Have you ever noticed the term ‘gluten free’ and wondered what in the world the hype about gluten free is? Somehow it seems like everything gluten free is both expensive and healthier. How true is that?!


Is gluten bad?

Picture credits: http://www.cakespy.com/blog/2014/10/12/what-is-gluten-anyway.html

Let me get this straight: gluten is NOT the bad guy! Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye, and these grains are used to make flour. Hence, it is found in lots of foods like cakes, bread, pasta, cereals, cookies, etc.

People who have to avoid gluten are those who are unable to digest gluten normally. This condition is known as celiac disease, whereby the body rejects gluten and attacks the small intestine. Only 1% of the American population have this hereditary disease.


Why does gluten free stuff seem ‘healthy’?

gluten free

Picture credits: http://www.breadsrsly.com/

When you cut out gluten, you basically cut out lots of ‘nasty’ foods that contain gluten, such as cakes, cookies, crackers, pizza, beer, etc. The culprits are not gluten but the high amount of fat and sugar in these foods. So if you were to have gluten free cakes and cookies, there’s really no difference between both types of desserts, but it will matter to someone with celiac disease!


Should I go gluten free?


Picture credits: http://www.cakespy.com/blog/2014/10/12/what-is-gluten-anyway.html

Unless you experience gluten allergies or symptoms like stomachache, bowel discomfort or headaches, it is not necessary to go gluten free. In fact, going gluten free but still consuming gluten free goodies like cakes and cookies could even be worse! Manufacturers make up for the lack of taste by adding more sugar, salt, or fat.

Going gluten free also eliminates the beneficial nutrients you get from wheat, such as vitamin Bs and folate, and you lose out on the benefits of having whole grain foods. However, if you’d like to try a gluten free diet, make sure you are getting enough B vitamins, iron and calcium from other sources like chickpeas, fish, spinach, etc.


Now that you finally know what gluten is, at least you won’t be one of these ladies?


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