Ok, so there is no way you can go to the store nowadays and NOT see “Gluten Free” labels all over the place. So many people have jumped on the bandwagon to gluten free baking, gluten free this, gluten free that… What’s funny to me is how many of those people don’t even know what gluten is or why they “shouldn’t eat the stuff.”
So just what is gluten?
Gluten, or wheat gluten, is a protein that is found in wheat. Doesn’t sound so evil, right? So why all the fuss? MARKETING.
There are people who unfortunately have Coeliac Disease and should not consume wheat, rye, or barley. These foods will cause inflammation in the small intestine which causes discomfort, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, and malabsorption of various nutrients. This is only experienced by about 1/2 of 1% of the population. That being said, I am glad that there are companies out there who make gluten free foods for those folks who would normally be limited on what they could eat. Here is where I have to laugh a little:
Gluten Free juice. Gluten Free ice cream. Gluten Free yogurt. OF COURSE THEY ARE GLUTEN FREE- THEY ARE NOT WHEAT PRODUCTS!!! Manufacturers have started labeling everything Gluten Free, because since most people don’t know what it means, they are now afraid to eat gluten. Some people have even been brainwashed to believing that wheat gluten causes weight gain, when in fact people with Coeliac disease will often lose weight when they eat wheat because of the malabsorption issues related to the disease. Most people that lose weight by going “gluten free” stop eating things like bread, pasta, pizza, and beer. Is it the gluten that was making them fat, or was it the excess carbohydrates multiple times per day? I’m gonna go with the carbs on this one…
Bottom line is:
If you are sensitive to wheat gluten, don’t eat it. If you are lactose intolerant, don’t eat dairy. If you don’t have either of these issues, don’t waste your time searching for gluten free foods and fake cheeses. Don’t get scared and buy into marketing ploys so easily. Like I have said before, Google is an amazing tool; educate yourself.