Moving beyond rice corn and potatoes

When adopting a gluten-free lifestyle, people tend to turn to starchy, fill-me-up standbys like rice, corn, and potatoes. People seek these out partly because they are starchy foods, a replacement of sorts for the bread, pasta, and bagels we're accustomed to eating when we eat gluten.

So what's the problem with substituting these standbys? They're gluten-free, so they should be fine, right? Well, they're fine from a gluten-free standpoint. But they're pretty much void of nutrients, at least compared to some of the nutritional powerhouses that you could be eating.

See, not all carbs are created equal. Fruits and veggies are great. But rice, corn, potatoes, and refined wheat are all high glycemic load foods. High gly-huh? We'll talk more about what that means in the next section.

For now, all you need to know about high glycemic foods is that they mess with your blood sugar levels, which is especially dangerous for people with diabetes. They also can pack on the pounds almost faster than you can eat them, which is one reason many people who go gluten-free experience weight gain (to find out how to combat the gluten-free gain, check out the "Managing Your Weight When You're Gluten-Free" section later in this chapter).

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