Gluten Free does NOT equal healthy

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As you all are aware i’m sure, the “gluten free diet” has become an exponentially popular diet in 2014. To most, YES, it is just a fad diet.  To others, such as those with celiacs, it is a necessity for living a healthy life.  
Since a majority of people don’t actually know what gluten is, even though they are on a gluten free diet, let’s begin there.  What is gluten?  Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.  Wait, a protein? Isn’t there a protein fad going on as well?  They must have missed the memo.  Let me begin by saying that for those with celiac’s it is absolutely necessary to be gluten free.  I also think that the whole going gluten free fad part of it (people going gluten free for no reason) makes some people not realize what a serious issue celiac disease is.  Not only can people with celiac disease not have food with gluten in it, they can not have food that was prepared in the same area as food with gluten in it, and they need gluten free shampoo, lotions  and various other products. 
The major problem with the gluten free diet being in the news all the time is that, just with every other illness out there, people are going online and self diagnosing themselves without going to the doctor and getting a blood test and an endoscopy.  They have GI problems and all of a sudden people just assume they have celiacs and that they need to be gluten free. Or my favorite, the people that eat gluten free most of the time, but then eat gluten on weekends.  That is not how it works..
The thing is, for some reason,  a lot of people have the impression that gluten free foods are healthier than the same products that contain gluten.  The truth is, normally the foods that are gluten free are actually significantly less healthy. WAIT, WHAT!   You heard me correct.  Just because the products is labeled gluten free does NOT mean that it is better for you.  This is due to the fact that the companies that produce these products often substitute added sugars and fats for the lack of gluten in their products.  For instance, gluten free brownies could be worse for you than normal brownies.  When I was comparing two brownie mixes in the store, the gluten free one had 15g of sugar more per serving than the regular kind.  Oy! That is a lot of extra sugar!!  A brownie is a brownie wether it is gluten free or not. 
Now, that is not for all gluten free products.  Some gluten free products have very healthy ingredients.  Heck, some products such as some peanut butters are now labeled gluten free.  The ingredients never contained gluten but they have switched to completely gluten free kitchens letting people with celiacs be able to buy their products without worry.  The key is really to checking the ingredient list to see which one is better for you.  As MANY studies have proven eating a gluten free diet has NO benefits for people without celiacs and gluten intolerance.  As many researchers say,  cutting out gluten can also cut out majorly needed nutrients, which can lead to various other problems.  If you think you have celiacs, go to the doctors and get tested/find out what is causing your symptoms. There is no use spending the extra money on potentially less nutrient dense food. 
Are you gluten free? 
 What is your reason for doing so?
Have a GREAT Wednesday!

1 Comment

  1. Amanda

    July 17, 2014 at 3:12 am

    Really good points! Thanks for the post. BTW I’m an Amanda too.