Why I need you to stop telling everyone to go gluten free.

Lately there has been a lot of people on the internet and various social media outlets that have really been annoying me. I try to keep my thoughts to myself, and avoid comment wars as much as possible, but it is a real struggle you guys. I just want to yell at these people through my handheld device to shut their face, but as half of these humans are people I don't actually know that and the other half I would prefer not to be unfriended from (although, do I really need them as so called friends anyway? especially if they are idiots.) 
While I feel like I am an expert on a great many things and I would love to rub my knowledge all over peoples puny little brains, I make a great effort to hold my tongue. Although, there is a song somewhere that says all you get when you bite your tongue is a bloody mouth, so theres that.What is that song? It's gonna bother me all day. (update: The Fruit Bats, When U Love Somebody)

Back to my rant.

As I said, there are a great many topics that come up that I would like to throw my two cents into, but this post is about gluten. Because that's what we are about over here. 

So, a gluten free diet. 
I have so many feels about gluten free diets. Mostly negative.
It really peeves me when people are on gluten free diets because they just feel like it. (unless you are one of those people, and are reading this blog right now, then I love you ;)

Let me start with this: a gluten free diet is meant for those who have been diagnosed with Celiac disease, or have a known sensitivity to gluten. Meaning, if you definitely know that every time you have a gluten containing product, you instantly have fluids projecting from your body or extreme pain that you can for sure nail down to that slice of toast. You may also have concluded by yourself or with the help of a healthcare professional that gluten is the cause of your chronic migraines or the reason for the eczema that just won't clear up, and so you avoid the trigger rather then deal with the result. Those are all appropriate reasons to stop eating gluten.
Reasons that are not appropriate for partaking in a gluten free diet, are an attempt at a new weight loss fad, deciding that it will cure anything an everything that is wrong with you, thinking it makes you sound more unique and mysterious or any of those other excuses, are not cool. 

Gluten as you may or may not know, and if you are one of the fad diet people, you probably don't know, is a protein found in wheat and other related grains. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that prevents the digestion of gluten. Meaning, your body literally cannot handle it at all and rebels against you and causes pain and other troubles and yadayadayada. 

Now that business has been stated, let the record show that wheat is a grain that contains vital vitamins. Taking it away for no reason at all is not healthy for you. For me, being an unknown celiac I did not take in any nutrients because I was unknowingly eating my bodies own kryptonite. Since being diagnosed and not eating gluten, my body still doesn't absorb nutrients, so ha! But if you're digestive tract is just fine, and gluten is not causing you any harm, why take it away?

But here is the skinny, on being skinny. On a gluten free diet that is. Not that I would know what that feels like, but I digress. 
Say you are eating the typical American diet, which typically contains a lot of pastas, pizza, burgers, and a lot of other not so healthy foods. Sure the occasional salad is mixed in, but most likely it is topped with croutons, cheese and some heavy dressing full of calories. Basically, people eat crap for breakfast lunch and dinner. Plus three snacks and a dessert. So you feel fatigued, bloated, and your developing more zits by the minute. Well, I wonder why that is all happening to you!
Now say, you take all that junk away, and have diet based off of vegetables and proteins, with no refined starches. You start to feel better, you lose five pounds, your skin clears up, you assume it's the gluten that was the problem. But if you take a minute to think about it, it was most likely not the gluten itself that helped you, but the redesign of your diet. 
On the other side, you can go "gluten free" which to you means replacing your Chips Ahoy with a gluten free alternative, and exchanging the bread and pasta ingredients with rice based ones, assuming you are being healthy when really, you are just eating the same crap with less nutrients. Rice products, you guys, does nothing for you in reality. It's basically an empty carb.

Don't get my wrong, I love that now, as opposed to the almost six years ago when I was diagnosed, there are so many more options and knowledge about gluten. I love that I can go to almost any grocery store now, and find the items that I once had to hunt down and pay an arm and a leg for a few years ago. I love that most restaurants have a gluten free menu, and more companies label their products.

What I don't love, is that "gluten free" has become a joke. It's the new description of the weak character in a movie. It is the waiters reason to roll their eyes. It is the serious health concern that has been made light of, instead of being taken seriously. It is the reason why those restaurants with the gluten free menu, are still not safe for me to eat at because they are not properly concerned about food safety. It is why people think of gluten free as a fad "no carb" diet, rather then a serious issue like a peanut allergy. 

It's great for you if this type of lifestyle change (which it is, a lifestyle) helped you and whatever health issues you may suffer from, but that doesn't mean it will help everyone else.

Sorry not sorry for shouting at you.

I have never once suggested someone should go on a gluten free diet. I have given advice to those who have been already instructed to do so, I have suggested people go talk to a medical professional if they suspect they have an issue, I have helped people recognized that McDonalds is their problem, and not the gluten itself necessarily. I have not suggested people take on this diet because it helped me, or because it might clear up their acne and help them drop a pant size. Because it's not the truth.  A diet free of gluten did not actually help me with any of those things, it just eliminated the havoc that was constantly occurring in my stomach. Sure after diagnosis a Celiac's migraines may be eliminated, and their weight may regulate but because most likely their body is finally working like the well oiled machine that it was built to be, and they can finally get the benefits out of the good food they are eating.

A gluten free diet will not help your problems, unless your problem is in fact gluten.

A healthy well balanced diet, will help you. Eat natural products, products that have not been modified so far from their original purpose that they no longer have nutritional value. Buy more fruits, and vegetables and less cookies and crackers. Start to cook, eat out less. Spend the extra money that you would be using to buy specialty baked goods on local produce and grass fed meats.
All things in moderation.

This life is not easy. It's not as simple as just not eating bread. Gluten has weaseled its way into every type of food, beauty, or household product that it can. It can be found in your shampoo, your nail polish, the soda you love to drink, and even coated onto apples at the grocery store. Gluten free is more then a diet to a Celiac, it is a way of life. A voice of paranoia in the back of your head at all times, worrying about anything and everything that you come into contact with. It is permanent means to an end, not an experiment to try out just because.

The point of this rant is to say, that a gluten free diet is not meant for everybody. Sure those people who are hell bent on making the world wheat-less will throw their studies and research at me to prove their points. But all that will do is make me hate you more, because there is nothing I hate more then an annoying pants know-it-all. Plus, I could throw some research right back at you proving my point. The internet is full of validation for any opinion you may have, all you have to do is find it.

So people of the internet, please just stop. Stop trying to prove that you know better then everyone else, keep your unwanted advice to yourself or start a blog where you can talk about all the genius you think you have to the audience that cares (yourself) thats what I do, and its working out quite swell.

For reals though, how many times was "gluten free" said in this post.


*as always, if you suspect you may have Celiac disease, or a gluten intolerance please discuss with your doctor before eliminating gluten from your diet.

1 comment:

  1. If it weren't for the gluten free fad you wouldn't have so many options at the grocery store💫