Almonds are the new wheat

Once you eliminate this genetically-altered Frankengrain called modern wheat, the diet should center around vegetables, nuts, healthy oils like olive and coconut, fish, meats, cheese, olives, avocados and other real whole foods. This is, in fact, the diet that I have advocated in my heart disease prevention practice, as well as my online program for prevention and reversal of heart disease.

But what if you’d like a piece of cheesecake or a nice slice of dessert bread—but you don’t want to gain two pounds, spend 48 hours in the bathroom suffering with diarrhea and cramps, 3 weeks of joint pains and leg swelling, wade through mental “fog,” anxiety, and rage just because you had that momentary indulgence—as you would with wheat?

That’s why I’ve been focusing on recipes that allow you to have something familiar, e.g., chocolate coconut bread or biscotti, but using ingredients that will not generate the metabolic contortions triggered by wheat.

On perusing these recipes, you will notice that there are recurring ingredient themes. Many of the same ingredients pop up time and again. Among the most frequent, versatile, user-friendly, and tasty: Almonds.

You can use almonds as ground whole almonds, ground blanched almonds for a finer texture, ground roasted almonds, almond butter (though, for maximum health benefits, I prefer the ground whole almonds). Ground almonds allow you to recreate muffins, breads, scones, pizza crust, pie crust, biscotti, and cookies with health benefits that exceed that of whole wheat—but with none of the downside: no weight gain, no high blood sugar, no triggering of small LDL particles (#1 cause of heart disease in the U.S.), no accumulation of visceral fat, no appetite stimulation.

In short, you just have your chocolate almond biscotti or mocha cupcake and enjoy it, no health price to pay. So I call almonds the new wheat, except better.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Jill

    My weight loss has stopped dead in it’s tracks at 15 lbs. for the last few weeks which is about the time I started making apple/cinnamon muffins with almond meal I grind myself. I just have less than 1/day, usually for breakfast. Nuts are high in calories, could that be what is going on? I’m just wondering why I’m at a stand still. I dropped wheat and cut waaay back on sugar/honey the end of July and went from 265 to 250 and then just stopped. Has me puzzled, anyone have any ideas?!

    • Hi, Jill–

      Eliminating wheat is, of course, step #1.

      If weight loss is your goal, then limiting other carbohydrates is step #2, e.g., no more than 40 grams per day. However, if even this fails you, consider thyroid dysfunction, an exceptionally common reason for stalled weight loss.

      • Jill

        I am pretty strict about limiting my carbs. I’m hypothyroid and insulin resistant. Gonna see my integrative med Dr. tomorrow and will ask him. Just had labs and they said I had too much T3 and not enough T4 I believe (or the other way around), I’ll know more tomorrow. I take 2 GR of Armour Thyroid and they said over the phone when I made the appt. that they are going to have to do something else. Will know more tomorrow. My blood sugars are in the low 100′s right now, they were around the 120′s when I started in July, getting better! I expect when that levels and we get the thyroid straightened out, the weight loss will start again.

        • HI, Jill–

          Be careful: I tell patients to not take their Armour until AFTER their blood draw, else the free T3 value will be false elevated, since the blood was drawn during absorption. This only occurs with T3, not T4.

          Unfortunately, it leads some docs to think that T3 is excessive. It’s not; it just reflects absorption.

          • Jill

            Good point Dr. about waiting to take the Armour until after labs. I don’t think I did, trying to remember. They did bump it up from 120 MG to 140 MG. Next time I do labs, I’ll make sure I wait and take meds AFTERWARDS (-;

      • Jill

        Yes, I walk about 5 mi. / wk. Gonna increase that, my body may be used to that and needs a little more activity or may walk faster, gonna watch my target heart rate closer when I walk.

        • I find that my clients really boost their losing potential when they incorporate these things:
          1. exercise at least 5 days a week for a minimum of 30 mins/day at an avg intensity of about 70-75%. this includes running, walking hills, etc.
          2. lifting weights 2-3 times a week choosing exercises that use large muscle groups (push ups, pull ups, squats, etc)
          3. do some sort of really hard exercise at least twice a week… this should be at an 80-90% intensity and can be done through shorter intervals. this really helps boost the metabolism.
          Hope that helps, it sounds like you just need to increase your exercise and give your system another jump start through raising your overall metabolic activity.
          Let me know if you have any questions,
          Joe

    • Patty

      Perhaps lower the nuts along with your total carbohydrate count for the day. Like Dr. said, no more than 40 grams of carbs a day and just for instance, on the Atkins low carb you aren’t allowed nuts for a few weeks and then only 1oz per day. Nuts also contain carbohydrates. Do you have insulin resistance? If so, even doing low carb, weight loss could take 6 months to start rolling until your metabolism balances as the insulin levels start to decrease. That is a wicked disturbance in your body and it really can time to reverse, then you’ll see nice losses. But in the meantime, keep going with the low carb and no wheat. That’s what I’m doing, I have 70 more pounds to lose.

      • Jill

        On a very low carb regimen, blood sugars are slowly coming down, when they change my thyroid meds tomorrow that may help. It may just take a while for the body to adjust too. I don’t do grains, potatoes, rice, etc. at all, strictly limit sugars and no artificial or stevia.

  2. We’ve been using almond flour for quite a while, and loving it. Here’s a few of my super simple recipes.
    1. Pancakes: in a bowl, place 1 egg, 3 tbsp almond flour, 1 tsp water, 1 tsp oil, sprinkle cinnamon and vanilla. Mix it all together and place in a pan, cook as you would a normal pancake.
    2. Pizza crust: in a bowl, place 1 egg, 3 tbsp almond flour, 1 tsp oil, pizza herbs and mix together. Pour out onto baking pan or parchment paper and bake at 350 for 10 mins. Pull out, cover with toppings and bake again for 10 mins at 350.
    3. Flatbread: in a bowl, place 1 egg, 3 tbsp almond flour, 1 tsp oil, dash of salt and mix together. Pour out onto pan or parchment paper and bake on 350 for 10 mins.

    Cheers,
    Joe

        • Patti Beverlin

          Coconut flour! You can’t sub it for almond flour in recipes because it works differently, but there are LOTS of coconut flour recipes available on the internet. Just do a search… (and plan to stock up on eggs!)

          • Ann

            Thanks Patti. I never thought I’d be able to follow Paleo or anything similar because of my nut allergy. I’m getting the book today and have hopes that even with a nut allergy I can have a wheat free life.

    • Brenda

      Joe, on the pancakes, if you beat the egg whites stiff and fold in the mixture at the last step, it will make them much lighter and fluffy.

  3. liz

    I thought you were going to say they were the new wheat, like I couldn’t have them any more! What a relief. I don’t use a lot of almond flour but eat a lot of them in nut form. I’m reading the book on my Kindle but am ordering two more, one for my teeny weeny friend who lives on Prilosec, Tums and Advil! I will try Joe’s pancake recipe for my husband who loves him some pancakes. I’ve really had no problems giving up baked goods.

      • Thank you everyone for all of the good information you have posted – especially for someone like me who is just starting out. I live out in the sticks and didn’t know where I was going to find some of the ingredients. I have been amazed at my loss of constantly being hungry. Also, 2 nights ago my husband ordered a pizza so I decided to have a piece. First I was just going to eat the top but decided to eat some of the crust. Man was I sick that night. Bloated Wheat Belly!! It wasn’t worth it. I won’t do that again.
        Stand strong Dr. Davis! You are helping so many people. God bless you!

        Rachel W.

        • Thanks, Rachel!

          Yes, it is important to not underestimate the power this thing has over impulse and appetite; it can be overwhelming.

          Your best protection remains total avoidance.

    • kelebek

      I was about the shut off my screen and go screaming around my house. Good thing I stuck around and read the rest of the article!

  4. Jill

    Thank you Dr. Davis and everyone for your advice! I know that eliminating the wheat and other grains has really helped as far as joint pain and asthma and allergies and my skin cleared. I no longer use Nexium which I am really happy about and NO heartburn! My feet used to really hurt all of the time and that stopped. I have no doubt that stopping the wheat is the best thing for me! Stay strong Dr. Davis, you are correct and are helping a lot of people out there!

    • It is truly life-transforming, isn’t it, Jill?

      I shudder to think what my life would be like had I not stumbled on these observations. Daily gastrointestinal distress, cycles of fatigue, overweight, low HDL, high triglycerides, diabetic blood sugar . . . all now just a distant memory. I now feel better than ever before, better than I felt at 30!

      • Jill

        I just bought 2 new Paleo cookbooks, there’s no stopping me now! I want to get to the point where I have as healthy recovery as you have achieved! Dr. recommended dropping dairy too, so here we are on day two of that! Did the Mall circuit walk tonight because of the cold rain storm. Thanks for the information and inspiration Dr.!!

    • NancyB

      wheat indulgence = irritability…..so in all seriousness that might explain why sometimes I can get so unbelievably cranky after drinking a couple of beers? I don’t get drunk – I get bitchy!

  5. Jerald

    http://www.bobsredmill.com/almond-meal-flour.html
    http://www.bobsredmill.com/organic-coconut-flour-mtx6135.html
    http://www.bobsredmill.com/flaxseed-meal.html
    http://www.bobsredmill.com/white-bean-flour.html
    http://www.bobsredmill.com/lowfat-soy-flour.html
    http://www.bobsredmill.com/organic-dark-rye-flour.html
    All of the above are low carb flours. I am trying to come up with a good analogue to leaven (yeast raised) wheat bread. I slipped the Rye in there because of the very high fibre content. Is that OK? Or does it have all the other nasties in there?

    Anyone have experience with these types of flours? Any of them able to substitute wheat effectively? Can one or a combination of them make nice fluffy bread? Feedback appreciated, especially on the more uncommon ones like white bean flour and coconut flour…

    • Thanks, Jerald.

      I’ve used a lot of the flaxseed, coconut, almond, and soy flours. They all work well, though I tend to use the flaxseed, coconut, and soy as texture modifiers to the almond meal, rather than as the primary ingredient.

      Whenever I’ve looked at bean-sourced flours, they tend to come out higher carb. Did you find a lower-carb version?

      Rye, unfortunately, is too similar to wheat, having been both naturally and artificially cross-bred with wheat many times over the millennia.

      • Jerald

        I’ve looked all over for information on rye as a replacement for wheat and cannot find much. Can you be more specific as to why rye is bad? The Rye flour I listed here is as follows:

        Total Carbohydrate
        21.00 g 7 %
        Dietary Fiber
        7.00 g 28 %
        Sugars
        1.00 g 3 %
        Protein
        4.00 g 8 %

        So with a 30 gram serving it is only 14 grams total carb intake (fibre accounted for). While this is not fantastic, as a flour base, it would be FAR more economical than almond meal and would be a good cheap bulker for the other flours in moderation.

        Also, I am not celiac prone, so why is gluten bad for me? It is mostly protien and resembles soy somewhat (to an uninformed person like me), so can you explain to me (a gluten newbie) more about it specifically?

        Thanks, Jerald!

        • Hi, Jerald–

          For all practical purposes, rye and wheat are interchangeable. They have hybridized so many times that they share substantial genetic code. wheat = rye.

          It’s not gluten we all should be avoiding; it’s wheat. This is due to gliadins, lectins like wheat germ agglutinin, amylopectin A, and the thousand other components of wheat. Gluten is just one nasty component among many.

          • Matt

            Dr. Davis,
            Color me a little bit skeptical on this point. I have read that when eating nuts in their whole form, you will never pull all of the calories from them. But ground nut meal is likely an exception. I find that when I make baked goods from almond or coconut flours, I overeat them unless I am careful to eat them very, very slowly. I fear that if I try to reintroduce baked goods out of almond meal into my diet, the results will be disastrous.

          • Hi, Matt–

            Odd. Whole nuts are indeed incompletely digested, and grinding them increases digestibility.

            I wonder if you have some unique response to some component of the nuts. However, you know your own body best. I think you just have to listen to it, although this is quite unusual.

  6. Sigi

    Ground almonds are an absolute God-send. I’m still finding out some of the amazing things you can make and bake with the stuff!

  7. NancyB

    I just saw Almond Flour (Bob’s Red Mill) at the store the other day and thought “Hmmmm……” I will have to try some of the recipes.

  8. Hi Dr. Davis, I got to hear your call on Underground Radio the other night. It was great….I learned a lot! What do you think about quinoa? I made a raw quinoa salad last night and find myself sneezing today…and also, what is your take on gluten pills? Do they truly work to help you digest the gluten or do they just mask the symptoms?
    I pretty much follow the Paleo diet (I don’t do dairy either) and am finding the same things others have posted…not as hungry, belly not as bloated…it’s just a bit hard to stick to the no wheat thing, especially when eating out. Sometimes you don’t know what they’re putting in your food! Tropical Traditions has some amazing coconut flour recipes as well as PaleoPlan.com.

  9. Rosalie

    I am new to this blog and to the concept of using almond flour. For someone who is overweight and has a wheat belly, is there any concern with the amount of fat in almond flour?

    • Fat is not the enemy. Unless you’re trying to drop excess weight. Fat is metabolically inactive, i.e. it doesn’t impact your blood glucose levels. I learned a lot years ago when I read Barry Sears “Enter the Zone.” Learned even more reading Gary Taubes’s “Why we get fat and what to do about it.” Dr. Davis’s “Wheatbelly” was, so to speak the frosting on the cake! Sorry Dr. D! Couldn’t help it. :P

      don’t fear fat, fear wheat and sugar instead!

  10. mina

    I always soak and dry almonds before I use them. Nuts and seeds contain numerous enzyme inhibitors (like phytic acid) that can put a real strain on the digestive tract if consumed in excess. Nuts are easier to digest, and their nutrients more readily available, if they are first soaked in warm salt water overnight then dried in a warm oven or dehydrator (no more than 150 degrees for 12 to 24 hours).

    I gave up wheat and other grains a year ago but I still have my wheat belly and 10-15lb excess weight. I guess it’s because of my thyroid. I have two small nodules, my TSH is always in the lower part of the normal range but my thyroid antibodies and T3 and T4 are normal. I don’t take any medications and have no symptoms except irregular periods which used to be regular and I can’t conceive.

    Dr. Davis, would you say that wheat is also one of the causes of “unexplained” infertility?

  11. Just thought I’d let everyone know I changed your choco muffin recipe. I’d actually been making plain muffins for a while (over on the low carb forums we call them “muffin in a minute” because you make them one at a time). So here’s what I do for ONE muffin:

    melt 1 to 3 tsp coconut oil in a 2 cup measure with 1 square Ghiradelli 85% dark chocolate
    add:
    1/4 cup almond flour
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1-2 pkts splenda (depends on how sweet you like it)
    1 TBS shredded coconut (I LOVE Tropical traditions dot com for all things coconut)
    1 egg

    Stir really well. Nuke for 60 to 90 seconds (depends on your microwave … mine is low power so I need 90 seconds.)

    Split and enjoy. I had some whipped cream cheese on mine this morning. YUMMMY!

  12. Carl

    I think you have to be careful with the consumption of to many almonds and almond products. While they may be useful , they also are high in omega 6 fats which are generally inflammatory in nature. They are high in vegetable oils and can lead to some of the issues you are all trying to avoid.

    • I hear you Carl.

      As I’ve said previously, we’ve got to pick our nutritional battles. Provided you are supplementing omega-3 fatty acids, the modest incremental intake of omega-6/linoleic acid from the almonds, I believe, are a minor issue at most.

      I think that we should enjoy an occasional muffin, scone, or cookie made with nut meals. Recall that nut-consuming people live, on average, 2 years longer than non-nut consuming people.

    • We’ve got to pick our battles.

      Provided you are supplementing omega-3 fatty acids, some intake of omega-6/linoleic acid is not just okay, it’s inevitable. It’s the excessive intakes in the absence of omega-3s that tip the scales in favor of inflammatory prostaglandin pathways.

      • Andrew

        Totally agree on the picking battles comment. However, while you want a decent ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 to control inflammation (believe 1:1 to 1:3 is the recommended target?) you still shouldn’t overdo it.

        Polyunsaturates are prone to oxidation if I recall correctly (more so than saturated and monounsaturated fats) and they won’t do you any favors wrt to overall health.

        Nuts are also high in phytatic acid (unless soaked or roasted) which contributes to mineral (calcium, magnesium, iron, etc) absorption issues.

        Robb Wolf, Chris Masterjohn, and Chris Kreser have all blogged and podcasted pretty regularly on these subjects. Treat nuts as a garnishment or a once in awhile treat (wrt to nut flours) and you should be fine. Playing catchup with O-3 to counteract O-6 isn’t any better for you in the long term.

  13. marci masson

    Hi Everyone This all fascinating to learn as I am new to all this. I do want to do an experiment on myself and go grain free for 30 days to see how I feel. I get digestive problem from eating nuts that have not been soaked to get rid of enzyme inhibitors. Do you know of a a place that sells RAW Organic SOAKED almond flour ??? I am also going to stock up on organic coconut flour to get me ready for my experiment !

    Or can you soak the almond flour ?

    • Hi, Marci–

      Sorry, no on both counts. Or, at least I’ve never tried soaking the almond flour. However, you could soak your almonds, then grind them yourself.

      Let us know what you experience!

  14. Kath

    Now I am curious about what kind of bread to get for sandwiches? I get Arnold’s which uses wheat. I don’t have the time or desire to make my own bread. Any suggestions? This must explain why, even though I am not overweight and I eat right, that I have a “wheat belly”.

    • Patty

      Hi Kath, a LOT of us have had to accept the truth that NO bread is safe for us to eat, if we have gluten sensitivities, insulin resistance (usually evidenced by the muffin belly), diabetes, etc. It is like quitting smoking, sometimes it is best to just lay it down cold turkey. This is probably the biggest most evil seduction ever, making people think that they just can’t survive without bread; so even if they get themselves weaned off of wheat, they still have to re-create some image of the beloved bread. There are those who make occasional treats with almond and coconut flours, but for me, I just gave up bread in all forms (along with crackers, pasta)

      • Maria

        I gave up bread entirely, and then I found the Mr. Peanut bread recipe on the 24/7lowcarbdiner blog…EXCEPT I use almond butter and add a cup of unsweetened applesauce. I don’t think it replaces sandwich bread well, but it is great in the morning, toasted, with butter…or even better, slices of avocado. You can google “Mr. Peanut Bread.”

  15. Joanna Alderson

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    Just made the blueberry muffins from your cookbook and they are amazing ! I used the coconut milk and the coconut oil and added 1 teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of orange zest. Anyone who loves marzipan will adore this recipe of yours.

    And the very best thing ? When you have one of these it’s totally satisfying and filling. I could eat 4 regular muffins and still feel like I want more ( that addictive wheat thing you talk about in the book I’m sure.)

    One comment I’d like to make just in case someone else runs into this. You say to cook them for quite a long time and I thought maybe that was a misprint because muffins usually take half the time, but I followed the directions anyway and they turned out terrific. I think maybe almond flour, because it’s heavier than regular flour, needs that extra cooking time to set, so if anyone else is questioning this …. don’t!.

  16. Steve

    Dr. Davis, I just heard you on the local moring show here in Medford OR… I’ll be getting your book today….
    I was diagnosed w/Type II diabetes almost 4 years ago. I have remeoved all carbos from my diet, and my blood sugar has stabilized. You mentioned that you have CURED Type II…. what is the “cure”….
    Thanks!
    Steve

  17. Elaine

    Elana’s Almond Flour has really gone sky-high price-wise. No longer the deal Dr. Davis talks about. Too bad for us all. Bob’s Red Mill competes with Elana’s new price. Just buy what you can find locally.

    • Maria

      For most things, unless you really crave the finer texture, I have been mixing Trader Joe’s almond meal with the more expensive almond flour. Granted, still not as good a deal as the the Elana’s, but can do in a pinch for economizing .

  18. Wendie

    I love the flax pitas & use them daily for wraps & even made a pizza on one! :0). I use flax for the muffins, too. Trying to save almond meal for special occasions & meals like pancakes and biscuits, etc. Need to keep my carb count under 30-40 or I wont lose weight.
    I am on day 10 Wheat Free and feel so much better. I’ve lost 5 lbs and have no knee or shoulder pain and my mental fog is also lifting. I’ve told everyone about the book but of course they think im nuts. I don’t care! I am exctited to finally find the answer to a lifelong struggle with food/carb addiction! Thank you Doc!

  19. Julianne

    Hi Dr. Davis, I just heard about your book and am going to read it on my ipad. I have a few questions about Celiac. I have had testing and one physician told me I had Celiac and another said I didn’t in view of the endoscopic biopsy. Blood tests for I believe antigliadin have been negative. I have the following symptoms: Joint pain in my feet, hands, ankles and neck. None in my knees or hips. Acid reflux with actual stomach contents coming into my throat, oil floating on the water after using the toilet, constant stuffed up nose with thick mucous that does not drain. I have been tested for allergies and was told I was allergic to nothing.. I am on claritin 2x a day and Astelin nose spray and still have this problem. Oh I also suffered an ankle fracture and the surgeon said my bones were so soft he could almost push the screws through. I think the physicians think I am a nut because I keep insisting that something is not right. Is there newer testing available and also how long would I need to try a gluten free diet before expecting any results? Can’t wait to read your book. Thanks!

    • Hi, Julianne–

      This is the problem with much of wheat intolerance: Only a fraction of wheat intolerance–even severe, incapacitating, life-threatening wheat intolerance–will be identified by antibody testing (e.g., transglutaminase or endomysial antibodies) or intestinal biopsy. Yet you can have every organ deteriorate.

      It is pure folly on the part of my colleagues to believe that all wheat intolerance can be confidently identified with blood tests or biopsies. Simply not true.

      Until we have better methods of confident detection, you are left with one solution: A prolonged trial of elimination.

      Please let us know what comes of your situation which, by the way, sure sounds like wheat intolerance in a severe form.

      • Maria

        After eliminating the wheat, I was still getting mild acid reflux…found out I was in the less than 1% group of Astelin users who get the reflux…

  20. Barb

    Dr. Davis,
    My husband and I have followed your eating plan for two weeks now. We have both lost several pounds and haven’t been hungry once! We no longer find the need to snack. I read in this Sunday’s NY Times that a new study shows that several small meals per day actually leads to weight gain; this was the eating plan I had been following to balance my blood sugar. It didn’t work for me! Now, on your plan my blood sugar is much better. In fact this morning it seemed to be a bit too low…75. It’s never been that low. After breakfast I had a problem for an hour with a headache and difficulty focusing my eyes, getting them to work together. My blood sugar one hour after eating was 100. Any ideas about what happened?

    On another note, we are trying veggies we’ve never had before such as kohlrabi which we love now!

    • Hi, Barb–

      Great start!

      If you are on diabetes medications, some drugs can result in hypoglycemia. Hopefully, if true, you have a doctor who recognizes that, as you become less diabetic, you need less medication. This is a good thing.

      However, if this occurred without diabetes medication, that is odd. If recurrent, then an evaluation will be in order to determine why this happened, i.e., an inappropriate and not diet-induced hypoglycemic episode. Your change in diet may have served to unmask a problem that was, in effect, being covered up by wheat and carbohydrate consumption.

  21. Mara

    Hi Doc, I bought the Kindle Audio Book ( no digital Kindle book available) and I loved the audio version
    but I would like to see some lists of foods or some recipes but dont know how to get them and print them
    as I am sure the hardcopy of the book or digital version would have that option. Any suggestion how to get
    those extra bits as I would like to study them and have them handy?

    Cheers, Mara from Sydney, Australia

    • Hi, Mara–

      I’ve gotten lots of requests for the “missing pieces” in the audio and electronic versions.

      I’ll have to post some of it here over time. Thanks for asking.

  22. Jessica

    Dr. Davis,

    I’ve just started reading your book and am finding the information very illuminating. I’d have no problem implementing your dietary suggestions for myself (and I consume very little gluten, if any, throughout the day to begin with … although we do eat quinoa or brown rice 2-3 times a week) but I’m concerned with the reliance on nuts. My oldest daughter is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, so there cannot be any trace of them in my house. That obviously rules out almond flour, coconut oil and the other nuts products used to replace gluten. She has also tested positive for a “mild” wheat and soy allergy, so she has a pretty limited dietary range. Do you have any suggestions for my family? I need to find an acceptable substitute for the nuts, as I still want her to enjoy treats on occasion. What are my options for flours if we cannot consume nuts, since potato, rice, and quinoa flours are too carb heavy? Thanks for any insight you can provide.

    • Jessica

      Silly me. I know quinoa and brown rice are gluten free. I meant that we are not super low carb in our house. I’m still nursing my youngest, and those carbs get me through the day!

      • Tara

        Ground flax can be used as a substitute for nut flours/meals! Try that out and see if it works for you.

      • Tara

        Also Jessica, I just found this on an allergy site:

        “Coconut is a member of the palm family, which is not related to nuts or peanuts. Coconuts are large seeds adapted for water-born dispersal and remain viable after having floated in the sea for six months or more. If your son is allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, there is no reason for him to avoid coconut.” I checked with Gwen Smith, the editor of Allergic Living magazine, to see if this answer remains correct, and she assured me Dr. Watson stands by that advice.

        http://blog.onespotallergy.com/2011/03/is-coconut-safe-for-people-with-tree-nut-allergies/

        Perhaps coconut flour would be a safe alternative for you if your daughter’s allergy is just to tree nuts.

    • Wow, that’s really tough, Jessica.

      There are bean flours, like garbanzo bean flour, that I am not terribly fond of due to carbohydrate content. But if there is simply a desire for an occasional indulgence, you might have to resort to the conventional gluten-free foods or bean flours, accepting that they are really not much better than, say, candy. But it might allow your daughter to at least share a piece of birthday cake or other occasional indulgence.

  23. Courtney

    This might be a stupid question:
    Can you use almond flour to replace most recipes the call for wheat or white flour?

  24. Carolyn

    Can you substitue almond flour for regular Gold Medal flour cup for cup? Or is there a ratio of almond flour to wheat flour?

    • Hi, Carolyn–Not really.

      The use of ground nuts changes the need for amounts of egg, liquids like sour cream or coconut milk, and the impact of flavorings. So it really helps to experiment.

      You can start with a 1:1 replacement, but then learn from the effort. This is why I test recipes up to 10 times to make sure they work out.

  25. Nicole

    Just finished reading Wheat Belly and am looking forward to going wheat free on Sunday!
    You mention raw nuts in the book but I am wondering if there is any concern or reason not to have nuts roasted at home? Sorry if you’ve answered elsewhere – couldn’t find any info on this on the site.
    Thanks!

    • Dr. Davis

      Nuts are best consumed raw to reduce exposure to heat-derived glycation/lipoxidation products. This is not a huge issue, so occasional consumption of dry roasted (not roasted in hydrogenated oils, as is often the case) is okay.

  26. I am struggling soooooo much with cravings……to the point that I literally begin making something with wheat and then force myself to run water in it, to ruin it, so I won’t continue…..or getting made and partiallyeaten, almost as in a walking black out………….
    All my life I have been a BIG baker and the cravings I am experiencing are just horrible..how how how do I deal with cravings………I am not yet successful in truly being wheat free due to these relapses……HELP!

  27. Wanda

    I’ve just discovered this book and hoping by following it I may be able to move more freely and be free of joint pain.

    One big problem though I have an allergy to almonds. I presume I can use coconut flour instead of almond meal and other nuts instead of almonds, are there any that are better?

    Thank you

    • Dr. Davis

      Better, no, but otherwise quite effective, yes.

      Use ground pecans, walnuts, as well as ground golden flaxseed with some of the coconut flour. More nuts/flaxseed, only a bit (e.g., 2 tablespoons per 2-3 cups nuts/flaxseed).

  28. Caroline

    I was given your book for Christmas and have removed gluten from my diet on Jan 2. I have already lost 9.8lbs and have not slipped once. About Almonds though, what are the downsides to having toasted almonds over raw almonds?

    • Dr. Davis

      If you toasted them yourself, you are on safe ground, Caroline.

      But if you bought almonds roasted in, for instance, hydrogenated cottonseed or soybean oil, then look for raw almonds or dry roasted with nothing else.

  29. Almond watch.

    With the omega 6 and phytates issues disposed of, two other questions may arise about almonds:
    1. GMO
    2. sterilization

    It is claimed that no almonds sold as “California almonds” are GMO, and that only “traditional” breeding methods have been employed. Of course, we know from wheat what a slippery word “traditional” is. So are there any genetic risks with almonds? I don’t know. Are there even any actual GMO almonds? I don’t know. This question came up at home today because we bought a store brand of almond milk and the carton did not claim “non GMO”.

    Thanks to a sneaky, power-grabbing USDA rule in 2007, all CA almonds sold as “raw” are, actually, not. They are required to be sterilized by one of several specific methods: roasting(blanching), steam or PPO (propylene oxide red). My guess is that blanched almond flour is at the least risk of PPO.

    wiki: “Propylene oxide is a probable human carcinogen and listed as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen.”
    If an almond processor doesn’t want to heat their almonds, the US requires using PPO. The EU prohibits PPO use on foods. Welcome to the 21st century.

    We’re going to look seriously at planting our own trees.

  30. Kyla Avens

    Dr. Davis

    I have been reading your book from the advice of my doctor. My question to you is. I have an allergy to almonds. What flour/meal can I use in place of almond flour in the recipes. Or does the break down of grinding the almonds have an effect in allergies. I know when I eat whole almonds I have problems. I have never tried eating blanched almonds. So maybe I am allergic to just the skin.

    Thank you

  31. Tandy

    Has anyone experimented with the recipes from the cookbook using non-nut based alternatives to the almond flour and would be willing to share your results? My husband’s health issues are part of the reason we want to pursue this lifestyle but he is allergic to nuts. Almost all the recipes have the almond flour so its discouraging to attempt substitutions blindly. Thanks !

  32. Erica

    Hello,
    My daughter is allergic to wheat, soy, dairy, egg, oats and bananas. I think your book is fascinating. Because my Husband is anaphylactic to almonds, what can I use as a replacement for almond flour so all family members can be safe?

  33. Fran Prather

    My son and I have both had itching reactions to items using coconut, and he is allergic to nuts, so I’m wondering what to use for the recipes. Should we just use flax for everything for awhile and then see how we’re doing? I’m just worried that overuse of one item could lead to a sensitivity for that item.

  34. Liz

    As well as reacting to wheat and the gluten grains, I also react to almonds – I get joint pain from almonds too. I I’m rushing to the bathroom for ages if I use coconut or flax – I seem to have a very sensitive gut.
    Any ideas please? Any recipes using veggies in place of flour?

    • Barbara in New Jersey

      Try using probiotics for your gut. There are many posts about the 50 billion or more cfu brands. This should help your problem. Dr. Davis has an archived topic about nutritional supplements and why you need them. Drink plenty of water ,at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces.
      There are many recipes here, in the cookbooks, on the web and paleo/primal sites for the kind of recipes you request.

  35. Meredith Gray

    Dr. Davis, Please consider writing a nut-free version of your cookbook! So many people seem to need it. Thanks so much for transforming our minds and bellies!