Are Waffles Paleo?


Waffles, like most of our standard American breakfast foods, are not Paleo. They tend to be made mostly out of flour, cream, and sugar, none of which are Paleo-friendly ingredients (except maybe cream).

As if the waffles themselves weren’t bad enough, most people top them with more sugar, whether it’s maple syrup (or even worse, high-fructose corn syrup disguised as maple syrup) or fruit and/or whipped cream. The combination of sugar on top of sugar creates quite the load on our pancreas, which has to pump out large amounts of insulin to deal with all that sugar.

Paleo and Carbohydrates

Most of us living a Paleo lifestyle try to avoid consuming high amounts of sugar that spike our blood sugar. A spike is followed by a crash, which leaves us feeling tired, cranky, and craving more sugar to get our blood sugar back up. When we eat more sugar, the cycle continues and our bodies maintain high levels of insulin. Chronically high insulin leads to insulin resistance, which means the cells stop accepting insulin and your pancreas has to pump out more and more insulin to get to the cells. Insulin resistance has been linked to numerous chronic health diseases, including diabetes and cancer.

The Problems with Gluten

As if the sugar wasn’t bad enough, the flour that makes the base of waffles is full of gluten. Gluten is a protein that is known to increase gut permeability, even in those who show no outward symptoms of gluten intolerance. The result of this increased permeability is toxins and undigested food get into the blood stream. When these escape from the gut, the body responds with an immune reaction, inflaming the area in order to get white blood cells there to fight off the toxins. This kind of inflammation is beneficial in small doses, but it’s not meant to be sustained. Chronically high levels of inflammation have been connected to everything from high blood pressure to autoimmune disorders.

Mark Sisson has a whole post on why we should avoid gluten.