Why Is Gluten Free the New Darling?

WHEAT2You see this food is gluten-free in headlines, in ads and there are celebrities tweeting how they’re gluten fee and lost so much weight. Grocery stores touting products that are gluten-free and charging a pretty steep price in the process. But do you really need to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon?

It depends. Many of us do have a sensitivity to gluten, the proteins found in wheat which give baked goods their chewy texture. We’re not able to fully digest the proteins and it leads to symptoms such as upset stomach, bloating, inability to lose weight, brain fog, exhaustion, chronic pain and inflammation. Others have no problems digesting wheat or gluten and are fine eating a sensible amount of whole wheat based foods.

What we don’t need, however, are many of the products that are being marketed. What is the difference between eating a cracker made from sweet white rice, potato starch and tapioca flour and eating a slice of white bread? These foods are not giving you adequate nutrition. Potato chips are a gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan food, it doesn’t mean you should be eating them daily.

There are plenty of whole foods that don’t contain gluten. Brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, corn and amaranth are all naturally gluten-free and you’re not paying a premium price for them. There are some good gluten-free products on the market, made from whole grains and seeds but you need to look for them. Read your labels and know what it is that you’re eating.

How do you know if you have a sensitivity or allergy to gluten? Allergies can be detected via a blood test. Sensitivities can be determined by an elimination diet.

Not sure if you have a food sensitivity? Send me an email, janinemchale@empoweredplate.com, to grab a free 30 minute power session to discuss the food issues that you are having.