Are LeafSide meals gluten-free?

Most of our meals are nominally gluten-free, meaning they have no specific ingredients with gluten, but it’s possible that trace amounts are present. We are not a gluten-free kitchen, so our meals are not certified as such. In particular, two of our meals do use organic whole grain wheat ingredients: the Madras Curry (uses organic bulgur), and Tex Mex (organic freekeh) savory-bowls.  You can see all of our meals here: https://www.goleafside.com/meals/ Simply click on each meal to see a description, the ingredients, and the basic nutritional information.

If you have been clinically diagnosed with celiac disease by a licensed medical professional (using blood tests and a biopsy), we advise not using our meals.

Otherwise and in general, if you suspect you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), consider working with a licensed lifestyle medicine professional (RD or MD) who can carefully review your current actual diet, while following an evidence-based protocol to properly diagnose the situation. A careful and thorough diagnosis can save you a lot of needless worry, avoid incorrect dietary restrictions (and missed social events), and avoid wasted money on unhealthy foods. Certified gluten-free products can easily cost 3× more, while still being highly processed and loaded with added sugar, saturated animal fats, and salt.

Put another way, it’s important to distinguish between refined, ultra-processed, high glycemic-index, and nutrient-poor wheat products, versus minimally processed, fiber-rich, low glycemic-index, high-nutrient whole grains.  The vast majority of Americans eat far too much of the former, which include:

  • Bread, bagels, and tortillas from white/refined flour
  • Cakes, cookies, crackers, donuts, and pretzels from white/refined flour
  • Pizza from white/refined wheat flour
  • Pastas from white/refined wheat
  • Ready-to-eat cereals from white/refined wheat

We all recognize the above foods, which are ubiquitous in developed countries.  By contrast, few recognize, and regularly eat, minimally processed wheat products like wheatberries, or cracked whole wheat (bulgur, freekeh), or other whole grain wheat foods. Furthermore, practically all the above ultra-processed wheat products come with added processed sugar, processed (saturated) fats, and lots of salt — unhealthy additives that are very cheap, increase shelf life, and above all, are now provably addictive (esp. sugar, fat) on top of the addictive properties of refined flour itself.

Small wonder that when people reduce or eliminate such refined wheat products, they often feel better (better energy, better sleep, better mood) — but it’s easy to mistake correlation for causality, i.e. in dropping processed foods, much more (and worse) than gluten was cut from entering the body.

One more wrinkle to NCGS that’s worth mentioning: Anecdotally, many people who suspect gluten sensitivity (e.g. brain fog, poor sleep, depression, or an upset stomach after eating white flour bread or typical baked goods) experience fewer or no issues after eliminating processed food from their diets, and/or eating organic wheat products. These outcomes suggest one possible cause is the heavy use of pesticides (e.g. glyphosate) in conventional wheat foods.  It has become a common practice to use pesticides (with glyphosate as a primary chemical) on conventional crops like wheat, soy, corn, etc. shortly before and/or after harvesting (as a desiccant for faster drying, or with conventional wheat, to kill the crop for early harvesting), which can greatly increase the presence of those chemicals in conventional, non-organic consumer food products.

To learn more about allergies, gluten, glyphosate and the effects it has on the human body, we recommend listening to this Rich Roll podcast interview with Dr. Zach Bush: https://www.richroll.com/podcast/zach-bush-353/ as well as his second return interview here: https://www.richroll.com/podcast/zach-bush-414/ 

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