Don’t Be Going Gluten-Free

FLICKR.COM Francis Storr | PHOTO COURTESY A beautiful loaf of bread, that tastes delicious.
A beautiful loaf of bread that tastes delicious.

So, you’ve diagnosed yourself as gluten-free, eh? I am continually floored that people jump on these bandwagons without doing any research into the subject. As such, I hope this article will serve to educate those who can’t be bothered to educate themselves (I’m looking at you, general American public).

Eliminating grain from your diet is not doing you any good … unless you are part of the 1 percent of the population who suffers from Celiac Disease or a truly medical gluten intolerance. If you are not part of this 1 percent, being “gluten-free” harms not only you but those who truly do need to be gluten-free.

Example A: Restaurants have begun catering to this trend by labeling certain menu items as gluten-free. Read the small print and you will find that those items are still produced on the same surfaces and in the same pans as French fries and breaded chicken that are coated in gluten. Now, if you were actually gluten intolerant, this seemingly small difference would make you physically ill.

Because restaurants are trying to adapt to an increased need without actually changing all of their cooking processes (as would be necessary to truly go gluten-free) those with a real gluten intolerance come in needing a meal that has touched neither surface nor ingredient containing gluten. Unfortunately, the inane need for “gluten-free” has made the distinction blurry to restaurant owners and therefore made already difficult diets even harder. And your ridiculous need to follow the trendiest diet is at the heart of the problem.

Example B: Marketers know simply labeling something that was already gluten-free as “Certified Gluten-Free” allows them to jack up the price. If you actually needed to be avoiding gluten, you would know what products are naturally gluten-free and could shop without needing the labels. But because you’re simply doing the trendy thing, you are also spending upward of $3 more for something naturally gluten-free because marketers know you are an idiot.

Being gluten-free is not easy, as those who suffer from Celiac will tell you. They cannot drink beer with friends, eat the muffins at a corporate meeting, use normal soy sauce with their sushi or slice their gluten-free bread on the same countertop as their families use for normal bread. Yet you feel that it is your right to mess with their already difficult lifestyles because celebrities and society have alluded that it is healthy.

Now, since you probably don’t care much about those who actually suffer from gluten intolerance (and throw up when they order that loosely labeled “gluten-free” dish that you say was great), here is the effect your new diet has on your body.

When you buy your gluten-free products, they still taste good because what was nutrient-rich grain has been replaced by fat and sugar … not exactly the weight-loss combo you want. I once heard a girl say that she can still eat Oreos because they are gluten-free. Pretty sure she completely missed the point (on a side note, Oreos are not gluten-free).

When you avoid a certain type of food, it can actually lead to your body building up a tolerance against it. So when you move on to the next diet fad and decide to finally have a good-for-you, nutrient-rich bowl of whole grain oatmeal, your body will react poorly. Hence, by your absurd desire to be gluten-free, you have actually created a problem for yourself much greater and harder to deal with than your half-assed-but-trendy gluten-free diet was.

On top of all of this, I want to point out what a first-world problem it is to have the luxury to be so consumed in the newest diet trends that we can ignore the issues of the world. If we spent the time, money and energy put into dieting into bettering the world, imagine where we would be. Diet trends are just another distraction keeping us from being socially involved and conscious of the world around us.

Please, educate yourself on things that really matter and let those who truly suffer from gluten intolerance and allergies live their lives in peace.

20 Replies to “Don’t Be Going Gluten-Free”

  1. I am a celiac, diagnosed by a doctor, by blood, biopsy. I am also disgusted by those who g.f. foods when they don’t have life affecting disease. Yes its a disease! That can reek havoc on your body, so food has been made for us cd’ers is our only treatment/cure. Its either Gf diet or sickness/death! Can’t tell you self diagnosed not to not to buy it but please have some compassion for us who do rely on it. Thanks!

    1. Are they short on gluten free food in your state? My daughter had been gluten free for 10 years, way before the wagon. I really do jot care what anyone else eats. I have enough food issues to occupy me.

  2. I think people are “self-diagnosing” themselves more often because western medicine is failing them. Like myself, I was sick for years and doctors were trying to get rid of my symptoms instead of looking at me as a whole person. In the 35+ years I suffered from different illnesses, pains and symptoms no doctor ever suggested or asked about the foods I was eating. I had to figure it out for myself. Is it the people who are trying to figure out the root of their symptoms by eating gluten-free that are the problem or the medical schools who aren’t training their doctors in nutrition?

    1. Exactly!!!! They are so quick to prescribe nausea pills, gad pills, acid reflux pills, instead of trying to find the root. How will they make money off of us if they actually find the problem and not just treat the symptoms. I explained everything to the doctor again recently, and before I left she said, you need to feed her more. Idiot didn’t hear a word I said.

  3. While this trend has been helpful in some ways, it has been hurtful in other ways to people with celiac. I love the fact that I have more options at the grocery store, but I don’t like the prices this trend has created. I also don’t like enjoy the new dangers of the dining experience this trend as created. Im very careful where I go but it still happens thanks to this trend.

  4. Have been to many doctors who don’t care enough to find out what is wrong with me. So thanks for trying to make me feel shitty about myself, but I’m going to continue self-diagnosing until I find out what is wrong with me.

  5. The fad people have increased the availability and reduced the cost of a whole range of gluten free food for me. While they’re knobs, thanks to them most shops and restaurants have options for me that I never had before and at much cheaper prices.

  6. As a student studying nutrition, I find your article post completely offensive, rude and unscientific. Yes, consuming gluten free products is a major trend today. If a consumer decides they want to spend additional money for something labeled “gluten- free” than that is their choice. If not consuming gluten makes somebody feel better about their health and lifestyle, then they have the right to do so.
    “Example A” discussing gluten allergies in the restaurant industry isn’t accurate to scientific data. According to the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, people can have different levels of gluten intolerance similar to most other dietary intolerances. Some people may get very sick with as little as 50 milligrams while others can tolerate much more without having a major reaction. I am certified in food safety and cross contamination would be a concern if you were a member of the celiac population with an extremely low gluten tolerance however, the majority of the gluten free population can still use the same pans and dishware if clean.
    There is also a difference between a gluten allergy, intolerance and sensitivity. According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disorder where the small intestine is negatively impacted by digestion. A gluten sensitivity differs from Celiac Disease because it is an immune response that does not cause lasting harm to the body.
    In regards to buying gluten free products at the grocery store, many gluten free diet foods are plant based, meaning they have very little fat. Yes, some do have sugar and fat but not all gluten free foods are replaced by fat and sugar. Celiac disease can be a very difficult disease to have however, there is a simple treatment. It is a great thing that supermarkets and restaurants are helping these people have more options.
    Your comment beginning with “since you probably don’t care much about those who actually suffer from gluten intolerance” is very rude. Many of us know and care about someone with a gluten intolerance and it is disrespectful to jump to the conclusion that people don’t care about someone with a serious disease.
    Before writing another article please do some research and site where you got your information from. Articles like this make The Spectrum and the students at North Dakota State University look bad.

    Here is the Palo Alto Medical Foundations website:
    University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center :

    Here is an article from Harvard Health:

  7. I agree. I have ulcerative colits and skin issues. Going gluten free has helped me immensely. All of my problems have either improved or virtually disappeared. I have other friends who have tried a gluten free diet and feel better as well. It is not just an option for someone with celiac disease. So you have to ask questions when dining out to make sure you want to risk eating something. At least there are more options now because of the popularity of this kind of diet. I don’t get why this is even an issue to complain about really..

  8. I usually never comment but your article is WAY off base and just not very knowledgeable. Gluten has been so genetically modified that it is no longer the bread we ate when we were young. It simply cannot permeate the gut and because of that it causes a variety of symptoms from headaches to brain fog to indigestion.
    The medical community deals only with symptoms and is clueless the majority of the time when these symptoms don’t make sense to THEM!!! It never occurs to them that what you put in your body is what determines your health. So…, if you have tried the medical community and come up against a brick wall, try a gluten free diet and “see” how you feel. We all have a right to figure out for ourselves how to be healthy and to take responsibility for our well-being.
    Your article lacks compassion as well as good common sense.

  9. I have never been tested, but I have continuous heartburn if I don’t abstain from gluten. Are you telling me that I should just pop a tums?? Seems like maybe you should reconsider your argument. There are plenty of reasons to reduce certain substances from a diet. You’re just shallow minded and totally uninformed. People reduce the intake of simple sugars, fat, and other nutrients. Are you going to attack them also because they don’t have diabetes or other related conditions?

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