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.