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20 Alternative Flours You Should Know

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

flour alternatives

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  • If you have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance or have chosen to go gluten-free for other reasons, you will need to identify healthy alternative (non-wheat) flours
  • Avoid corn flour and soy flour, as they are often produced from genetically engineered crops
  • The eight alternative flours I recommend are: almond, amaranth, arrowroot, coconut, hemp, millet, sorghum and tapioca; you may also enjoy healthy “flours” produced from riced cauliflower and ground macadamia nuts
  • While 12 of the alternative flours are thought to be good for you based on the nutrients they contain, I discourage their use due to the presence of lectins, sugar-binding plant proteins that attach to your cell membranes, promoting weight gain and ill health
  • Some of the alternative flours you should avoid due to their lectin content are barley, buckwheat, chia, chickpea, lupin, oat, potato, quinoa, rice, rye, spelt and teff

If you are still baking primarily with whole wheat flour because you believe it is better for your health, you may not be aware of the many alternative flours that exist. While some are worth checking out, there are others that are best avoided altogether, such as corn flour and soy flour, which did not make the list as they are often produced from genetically engineered crops.

Many of the 20 alternative flours highlighted below are gluten-free. If you have celiac disease, a gluten intolerance or have chosen to go gluten-free for other reasons, you are very likely familiar with some of them. Gluten, by the way, is a protein made of glutenin and gliadin molecules that forms an elastic bond in the presence of water, thereby holding bread and cakes together and giving them a spongier texture.


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