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Are Simple Mills Products Bad For You?



Short answer

Simple Mills products prioritize simple, whole food ingredients and are generally seen as a better option compared to many processed foods due to their nutritional profile, lower sugar content, and the absence of artificial additives. Certified gluten-free and offering grain-free, non-GMO options, they cater to a variety of dietary needs. However, individual dietary requirements and moderation are key, as these products can still be high in calories and may contain allergens that could affect sensitive individuals.



Long answer

Nutritional Profile and Ingredient Quality in Simple Mills Products

When evaluating whether a product line like Simple Mills is potentially bad for you, investigating its nutritional profile and ingredients quality becomes paramount. Simple Mills presents itself as a health-conscious brand, offering a variety of products ranging from baking mixes to crackers. Each is designed with a focus on simple, whole food ingredients. To better understand the health implications of consuming Simple Mills products, let's break down the key nutritional aspects.

Whole Food Ingredients: Simple Mills prioritizes ingredients that you can easily recognize and pronounce. This includes nuts like almonds, seeds such as flax and sunflower, roots like cassava, and vegetables like pumpkins and carrots. Using these types of ingredients contributes to a cleaner label and often provides naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.

Low Sugar Content: Many Simple Mills products boast lower sugar content compared to conventional counterparts. For example, their baking mixes and cookies use natural sweeteners like coconut sugar, which has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. This attribute matches well with the dietary goals of those monitoring blood sugar levels or looking to reduce sugar intake.

Gluten-Free: For individuals with celiac disease, gluten sensitivities, or those who simply choose to limit gluten in their diet, Simple Mills products are certified gluten-free. They replace traditional wheat flour with a blend of almond flour, coconut flour, and flax meal, which can be beneficial for digestive health and is often well-tolerated.

Grain-Free Options: Aligned with dietary patterns such as Paleo or grain-free diets, some Simple Mills products eliminate grains altogether, which can be advantageous for those with specific grain intolerances or for those seeking to lower their intake of grains for personal health reasons.

Non-GMO: The brand commits to using non-GMO ingredients. This feature may attract consumers who are concerned about the potential long-term health impacts of genetically modified organisms in their food supply.

Dietary Fiber: Fiber is an essential nutrient that promotes digestive health, helps manage weight, and supports normal blood sugar levels. Many Simple Mills products incorporate high-fiber ingredients such as almond flour and seeds, providing a decent amount of fiber relative to their serving sizes.

Fats: The fats in Simple Mills products primarily come from nuts and seeds, which provide a healthier fat profile including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are the types of fats that can support heart health when consumed in moderation.

In addition to evaluating the ingredients' quality, it is also beneficial to examine expert opinions and scientific research:

  • Research on nuts and seeds, commonly found in Simple Mills products, suggests that these ingredients can support cardiovascular health and may lead to better overall nutrient intake (source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
  • Gluten-free diets have been studied extensively in the context of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, with evidence supporting the benefits of such diets for these individuals (source: World Journal of Gastroenterology).
  • There is growing consumer demand for non-GMO products, although the scientific community continues to discuss the implications of GMOs on health (source: New England Journal of Medicine).

To summarize, the nutritional profile and ingredient quality in Simple Mills products align with many of the current health-conscious dietary trends. However, it is crucial for consumers to consider their unique dietary needs and preferences, alongside scientific evidence, when deciding whether or not these products are a good fit for their lifestyle. As with any packaged goods, moderation is key, and incorporating these products as part of a varied, balanced diet is the best approach.

Evaluating Additives and Allergens in Simple Mills Offerings

Simple Mills prides itself on using minimal, recognizable ingredients in their products, but as with any processed food, it's important to look closely at what those ingredients are and how they may affect certain individuals. When evaluating additives and allergens, we must decipher food labels, understand the purpose of each additive, and identify potential allergens that could impact those with sensitivities or allergies.

Understanding Additives

Simple Mills uses a short list of additives compared to many conventional food brands, focusing on natural flavor enhancers and preservatives. Examples include sea salt, which serves as both a flavor enhancer and a natural preservative, and tocopherols (a form of Vitamin E), which are used to maintain freshness in fats. Another ingredient you might find is baking soda, which acts as a rising agent in baked goods.

Each of these additives serves a purpose in ensuring product quality and shelf-life without the use of artificial chemicals or preservatives. Nonetheless, for individuals with specific dietary restrictions or health conditions, it is important to consult with a healthcare provider when incorporating new additives into their diet.

Identifying Allergens

  • Tree Nuts: Some of Simple Mills' products include almond flour as a base. While almonds are a nutritious alternative to traditional flour, they can be an allergen for those with tree nut allergies.
  • Dairy: Simple Mills offers a selection of dairy-free products, beneficial for those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. However, potential cross-contamination could be a concern in manufacturing facilities that also process dairy products.
  • Gluten: The company emphasizes their gluten-free product line, which is critical for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Third-party testing for gluten content offers additional assurance for consumers.
  • Soy and Corn: Simple Mills avoids using soy and corn in their recipes, reducing the risk of exposure to these common allergens.

A closer look at ingredient lists and labels will reveal that Simple Mills aims to cater to a wide range of dietary needs, maintaining transparency to ensure consumers can make informed choices.

For consumers who are at high risk of allergic reactions, it is always advised to consult the product labels and check for statements regarding the presence of allergens and potential cross-contamination. In some cases, contacting the company directly to inquire about specific production practices can offer additional peace of mind.

Expert Consultation

Registered dietitians and allergists can provide tailored advice on whether products like those offered by Simple Mills are suitable for an individual's health needs, especially when allergies or intolerances are a concern. Medical research, such as studies published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, emphasizes the importance of accurate labeling and awareness in preventing food allergy reactions. Ensuring this level of scrutiny can guide consumers in making safe and health-conscious choices.

By examining the food additives and allergens within Simple Mills products, consumers can appreciate the brand's commitment to simplicity and healthfulness. However, individual dietary needs and allergen sensitivities must always be taken into consideration. Maintaining this balance can contribute significantly to one's overall health and well-being.

Glycemic Index and Blood Sugar Implications of Simple Mills Items

Simple Mills prioritizes using ingredients that are meant to support a lower glycemic impact. To fully understand the blood sugar implications of these products, let's delve into the concept of the Glycemic Index (GI). The GI is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their immediate impact on blood glucose (sugar) levels. Foods are scored on a scale of 0-100, with pure glucose arbitrarily given a value of 100. The higher the number, the quicker that food can elevate your blood sugar.

For individuals concerned about maintaining regulated blood sugar levels, such as those with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or insulin resistance, understanding the GI of foods is essential. Consuming lower GI foods is generally regarded as beneficial for blood sugar control, as these foods are metabolized more slowly, causing a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels.

Simple Mills' products often make use of ingredients like almond flour and coconut sugar, which have a lower glycemic index compared to traditional refined wheat flour and white sugar. For instance:

  • Almond Flour: Almond flour, which is a staple in many Simple Mills items, has a GI that typically ranges from 0 to 10, making it a favorable option for those monitoring their blood sugar.
  • Coconut Sugar: Likewise, coconut sugar has a lower GI, generally in the range of 35 to 50, compared to regular sugar’s GI of about 65.

However, it's important to note that the GI of a composite food item cannot be determined solely on the basis of one ingredient. The overall carbohydrate content, the presence of dietary fiber, fat, protein, and the processing and preparation of the food also influence its glycemic response.

Simple Mills products, such as their cookies and crackers, often pair these low-GI components with other ingredients that can further stabilize blood sugar. The addition of dietary fibers and healthy fats helps slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, thereby moderating any potential spikes in blood sugar.

For instance, Simple Mills' almond flour crackers contain a blend of seeds and tapioca, which adds fiber. These factors contribute to the following potential benefits:

  • Enhanced feelings of satiety and reduced hunger between meals
  • Diminished post-meal glucose and insulin spikes
  • Better weight management through controlled appetite
  • Improved overall glycemic control for those with blood sugar concerns

It's pertinent to acknowledge that individual responses to carbohydrates can vary, and the best approach is personalized nutrition. Consulting with a healthcare provider or a nutritionist is recommended for an assessment that considers personal metabolic responses and the glycemic impact in the context of an individual's overall diet.

As part of a balanced diet, Simple Mills products can play a supportive role for those seeking to reduce their glycemic load. Nonetheless, moderation is key, and one must still account for serving sizes and the cumulative daily intake of carbohydrates from all food sources. A well-informed consumer, aware of their personal health needs, can incorporate Simple Mills items into their diet in a manner that promotes their nutritional goals and supports stable blood sugar levels.

Comparison with Traditional Processed Foods

When investigating whether Simple Mills products are a healthier choice compared to traditional processed foods, it's crucial to analyze the differences in ingredients, nutritional profiles, and the presence of additives or preservatives. By understanding these elements, one can determine how Simple Mills stands out in the landscape of packaged foods.

Ingredients Quality

  • Simple Mills: They typically use whole food ingredients, such as almond flour, flax seeds, and tapioca, which are a step above the refined grains and sugars found in many processed foods.
  • Traditional Processed Foods: Often rely on enriched flours and high-fructose corn syrup, which can contribute to various health issues when consumed in excess.

Nutritional Content

  • Simple Mills: Their products often contain a higher fiber content, beneficial fats from nuts, and are free from artificial trans fats. For instance, almond flour provides a good source of vitamin E and magnesium.
  • Traditional Processed Foods: Typically lower in essential nutrients, dietary fiber, and higher in sugars and unhealthy fats, contributing to a poorer nutritional profile.

Additives and Preservatives

  • Simple Mills: They steer clear of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, promoting a more 'natural' ingredient list.
  • Traditional Processed Foods: Regularly include additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), artificial sweeteners, and sodium benzoate, which have been linked to various health concerns in some studies.

Glycemic Index

  • Simple Mills: Products are crafted to have a lower glycemic index due to the use of ingredients like almond flour and coconut sugar, which can help in managing blood sugar levels.
  • Traditional Processed Foods: The use of refined sugars and grains leads to a higher glycemic index, spiking blood sugar levels more rapidly.

Due to the complex nature of food processing and its impacts on health, it's important to consult peer-reviewed studies. Research published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology highlights that products made with unrefined ingredients, similar to those used by Simple Mills, tend to retain more micronutrients through processing compared to their highly-refined counterparts.

Label Transparency and Serving Sizes

  • Simple Mills: They are known for their clear labeling and commitment to non-GMO and often organic ingredients, allowing consumers to make informed decisions.
  • Traditional Processed Foods: These can sometimes use misleading health claims or serving sizes that obscure the actual nutritional value of the product.

In summary, Simple Mills products generally offer a more wholesome option than many traditional processed foods. They prioritize nutrient-dense ingredients and avoid many artificial additives, aligning with the recommendations of numerous nutrition experts who advocate for a diet based on whole foods.

Assessment of Gluten-Free Benefits in Simple Mills Products

When analyzing the potential health benefits of gluten-free products from brands like Simple Mills, it's important to understand who can best benefit from a gluten-free diet. The primary advantage of consuming gluten-free products is for individuals with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or wheat allergy.

Celiac Disease: For the estimated 1% of the population with celiac disease, consuming gluten—a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye—triggers an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine, leading to nutrient malabsorption and a host of other health issues. Gluten-free products from brands like Simple Mills provide a safe alternative that does not trigger this damaging immune response.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS): While not as well understood as celiac disease, NCGS affects a larger percentage of people who experience bloating, gas, diarrhea, or fatigue when consuming gluten, despite not having celiac disease. A gluten-free diet, including products from Simple Mills, may alleviate these symptoms.

Wheat Allergy: Those with wheat allergy must avoid wheat, but can typically consume gluten from non-wheat sources. However, considering that wheat is a common source of gluten, Simple Mills’ gluten-free products can be a convenient option that avoids wheat and its allergenic potential.

Beyond these conditions, the perceived benefits of a gluten-free diet have popularized it as a health trend. However, it's worthwhile noting that gluten itself is not inherently bad for everyone, and the benefits of a gluten-free diet for the general population are not backed by substantial scientific evidence. Indeed, the gluten-free trend has spurred debate in the nutrition community. For instance, a British Medical Journal study published in 2017 suggested that the avoidance of gluten may result in reduced consumption of beneficial whole grains, which could negatively impact cardiovascular health in people without celiac disease (BMJ 2017;357:j1892).

Choosing gluten-free options like those offered by Simple Mills can be beneficial for dietary diversification, as their products often include alternative flours like almond flour and coconut flour. These alternatives are not only gluten-free but also provide different nutritional profiles which can include higher protein content and healthy fats, as compared to traditional wheat flour. However, it's crucial to ensure a balanced diet since some gluten-free products can be lower in fiber and contain more sugar or fat to improve taste and texture.

For those with celiac disease, NCGS, or wheat allergy, Simple Mills provides a range of products that cater to their dietary restrictions while still offering variety and flavor. For the general population without these conditions, the healthfulness of adopting a gluten-free diet including Simple Mills products depends largely on individual dietary requirements, personal health goals, and ensuring that overall nutritional needs are met without exclusively relying on processed gluten-free options.

When choosing gluten-free products, consumers should read labels carefully. Even though Simple Mills products are certified gluten-free, cross-contamination could still occur in those with hypersensitivities if not handled or produced in a fully gluten-free environment. Additionally, some gluten-free products can be high in calories, so portion control is recommended.

Overall, the gluten-free benefits of Simple Mills products align closely with the needs of individuals with specific gluten-related disorders. For the broader consumer base, the benefits might be less significant and should be weighed against potential dietary imbalances. Prospective users are encouraged to consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare provider to determine if a gluten-free diet is appropriate for their health status and lifestyle.

Frequently asked questions

Some Simple Mills products may be suitable for individuals following a ketogenic diet, particularly those items that are grain-free and lower in carbohydrates like their crackers and some baking mixes. However, it is important to check the nutritional labels for individual product carbohydrate content to ensure they fit within the macronutrient limits of a ketogenic dietary pattern.

Yes, Simple Mills products can be included in a weight management plan due to their use of whole food ingredients, lower sugar content, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds. Their products often contain higher fiber content, which can help promote a feeling of fullness and reduce hunger between meals. However, portion control is crucial as even healthful foods can contribute to weight gain if consumed in large quantities.

Simple Mills prides itself on not using artificial sweeteners or flavors in its products. They use natural sweeteners like coconut sugar and embrace the natural flavors of their whole food ingredients, aligning with their commitment to clean, simple, and wholesome ingredient lists.

Simple Mills avoids common allergens like soy, corn, dairy, and gluten in their recipes. They are certified gluten-free and provide options that are dairy-free, with detailed allergen information provided on product labels. However, individuals with severe allergies should be aware of potential cross-contamination risks and may want to contact the company for specific manufacturing practices regarding allergens.

Ask a question about Simple Mills Products and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible short-term side effects

  • bloating
  • gas
  • diarrhea
  • fatigue

Possible long-term side effects

  • nutrient malabsorption
  • weight gain
  • cardiovascular health impact (without celiac disease)

Ingredients to be aware of

  • almond (tree nuts)
  • potential cross-contamination with dairy
  • additives such as tocopherols


  • lower glycemic impact
  • supports cardiovascular health
  • nutrient intake from nuts and seeds
  • digestive health
  • balanced blood sugar levels
  • high fiber content
  • managed weight

Healthier alternatives

  • whole foods
  • fresh produce
  • nutrient-dense meals

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 02-28-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 02-28-2024

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