Lately there have been so many people jumping on the gluten free bandwagon, there is barely room for the tambourine. Many people are not only misinformed, misguided and misunderstanding about not only what gluten is and isn’t, but the reasons for eating and not eating it.
I have been watching a new show “My diet is better than your diet” where people choose a diet and an expert to help them lose weight and improve their health in 14 weeks. One of the contestants chose to change her expert when she didn’t lose “mega” amounts of weight in two weeks. While I realize that this show is no doubt fake, this of course is not realistic. But I digress.
The expert she chose to replace her “failed” expert has put her on a gluten free diet. This is just a part of the whole “regimen”, but it should set off alarm bells. There was no mention of this girl having celiac or gluten intolerance. This bothers me no end. None of these “diets” are sound. Some are even a bit weird. But I thought I would take this opportunity to give some reasons you should NOT go gluten free.
- You do not have symptoms of gluten intolerance-if you are eating pasta, cookies, cakes, pies, and packaged foods with gluten and you are not experiencing any symptoms such as stomach upset, gas, bloating etc. you should NOT stop eating those things. There is really no reason to. In fact, my husband eats them all the time with no issues. He does eat gluten free meals with me on occasion but not because he is gluten intolerant. He does it to support me. And he loves my cooking!
- You want to lose weight-unless you are giving up all carbs and I mean all carbs, this is not a diet you will lose weight on. In fact, because gluten free foods often use more sugars and fillers to make up for that gluten, you might actually gain weight.
- You think it’s healthy-it isn’t. As I mentioned, all of those substitutes and fillers are even less healthy than gluten filled foods.
- You like to go out to eat-and think you can order off of the gluten free menu. No you really, really can’t. Especially when you tell the waiter you can’t eat gluten, then order a piece chocolate cake for dessert. This will truly piss off the kitchen and wait staff. It makes it more difficult for those of us who do have to watch everything we eat to be taken seriously. Trying to find a safe meal when going out is taking your life in your hands. It is always a calculated risk. Besides, choices are very limited. Just don’t do it.
- You have no idea what gluten is– you think it’s ok to eat some things like cake and cookies but not rolls and bread. Or just a “bite” of something. Just don’t go there.
- You like to eat at other people’s houses-dinner parties and holidays will be hell. If you are truly not gluten intolerant, you don’t want to complicate your life, or your relationship with relatives and friends. You really don’t.
- You go on a lot of fad diets-this is not “diet of the week”. Besides, yo-yo dieting is dangerous in and of itself.
- Your favorite celebrity or “TV Doctor” says you should-I should not even have to explain this one. Since when do celebrities or TV doctors know what they are talking about? Enough said.
- You think it will save you money-this diet is really, really expensive. Really.
- You like to travel-you will have to call every hotel, cruise line, resort and restaurant in advance and make sure your diet can be accommodated. It is a royal pain. And even if they tell you they can, it is still a big risk. Not worth the hassle if you don’t have to.
I’m sure all of you can come up with many more reasons. Just last night in fact, at my birthday/anniversary dinner, I got glutened. I thought I was being so careful. I will never know exactly what got me. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want to put themselves through this if they didn’t have to.
In conclusion, those of you reading this thinking-oh, I still want to try being gluten free, my heartfelt advice to you is-DON”T!!!!!!