Gluten-free: To be, or not to be, that is the question…
These days, it seems as if everyone considers himself or herself “gluten-free,” even if they don’t have celiac disease (an abnormal immune reaction that results from eating gluten: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/basics/definition/con-20030410). Being gluten-free seems to be the newest diet fad, and admittedly, I’ve even considered jumping on the anti-gluten bandwagon. Even the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University agrees that the market demand for gluten-free products has dramatically increased in recent years because “many people may just perceive that a gluten-free diet is healthier.”
Since I am the furthest thing from a nutritionist, I chose to consult with my Internet “doctor” -- WebMD. The truth is, eating gluten is only harmful for those with celiac disease or sensitivity to products containing gluten. Mikey is gluten-free and he believes that it helps with his Crohns disease (http://www.ccfa.org/what-are-crohns-and-colitis/what-is-crohns-disease/). For those people who have digestive issues, consider avoiding foods that irritate your stomach. It's really common sense a lot of the time. Listen to your body and respect it. After all, we only get one.
Apart from that, eating a gluten-free diet is otherwise dangerous. According to Dr. Peter H.R. Green of the Celiac Disease Center, “Unless people are very careful, a gluten-free diet can lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber,” which are all essential in a healthy diet. Although gluten doesn’t have many nutritional benefits, the whole grains that contain gluten do. Consuming whole grain foods while maintaining an overall healthy diet have proven to lower one’s risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and some cancers – you hear that carb lovers? Just don’t overdue it!
For gluten-free recipe substitutions: http://greatist.com/health/27-gluten-free-recipe-substitutions
Good carbs v. bad carbs: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/
To healthy living,