Gluten-Free, Sugar Drunk

by Kitchen Ladies


We walked in looking for gluten-free and left feeling sugar drunk …

Sydney and I attended a huge Gluten-Free Expo just outside of San Francisco this past weekend and couldn’t believe the crowd in attendance! Wow, the GF market is a big market and serves a special need for sure and while we were so excited to attend, we left the event pondering a bigger question… is our country obsessed with sweets?

Upon entering the event we were met with a table filled with gluten-free pizza and cookies of which I didn’t hold back. I chose to take a one-hour sabbatical from my 21- day sugar detox to sample the gluten-free goods. I mean, after all how bad could they be for me? Once we walked into the massive room of vendors our hearts raced as we plotted where to begin! We sampled many wonderful treats in thimble-sized portions and I thought to myself, this couldn’t be all that bad, right? I couldn’t have been more wrong! Half way through the expo I felt sugar drunk – I was shaky and slightly sick to my stomach and so was Syd. We started to laugh as we suddenly turned around to take in the scene and noted that 90% of the vendors were selling either pizza, cereal, or cupcakes – and most with a “sugar-free” spin. Sugar–free meaning that instead of cane sugar they use a substitute such as agave nectar, maple syrup, coconut sugar or chicory root, which are pretty equal in sugar value to the processed white powder. Okay, some may mess with your glycemic level less but they are still none-the-less unhealthy and in some cases even worse. I mean you don’t have to be a scientist to understand that when ingested into the body, your body still recognizes these substances as some form of sugar. Even the fluffy bread-like carbohydrates sans sugar eventually turn into sugar when ingested. No matter how you spin it, gluten-free, sugar-free or not, Pizza, cereal and cupcakes… are still pizza cereal and cupcakes.

Again, gluten-free certainly has its place and is the healthier choice but we couldn’t help but wonder about the effects of all of the different sweeteners used based on how it made us feel. But who were we to complain, after all it was a gluten-free expo, what did we expect? If we truly wanted a gluten-free, sugar-free experience then we should have hit the veggie section of the local farmers market.

Don’t get me wrong, having grown up a Twinkie loving, Dr. Pepper swilling teenager, I have no plans for giving up sugar altogether… the sugar grip is hard to break. What I do know is that I do feel better without it.

Lesson learned: just because it’s gluten-free and sugar free, doesn’t mean it’s good for you and maybe, “Living Without” isn’t such a bad thing.

~ Kim

Agave Nectar

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