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.