There isn’t any one book that has all the answers. But a book worth reading if you are dealing with gluten issues, allergies, diabetes or candida overgrowth is Reclaim Your Health Through Healing Cuisine by Mary Fran Petaja.
I don’t agree with everything this book recommends. I never heat flax, either seed or oil, because it’s too delicate. If you think about where you find it in the natural food store, it’s refrigerated. It can’t stand even room temperature without deteriorating and becoming rancid. So don’t cook with it. Eat it raw and directly from the refrigerator: sprinkle seeds on salad or add to smoothies. Grind the seed and sprinkle it on your soaked oatmeal. Add the oil to a salad dressing or into smoothies. But don’t heat it.
And xylitol is not “natural,” but highly processed. Processed food is what creates these health issues in the first place. If a sweetener is needed, stevia is a better choice than xylitol and doesn’t cause diarrhea and other stomach upsets. Xylitol is deadly to dogs, and has been deadly to rats in controlled lab conditions. So even though xylitol is a molecular cousin to sugar sourced either from corn or from sugar cane, it’s not necessarily safe. Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment, too, but is certainly not safe.
And it’s just my opinion, but flour of any kind is highly processed. This book has a chapter with recipes for muffins and breads and baked goods made from sources other than wheat. I think we need to get away from our desire for sweets and baked goods of all kinds. Just substituting flour from coconut or from garbanzo beans or from rice is still encouraging us in our preference for sweet flavors that has already proven to cause problems, or we wouldn’t be looking for this kind of book in the first place. When we focus on getting our sweet tooth satisfied, even with so-called “legal” ingredients, we are focused on snacks and desserts, most of which are made with highly processed ingredients. If we are eating whole foods and staying away from sweets, focusing on healthy proteins, fats, and complex carbohydrates, we don’t crave sweets and we aren’t hungry between meals. I think it’s a better way to eat.
That said, this book has some good ideas about how to put a whole foods diet into practice, and might be helpful to those who don’t know how to eat without food that comes in boxes, bags, and microwavable trays.