with dietary supplements, can interfere with normal blood clotting, and that can be just as dangerous. When this happens, blood vessels weaken and can rupture with the slightest degree of stress. Twenty-five percent of all strokes are caused by excessive bleeding within the brain.

Another group of fats that don’t promote platelet stickiness are the MCFA. These fats are burned up immediately after consumption and, therefore, do not affect platelet stickiness either one way or the other. Of all the dietary fats, MCFA are the most benign.

People who traditionally consume large quantities of coconut oil as apart of their ordinary diet have a very low incidence of heart disease and have normal blood cholesterol levels. This has been well supported by epidemiological observations recorded in many studies. Those populations who consume large quantities of coconut oil have remarkably good cardiovascular health. Absent are the heart attacks and strokes characteristic in Western countries. After analyzing all available studies and reviewing epidemiological evidence, author and coconut researcher, P.K. Thampan, concludes that there is absolutely no correlation between coconut oil consumption and heart disease. If anything, coconut oil consumption is heart healthy.

The native populations of the Polynesian islands are high coconut consumers and derive most of their energy from coconut. In a study of the native populations of two islands, Pukapuka and Tokelau, it was observed that the male population of the two groups 35.2 percent and 55.7 percent, respectively, of their energy requirements mostly from coconut. In both groups, the female population had a comparatively high intake of fat calories. The levels of blood cholesterol among the Pukapukans were low, ranging from 170 mg/dl to 176 mg/dl, despit a high fat intake. Among the Tokelauans, whose fat intake was higher than that of the Pukapukans, the blood cholesterol levels were somewhat higher ranging between 208 mg/dl and 216 mg/dl. The prevalence of coronary heart disease among the two populations covered in the study was extremely low and has remained low.

In Sri Lanka coconut has been the chief source of fat in the diet for thousands of years. The average consumption in the island country has been reported to be 90 coconuts per capita annually. When the consumption of coconut oil is also taken into consideration, the total consumption in terms of coconut is 120 annually. Their heart disease rate is far lower than that of noncoconut-eating populations.

In the state of Kerala, in India, where large quantities of coconuts and coconut oil have traditionally been consumed, an average 2.3 out of 1,000 people suffered from coronary heart disease in 1979. A campaign against the use of coconut oils on the grounds that it is an “unhealthy” saturated fat decreased coconut oil consumption during the 1980s. Vegetable oils replaced it in household use. As a result, the heart disease rate shot up to 7 per 1,000 people by 1993. By substituting vegetable oils for coconut oil, the heart disease rate tripled! In Delhi where the consumption of coconut products is negligible, 10 out of 1,000 people had heart disease in the same time period. In Western countries where vegetable oil is the main source of fat, heart disease accounts for nearly half of all deaths. It seems that if you want to protect yourself from heart disease, you should replace your polyunsaturated vegetable oils with coconut oil.

Immune System Support

One of the unique characteristics of coconut oil is its antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil is, in essence, a natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal food. Coconuts grow in warm tropical climates where bacteria and other organisms live in abundance. Coconuts have developed a natural resistance to this swarm of potentially harmful microorganisms by using nature’s own antimicrobial defense force — medium-chain fatty acids.

Human breast milk and the milk of other mammals also contain MCFA. These fatty acids protect the newborn baby from harmful germs at its most vulnerable time in life while its immune system is still developing. Another reason coconut oil is added to infant formula is that it helps protect them from infections.

MCFA strengthens and supports the immune system. The antimicrobial and antiparasitic properties of the MCFA aid in reducing the stress that would otherwise be placed on the immune system. The immune system wages a constant battle with disease causing microorganisms. Coconut oil provides artillery to help fight these invading organisms, thus reducing stress on the immune system which allows the immune system to function more efficiently. Studies with coconut oil have shown it to improve immune response to pathogenic bacteria. Coconut oil is ideal for immune supressed individuals. Oil researcher, Dr. Mary Enig, has proposed giving coconut and palm kernel oils to AIDS patients to help protect them against infections.

(C) Copyright 1999 Piccadilly Books, Ltd. All rights reserved.

Gluten-free and Wheat-free Flours

Many are allergic to gluten and wheat. Some experience clear signs of their gluten intolerance or wheat allergy, many others experience much more subtle effects of such sensitivity.

It can be argued that our human digestive system did not evolve to to eat wheat and gluten as the paleolithic hu(wo)man ate mostly meats, fish, roots, berries, and seeds, not farmed grains.

It is also a fact that most of today’s flour has been stripped from it’s nutrients, bleached, grounded so fine to prolong shelf life (so even bugs can’t survive by eating that de-natured food) or to make using the flour easier, especially in the industries that want to create tasty and good looking pastries very fast. I will write other articles to talk about what to look for when buying wheat flour, I will also talk about the best method to prepare pastries using fermentation (not using baker’s wheat) in future articles.

For those of you that want to avoid wheat and gluten all together, I have good news. There are many alternatives, many are healthier than wheat.

I listed below “flours” that are alternatives to wheat flour and that are also gluten free. Remember, you’ll have to adjust any recipes you are using and maybe do some experimentation before you get the right quantities.
Amaranth flour: Amaranth flour is made from the seed of the Amaranth plant, which is a leafy vegetable. Alternative names: African spinach, Chinese spinach, Indian spinach, elephants ear.

Buckwheat flour: Buckwheat flour is not wheat, buckwheat is related to rhubarb. The small seeds of the plant are ground to make flour. Other  names: beech wheat, kasha, saracen corn.

Millet flour: Comes from the grass family.  Don’t use too much of this as millet has been shown to not be thyroid-friendly because it limits the uptake of iodine to the thyroid.

Quinoa flour (pronounced ‘keen wa’): Quinoa is related to the plant family of spinach and beets. It has been used for over 5,000 years as a cereal, and the Incas called it the mother seed.

Arrowroot flour: Arrowroot flour is ground from the root of the plant.

Brown rice flour: Brown rice flour is milled from unpolished brown rice so it has a higher nutritional value than white rice flour.

Chick pea flour: Is ground from chick peas. Other names: gram or garbanzo flour

Cornflour: Cornflour is milled from corn into a fine, white powder. Alternative name: cornstarch. Some types of cornflour are milled from wheat these are labeled wheaten cornflour.

Cornmeal: Ground from corn. Heavier than cornflour.

Maize flour: Ground from corn. Heavier than cornflour.

Potato flour: Potato flour has a strong potato flavor. This flour should not be confused with potato starch flour.

Potato starch flour: This is a fine white flour made from potatoes, and has a light potato flavor.

Sorghum flour: Is ground from sorghum grain, which is similar to millet.

Soya flour: Soya flour is a high protein flour with a nutty taste.

Tapioca flour: Tapioca flour is made from the root of the cassava plant.

Teff flour: Teff comes from the grass family, and is a tiny cereal grain native to northern Africa.

White rice flour: This flour is milled from polished white rice so it is not particularly nutritious.

Last updated: 10/01/2010