15 myths about gluten to stop believing1 Comment
Lately, the bread aisle has been a little deserted — all the gluten myths have been steering consumers away from wheat towards stale substitutes. Whole30, Paleo, and other trendy diets advocate for eliminating gluten and eating carbs primarily from gluten-free sources…
Eliminating Gluten Will Heal Your Gut
There’s so much buzz about gut health these days. It’s hard to separate myth from reality. There is no decisive evidence that suggests people without celiac disease or gluten intolerance can improve their digestion or overall gut health by cutting gluten. Eliminating gluten may cause a lot less fiber in the diet. As a result, this could actually cause more problems for digestion in the long run.
Eliminating Gluten Will Make You More Energized
Eliminating gluten anti-gluten campaigners said they felt exponentially more energized. This claim is derived from an assumption that gluten takes more energy for the body to digest, causing sluggishness. However this is a myth according to the University of Wisconsin’s School of Public Health. There are zero studies in existence that support this claim. In fact, many foods with gluten, such as whole wheat bread, are quicker for the body to digest than most animal proteins and healthy fats.
Everyone Can Benefit From Going Gluten-Free
Assuming everyone can benefit from going gluten-free is like assuming everyone can benefit from avoiding peanut butter. Because there are allergies to that food doesn’t mean everyone needs to stop eating it. No harmful side effects of gluten have been discovered. The only negative effects occur for those with an allergy.
Foods with Gluten Are Bad for You
Eliminating gluten will help to reduce the amount of unhealthy foods. However, foods with gluten have important nutrients for overall health. Bread, for example, has folate, fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, and more. By eliminating these foods, you’re also eliminating the nutrients they provide. Without these foods, people with celiac disease need to be careful to make sure they are getting properly nourished.
Gluten Causes Cancer
What doesn’t cause cancer these days? There’s no evidence that gluten does. While a myriad of other foods have been linked to cancer in one or more studies, gluten has not. The only exception is people with celiac disease. A body won’t react well continually eating something it is allergic to.
The American Institute for Cancer Research warns against cutting out gluten to to avoid cancer. Hence, foods with gluten, such as whole grains, contain vitamins and minerals that can bolster protection against cancer.
Gluten Intolerance Is Really Common
It might seem like there are a lot of allergies to gluten these days. Many “diagnoses” are not medically tested or accurate. In reality, only 1 percent have celiac disease in the United States and many were diagnosed at a young age.
Gluten-Free Diets Are Low-Carb
Foods with gluten often have carbs. But that doesn’t mean all gluten-free foods are low carb! Lots of carbohydrate-rich foods are included in a gluten-free diet. Rice, for example, is gluten-free. Sugar. Fruit. Potatoes. Etc.
Gluten-Free Foods Taste Just as Good
Do a side-by-side between a gluten-free cookie and a regular one and see for yourself. The texture is way off. The anti-gluten crusade, however, might try to convince you otherwise. Don’t believe the hype.
Gluten-Free Foods Are Always Expensive
The gluten-free versions of normally glutinous foods can be expensive. A gluten-free loaf of bread is going to rack up a much larger grocery total than just the wheat-filled kind. However, anything made normally with gluten-free ingredients such as cheese, milk, nuts, rice-based cereals, and corn tortillas are not always that pricey.
Gluten-Free Foods Are Always Healthier
Just because a food is marked gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s healthier. In fact, one study recently showed that gluten-free versions of foods are often less healthy and more expensive.
Going Gluten-Free Will Help You Lose Weight
One third of women believed that doctors prescribe gluten-free diets for weight loss in a recent study. This is (hopefully) not true! If doctors prescribe them, they’d be horrendously misguided. That’s not how weight loss works at all. Learning about health without considering weight loss is scientifically proven to result in better health outcomes. Therefore eating regularly and consuming a variety of foods, weight is going to even out wherever it’s the healthiest, gluten or not.
Humans Weren’t Meant to Digest Gluten
Cavemen weren’t eating fettucine Alfredo — but that doesn’t mean our bodies can’t handle the protein. There is no evidence that our digestion struggles with digesting the gluten compound (unless you are allergic to it). Cavemen weren’t eating gluten-free chickpea noodles.
Wheat Has More Gluten Today Than It Did in the Past
Anti-processed food devotees are understandably attracted to this idea — that modern agriculture and big business have maniacally manufactured wheat to beget more gluten and destroy our stomachs. This seemed to be supported by the upswing in celiac diagnoses. The idea spread, especially to the sector of the population suspicious of GMOs and terrified of corn syrup.
You Can Diagnose Yourself With Gluten Intolerance
Celiac disease is an extreme form of the gluten allergy. Some people can experience a less severe reaction. This condition, often referred to as an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten, is diagnosable by a medical doctor. Instead of diagnosing yourself arbitrarily, you might want to consider other factors that could be making you feel ill. Stress about food, nutrient deficiencies, or other dietary abnormalities could easily cause indigestion.
‘Wheat-Free’ and ‘Gluten-Free’ Labels Mean the Same Thing
If a product is marked “wheat-free,” it likely contains gluten. Barley and rye are two wheat-free foods that do contain gluten. The product is likely hiding one of them otherwise, they’d adorn their packaging with the much more appealing “gluten-free” label. “Wheat-free” is ambiguous, as are these other misleading food labels.
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