It's no secret that gluten-free foods are all the rage. From pizza to cupcakes, many of our favorite carbs are now replacing traditional wheat flour with almond flour, coconut flour, and so many other kinds. But, are these flour alternatives really good for you?
Let's start by thinking about why someone would want to give up traditional wheat flour. Many people discover that they have a sensitivity or even an intolerance to gluten. According to the University of Chicago, three million Americans suffer from Celiac Disease. That's a lot of people giving up traditional wheat flour.
Many people also experience fatigue, bloating, irritable moods, and many other side effects from eating gluten. In fact, there are many lists out there that talk about the dangers of gluten, and how it causes a number of bodily issues, from vitamin B12 deficiency to leaky gut.
Now, before you freak out and start buying all the chickpea flour you can get your hands on, remember this: humans have eaten gluten-filled products for years. These issues affect a small portion of the population, and it's unlikely you have a sensitivity/intolerance to gluten.
But let's say you still want to give up traditional flour and opt for coconut flour or almond flour—these flours carry many nutritional benefits, some even more than an all-purpose flour. Here are the most popular flour alternatives and the benefits they give. I'll also be comparing them to their celebrity equivalents, because why not?
Coconut flour is high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. It's grain-free and adds a subtle coconut-y taste to whatever it's in. Personally, I like to use it in baking because it adds a new flavor profile to whatever I'm making. If this flour was a celebrity, it would be Solange Knowles.
Almond flour is low in carbohydrates but high in healthy fats and fiber. It's a great substitute if you're looking to add more protein into your diet. Almond flour has a subtle almond flavor, but not as powerful as coconut flour. If this flour was a celebrity, it would be Kim Kardashian.
This is the holy grail of flour alternatives. Not only is it rich in protein and fiber, but it also contains iron, potassium, vitamin B-6, and so many other great nutrients for your body. This is basically the Gwyneth Paltrow or even Beyonce of alternative flours.
So, if you're looking to branch out from your standard all-purpose flour, there are tons of healthy options out there. These nutrient-rich flours can definitely add some oomph to your diet and are much better than a bleached, white flour.
Does this mean that you should abandon anything that has white flour in it? Well, not necessarily. Standard flour may not be the best option for you, but it should be fine (unless you have celiac or a sensitivity to gluten) as long as you eat it in moderation.
Don't be afraid to branch out and try them all, you may find that you like more than your traditional flour. After all, you may find your new favorite flour.