Eating Gluten-Free Is NOT a Trend

31

eating gluten free trend
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Although you would be excused for believing that based on all the gluten-free business in the news lately. Apparently tennis superstar Novak Djokovic can attribute his recent success at the French Open, and his winning streak prior, to his new gluten-free diet. Celebrities from Elisabeth Hasselbeck (who actually IS a celiac) to Gwyneth Paltrow are embracing the g-free lifestyle. And now, it's being hailed on the front page of The New York Times that opening a gluten-free bakery can be a great way to make some cash.

I'll be the first to admit that being gluten-free has become super trendy. And while -- as a celiac myself -- I am unbelievably grateful for the gluten-free options that are popping up in every bakery, pizzeria, and brewery (soooooo grateful) the fact that eating gluten-free is seen as being trendy is totally not cool for people like me.

Unlike Paltrow and others who choose this "diet," it's actually a life-saving act for people diagnosed with celiac disease. It's not an allergy that you can become tolerant of at some point. It's an autoimmune response to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye. An autoimmune response that causes people like me to get violently ill and will eventually cause fatal diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, stroke, and diabetes if you continue to consume gluten.

Which is why I really need people to take this seriously, and not see it as "the new Atkins diet." There are some amazing people working in the food industry who get it and go out of their way to help people like me eat safely. Then there's this guy, who thinks that everyone asking about gluten in food is full of s**t and deserves what they get.

So trend-setters, please skip the gluten-free request when you're out to eat, if you're just doing it to see if you'll feel more energetic. (Because you probably will, if you THINK you will.) And leave the annoying food requests to people like me. When you're dining out, that is. Do whatever the heck you want in the privacy of your own home.

Oh, but bakery people, please, please keep on doing what you're doing. I can't wait to try a gluten-free donut that does not suck.

Do you prefer eating gluten-free, even if you're not a celiac?

 

Image via Rachel from Cupcakes Take the Cake/Flickr

desserts, eating out, food allergies

31 Comments

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bills... billsfan1104

My cousin has Celiacs disease.  I hope that this is not becoming a trend just because people think that this is a new fad.  But I glad that my cousin ahs way more options out there for her.

Anast... Anastazia975

As a chef, I applaud the choices available for you. And also for me to better serve my guests. I really wish I could sic a bunch of celiacs on a dim wit mom I know that isa removing gluten from her two year olds diet because she thinks gluten and not her shoddy parenting is to blame for his angry outbursts. I wish people would leave gluten free to the people that truly need it.

Madel... MadelynMc

Well, the reality is that none of us digest grains properly because we weren't meant to eat them. When people stop eating the gluten, they feel better and their various ailments get better. It's not just for Celiacs.

Madel... MadelynMc

Why does it have to be so exclusive? Gah, the Celiacs are getting a little territorial.

L25 L25

I think the intolerant people are the ones who should be targeted in this article, there are TONS of food allergies out there, I "annoyingly" have to ask if everything has peanuts and eggs for my son, people in the food industry need to have compassion for the fact that MANY people have issues with food and if you were the one sitting in the ER, or on the toilet the next day in horrible pain or God forbid even worse, then you'd want to make sure you were accomodating to someone who needed it. I've rarely had anyone treat me badly for asking and most people are very nice about it, but I also do my part by trying to look at menu's and nutrition info online before I go somewhere and make sure to call ahead and see in advance if I can.

Nicky Hamila

April,

Love love love love LOOOOVE this post. I am celiac, and I don't like that this is becoming some fad for skinny biatches who don't have a better reason for not eating a cookie. I completely appreciate everyone's effort to provide gluten-free options for me, but the more people see it as a "trend" the less serious people will take it as a legitimate allergy or intolerance. It's a double-edged sword, I guess. But I totally agree with you! And let me know what that donut, I have yet to find one that doesn't taste like the bottom of my foot with powdered sugar on it.

Kendra Mackie

I am not celiac but i do have rheumatoid arthritis (Im 27) And gluten triggers the severe pain. The only way i can keep it under control is to avoid gluten at all costs. the moment i have it my stomach bloats up and within half an hour all my joints start seizing up and from one tiny bit of gluten i will be in pain for minimum 4 days. and this was trial and error to work this out.

Erin Sites Golden

True that the gluten-free diet has been made to seem like a trend. The sad reality is that since "the Gwyneth Paltrows" have discovered it, there have been more main-stream products either changing their formulas to make the product gluten-free or clearly marking their packaging as such. I was diagnosed in 2002 and it's so much easier to find products, there are more options available & it has become a little less expensive now than way back when! @MadelynMc, it's not so much being territorial as being taken seriously. Just anyone can say "hold the croutons", but some people are so sensitive to gluten that even a few crumbs from cross-contamination can cause a severe reaction! 


 

nonmember avatar Ollie

Cutting out gluten can save the lives of a lot of people. Despite being young and of normal weight, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. I tried everything to get my blood glucose to normal levels. I tried the recommended SAD and then low-carb. After the latter, I saw improvements. It wasn't until I went paleo and completely cut out the gluten that I saw normalization of my BG levels. I understand the severity with those with Celiacs, but researh is now showing a host of other issues out there that gluten aggravates. Not eating it may start as a trend, but it may also save people's lives.

Madel... MadelynMc

Exactly what Ollie said. I have chronic joint pain and a host of random health problems that I'm starting to think might be Crohn's or some other inflammatory condition and the best diet for that is grain-free and low carb. Gluten-free is my indulgence because I still avoid the starches like rice or potato flour. It's a once-in-a-while thing because I don't feel nearly as bad (physically) when I eat a gluten-free treat than I do when I eat something "normal."



Anyway, my point was that you don't have to be a diagnosed Celiac to benefit from going gluten-free. I understand the severity of a wheat allergy and I agree that people should take it seriously. BUT I don't see why more people benefiting from avoiding gluten is a bad thing or why it should only be reserved for those with diagnoses.

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