Gluten-Free Diets Have Exploded Onto The Scene
There are new gluten-free products everywhere you look. So should you try this new trendy way of eating? And will it transform your health?
People often give up gluten who will receive no health benefit. On the other hand, people who might benefit from this diet often have no clue. There are many who believe fiction over facts when it comes to this diet. So what about you? Can you tell the difference?
Take the following test and see for yourself!
Presenting Gluten-Free Diets: Fact vs Fiction
Gluten-free diets are more nutritious than other diets – Fact or Fiction?
Fiction – A gluten-free cookie is just as nutrient depleting as a regular one. Same with pasta, bread, pizza crusts, and cakes. The only difference between these specialty products and the regular variety is that they are made without gluten. And gluten isn’t bad for you unless you have an allergy or an intolerance.
Gluten intolerance was never a problem before in history so it shouldn’t be one now – Fact or Fiction?
Fiction – There is a major difference between our diets and that of our ancestors. We eat processed foods. And most of these foods get their texture by added gluten which has been isolated from whole grains. So where as our ancestors may have only eaten gluten in small amounts in homemade bread and cereals, we eat it in absolutely everything including on our vegetables, protein, and fats. And that is why so many people are now reacting negatively.
There is more than one medical reason for which a person may need to eliminate gluten – Fact or Fiction?
Fact – The most known and serious of gluten-related diseases is celiac disease. This is a severe allergy to gluten, diagnosed by a blood test. But there are also many who suffer from what is called, gluten-intolerance. Unlike celiac, gluten-intolerance won’t show up positive on a blood test. Trial and error or an elimination diet are the only ways to uncover it. If you suffer from gluten intolerance, you may experience skin problems, stomach issues, depression, autoimmune diseases and more.
Gluten-free diets are good for weight loss – Fact or Fiction
Fiction – A gluten-free diet on its own will not help you lose weight. Remember, gluten is only bad for people who are celiac or have a gluten-intolerance. And while gluten-intolerance can cause inflammatory weight gain, even those with gluten sensitivities won’t lose weight through a gluten elimination alone. Plus remember, many gluten-free diets offer the same processed crap that help people gain weight.
You must eliminate 100% of all gluten from your diet to receive any benefit – Fact or Fiction?
Fact – There is absolutely no benefit to trying to eat only a reduced-gluten. Remember, the only people who will benefit from giving up gluten are those with a gluten allergy or sensitivity. Even a bite of gluten will cause a reaction for those people. So if you’re going to bother going gluten-free, it needs to be 100%.
It can be difficult to find hidden gluten on a food label – Fact or Fiction
Fact – Eliminating gluten means more than just looking for wheat on a food label. Gluten is also found in barley, rye and oats as well as wheat. Many ingredients used for flavoring are made from these grains like malt vinegar, soy sauce, barley malt, and starch. Gluten is also hidden in benign sounding ingredients like natural flavor, seasoning, thickeners and stabilizers. You only know a processed food is 100% gluten-free if it is labeled as such.
If you suffer from a gluten-intolerance, you will have immediate symptoms in the aftermath of eating gluten – Fact or Fiction?
Fiction – While celiac sufferers may have a more immediate reaction, those suffering from an intolerance will usually see a 24 to 72 hour window pass before they start to see symptoms. That is why those who suspect they have an intolerance will find it beneficial to completely eliminate gluten for at least a few weeks to see if elimination makes their symptoms improve.
When you give up gluten, you are forced to eat tasteless food – Fact or Fiction
Fiction – There are tons of gluten-free options on the market and lots of easily available recipes. You can easily find a substitution for almost anything you enjoy.
What Should You Take From This?
Going gluten-free can be liberating when it eliminates life-long symptoms. I suffered from acne for years and was so happy to finally find an answer in gluten elimination. However, most people go through initial frustration when transitioning to a new diet. And it is normal to experience a mourning period for your old diet and lifestyle. But once you become aware of all the possibilities that still exist, the transition becomes much easier.
But remember, gluten-free diets do not benefit everyone. If you don’t think you have a problem with gluten, don’t bother paying for that special gluten-free pizza crust or special bread. You will receive no benefit. Foods without gluten are not healthier or more slimming.
All of us need to be eat less processed and ready-made food. Any food item that come in packaging will likely contain gluten. So we will lower our lifetime risk of developing a gluten-intolerance by eating foods that are natural and less processed.
So there you have it. All the hype around gluten can be confusing. Now you know the difference between fact vs fiction!
Donna Janke says
I learned a lot about eating gluten-free when my daughter (in her late teens at the time) realized she had a gluten intolerance. The hardest part was dealing with all the hidden gluten, in things like Worchestshire sauce for example.
I had the same problem when I first went gluten-free, Donna. It really is hidden in such sneaky places.
Marquita Herald says
Thank you for this Erica. While I’m aware of the whole Gluten Free trend, neither I nor anyone I know suffers from the associated illnesses so this was very enlightening.
Glad this was helpful, Marquita. And as prevalent as gluten-intolerance is, I bet you have at least one friend who has it, but doesn’t know their symptoms are caused by gluten. Doctors tend not to mention it unless it seems like someone has celiac.
Ken Dowell says
I’m glad I don’t have to send you my answers and get them graded. I’ve never really considered a gluten-free diet and based on your information there doesn’t seem any reason for me to do so.
Haha, Ken! Next time there will be grading!
Sabrina Quairoli says
Great post, Erica. I have a gluten intolerance and a dairy intolerance. The dairy intolerance is more severe. The Gluten intolerance affects my skin and stomach so eliminating it helps me. I do have to watch the labels when it comes to gluten free foods because, like you said, there is other stuff in it. I prefer to eat cleanly instead. Thanks for sharing the facts and fiction.
Gluten and dairy intolerance tend to go together. Glad you got to the root of your problem and yes,, eating cleanly is a great way to go.
I have not tasted gluten free snacks. The snacks always look enticing in the supermarket.
As you mentioned, eating gluten free products alone will not help you lose drastic weight. A healthier diet all round is preferable.
There are a lot of gluten snacks, aren’t there? They do taste good, but that is because they tend to be filled with sugar and other tasty but not so healthy ingredients.
This post clears up quite a few things I’ve heard (and probably) misheard about gluten. I don’t know anyone with sensitivities, but it’s so talked about online and on TV.
Jeri, as I said to Marquita, you probably have at least one friend with a sensitivity who doesn’t know it. Since there isn’t a test to tell you if you are sensitive, someone needs to do a trial elimination to see if long-standing symptoms disappear. And most of us don’t. I was shocked after curing my long-standing acne that all my top doctors had never even mentioned the possibility.
Rose Mary Griffith says
Thanks for laying the fact v fiction out there so clearly. I started to wean and eliminate gluten products when I first read about the ill effects it can have on hypothyroidism. I notice a distinct change when I eat gluten products–usually when traveling when it’s harder to find GF items. It’s amazing how one thing can have such an impact.
That said, I have a lot of compassion for those with celiac–it’s so much more serious than just having an intolerance.
It is harder to travel and eat gluten-free. The world, in general, is becoming more accommodating. But it takes a lot of research and coordination when eating gluten-free away from home.
William Rusho says
Makes me wonder, the more and more we process out food, or use genetics to enhance it, what other medical disasters are waiting to arise.
How wide spread will this become, if it is just showing up now? Someday, will gluten free be the “norm” and we will see packages labeled “Includes Gluten” as the alternative?
Thanks for sharing.
I hope it doesn’t get to that point, William. But I fear that you are correct. The more that food is processed and altered, the more likely that any of us will experience problems.