Gluten: a staple food for thousands of years. So what’s changed? Why it is now perceived as threatening and frightening? And why are we all avoiding it?
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All the rage
Everyone, including pets are now going gluten free. Yes, I can confirm that I have seen gluten free dog food in America. This was the last straw for me in an already lingering confusion about the sudden increase is supposed gluten intolerant folk.
Avoiding gluten has become a cultural and societal choice as much as dietary one. As The New Yorker published recently, “No matter what kind of sickness has taken hold of you, let’s blame gluten”.
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Do you really know what gluten is?
Before you go ordering your spaghetti with gluten free pasta, let’s just take a step back and reassess what gluten actually is.
Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. This means our noodles, bread, pasta, cereal and granola to name a few. But it doesn’t stop there. Did you know that chocolate, ice cream, beer, soy sauce, processed meats, store bought soup and sauces not to mention lipstick, all contain gluten?
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Why we need whole grains
I’ll just say it, gluten is not harmful, nor is it making you gain weight. Whole grains are part of a healthy, balanced diet and have been for thousands of years. They are packed with vitamins, minerals but most importantly, fibre.
Fibre helps control blood sugars, reduce cholesterol and heart disease and help our body have regular bowel movement. Carbohydrates on the other hand provide our body with energy and help us feel fuller for longer.
The key is just choosing the right carbohydrates, rather than cutting them completely. Whole grains like oats, buckwheat, quinoa, rice, rye and barley should become your new best friend.
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Gluten free doesn’t mean guilt free
Cutting gluten from your diet doesn’t automatically mean lower calories. Nor will simply looking out for the ‘GF’ sign on the menu provide you any additional health benefits. In fact, it can actually be less healthy – not to mention, more expensive.
When gluten is taken out of foods, you lose a major textural element. To get that chewiness and texture back there are two gluten free items that work like a charm. You guessed it! Fat and sugar.
Common replacements of white flour are, rice starch, corn starch, tapioca starch and potato starch. These types of ingredients are highly refined carbohydrates and refined sugars.
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The Bottom Line
Self-diagnosis with anything is never a good idea and claiming gluten intolerance is no exception. Going gluten free without knowing actually what your body does and doesn’t need can create an imbalance.
Know your body, consciously choose what to put in your mouth and take ownership of things you could do better. I will continue to eat my bread, pasta and noodles made from flour and water and if I feel bloated, it’s probably because I just ate too much.
Interested in making the change today? Amazin’ Graze delivers an array of whole grains. Click here to start shopping.
It is all about making small changes in our daily routines and then eventually eating healthily and clean will become a lifestyle we cannot live without. It is not too late to make that change! Come on this healthy adventure with us!
Happy weekend, grazers!