Gluten-free Flours, Best & Worst for Weight Gain

By Jane Barthelemy. What are the best gluten-free flours? Which flours are Paleo? Compare these gluten-free flours by carb content and risk of weight gain. Weight gain is associated with carbs, which convert to sugars during digestion. Check it out for yourself. Which gluten-free flours will help you most in weight control?

The Winners are! Best Flours for Weight Control: Almond meal/flour (Paleo), Shredded coconut (Paleo), Coconut butter (Paleo) Coconut flour(Paleo), Fava bean flour (not Paleo), and Garbanzo flour (not Paleo).

The Worst Flours for Weight Control: Expandex (not Paleo), Tapioca flour (Paleo), Arrowroot flour(Paleo), Rice flour (not Paleo), and Potato Flour (not Paleo). 

Dr. William Davis, MD, Cardiologist and author of best selling book Wheat Belly says: “Elimination of wheat is a powerful strategy for regaining control over your health, appetite, and weight. But it is not the whole story.” Most gluten-free diets include higher levels of flours. Unfortunately most of these are loaded with carbohydrates, even higher levels than wheat. In order to lose weight we have to “lose the carbs”. Reducing carbs helps to break the roller-coaster of blood sugar and insulin-resistance.

Dr. Davis condemns gluten-free foods made with high-carb flours like rice flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, tapioca, and potato flour. He recommends no more than 15 grams “net” carbs per meal. Better yet, forget high carb flours altogether, and use the most delicious and lowest carb flours such as shredded coconut and almond meal. Compare for yourself below.

If you’re watching your weight, and want to enjoy your treats, there’s no need for high-carb flours. My recipes use low-carb coconut butter and almond meal, for the most luscious and delectable desserts you can imagine. Check out the sweet recipes on this blog, or my books Paleo Desserts and Good Morning Paleo. These yummy treats do not cause weight gain. See the flours comparison graph and charts below. Which flour will be your new favorite??



The Winners are! Best Flours for Weight Control: Almond meal/flour, Shredded coconut (or coconut butter), Coconut flour, Fava bean flour, and Garbanzo flour.

The Worst Flours for Weight Control: Expandex, Tapioca flour, Arrowroot, Rice, and Potato Flour.

By Jane Barthelemy, CBP, CRM, DRM, MBA, Paleo/Gluten-free chef, author of Paleo Desserts and Good Morning Paleo.

4 Replies to "Gluten-free Flours, Best & Worst for Weight Gain"

  • comment-avatar
    CH April 2, 2023 (1:45 pm)

    Isn’t buckwheat still wheat??

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy April 5, 2023 (6:52 am)

      Hello CH,
      Thank you for your question. Buckwheat is not a grain. That means it is not a “grass”. It is a triangular-shaped seed from the flowering buckwheat plant, sometimes called ‘groats’. It can be ground into flour and used in baked goods. Despite its name, buckwheat isn’t related to wheat or other grains. Buckwheat is related to the plant family of rhubarb and sorrel. It is often classified as a pseudo-grain like quinoa, chia, and amaranth. The truth is, all whole grains and seeds are quite healthy, if they are chemical free. I love buckwheat. However these days I don’t eat much flour anymore. I do better with the whole Foods, not ground. Thanks again. Best wishes for your delicious health! Jane

  • comment-avatar
    Thomas June 25, 2021 (11:06 pm)

    Hello, thanks for sharing. I noticed you didn’t mention buckwheat flour. I think it fits in the list somewhere.

    • comment-avatar
      Jane Barthelemy June 26, 2021 (2:46 am)

      Hi Smoovegri,
      Hmmm..sorry I didn’t think of buckwheat, a very tasty flour! Find in by looking at the % carbs on the nutrition label. I’m in Bali and don’t have any handy. I wrote this article several years ago, and it is still relevant. However a few years ago I discovered the health risks of ALL flour, esp with regard to hypertension, plaque in the blood vessels, and weight gain. I came to the conclusion that flour isn’t really Paleo – I mean how could they make a fine grind on a hand grinding stone? And the fact that flour becomes rancid a few weeks after grinding. Maybe THAT could be why our Paleo ancestors didn’t suffer from belly flab or hypertension – two of our top chronic health issues. After that I stopped eating all flour and increased my fiber intake radically. My health improved! Then I started inventing high fiber flourless sprouted yummies, like these pancakes – no flour needed! Check it out and best wishes for your delicious health!

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