Gluten intolerance, gluten-free diets and gluten overall is not simply a majorly discussed topic, it’s a terrible problem spreading like a disease (see what I did there). Generally, people are divided into 2: those who believe gluten is the big-bad wolf of our menus and go around telling they are gluten intolerant (though they are not) and those who really do have the celiac disease and are not kidding around with gluten, to be “trendy” and on-spot with their diet. So who is right in this seemingly never-ending battle? We are here to debunk some of the most common gluten myths that you can hear. Whether you are suffering from gluten intolerance or have made the choice to avoid gluten at all costs, you are likely to have heard a couple of these myths along the way.
- Celiac disease is a food allergy.
Sorry to say you gals, but it’s actually not. In fact, it’s a chronic autoimmune disorder which cannot be cured and the only ease to it is to follow a strict gluten-free diet.
- Going gluten-free is healthy for me.
You almost thought you are making the best and easiest choice for losing those pounds, isn’t that so? Quite contrary, going gluten-free if you don’t have the celiac disease can cause your body a lot of trouble like lack of fiber and other nutrients since gluten-free products are not always organic or someway healthy – they can actually be heavily processed and have no particular health benefits what so ever. You might give up cookies with gluten but does that mean gluten-free cookies are healthy? Nope, it doesn’t.
- Gluten sensitivity.
Raise your hand if you haven’t heard of anyone saying: “I can’t eat that, I have gluten sensitivity!”. In medical community, this question is still highly debated since there is no proof such medical condition really exists. So let’s just put it this way: gluten sensitivity is as good as an unicorn – you might believe you’ve seen it but it really can’t be said if it’s true. However, in this case we are not saying completely this is 100% a myth since it’s just a common belief that hasn’t been proven thoroughly yet – so if you believe it, we are not saying no-no to you!
- My diet is gluten free if I don’t eat products containing wheat.
Wheat is not actually the only grain containing gluten. Besides wheat, gluten can be found in rye, barley and triticale so cutting out only wheat will not do the trick.
- Avoiding gluten will help me lose weight.
By now you should know better than to believe this gluten myth, right? Yes, quite often the bad-boys in our diet contain wheat but avoiding gluten alone won’t do the trick since there are plenty of foods on our menu that can be the cause of those extra pounds. The only thing that will help is avoiding foods with high calorie and carb amount, but that might not always be a product containing gluten.
- Gluten is only in food.
Yep, wrong again. Products like medicine, cosmetics, candy, toothpaste, sauces and pastas, spice mixes, processed meat, chips and nuts can contain some gluten. In fact, even strawberries can be a victim so be aware!
- Gluten-free = grain free.
Many gluten-free diet enthusiasts make a mistake of avoiding all grains. That can actually cause serious harm to your body since you won’t get enough fiber. You can eat buckwheat, corn, quinoa and sorghum totally quilt-free!
- Our bodies are not meant for processing gluten so we shouldn’t eat it.
While it is true that gluten is harder to digest and we don’t have the right enzymes to break the complex gluten proteins, our immune system will step in and help to get rid of gluten in our body. After digesting, everything’s normal and people who don’t have the celiac disease have nothing to worry about as our bodies can deal with it nicely.
Gluten is almost like a cult-subject and while it is a harsh reality for many people, it’s a trend you shouldn’t follow blindly. If you’re thinking of starting a gluten-free diet, think thoroughly the reasons behind it and consult with your doctor and nutrionist to get the best menu suitable for you!