So I know you have all heard about this new diet craze where people are now eating gluten-free. It seems like it is everywhere. For instance, you are hosting a dinner party and you tell your friends you’ll be making pasta and they answer “Oh, is it gluten-free?” You ask a bunch of friends if they want to get some pizza and they reply “Can’t, I’m gluten-free!” You head to the supermarket and everywhere you turn you see big labels marking items as “Gluten-Free.” So, I know you are all wondering 1.) what is gluten-free? and 2.) how can it help me?
Well, this past weekend I decided to hit up a new gluten-free bakery to try out this seemingly overnight craze for myself.
We headed to PIp’s Place to find out exactly what gluten-free eating is all about!
We decided to try three of their squares: Toffee, Heath Bar and I can’t really remember the other one but looks like chocolate chip.
The verdict? So delicious! I didn’t even miss the gluten! I think it was slightly more moist as a result of not having the gluten. So the question is, are these square healthier because they are gluten-free?
Gluten is protein found in wheat and other grains. It is used as a food additive for flavoring and thickening. Persons with celiac’s disease have adverse reactions to gluten and cannot digest it properly, as a result, a gluten-free diet is recommended.
About 2 million people or 1 in 133 people in the U.S. suffer from celiac’s disease, hence the rise in the popular gluten-free diets. However, many people who do not suffer from the disease are also going gluten-free. So is this a fad-diet or here to stay?
Eating gluten-free has its appeal because it requires you to cut from you diet many foods that contain gluten like pastries, pasta, fried-food and some processed foods. By cutting out a lot of goods from you diet you will naturally lose weight. However, just because a diet is gluten-free does not necessarily mean you will lose weight. First of all, if you replace gluten products with the same produce made in a gluten-free manner, you will likely not get a whole lot of health benefits just because you are eating gluten-free. So although those baked goods were delicious, they were probably not really much healthier than the gluten-filled kind! Second, eating a gluten-free diet should mean that you are eating more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Relying on unhealthy substitutes will not make you healthier or lose weight merely because you have cut out gluten. Third, just because you are cutting out gluten you still need to worry about portion size. Overcompensating by eating large portions of gluten substitutes or other foods will not help you lose weight so make sure you keeping your portions in check!
Going gluten-free could have a real benefit for you but you should check with your doctor or a nutritionist before making any drastic diet changes.
Readers, are you gluten-free? If so, what are the benefits you see in eating a gluten-free diet? What types of food do you eat?