A lot of my long-time readers know my opinion on diets and most food trends. I believe that any food regimen that eliminates an entire class of food, whether it’s carbohydrates, fat, or ‘anything green’ is not a sustainable, healthy option.
Eating a variety of foods gives us a necessary variety of nutrients.
I haven’t always thought this way…. Years ago I was eating fat-free, sugar-free everything, I won’t bore you with the details, but I switched to real, whole everything and it’s been easier to control my weight and I feel better.
Okay, I still have the occasional sugar-free Orangina but I figure that’s food waste anyway…..
On the other hand, I have real, life-threatening allergies. I completely understand people who need to avoid foods for serious, real health reasons. (And I wish moderately bad things on those who say they have issues when they don’t, thus making life harder for those of us who do.).
All that being said I thought this was a particularly well-written, informed article on gluten although I’m not sure if it’s not eating gluten or not eating cake that results in weight loss…. but I could guess.
When one sees gluten-free bread in a French boulangerie, one knows it’s more than a trend.
Why Gluten-Free Is Here to Stay
The term gluten-free has become quite commonly used over the past two decades, and while it was initially considered to be just a fad diet like multiple other diets and lifestyle trends like the Aitken’s and Paleo diet, it appears that gluten-free is not a trend, rather it has paved its way as a permanent option, and if you don’t believe me, then you walk into almost any restaurant, bakery, or retail store, and you will find there to be a variety of gluten-free products available, and the variety is endless. So, you can find gluten-free bread, cupcakes, pizza, snacks, and even instant meals, so it is safe to say that gluten-free is here to stay. If you want to look at the growing statistics, then you can simply browse this site for more information.
After celebrities like Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow mentioned the benefits of going gluten-free, it has led to a worldwide movement, and you will now find people avoiding gluten for both medical and non-medical reasons as well. Now, in case you are still not familiar with what exactly gluten-free entails, then to put it simply, gluten is a protein that we find in crops like barley, wheat and rye, and avoidance of gluten is simply going “gluten-free.”
Some people are avoiding gluten because they have actual medical reasons, and this includes conditions like celiac disease and gluten allergies. People who have celiac disease are not able to digest gluten properly, and consuming gluten can end up causing them to suffer from intestinal damage, and also make them at risk of developing cardiovascular conditions. Similarly, people who have serious and severe gluten allergies can end up going to the ER if they are exposed to gluten, and in the worst-case scenario, the encounter can end up having fatal consequences. So, gluten can be incredibly harmful to people who have these conditions, and since doctors have noted an overall rise in gluten intolerance amongst populations, having a gluten-free option is very important because it makes sure that those who are unable to eat gluten can still eat proper meals and included in different spaces, especially in restaurant settings, and because restaurants and retailers understand this need, they are able to provide gluten-free options in their menus and aisles.
Apart from people who have medical conditions, there is also a percentage of the population that chooses to go gluten-free for wellness and diet benefits. Gluten itself has been found to have no nutritional value, and if anything, can actually cause bloating and bowel issues, so a lot of people have gone gluten-free because it is simply good for their health in a number of ways.
Gluten is known for causing bloating, so if you happen to be suffering from inflammation and bloat, switching to a gluten-free diet can help you since it can aid your digestion process and make things easier for you. So, you will notice a visible reduction in your bloating, and an improvement in your bowel movements as well. Going gluten-free also means a reduction in cramps too, so if you are a woman that has been suffering from more painful periods, then going gluten-free can be a great idea for you as well.
A common reason why people are going gluten-free is because it helps them in the weight loss process, so if you are someone who has been struggling to lose weight, going gluten-free can actually be a great idea for you, because when you are cutting off gluten, you are cutting off a lot of things like bread, bakery items, and a lot of processed foods like bagels, cupcakes, cookies, cereal and a bunch of other food groups, so when you cut them off of your diet, you will find yourself losing weight a lot more drastically.
People who happen to suffer from thyroiditis, also known as thyroid disease can also potentially benefit from a gluten-free diet. Recent research has shown that there is a link between gluten and thyroid disease, so switching to a gluten-free diet can actually end up bringing one’s thyroid levels back to normal. So, if you happen to have a thyroid condition or know someone who has a thyroid condition, switching to gluten-free can be a great idea.
When you are in the market to shop for groceries, you want to make sure that you are reading the ingredient list and making sure that the product is actually gluten-free before you are buying it. You should also avoid products that have hydrolyzed vegetable protein and malt listed in their ingredients because these also contain gluten. So, familiarizing yourself with which products and ingredients contain gluten is really important because not everything is going to be listed as gluten-free, and it is also not necessary that every gluten-free product that you find at the retail store is actually gluten-free, so always fact check before you put a product in your grocery cart.
Most restaurants today do offer gluten-free options, and you can usually end up telling your server about your allergy or preference, and the restaurant is normally able to accommodate. The reason why restaurants are now offering more gluten-free options, and alternatives is because they recognize the growing population of people that need gluten-free food, and if anything, this becomes a more profitable venture for that restaurant. This is why you will see that a lot of places now ask you before meals about any specific diet preferences and allergies so that they are able to adjust your order accordingly.
Veganism, and going dairy-free was once considered to be a trend as well, yet you will notice that it has not yet died and has become a lifestyle choice for many people, even people who do not identify as vegan. Hence, why you will find vegan options in restaurants, coffee shops, and retail stores everywhere. Similarly, it is now safe to say a gluten-free diet, which was once considered a trend or a fad that would eventually die out is here to stay and does not plan on leaving anytime soon.