Why do so many people think that gluten free automatically means healthy?
Wondering why so many things in your local supermarket are now labeled as gluten free? Gluten has actually been in our food supply for thousands of years. But going gluten free is a new trend and people are taking their gluten free lifestyles very seriously. You don’t need to see indepth research to see how popular gluten free eating is these days. Just type the word into a Google search and see how many results you get. It’s a nationwide obsession.
But do you know what gluten is?
Gluten is actually a type of protein found in wheat, rye and barley. And despite the bad media reviews it’s been getting lately, gluten has some uses, for instance, it helps bread rise and stay moist, fresh and chewy. Wheat gluten is also a rich source of protein. 23 grams per quarter cup which is slightly more than 85g of meat, fish or poultry.
So why do so many people think that gluten free automatically means healthy. Well it actually doesn’t. In fact many gluten free items are actually worse for you than the gluten containing products because they contain lots of alternative ingredients and are more than likely laced with sugar! So it’s important to read those labels.
So who are these people that are cutting out gluten? 1 in 100 people in Ireland are going gluten free these days. These people have coeliac disease and for them gluten can cause a host of serious of health problems … even a trace of gluten in their may damage them. Other people have a milder ailment called Gluten Sensitivity and although they don’t seem to be at risk for long term health consequences. They feel really awful when they eat any kind of gluten.
I know many who simply like to choose to go gluten free products as they feel better without the gluten. They don’t have coeliac disease or a gluten sensitivity. They are simply convinced that going gluten free can help them lose weight or cure them of certain issues such as bloating, PMS etc. If only that were true…
Thinking of going gluten free and need some advice? The truth is unless you have coeliac disease or a gluten sensitivity there is really no reason to eliminate gluten from your diet. People who have to go gluten free for medical reasons and for those who choose at a personal choice to go gluten free should ensure they don’t become victims of all the gluten free junk that’s everywhere these days. Instead stick with wholesome foods that are naturally gluten free like fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, chicken, lean meat, beans, lentils, brown or wild rice, dairy, nuts, seeds, olive oil. There are so many things that are naturally gluten free. When it comes to gluten free bread, pasta, cereals and snack bars, just make sure that that first ingredient is a whole grain and avoid items that are packed with excessive amounts of sugar and fat. Make the smart choice for you and your family.