May 18, 2013

Gluten-Free can be Bad for 99% of Us.

A: Yes, this is a well known and well studied phenomena in weight loss. Basically, it doesn’t actually matter what you do–if you consciously make a choice to diet, you’ll lose weight.

“I’m a celiac, and while I enjoy the glut of new products that are gluten-free, I resent the dieters that don’t take advantage of their functioning GI track. EAT A DOUGHNUT. SOME OF US CAN’T…

Celiac here too, and 100% with you on that one. I understand that a lot of people feel better w/o gluten even if they don’t have CD (my husband, for instance), but damn, wish I could eat a sugar raised doughnut just one. more. time. But then it would be off to the ER for me, so, no.

Or a double decker from Taco Bell. Or even just cheez-its! Or soft french bread and brie…” [Reddit]

Many, many more perspectives here:

The Tastiest Gluten-Free Stuffed Artichokes You’ll Ever Eat. ~ Paige Vignola {Recipe}

Eat a Gluten-Free Diet for Type 2 Diabetes & Celiac Disease. ~ Sarka-Jonae Miller

A Gluten-Free Treat to Start the Day. ~ Terri Tremblett

Link: 1% of the population has a genuine need. For most of the rest of us, we’re just eating processed, pricey, nutrient-light “wellness” products.

Here’s 8 Gluten-free Things that are Actually Bad for Us.

Don’t get suckered by the Gluten-free gold rush. Just because it’s GF doesn’t mean it’s good for us. Stick with real food, that’s naturally gluten-free. Cook more, love more, slow down. Avoid heavily-processed hype:

New read: Food fadism: exposing the gluten myth (afr.com)

“If it’s packaged or processed — gluten or no gluten — it’s not as healthy as other whole foods you could be eating. The best gluten-free foods aren’t products at all; They’re fresh fruits and vegetables!”

When I was video host at Natural Products Expo West, recently, interviewing some of the newer GF companies, it felt like I was talking with a bunch of fad and money-focused business people—not foodies or wellness experts. I do like some GF companies that focus on health, not just GF. ~ ed.

Beware buzz-words. They mean something, but they don’t mean enough that we can turn off our critical intelligence.

Much of the general population’s newfound gluten-intolerance is, likely, psychosomatic—i.e., imagined. The point: eat healthfully, read labels, don’t follow fads or be a sucker for corporate hype claims.

It’s the same with organic. Folks think organic means healthy. It means something: but not necessarily good-for-you.

In a recent poll, 30 percent of adults said they wanted to “cut down or be free of gluten“…About 1 percent of the population has celiac disease…people who unnecessarily shun gluten may do so at the expense of their health, Tallmadge said…whole grains, which contain gluten, are a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, Tallmadge said. Gluten-free products are often made with refined grains, and are low in nutrients…[like] fiber, iron, folate, niacin, thiamine, calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and zinc. “There’s nothing magical about eliminating gluten that results in weight loss,” Mangieri said. Any of us that eliminates or removes cookies and candies from our diets, and replaces them with fruits and vegetables is going to feel better.”

Via @waylonlewis via @hukitchen on Instagram (follow’ em):

1. Soda is Gluten-free. This is what one sip of soda does to your body.

2. Cocaine is Gluten-free. Bonus: on Fair-trade Cocaine.

3. Some gluten-free cookies: many are still bad for you. “just two of Glow’s cookies contain as much saturated fat as 10 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets and more calories than seven Nabisco Ginger Snaps!” Some are pretty healthy. Read the labels.

4. Some gluten-free granola: the store-bought stuff is generally full of sugar and canola oil. Yum! “With 20 grams each of both fat and sugar, Udi’s granola resembles a dessert…”

5. Some gluten-free bread is all canola oil and eggs: read, fat and calories. And weight-gain!

6. Gluten-free bagels: “The listed serving size may be half a bagel, but don’t be fooled—few people will stop at half. To add further insult, Glutino’s also manages to pack in more fat per bagel than three scoops of Breyer’s Original Strawberry ice cream.” Jaw, meet floor.

7. Gluten-free Cake? Bad for you: “Tia’s “Totally Healthy” cake contains as many calories as 8.5 Fudgesicles, as much fat as 3.5 McDonald’s Hamburgers, and more sugar than 10 feet of Fruit by the Foot candy.” How would you look with 15 extra pounds? Eat a couple of these a week and you’ll find out.

8. Gluten-free soups…are often all “flour, butter and milk or cream.”

“…Many of us paying a premium to avoid gluten are doing so without any legitimate medical reason.

First of all, why is gluten — a protein found in wheat, rye and barley — so bad? Well, for most of us, it isn’t.”


Bonus: If you can tolerate gluten, this is my favorite kind:


If you plan to go gluten free, select more fruits, vegetables, and lean meat, and more naturally gluten-free grains like brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat, rather than just buying prepackaged products labeled “gluten free,” Sandquist says.


Men’s Health.

Scientific American.



For another pov: Slate.

Common Sense (look it up, it’s in your own head)


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natasharenee07 Jul 18, 2014 2:11pm

I agree with the main point here: gluten-free junk food is still junk. But in the foods that you list, the unhealthy culprits are sugar, grains, and additives, not the saturated fat content, or eggs, or a high calorie count. We know now that the saturated-fat scare was completely unfounded, and that animal fats from well-raised animals are really good for you. Maybe we can't all tolerate butter and cream, but there's no reason for everyone to be so scared of it. I'd much rather eat a high-fat food that's high in calories and actually going to keep me full than the gluten-free fluff that manufacturers are targeting toward me.

Also, just because someone doesn't have to go to the emergency room because of eating gluten (or even with a milder reaction like I do) doesn't mean that they should eat gluten for the sake of those who can't. I get that it's a joke, but come on – we know wheat isn't a health food, whole or otherwise. There certainly aren't any essential nutrients in it that we can't get elsewhere, like a source from which we might actually be able to absorb them.

Tracy M Mar 12, 2014 7:55pm

Ummm… she says in the beginning: "Celiac here too, and 100% with you on that one. I understand that a lot of people feel better w/o gluten even if they don’t have CD (my husband, for instance), but damn, wish I could eat a sugar raised doughnut just one. more. time. But then it would be off to the ER for me, so, no."
I think people are so hyper-sensitive and defensive about this topic… yes, many people are not just celiac, they are allergic or intolerant… she seems to acknowledge this… she's saying, for the rest of us, "enjoy" yourself! Eat one for her! Don't be a lemming! Eat what you can and don't eat what you can't! PEOPLE! You really need to get a SENSE OF HUMOR! It's a HUGE fad right now and there are some really beneficial nutrients in gluten products! I am now hypothyroid because I was vegan for years and years and I ate/drank too much soy… good LORD, what a bunch of uptight individuals! Spread some JOY tomorrow to atone for your stick-up-your bum today!

Meg Dec 30, 2013 11:11pm

I appreciate the sentiment of the article, but I think it has been misinterpreted by many – I think the author is trying to point out that going GF isn't a fad, and that it doesn't mean you are eating "healthy" just because you're eating GF. I have Celiac's Disease, diagnosed three years ago. My father (who is a doctor, I might add, and stubborn as hell) was finally diagnosed almost two years ago. The first sign in our family, though? My older sister who does NOT have Celiac's Disease, but is highly gluten sensitive. She cut gluten out of her diet and her entire world changed. Her skin, her weight, and other things that do not need to be mentioned changed drastically.

All in all, the gluten we cut out was the obvious- no breads (besides the odd GF English muffin) and cutting out gluten otherwise. It's really not that hard to eat healthy, gluten free or not – fruits and veg, minimal or no GF snacks once in a blue moon (cookies, crackers, etc)… I really don't understand how people have such a problem with this!!!

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.