Spring 2012 Food Trends: Going Gluten-Free
I have my game face on once again, but this time it’s for my exam ;)
“I’m ready for you!”
I spent pretty much all day studying yesterday after I got home from church. I managed to limit myself to only two outings (both for groceries hehe!), a wee little food prep sesh, and minimal tweeting.
Ok, the last one was a lie. I tweeted a lot. ;)
Before I go to write this beast of exam; however, I obviously need to provide my favourite people with a post first ;)
Blogging > School
Remember that weekend when I went to that conference in Toronto? Well, I have been wanting to write a post about some of the topics that were covered that day, but have never got around to it – until now ;)
Today, I wanted to talk about the presentations that spoke about the food trends of spring 2012. One of the trends that the presenter, Amy Snider-Whitson, touched on was the gluten-free diet. I thought it was very interesting when she identified this as a “trend” and I actually agree with the term, too.
Amy stated that the gluten-free diet has become a trend this year because so many individuals are implementing the diet within their daily lives for no real reason.
Initially, a gluten-free diet would have only been recommended for those diagnosed with Celiac disease, but now it seems as though many other individuals are adapting to the diet even if they are not in need of a gluten-free diet.
Amy presented to us that there is no research saying that gluten is “bad” and should be avoided if you do not have Celiac disease. In fact, a Registered Dietitian, Karen Ansel, states that “there is data that indicates that following a gluten-free diet can result in a diet that’s low in key nutrients – especially iron, zinc and B vitamins such as folate and niacin.”
Personally, I do not see a reason to begin a gluten-free diet unless you are experiencing discomfort whenever you consume gluten-containing products. If you are experiencing discomfort whenever you consumer gluten then, of course, a gluten-free diet should be something to consider because the gluten could be causing irreversible damage to the lining of your small intestine which leads to nutrients being prevented of absorption. But, like I said, that is only for those experiencing issues after consuming gluten. If you are not experiencing such issues, there is no evidence that the gluten harms the lining of your small intestine.
So, why are so many people following the diet then?
Apparently, a gluten-free diet has been associated with weight loss. Even Miley Cyrus seems to think so…
I was so upset when I saw this in the media this past week. According to Miley, she was able to lose weight thanks to her gluten-free diet. I was seriously so upset reading this because I know this is not true and it is so sad to see a celebrity who is an idol to some, mainly young girls, bashing gluten when there is in fact nothing wrong with it.
There have been many articles written about Miley’s opinion on the gluten-free diet and how it is associated with her weight loss, but in all of the articles numerous Registered Dietitians and Doctors strongly disagree.
I have been researching many of the articles regarding Miley’s tweet that started this whole ruckus:
“…Gluten is crapppp…”
and have found several quotes that I would like to share with you from educated professionals regarding gluten that contradicts the quote from Miley above.
“There’s absolutely no evidence that a gluten-free diet promotes weight loss.”
– Karen Ansel, RD
“People who go gluten-free may gain weight if they rely mostly on highly-processed gluten free foods, many of which tend to be higher in fat, calories and sugar than their gluten-containing counterparts.”
- Rachel Begun, RD
“[Gluten is] a protein that has been in the human diet since the dawn of agriculture … I don’t endorse cutting gluten as a weight loss strategy. I think it is advisable only for those with genuine sensitivities.”
– Dr. David Katz
The above quote were taken from this article.
As you can see, there really isn’t any point in avoiding gluten unless, of course, you have sensitivities to the protein like Dr. David Katz mentions above.
Overall, I thought it was very interesting that the gluten-free diet was actually considered to be a “trend” of spring 2012. And now that Miley is promoting it I am sure it will become even more “trendy”. How unfortunate.
I hope I helped inform you that gluten is not something that should be avoided “just because”. I think it is important to think about why you are doing something before you begin to do it. I like to have a reason for doing something. If I am not feeling discomfort or any type of disturbance after consuming gluten, I don’t see a reason to remove it from my diet. Even though many other people seem to be following a gluten-free diet, why should I? I am sure those individuals with Celiac disease would love to be able to not worry and stress over product labels and ingredient lists, so be happy that you can consume gluten if you are lucky enough to be able to do so and go without the severe abdominal pains that some people experience.
One of my cousins who is very close to me has been diagnosed with Celiac disease and I know that he would love to eat anything under the rainbow and not worry if it contains gluten or not.
So, if you aren’t Celiac and are able to consume gluten be thankful :) Why restrict yourself of food items that your body can tolerate? ;)
Don’t be a follower ;)
Be a leader! :)
Do you have or know anyone with Celiac disease?
Did this post help you understand more about gluten?
Do you agree that the gluten-free diet became a trend this spring?
See ya tomorrow with a reader’s request post! :D