In the month I’ve been gluten free, I’ve run into a lot of people asking me if I was doing it just for the sake of doing it. Apparently, there’s a large number of people who are going gluten free because they’ve heard people on gf diets say that they’re healthier and happier.
There’s a reason, but it isn’t exactly the gluten-free diet.
First of all, celiacs and the gluten intolerant are on gluten-free diets because we have to be. I don’t know of many that wouldn’t want to be able to eat wheat, barley or rye- I know I miss croissants, and being able to dine in any restaurant. Part of the reason that a lot of people on gluten-free diets talk about how healthy they are, is because they were sick while eating gluten. So of course, they feel much better afterwards.
I’ve known a fair number of people who talk about how healthy their gluten-free diet is anyways, but it isn’t because they’re eliminating gluten. It’s because when you’re on a gluten-free diet, you do have to change the way you eat. Even with all the great gluten-free products out there, it eliminates a lot of the convenience items out there- most frozen meals, side dishes that come in boxes, most cereals, beer, cookies, crackers… most of which are loaded with preservatives and sodium. Having to make some of those same items from scratch, you’re eliminating the junk ingredients in them, having something that’s far healthier for you. Not only that, I’ve found that I have to eat more vegetables to fill up, which has the added benefit of being healthy.
If you’re looking to spruce up your diet and are contemplating going gluten-free for the heck of it… don’t. Just dump the packaged foods, and make a little more food from scratch. Add in some more veggies… and you know what? You’ll feel a heck of a lot better too! Just don’t go gluten-free because it’s “trendy.” It isn’t. It’s just a more health issue that’s being accommodated by more and more companies.