“Gluten free people” of the XXI century are much more concerned about their health and wellbeing than what “burger kings” used to be in the XX century. This is very positive, no doubt. However, unlike drinking in a pub, smoking cigarettes or eating at McDonald’s, healthy lifestyle has to be based on some knowledge and understanding of what is good for you. Unfortunately, often “healthy” eating habits are being shaped around dieting trends and fashion rather than solid science facts. This is how we have come up to the gluten free hysteria.
The gluten free hysteria is nothing more but fashion. Look at the facts –
Gluten is a combination of proteins found in wheat and some grains, like barley and rye. Gluten is what gives elasticity to dough. While it is true that millions of people around the world suffer from gluten intolerance, it is also the fact that human population on Earth is about seven billion. So how likely are you to have the gluten intolerance?
According to NHS experts, only those who have coeliac disease should cut their gluten intake completely. Coeliac disease – untreatable autoimmune disease, when gluten causes chronic diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weight loss, joint pain, damage to intestines, inability to absorb vitamins and nutrients from food. If ignored it can also be the reason for infertility, osteoporosis and bowel cancer. However, statistics show that in UK only one person per 100 has the disease. There are more people who do not have the coeliac disease but suffer from gluten intolerance and if eating too much wheat products, experience abdominal pain, bloating and heartburn. For such people NHS recommends just to reduce gluten intake but not completely cut it as gluten free foods lack the required nutrients. The rest of you, which is the absolute majority, should not bother the slightest whether your food contains gluten or not.
Some gluten free flagmen say they have lost a good bit of excessive body fat by cutting gluten containing wheat and grain products from their diets. The reality is – you lose fat because of carbs and calories reduction caused by bread, pasta, cake etc. avoidance.
These are the facts. Nevertheless, all major supermarkets have their shelves packed with the gluten free foods. Not surprising – the gluten free market is boiling hot! Nothing else but fashion, if you ask me.
There are many important things in diet that all of you should take care of on daily basis in order to manage body weight and stay healthy: total daily calorific amounts; meal frequency and sizes; food choices resulting in the particular proteins, carbohydrates and fats ratio; consuming the right nutrients at the right time etc. So there is enough on your plate to worry about – do not make it even more complicated for no good reason.
The bottom line is that eating gluten free food is not making your diet any healthier or better if you do have gluten intolerance. Absolute majority of us do not have this condition.