Weight Gain because of Paleo breads and oils?

Answered on January 31, 2014
Created January 30, 2014 at 10:22 PM

Can Paleo breads with almond flour, tapioca flour or coco nut flour and all that oil in the recipes cause weight gain? I did Paleo in the past without the bread recipes and lost weight, but am having trouble now, even though I watch my portion sizes and the amount of nuts I eat, but don't seem to be losing weight. I've been on Paleo now for about a month, and have seen very little if any weight loss.

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5 Answers

Medium avatar

on January 31, 2014
at 04:59 AM

There is no such thing as Paleo bread (or Paleo dessert for that matter).

Paleo sort of got degraded over time because people love to make "paleo" versions of comfort foods and treats.

I would avoid large amounts of almond flour breads or baked goods and make them a special treat. Calories, oxalates, and high omega-6 content --> endovascular/ tissue inflammation. Plus it is not very heat stable.



on January 31, 2014
at 12:22 AM

Processed, powdered ingredients such as flours are often problematic and known in trials to cause weight gain as compared to their unpowdered counterparts (Whey protein power vs. milk, rice flour vs. rice, etc.).

A quote from the Perfect Health Diet writers regarding the problems with dry/processed foods such as breads and muffins.


"Our PHD Food Plate has a section for “Pleasure Foods.” It occupies the stem and leaves of our yinyang apple, indicating that these should be relatively small parts of the diet.

Baked goods are not mentioned, but it would be appropriate to list “Gluten-free baked goods and fructose-free sweets” among the Pleasure Foods.

These foods are made of PHD-compliant ingredients – rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch in the case of baked goods – but they have a few defects:

  • Low nutrient density. As a purified macronutrient, gluten-free flour is unaccompanied by micronutrients.
  • Low water content. Whole food starches, like white rice and white potatoes, typically have less than 500 calories per pound due to a high water content. But flours and foods made from them, like noodles and pizza dough and bread, lack water and provide 1300-1500 calories per pound.

The lack of water is potentially a problem because water is crucial to digestion, especially digestion of proteins. In the stomach, food needs to be dissolved in an acidic water bath in order for protein-digesting enzymes like pepsin to work properly. Dry foods are just not digested well.

Flour-based foods may be problematic for more reasons than their lack of water. Last year, Ian Spreadbury proposed that “acellular carbohydrates” – carbohydrates that are not surrounded by cell walls and embedded within a cytoplasm – may be unhealthy because the carbs can feed bacteria in the upper digestive tract which can then infect important organs like the pancreas, gallbladder, liver, and small intestine. Cellular carbohydrates would be digested lower in the intestine, helping to maintain an antiseptic and healthy upper small intestine.

We included gluten-free spaghetti and lasagna as items in the meal plan template of our book, but only on one day per week, and only in combination with sauces that provide water.

Due to their dryness, baked goods are probably best eaten as desserts – in combination with fat and liquids, but not much with protein, as they may interfere with protein digestion."

Whether you consume more carbohydrates or less, or even a non-Paleo diet, eating powdered ingredients on a regular basis appears to be a bad idea.

(Mis-nutrition and dysbiosis of the digestive system can both lead to weight gain and obesity.)


on January 31, 2014
at 12:19 AM

You shouldn't expect to lose weight using tapioca flour, it is almost pure starch (with almost no nutritional value). You combine that with a lot of oil and you have yourself a concoction closely related in chemical composition to the staple of the SAD diet: the french fry. I don't see how eating that kind of high-carb high-fat "bread" can lead to weight loss, it would be a miracle if it did.

Medium avatar

on January 30, 2014
at 10:35 PM

how often do you have paleo bread? Nut flours tend to make people gain even more than nuts because you don't realize how many nuts you're actually eating when they're pulverized. I would only have it as an occasional treat, maybe if you're eating with non paleo people or a special dinner on the weekend.



on January 30, 2014
at 10:24 PM

Calories matter, even in paleo foods. Paleo-ized breads and pastries are incredibly calorie dense, more so than wheat-filled versions. Yes, I went there, I used the dreaded C-word, shun me now, true cavemen!

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