What do I think about the gluten free diet?
It seems everyone around me is on a Gluten Free diet. Ironically, when questioned on the implications of a gluten free diet, many can't seem to answer. Is the Gluten Free Craze just another fad diet? Should I be on the diet? Am I "allergic" to gluten? Have I been allergic to gluten all these years and never knew?
Gluten : A Protein supplement,
A Binding Ingredient
A Flavour enhancing substance
A substance present in cereal grains, esp. wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough.
From a medical standpoint, patients with Wheat allergies, Gluten intolerance or Celia disease are usually advices to eat a gluten -free diet.
The rise in processed wheat food is compatible with the increase in patients who cannot tolerate gluten.
However, it seems recently, many are choosing the same pathway irrespective of the lack of a gastrointestinal condition. The rational for this switch by those not inflicted with a medical condition, is that it helps the body absorb nutrients more effectively. Secondly, it reduces the presence of GI symptoms related to ingesting gluten such as a bloated stomach or diarrhea.
Instead of marketing to those with illness such as cilia disease, the gluten free diet is advertised to the public as a method of losing weigh. The results is now many either;
1. Blames their weight gain on Gluten instead of their lifestyle
2. Thinks they have Celia disease without a medical test
3. Spend $$$ in marketing products with a "gluten free" label that may not necessarily be "gluten free"
This is no different from other marketing label fads
- Fat free vs Low Fat vs Non fat
- Cholesterol Free
- Multiple Grain vs Whole wheat vs Whole Grain
- Organic vs Inorganic
- Corn Syrup vs Sugar vs Unsweetened
- Diet Soda vs "Fruit" Juice
This is not an attempt to down play those with a medical condition. However studies have shown that the number of people currently on a gluten free diet greatly out weights the statistics data of those currently living with these abnormalities.
Also, some mistakenly interpret the gluten craze to mean = stay away from all carbs. So when they do loose weight, due to this new change in diet, they tend to associate it with being gluten-free without realizing that cutting back on Carbs helps to loose weight irrespective of whether its gluten carbs or not.
To answer the questions at the beginning of this post....No, I will not be embarking on a gluten free diet.
Yes, gluten is present in many processed wheat products & grains. Outside of those with a medical condition, I believe in moderation.
The key is a balanced diet including your carbohydrates - breads, pasta, flour, etc.