Why I Threw Away My Favorite “Health” Food…
Do you ever find yourself with an innocent snack attack at the office, in between meals, or late at night?
The easiest thing to do in this situation is to grab a bag of chips, pick at leftovers, or even slice up a piece of fruit.
But perhaps you don’t want a sugary piece of fruit and it’s right before bed. Maybe you don’t have any leftovers.
So… you opt for the chips.
But I’m not talking about Dorito’s or Pringles. Nay – you’re a health conscious individual! So you grab a bag of Gluten-Free Pretzel Sticks, like Glutino Gluten Free Pretzel Sticks.
Or at least if you’re like me you do… err… did.
That’s because recently my eyes have been opened up to the fact that just because something is ‘Gluten-Free’ doesn’t make it GOOD.
Gluten-Free Doesn’t Make It Right…
Case in point: my bag of Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzel Sticks.
There are a lot of darn good Gluten-Free bread-mimicking foods, like Rudi’s delicious gluten-free bread, or even pre-made gluten-free bread crumbs by Bob’s Red Mill.
I’m not dissecting these products today… but after you read through this entire article – you can make your own decision about whether or not to continue eating these gluten-less substitutes!
Glutino’s Gluten-Free Preztels are one of the most delicious gluten-free substitutes I’ve personally found.
But after what I’ve just learned… I threw out two full bags.
I just can’t do it anymore…
Namely – there isn’t much GOOD in gluten-free pretzels. They’re salty, sugary, full of preservatives and even a few substances I personally consider to be toxic – such as sodium bicarbonate.
When I walked into the pantry last night realizing I was CRAVING pretzels… I had to stop and realize that I was, indeed, addicted to this food.
Worse yet… this morning I made the dash to the pantry to have a handful of pretzels while I made breakfast.
I suddenly looked down and realized that I was a fiend for these sneaky little cracker sticks. Yep – addicted.
I’ll tell you what I did to satisfy that craving in a little bit…
The Role of Gluten-Free Pretzels on Blood Sugar…
There are a few reasons this food triggers an addictive urge in me.
Typically, I try to avoid foods that raise blood glucose too much.
And that means I generally avoid overdoing the starches and sugars.
But not all starches are the same.
Some starches digest very quickly and cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, while others digest very slowly, causing blood glucose to rise less and over a longer duration.
“Resistant starches” are not digested in the small intestine at all, and therefore cause little to no blood sugar spike.
I then checked the ingredients in my pretzels and realized that two of the ingredients were probably really wreaking havoc on my blood sugar levels: potato starch and rice flour.
These ingredients are notorious for elevating blood sugar quickly – which is worse than if our bodies were able to digest them slowly.
Why I Felt “Addicted” To Gluten-Free Pretzels…
The biggest problem with my delicious pretzels is that I never felt satiated after one handful. (Bet you can’t eat just one!
I kept wanting more and more, handful after handful.
When foods are sugary, or have properties that mimic sugar in our bodies, we often become addicted to them because of a dopamine response they create in our brains.
Over time, this dopamine response lessens, and we need more and more to satiate the craving.
This is the primary source of food addiction and binge eating disorders.
It’s not just dangerous because it can make you fat…
… But it is dangerous to your self-esteem, as well.
When I looked up after binging on 500 calories of pretzel sticks the other night – I knew I might have a problem.
Dissecting Glutino Pretzel Sticks…
Normally this would be easy.
I’d avoid the aisles and these bags of starchy, sugary goodness would never get into my pantry.
I avoid processed foods, foods too high in sodium, and I especially avoid things in packages.
But the Gluten-Free thing really caught me off guard…
Here are a few other things that made me raise my eyebrows at my own bad decision.
5 Reasons I’ll AVOID Gluten-Free Pretzels
1. Corn Starch
It’s a starch derived from corn. Ingredient #1 in the pretzels.
And do you know what? I don’t want a corn product that’s from genetically modified corn.
I did some digging in the Glutino brand and found this:
My pretzels aren’t in this list of organic or GMO-Free foods by Glutino.
SO if you’re avoiding quick-digesting starches to keep yoru blood sugar in check…
… Or if you’re avoiding GMO’s and non-organics…
The best choice may be to ditch these otherwise delectable gluten-free delights.
2. Soluble Corn Fiber
More corn – more GMO risk.
Sugar completely inundates our lives – showing up in beverages, sauces, and even in my salty pretzels!
I’ve called it the most dangerous food in America… and I don’t need any MORE of it in my life than I already consume – sometimes unwittingly at restaurants or in fake ‘health foods’ such as these Glutino pretzels!
I’ll take salty pretzels or popcorn any day of the week over a piece of cake or a jelly bean.
But packaged foods have a way of over-doing the salt leading to high sodium.
Plus, the salt used in packaged foods isn’t the high-quality sea salt I would use at home for it’s health benefits.
Packaged foods have a way of sneaking in more sodium thatn our home-cooked foods… without us even noticing!
In fact, while our bodies only need 200 mg of sodium per day, the average American consumes up to 3,600 mg per day!
Too much sodium in our system causes our bodies to retain water, which puts excessive burden on our hearts and blood vessels.
That’s why people with high blood pressure avoid high-sodium diets.
5. Soy Lecithin
Soy lecithin is ubiquitous in almost all processed foods.
It’s composition is different depending on its manufacturer, but it’s usually about a third soybean oil.
If you avoid processed foods, you would definitely avoid foods with soy lecithin.
Same goes for if you avoid soy due to it’s tendency to be a crop that’s generally riddled with nasty toxins…
… Not to mention the fact that soy is linked to weight gain and estrogen-mimicking properties in men.
An Important Decision I Made For My Body…
Here’s the moral of the story: convenience foods aren’t made for longevity.
They can leave you feeling more hungry than when you started, spike blood sugar, trigger negative insulin responses in your body, cause you to eat more than you should, cause you to eat the WRONG types of ingredients… cause you to feel addicted…
… Oh, yeah. And all this may lead to weight gain at the least – diabetes and cardiovascular problems on the worse end of the spectrum.
So What Can You Do To Stop Cravings and Weight Gain?
I have a few tricks up my sleeve.
#1 – Find A Replacement That’s Easy To Grab…
If I’m majorly craving carbs, sugars, or pretzels – I go for an all-natural, nitrate-free smoked jerky. Or perhaps some celery with peanut butter. Carrots and hummus. A bowl of sauerkraut with feta cheese, even!
These are all more satiating, and won’t spike my blood sugar.
I always have fresh, washed, cut veggies in my refrigerator. And healthy jerky .
#2 – Drink Water!
Often when we feel hungry, we’re actually just thirsty.
I trick myself into drinking more water by making sparkling lemonades with fresh lemon juice, zest, and a few drops of Stevia.
But even more refreshing than that is Wu-Long Tea with filtered water. I keep several tumblers of SlimTea with lids on them in my fridge at all times.
Then if I go into the fridge with cravings – I enjoy a cup or two of delicious, antioxidant-loaded SlimTea instead.
#3 – SlimTea Capsules
Plus, they help to eliminate carb cravings and regulate your body’s insulin response.
We’ve been sold out with everybody dreaming of their sexy bikini bodies, but I’ve finally been able to restock these rare and powerful capsules in time for you to get in beach body shape.
If you want to learn more about ways to crush carb cravings WITHOUT the processed, packaged foods, click HERE.