Am I Allergic to Almond Flour and Coconut Flour?

Food allergies plague many of us in the Elana’s Pantry community and can be at the root of various health issues. Sometimes we’re concerned that the foods we eat in our clean diets may be a problem. That leads to a question that readers ask me fairly often, which is “am I allergic to almond flour and coconut flour?”

Unlocking Solutions to Health Puzzles

I’ve dealt with my fair share of food allergies and gained incredible knowledge on my journey back to health. As I’ve unlocked solutions to my own health puzzles I’ve become more agile at analyzing health challenges overall. Now that I’m well enough I love helping you find solutions to your health puzzles.

Am I Allergic to Almond Flour and Coconut Flour?

Let’s dive into the specifics of this question so we can unlock solutions and identify ways to move ahead:

Thank you for so much great information and recipes! Do you know of any reason that a person cannot tolerate even gluten-free Paleo flours? I don’t get sick, but I DO bloat up for almost 3 days almost like the grains or flours are causing me to retain water….. I usually eat Paleo and occasionally like to bake with almond flour and some coconut flour, etc. I don’t even do well with those. No one has been able to answer my question including my allergist/immunologist. Thank you!

My Journey Back to Health

The question, “Am I Allergic to Almond Flour and Coconut Flour?” may seem simple enough, but it has several components. The first step in moving forward is peeling back each layer of the issue so that we can simplify the question. That’s what I’ve done repeatedly on my journey back to health.

Back in 1998, when I went gluten-free, I knew that the traditional high-carb gluten-free diet would not help me heal. Shortly after that, I went on a grain-free diet, now referred to as the Paleo Diet, eliminating all grains because of inflammatory properties that can cause symptoms for weeks, if not months.

Are You Allergic to High-Carb Gluten-Free Flours?

Like my own experience, it could be that this reader’s bloating response is simply to grain-filled flours that are very taxing on the digestive system even when totally gluten-free. Following a Paleo Diet means eliminating typical gluten-free flours such as corn, rice, and potatoes. This reader mentions that they eat some paleo flours and some grain-based flours, which would refer to the traditional gluten-free flours I mention above and that could be a big part of the problem.

Am I Allergic to Almond Flour?

This reader also mentions that they may be allergic to baked goods with paleo flours like coconut flour and almond flour. It could be that they are reacting to the flours themselves, or possibly other ingredients such as the sweeteners that are often used along with these flours. That could indicate candida or a number of other maladies.

Am I Allergic to Coconut Flour?

Lately, I’ve heard from many readers who are allergic to coconut and coconut-based products. They cannot eat coconut flour, coconut oil, coconut butter, or coconut milk. Often, when we eat a food repeatedly, day-after-day, we can build up an intolerance to it. That’s why I don’t eat the same foods each day and keep my diet fresh with variety.

Identify Food Allergies with the Elimination Diet

I’ve found that the best way to identify food allergies is to do an elimination diet. This means eliminating all potential allergens and sticking to simple foods including unprocessed meats and green vegetables for 4-8 weeks until symptoms clear up. The next step is to add in suspicious foods one-by-one every 3 days to see if you have a reaction. That’s the way I’ve done the elimination diet, different practitioners may implement it with variations on this basic theme.

The Green House That Almost Killed Me

Have you seen my article, The Green House That Almost Killed Me? Sometimes we may have strange symptoms that seem to be one thing and end up another. Certain foods may trigger food allergies and exposure to toxins may exacerbate existing health issues as well.

Safe Personal Care Products

We know it’s important to eat organic and avoid pesticides. It’s equally critical to be mindful of what we put on our bodies. Since our skin is our largest organ, we can be thoughtful about what we’re feeding it too. I have superlative guides to my favorite Safer Sunscreens, the best Non-Toxic Makeup, and my top Safer Skincare picks to keep you healthy inside and out! Remember, to think out of the box and challenge conventional wisdom when it comes to your health.

What are your favorite health hacks? Leave a comment and let me know!


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paleo cooking from elana's pantryGluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook


Elana, Thank you for all the wonderful information and recipes. They are invaluable!

Comments

61 responses to “Am I Allergic to Almond Flour and Coconut Flour?”

  1. Thank you Elana for everything that you share. You have really helped me recover.
    I have been using almond flour for the past 10 years, was a real life saver. I made muffins from almond flour as my breakfast. I have Crohn’s disease for over 30 years. Elaine Gotschalls book,
    Breaking the Vicious Cycle was the book I used, which was a major change to my health and healing from Crohn’s. Then I came by your books and website and they further added to my healing.
    As of the past 2 weeks I’ve removed almond flour from my diet due to lichen sclerosis’s, almonds being high in oxlates, I have been surprised by how bloated I was from the almond flour. Experienced cravings and extreme hunger as I detoxed off it, which have finally subsided.
    I read that you have lots of variety, and I need that also.
    It so hard to find menus, would you post some, write a book of menus, One month would be plenty then start at the beginning of the month again.

  2. Elana, Thank you for all the wonderful information/recipes. They are invaluable! The ALCAt food sensitivity may provide some helpful information. ALCAT looks at the white blood cell’s reaction to food, mold, environmental toxins, food additives and other….so it looks at the inflammatory process rather than an immune response. Yale recently presented favorable results of a double blind study that looked at ALCAT testing.
    I had a patient who thought she was gluten intolerant and hence gave up gluten, than she gave up rice and still had no improvements of symptoms. She did the ALCAT and it showed that Olive Oil caused the biggest reaction. She gave up Olive oil/other foods for 6 months while doing a gut repair program. Now she can eat Olive Oil with no symptoms.

  3. I’m always explaining to others why I’m grain free, as opposed to gluten free. As it turns out, I’m WAY more allergic to tapioca flour and its derivatives, but also guar gum, xanthan gum, full fat coconut and maltodextrin. Puts a serious dent in what would be plentiful alternatives. That’s why I’m so grateful to have found you, your blog and cookbooks! They have been lifesavers for me. Thanks so much!!

    • Lisa, thanks for sharing your story here! I’m so happy that my blog and cookbooks are helping you :-)

    • Lauren, thanks for asking! I use those flours since I gave up grains and no longer eat corn, rice, potatoes, and other typical gluten-free flours that are very high in carbohydrates as well as inflammatory properties :-)

      • Stevia gives me a migraine. I asked my gastro dr why I get bloated and constipated when I eat gluten free flours. He said there is still so much that isn’t known about the gluten free flours and if I’m getting bloated I should just avoid them. I had to give up almond flour because I became super sensitive. Now after a year I can tolerate it but have to remind myself to rotate it.

        Love Elana’s blog & I have all the cookbooks!

      • I want to cook like you do, I need help with which flour is good for me,too?
        I have lupos-autoimmunine disease, and on a limited budget with buying stuff just for one recipe. I stop eating corn, rice, pasta, potato’s.
        I want to be on low carb lifestyle, need more resource on which flour is good for me, without breaking my wallet.

        • Lynette, thanks for your comment! You’ll get the most bang for your low-carb buck by spending it on animal protein, green vegetables and berries. If I had to choose a flour, it would be almond flour. I wrote an entire book of almond flour recipes in 2008, the first grain-free cookbook from a major publisher:

          https://amzn.to/20XA3ic

          We do a lot of book giveaways on my Instagram page, so follow there to win yourself a copy:

          https://www.instagram.com/elanaspantry/

          I hope you’ll keep me posted on how you’re doing!
          Elana

  4. You have a very good point. Most baked goods have some sweetener in them. Stevia is considered”all natural” but it hits me like gluten (I have Celiac). It might something else in the recipe. An elimination diet is the simplest way to find out.

  5. THANK YOU for your response to my questions regarding Paleo and GF flours. I ONLY use Paleo flours when baking, and as I noted – these cause bloating, much less the mainstream GF flours. I REALLY appreciate your attempt to cover this vexing personal phenomenon, and also the common questions around coconut products (I don’t use those much either…). I am incredibly grateful for the Paleo diet and the proliferation of decent recipes for both Paleo and Keto. Your work has been a Godsend… and, I hope you are continuing to feel much better after dealing with your SmartHouse situation – I think we should all be concerned about being hyper-wired to modern technology. Thank you again!

      • Elana – I was going through a book written by an integrative medicine doctor, and he commented that HE has had Carbohydrate Intolerance for years….Bingo – that is probably MY problem in addition to celiac and issues with FODMAPS foods. I wish there was a LOT more written out there about Carb Intolerance – he said it is a metabolism issue…. I just pray that we learn more over the years about all this…. THANK YOU for posting my question!! Still searching…:)

        • Gail, you are so welcome! I’m thrilled that your question has engendered so much thoughtful dialogue here! During the last thousands of years carbohydrates were not regularly and abundantly available to humans (perhaps royalty and the wealthy had greater access) and so our ancestors would not have been adapted to eating a continually carb-rich diet.

    • Thank you Elana for sharing your wisdom and recipies.
      It is a learning experience for sure and everyone is different. I have found that any gluten free flours are high in starch it is these flours that cause me to feel bloated along with certain starchy vegetables.
      Ireen

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