Gluten free- lifestyle or diet?

garlic-bread

Every time I turn around there’s someone going “gluten free”.  It’s the hottest trend.  Everybody’s doing it……are you?

Let’s first look at what gluten is.  Gluten is actually a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.  It’s what gives most breads its structure.  This type of protein can also be found in cous cous, malt, wheat bran, semolina, and oats.  Do you use soy sauce for your Asian inspired dishes?  Yep, there’s gluten in soy as well.  There’s good news though, only 1% of the American population is actually gluten intolerant, or those who have Celiac disease, and whose system can’t breakdown the protein.  So why is everyone jumping on the wagon?

I think one would agree with me that most people think they can’t live without bread.  We surround ourselves with it.  We have toast, pancakes or waffles for breakfast.  Then we have sandwiches and baguettes at lunch.  For dinner?  Pizzas or breads to munch on while we wait for dinner.  Am I correct?  We are already flooding ourselves with an overabundance of portions on bread.  People are looking to feel better and lose weight.  I bet, in general, if you just cut out the bread, you would feel a lot better!  Gluten free or not!

However, going gluten free isn’t the safest road traveled to increase the current state of your health habits. “Studies have found gluten-free diets can be seriously nutrient-deficient — low in fiber, iron, folate, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and zinc.”-Kathrine Tallmadge, R.D.  Did you know that you can actually gain weight putting yourself on this diet?  Gluten free products high in corn and rice content increase the caloric value of the food.

So do I think you need to go gluten free?  No.  If you think you have, it’s probably the fact that you have cut down on the bread a little bit.  Give yourself a pat on the back- you don’t need that much bread anyways!