I’m Annoyed. (And you should be too.)Posted: August 20, 2013
I need to say this: The whole “gluten-free” thing really just irritates me.
Whenever it somehow comes out that I avoid gluten, people are always like “you’re gluten free?!” like it’s something cool… or weird… or trendy.
And I really just don’t know how to answer them.
The short answer, I guess, is yes. But there really is so much more to it.
I avoid things like bread, pasta, salad dressings, cookies (when I can), fried foods, beer, and chips because I’ve discovered (through a lot of trial and error) that those things give me stomach aches, pimples, bloating… they basically just make me feel terrible.
And yes, most of those things also happen to contain gluten.
So yes, it comes logically that I would try to avoid gluten when I can.
But I’m not “gluten free.”
(And in fact, I’m not “Paleo” either.)
I eat what makes me feel good, and what makes me healthier, and what I like the taste of. When I do choose to eat crackers or cookies or bread – every once in a while – I try to make it gluten-free because I’ve learned that if I (personally) don’t, my face swells up and I have a stomach ache that won’t quit and I just want to lay in bed and die. But more than that, I try to make them quality foods, made with quality ingredients that make me healthier overall – whether they’re gluten free or not.
And that’s all there is to it.
What annoys me is that some people give “gluten free” a bad name. They see it as a fad diet that can make them skinner and give them free reign to eat all the bread, pasta, beer, and cookies they want… as long as it’s gluten free.
But that’s just not how it works.
And if you want proof of that, just check out this article. (Or Google it. Or read one of my other posts on it.)
The article points out:
People who have a sensitivity to gluten – a protein found in cereal grains, especially wheat – have special needs, and eating gluten-free has a lot of benefits for them. But trying to copy that method when you’re not, in fact, gluten-sensitive can have plenty of downsides.
And it goes on to say:
Cutting down on gluten means cutting down on carbs, and that’s generally a good thing. The fewer muffins, bagels, and breadsticks you’re scarfing up, the healthier and leaner you’re going to be – as long as you’re replacing those carbs with nutritious foods like vegetables and lean meats. But as the number of gluten-free dieters has grown beyond those who simply can’t digest gluten, we’ve also seen a spike in the number of foods marketed as “gluten free.” Some of these foods are okay, but many others are simply new versions of the same old problems – essentially carb-loaded junk foods.
And that is the part that irks me.
The article goes on to talk about 6 popular gluten free foods that are not healthy for you.
“This “Totally Healthy” cake, for example, contains as many calories as 8.5 Fudgesicles, as much fat as 3.5 McDonald’s Hamburgers, and more sugar than 10 feet of Fruit by the Foot candy. Splurge on one of these cakes just twice a week and you’ll pack on 15 extra pounds by the end of the year.”
The moral of the story is: if avoiding gluten works for you, that’s great. It seems to work for me, so I’d never knock it. But if you’re going to do it, do it right.
Cut out the bad carbs and replace them with good ones.
Cut out the processed, sugary, food-like crap and eat real, whole, nutrient-dense food.
If you’re going to splurge, splurge on something that’s made with quality ingredients… not a list of fake, factory-made components that aren’t going to make you any healthier – even if they are gluten free.