Gluten Free or Not Gluten Free... Which is the way to go??
We all see gluten free products every time we go grocery shopping! Gluten Free products are EVERYWHERE but do you know what gluten is and if eating gluten free is really for you?
Let discuss this interesting topic! Gluten actually refers to the peptide fractions of proteins found in wheat, rye and barley.” (Mehan, 2012) For some indivduals gluten can be very difficult to digest. However, in the average person gluten/ gluten peptides are undisruptive (dont bother them) but in a select group of people these peptides can cause major digestive problems. Individuals that have problems digesting gluten are either gluten intolerant, gluten sensitive or have Celiac Disease (CD)(Mehan, 2012). I know so many people who claim that they are gluten intolerant and can only eat gluten free products. However, truthfully many people that make this claim have self diagnosed themselves and have not been truly diagnosed by a physician. A true CD diagnosis requires analysis through endoscopic biopsy. Gluten sensitivity is described as a person with nonspecific symptoms, a gluten intolerance person may or may not have CD and has symptoms such as cramping, diarrhea and nausea when they consume gluten containing products. (Mahan, 2012)
A physican can help you determine if you are truly experiencing gluten sensitivity or intolerance.
So is eating gluten free food a fad or not? Well in my opinion. All of this leads me to believe that although there are many individuals who do suffer from this disorder or disease, gluten free has become more of a fad than an actual truth. Truthfully, eating gluten free is a VERY expensive fad. Many gluten free products that are sold in the store at 2-3x more expensive then their gluten containing counterparts.
Acefitness.com points our that if you have not been diagnosed with CD, gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity and they may want to re-think switching to a gluten free diet for the reason that ”without appropriate dietary planning, complete elimination of gluten from the diet can lead to serious nutritional and vitamin deficiencies” (Muth, ND). It seems to me that if one is not careful eating gluten free will not only be much more expensive and restrictive but also has the potential to cause other health issues. I guess we have to decide if making the change to gluten free is the health risks it could potentially cause.
References: Mahan, L. K. and Escott-Stump, S. Krause’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process, 13th edition (2012). Elsevier Publishing Company Acefitness.org (ND) Muth, N: Going Gluten-free: Dietary Fad or Healthy Choice? Retrieved from https://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/875/going-gluten-free-dietary-fad-or-healthy-choice/