Post on: 2013-04-22.

Posted in: Read.

It’s hard to miss the gluten-free talk these days. It’s everywhere – the topic of daytime talk shows, magazine articles, blogs and best-selling books. Gluten is becoming a “bad word”. But, is it warranted? Is gluten truly a bad food?

For some, gluten causes the immune system in their body to attack – this is Celiac disease. Thanks to an increased awareness and understanding, more people are able to clearly identify whether or not they have Celiac disease. For those with Celiac disease, including a very good friend of mine, gluten really is a bad word – and it has to be avoided at all cost.

Some people find gluten doesn’t agree with them – causing bloating, gas and other undesirable symptoms. For those folks, gluten is best in small dosages or not at all.

As for the rest of us, gluten isn’t a huge problem. The real problem lies in the foods we commonly find gluten in.¬†Where is gluten? Its in bread, pasta, crackers, cookies and most packaged foods (salad dressings, condiments, canned goods, boxed foods). These aren’t “healthy” foods. As such, it may not be so much about “gluten” being a bad word, but the foods we find them in. This new anti-gluten diet is sort of an Atkin’s diet re-packaged and re-marketed by companies hoping to get more money from the public who are desperate for weight-management help.

As with all “diets” that become popular in the media, its best to take them with a grain of salt. Stop and think trendy diets through before jumping on their band-wagon. Because, despite what some folks want us to believe, that whole-food diet your mom served is still a great, healthy diet! Yes, I can hear her now, “Allison, you can’t get down from the table until you eat your vegetables, and have two more bites of meat.”

A healthy diet is full of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, beans/nuts/seeds and low-fat protein (fish, eggs, chicken). As for the anti-gluten diet trend…if avoiding gluten can help you cut out some unhealthy foods like donuts and packaged foods than great! But, as with any diet it is important to include variation and moderation…and, keep it real.