Put down the mac and cheese, the pizza, the cupcakes, and anything else good and American. These days, a gluten-free diet is all the rage, and PTB is here to shed some light on what’s fact versus fiction.
Myth: Only those with Celiac’s Disease should go gluten-free.
Fiction: 1 in 133 people in the U.S. have Celiac’s Disease. While it’s true that individuals with this digestive disorder need to avoid wheat like the plague, lots of non-Celiac’s choose gluten-free diets due to a new malady known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. When those with Celiac’s Disease consume products with gluten, their immune system decides to go all 007 on the small intestine lining. For anyone with gluten sensitivity, you get a mild version of that coupled with some headaches and maybe a little joint pain. Over 18 million people have gluten sensitivity.
Myth: A gluten-free diet will help me lose weight.
Fiction: Just because Spring Break is coming up soon, there’s no need to radically change your diet into a gluten-free one because there’s no guarantee for weight loss. Lots of gluten-free advocates lose weight because they eat balanced meals low in sugar and high in protein. Gluten-free products, in fact, actually are more calorie-dense than their non-gluten-free counterparts.
Myth: If I go gluten-free, I can’t eat anything good anymore.
Fiction: With the popularity of the gluten-free diet these days, you can find substitutes for basically anything. Popular grocery chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sell gluten-free cupcake mixes, brownies and other desserts while restaurants highlight their gluten-free pastas and alternative options for those gone gluten-free. There’s no reason being gluten-free has to be boring.
Basically, a gluten-free diet isn’t necessary unless you have a medical gluten intolerance. It can, however, be a good way to limit your starchy carb intake while turning to greener and fresher foods. Unfortunately, with stars like Miley Cyrus and Gwyneth Paltrow crediting their fit physiques to gluten-free diets, it seems this diet is a trend to stay. Just remember the facts before deciding to avoid mac and cheese forever.