17 October 2013

Gluten Free is NOT Guilt-Free

The new phrase everyone wants to discuss in Food is "Is it Gluten Free?" It is everywhere, but did you know that only 3 million people in the United States have actually been diagnosed with Celiac and even less have an actual diagnosed Gluten intolerance which is far different than having an allergy to food where 15 million Americans have been diagnosed and that number continues to rise annually. 

Yes it is very important to pay attention to this group and yes we (in the food industry) need to cater to those with special dietary request- but why have we suddenly put such an emphasis on Gluten Free vs. actual food allergies that can kill a person immediately- not that a slow death or illness is any less painful (Trust me I know). 

But let me tell you why it is not healthy to "Go Gluten Free" if you don't have Celiac Disease........ Read excerpt taken from http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/what-to-know-before-your-first-gluten-free-race/2013/10/14/d3398b12-3293-11e3-8627-c5d7de0a046b_story.html

This is exactly why I caution people who don't have celiac disease or gluten intolerance against going Gluten Free. 

When it comes to calories, “it’s not a one-for-one swap out,” Bonci says. For example, gluten-free bread made with rice flour might pack twice the calories of a whole-wheat slice. Some athletes need the extra calories, but “not everybody does,” she say

Davis encourages athletes to “go gluten-free, but don’t eat ‘gluten-free.’” In other words, focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods such as nuts and steamed vegetables rather than swapping your pita chip for a corn chip. “Gluten-free foods are made with rice flour, potato starch, corn starch and tapioca starch — the only starches that raise blood sugar higher than even wheat,” he says. “It’s like some cruel joke.”

If all you were eating was gluten free desserts and gluten free breads- and you don't see an obvious weight reduction- it's no wonder. TRUST me.... It's awesome that someone can actually eat a sweet treat once in awhile for those who have been deprived for years- but that is NOT the way to live life, expecting to lose weight.

Providing a gluten free option in food service does not cater to those with food allergies and it also isn't a guarantee that the entire meal will actually be gluten free- unless you are really trained in this and have been certified- gluten can be find in other materials we are using in commercial kitchens not to mention other products we may not even think twice about. 

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  1. Yes! Sometimes the gluten free snacks and products are also safe for my dairy and egg allergic child so I mention that the "bonus" is that the cupcakes are gluten free but all they hear is that she is also allergic to gluten. If they are planning on accommodating her for a meal they get a lump in their throat like, Oh boy now what am I going to make? Or at restaurants, I say she has food allergies and instead of asking which ones they say, "we have a number of gluten free options". That's usually when its time to turn around and leave the restaurant!

  2. So funny. I was wondering why everybody talks about gluten free when I say my daughter has allergies to egg, all nuts, and she'll fish. We eat tons of gluten because she's not allergic to it. But people always tell me about gluten free this or that

  3. I thought it was just me. Often, when I explain my daughters allergies to people at restaurants they tell me how their brother, sister or cousins are gluten free. I just look at them then proceed to give them her allergy card with 14 things on the list. Another frustration is picking up an item in the store that says gluten free and then read contains, eggs, dairy etc. Sometimes I think, "but why egg, why dairy...!" Argh!!!!!

  4. I have a lot of food allergies in Orlando FL. I wish that I could control them better but I really do love seafood seeing that I live in FL! I've my step-father ate strawberries all his life and then one summer he was allergic to them. It was really weird. There are a lot more great stuff on this website that I check often: http://www.allergycfl.com/food-drug-a-insect-allergies

  5. I do have many types of food allergies and seriously i hate them, but I have learnt to live with them... Your post is great... keep it up.

  6. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking. קייטרינג חלבי


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