Oh come on!!!

You know, I’ve heard rumours of people who cut out gluten to be ‘healthy’ or ‘lose weight’ but I thought they were unicorns – you know, figments of someone’s imagination to make horses seem more interesting. By the way, how cool would it be to own a unicorn???

While buying my weekly gluten-free fish and chips (ok, don’t judge me too harshly I’m not whole foods every night of the week), the guy serving me was having a laugh at people who come into his shop and when the gluten-free burger isn’t available choose instead a full gluten burger instead of a different gluten-free option. Um, what the heck? “Yup, I’ll have gluten-free please, but only if it’s yummy, otherwise double the gluten thanks.”

Turns out that there are actually people who are on a gluten-free diet for really bizarre reasons (trendiness? a strange idea of what healthy eating is?) and there are people who do gluten-free part-time. What in the actual heck???

There is absolutely nothing wrong with cutting out gluten if you’re: coeliac, gluten intolerant (legitimately) or have a genuine health issue that is improved by cutting out gluten (e.g. Hashimoto’s disease).

But cutting out gluten because you *think* it’s healthier than eating gluten is just silly.

Gluten-free is not healthy. A well-balanced diet, low in sugar and processed crap that also happens to be gluten-free IS healthy. That’s a BIG difference. Actually, most gluten-free processed food is higher in sugar and other nasties than gluteny processed food.

And what’s with the part-time thing? If you have a genuine reason for being gluten-free (see above), then you need to be gluten FREE, not low gluten or gluten-free when it suits me, or gluten-free when the food looks good. If you need to be gluten-free, there are no half measures because every bite impacts your health.

Why do I care? Because caterers, cooks and food vendors deal with this silliness everyday, so when it comes to serving people who genuinely need to be gluten-free you can see why some of them are cynical, or sometimes even a bit slap-dash with how careful they are with gluten-free meals.

As I’ve said before …. if you think you have a problem with gluten, get tested. It could literally save your life (coeliac disease can kill you). And if you are going to be tested you have to be eating gluten or you’ll show a false negative, so don’t cut it out of your diet until you’re advised to by a medical professional.

There, rant over.

 

 

5 thoughts on “Oh come on!!!

  1. I wish I could share this with my boss who took my gluten free savoury at a staff morning tea because she thinks gluten free is "healthier"… And then proceeded to eat a sausage roll. sigh

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  2. So glad I read to the end. The bit about getting tested was excellent. If you’re not diagnosed by a reputable professional as being gluten intolerant, then you can eat gluten to your hearts content, and are not less healthy in your diet. Give me all the left over gluten pleasee

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  3. I once starved on a church weekend in Rotorua because the chef didn’t think I was actually allergic to gluten or dairy. He assumed I was one of these people following a fad. When I hadn’t eaten for 48 hours because he provided nothing for me, he came up and apologised. Most miserable weekend I’ve ever spent anywhere. My husband raided the town for the only thing he could find – Dark Ghana peanut slab. Not my finest hour. 😦

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  4. I agree 100%.As a health professional with a Gastroeneterology background it concerns me greatly that some people are choosing a severely restricted diet without a genuine reason i.e. a confirmed diagnosis of Coeliac from a doctor or specialist and the advice/support of a dietician. Foods have specific functions in our diet and to severely restrict it for the sake of a fad or trend is beyond comprehension and likely to cause other health issues.I can only hope that there aren’t any children being placed on GF diets for the same reason – can you imagine the consequences to their health and development!

    So please, DO go on….

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  5. Love this post! People who are going about eating gluten free because its ‘cool’/’healthy’ make it so much harder for people who legitmately need gluten free food and the people who provide them. I’ve so many bad experiences because caterers/staff were slap-dash about it, thinking I was in it for the fad or were just plain mean when I asked about ingredients (in addition to me feeling embarrased and ‘evil-eyed’ because I’m sure a lot of people think I’m just in it for the fad). Also, to make true gluten free, its not just the ingredients but the prep and care it takes to make it gluten free. So the food providers waste time, money and effort on people having a gluten free meal then ordering the churros for dessert…

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