Gluten-free, is it just another buzzword?

A couple of days ago my brother bought me a package of gluten-free muesli…

gluten free musli avoca dublinGluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). It is the ingredient that gives dough its elasticity.

Since I got it, I started wondering: what exactly gluten-free diet means. I see it everywhere: gluten-free muffins, bread, pizza, breakfast cereal, crackers, buns. It seems gluten is to 2014 what carbs were to the diet conscious ten years ago. You can also easily say that gluten-free sales are a rapidly growing segment of the food market in Ireland. So is it just another marketing ploy or perhaps I can really improve my intestinal health?

gluten free what it means

I know people who tout not only the digestive benefits of living without gluten but the weight loss advantage it offers too. Others credit a gluten-free diet with improving all sorts of conditions including autism?!
There is no doubt about it that gluten is a major concern for many. For people who has Coeliac Disease (In Ireland 1 in 100 people may have coeliac disease. Source: Coeliac Society of Ireland, 2012), a condition whereby gluten causes serious damage to the intestines, a gluten-free diet can be life saving. For majority though it seems to be a choice, a fashionable trend.

gluten free
Let’s say that I decide to go gluten-free. Does it mean that I can eliminate gluten simply by removing breads from my diet? Well…the answer is no. The fact is that gluten is in many processed food products, so going to a gluten-free lifestyle often means eating much less processed food and cooking from scratch more often. I read that it can be a real shock to go to a gluten-free diet overnight, and many people are struggling with this transition.
Ok, but what about those processed, so self-called gluten-free products? I read a few “gluten-free”labels and trust me, it is definitely not the ticket to good health. It looks that many producers add in gluten-like additives like soy lecithin which can cause as much harm as gluten itself. And it’s not only strange-sounding ingredients that are common in gluten-free products. It blows my mind that there can be so much sugar and fat!
So, to be truly gluten free, is it enough just to avoid foods that contain gluten? Unfortunately not. Some over the counter medication may have gluten in them. There are even certain types of lipsticks that use a high concentration of gluten.

What I’ve learnt in recent days is that gluten comes in various forms, manifestations and combinations. And perhaps if we are not coeliacs, we might simply begin drinking more water to naturally detox our bodies, eat salads with lean protein, and fresh fruits and veggies…that’s my plan anyway :)

If you’ve gone gluten-free, please share your story with me. How long have you been gluten-free? I really would like to hear from you. 

Marta

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3 thoughts on “Gluten-free, is it just another buzzword?

  1. Hi Marta! What an interesting post and a total new span on a trending topic! My mom and sister are somewhat allergic to wheat so I have grown up listening to all types of food allergies and what not. I am also dairy intolerant but to be honest I do indulge in cheese, butter and ice cream on a weekly basis! Guilty as charged…

    I have met so many people who are gluten intolerant and have seen massive improvements when they cut out any gluten from their diets. It’s an interesting question throughout your post about the ability to partake in a gluten free diet when there is gluten present in so many of modern day processed foods. And the fact that gluten free products available are filled with non-healthy sugars and words we don’t even understand!

    I know that bread is bad for the body in general but after an interesting conversation with a friend I have come to the idea that bread in balanced amounts can be quite healthy if baked at home or found in specialist bakers promoting multi grain breads filled to the brim with different types of delicious seeds. The crap that is out there today is mad and I wonder if it is that, which has had an increasing affect on the growing numbers of gluten sufferers.

    Thanks for your outlook, totally caught my eye and makes me wonder! A buzz word eh!

    Bella :) x

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    1. Thanks for sharing Bella. I also was born lactose intolerant but it became very mild over the years which is great because I love cheese, yogurts and chocolate! ;)
      Yeah, I actually heard that it is recommended that adults eat at least three servings of whole grain products, such whole wheat bread a day.

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      1. Well I hope my intolerance starts to ease off! I read taking probiotic supplements can help produce the needed the lactase enzyme to break down the lactose in dairy products so I will be looking into that when I get home :) Thank you, Bella :)

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