Why #GoingGlutenFree Should Not be Trending

Calling all wannabe Instagram famous and trendy people everywhere––stop it, stop it right now. Put down the gluten-free cookie. Stop pretending that you need it, because you’re making those of us that do look bad.

We’re also very confused as to why you would voluntarily give up real cookies. Seriously.

In recent years, the craze of going gluten-free has been everywhere.

In this media-obsessed age, #GlutenFree is a tag often seen trending on Twitter. Instagram accounts, such as @NOBREAD, make the diet look and sound appetizing. Brightly colored acai bowls and vibrantly colored salads gain plenty of likes and look attractively delightful.

Newsflash: you can eat those things and still eat gluten too. It’s called being healthy. People diagnosed with Celiac disease were originally the only ones meant to follow the gluten-free diet.

Gluten is made up of a variety of proteins found most commonly in wheat, barely and rye. People started to ditch gluten from their daily diet when Celiac disease was discovered in the 20th century.

According to the Celiac Support Association, Celiac disease is a genetically linked autoimmune disorder than can affect both children and adults. After ingesting gluten, those with Celiac experience an immune mediate response that causes major damage to the small intestine. This damage begins to disable the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients in food, which can eventually lead to malnutrition and other side effects, such a nausea, vomiting, and intense abdominal pain or migraines.

When doctors and scientists studied the disease more, they found different types of gluten rejections:

  • Celiac disease

  • Non-celiac gluten sensitivity

  • Gluten intolerance

  • Dermatitis herpeformitis

  • Gluten ataxia

  • Wheat allergy

Unless your certified doctor has examined, tested, and officially diagnosed you with one of the gluten rejections mentioned above, keep gluten in your diet. Seriously, it is important and healthy! *VERY important and VERY healthy!*

Those who cut gluten from their diet in order to fit into that old pair of size two jeans are only doing themselves a disservice.

Gluten may not be the “power protein” of nutrients, but it is found in many fitness-loving foods. Whole grains, which contain serious amounts of needed vitamins and minerals––fiber, B vitamins, and iron––also contain gluten. Saying goodbye to these foods may leave your body without some much-needed nutrients.

Yes, we all know bread is bad. However, it contains a lot of great things too and should be consumed in conscious portions, not omitted from the diet.

Bread is the poster-child for gluten, but the highly avoided protein is found in more food than you would think.

Anything made with flour? Gluten. Crackers? Gluten. Cereal? Gluten. Most soups? Gluten. Soy sauce? Gluten. Beer? Gluten. Donuts, pizza, cake, brownies and basically everything delicious in life? So much gluten.

Companies such as Udi’s and Canyon Bakehouse love that their gluten-free businesses are booming. Thousands of restaurants, such as The Cheesecake Factory and Outback Steakhouse, now offer a gluten free menu. Don’t get me wrong, this is great for those who actually need to eat gluten free!

So, here is a crash course on how to eat healthy and not be a gluten-free poser:

Eat gluten

Because gluten is, in fact, awesome. Whole grain foods that contain gluten also contain the vitamins and minerals that will keep you healthy.

Gluten-free is not fat-free

Gluten-free foods are not more nutritious. Gluten-free foods––especially baked goods, such as muffins and bread––tend to have more calories, sugar, sodium and fat. Sometimes, they have less protein as well.

Gluten-free is not free

Gluten-free foods costs about $3 to $4 more dollars than the original gluten food.

Gluten-free is real

If you feel as though you experience discomfort and sickness when ingesting gluten, immediately contact your doctor. After a medical consultation, your doctor may give you a biopsy, blood test and diet trial run. Do not diagnose yourself. Gluten intolerances can develop over time, or a pre-existing gluten intolerance you may not know about can worsen. Do not be shy––get yourself checked out to be sure that you are healthy!

Gluten-free food is usually worse than the real stuff. It is not a fat burner, and it is not a carb alternative.