Here’s what you need to know about cutting out this inflammatory ingredient – and why it may or may not be right for you.
As decades have come and gone, fad diets have followed suit. In the ’80s and ’90s, we had the low-fat, no-fat trend. And Atkins and carb-free diets were popular in the early 2000s. Now we’ve entered a new fad era – gluten free. But should we really be hopping on this fad and forcing our families to do it as well?
With very little knowledge on the subject, people hit the internet for a diet that would help them lose weight. I had heard about it, but when I saw that gluten is in just about everything I loved, I originally decided it wasn’t worth it.
Fast forward one year, and I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease – which, if you’re not familiar, is an auto-immune disease that damages your small intestine, and gluten is one of its main triggers. So for me, gluten was now a strict no-no.
I started diving into gluten studies. Just 10 years ago, 1 in 2,500 people in the US had a gluten sensitivity, or their body had trouble completely breaking down the gluten protein.
But in 2020, that statistic was way up – 1 in 133 people in the US now have a gluten sensitivity. Over time, the wheat plant has been modified for easier growth and harvesting and crops are sprayed with pesticides and antibiotics. The modifications and chemicals used can damage your stomach fluid, leading to improper digestion.
When I started experiencing digestion issues, I went to get tested for stomach issues, and that’s how I found out I had Celiac Disease. I come from an Italian family, so wheat was always a staple in my diet. I struggled for months, eating foods I was not supposed to and being bed ridden for days because of it.
It seemed that EVERYTHING – and I mean everything – had gluten in it: soy sauce, fast food fries(my weakness), some of my medications and beauty products, and so much more.
It wasn’t until I started baking with gluten-free alternatives that I was able to get my diet under control. I thought it would be an extremely difficult and time-consuming process, but it has allowed me to feel somewhat back to normal.
And ladies, take it from someone who is not medically allowed to eat gluten – do not choose to cut it out of your diet. It leads to binge-eating bread, pizza and pasta, and LOTS of bloating.
Although this fad has spread fast, there can be more negatives to the diet than positives – unless it’s required to alleviate a health condition, as in my case.
When you eliminate a whole food from your diet you are cutting out essential vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin B, zinc, calcium, etc. You and your body are used to getting through that food.
Whole wheat bread is a large source of dietary fiber, and while there are substitutes, they are not as rich in fiber. Fiber is a great source of antioxidants and has many anti-inflammatory benefits. In a study done involving diabetes patients, it showed that male and females on a self-choice gluten free diet are more likely to Type 2 Diabetes.
And lastly, the whole point of the diet fad – to lose weight – may not help you. Many gluten free foods are higher in calories and sugar than those containing gluten. When people see a gluten free label, they often think it’s a healthier option, and don’t even look at the actual nutrition facts.
Going gluten free isn’t beneficial for everyone, but reducing the amount of modified wheat in your diet can help with bloating, digestion, and even energy levels. This gluten free artisan bread is simply delicious – ask my boyfriend, who breaks into it before it’s even cooled all the way. Try it out if you have Celiac Disease or a gluten sensitivity, or for a fun activity with the kids.
Here are a few more of my favorite gluten free recipes to try out for yourselves: