Will A Gluten Free Diet Really Make You Healthier

Consumer reports recently wrote an article, "The Truth About Gluten", it was actually a front page story and pictured, is a blueberry muffin next a gluten free blueberry muffin,  not the healthiest food, gluten free or not. 

This article can be very helpful to people who don't know about gluten, but seriously offensive to those who have celiac, or a serious sensitivity to the gluten protein.It states that eating gluten free foods can cause you to gain weight and expose you to more levels of arsenic because of the amount of rice flour used in many of the gluten free foods. It also mocks, not sure mocks is the right word - but this article is calling muffins, bagels, pancakes and other items "food". What happened to fruits, vegetables and meat? I know, I know, they wouldn't have an article to write without those starchy processed foods. 

Apparently there are 6 obvious realities behind gluten free foods that everyone should know about. 

  1. Gluten Free Isn't More Nutritious [And Maybe be Less So]
    • "A recent Consumer Reports review of 81 products free of gluten across 12 categories revealed that they're a mixed bag in terms of nutrition. Their claim is that cutting out gluten means that we are also cutting out nutrients such as folic acid and iron. Im pretty sure if I eat some greens like spinach, broccoli, avocados, or rice or even orange juice - the folic acid department is taken care of. If you look at a list for the richest foods with iron, spinach comes up again, beef and chicken liver come up as highest followed by clams, mussels chicken and a variety of other things - all of which are gluten free. So I think this claim is completely null and void. Just eat other nutrient dense foods. 
  2. You'll Probably Increase Your Exposure to Arsenic
    • This issue has been around for quite some time, which is why i personally don't buy organic brown rice syrup. There were a ton of baby food recalls due to the arsenic levels found in them, article here. Basically what these articles say is that rice naturally contains arsenic, please contact me and let me know if I'm wrong. Rice from the south has higher levels of arsenic than basmati rice from Thailand or India because of the chemicals that were used in the cotton fields way back when. Brown rice has more arsenic than white. Remember that trend when brown rice was real popular [ I REMEMBER, because I was made fun of for eating white rice]. So two big things here that bother me, being gluten free does have limitations on what you can eat, and right now the biggest offer is rice related products, rice cereal, rice crackers - RICE EVERYTHING! Oh wait, that sounds ... like my childhood.. Asians make everything out of rice. Noodles, wraps, candies, breads, tea - even paper! Does that mean we are doomed? Who knows, no one has done enough studies on us yet to find out. But I'm guessing that based from thousands of years eating rice and rice related foods, we will be fine. 
  3. You Might Gain Weight
    • "People who have celiac disease often gain weight when they go gluten-free, thats because the damage gluten does to their small intestine prevents them from disgusting food properly. Their digestive system heals after they have given up gluten and they're able to absorb key vitamins and nutrients from the foods they eat." One of the smarter comments I've seen about weight loss with this diet. Although they did mention that gluten free foods contain more calories, sugars and fats to replace the oomph that gluten gives foods. One last smart snippet in this section, maybe because its from a dr., "If people lose weight on a gluten-free diet, it might be because they're cutting calories, eating less processed food or sweets or cutting portions of starchy foods like pasta and bread,". Thank you Dr Samantha Heller. Finally someone who understands what a diet is. "Instead of a cookie, they're eating an apple. Instead of pasta, they're eating a high-fiber gluten free whole grain like quinoa." Someone who gets it. It does seem like the editor of this article cut up these interviews to try to prove that cutting gluten is bad, but it didnt work so well for them - when you actually put logic behind it - science not needed. 
  4. You'll Pay More
    • Gluten free food costs more and will always cost more. What I don't get is the products they use in their studies, seems like they are trying to sell me something. The article compares the prices of regular and gluten free brownies from brands we all know and love, and ahem by the way are not strictly gluten free - so I'm not sure how gluten free these gluten free things are.... Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, Nabisco, DiGiorno's Pizza... 
    • Just going to say... that these are definitely the foods we want to eat while we are on a diet, and that these food are high in nutritional value... Could they have picked something a little more nutritious? Maybe compare what Gluten Free brands are actually doing for the market with their competitors [everyone else who does not make gluten free].
  5. You Might Miss a Serious Health Condition
    • This is actually one of the best advise this article gives. If you think you have a problem, see a specialist get tested. Please always remember that you if you cut gluten out of your diet before getting tested, you will test negative. The only way for you to test positive is to eat gluten 2 servings per day for 4 weeks. Thats what my gp told me. Don't make that mistake if you think you have it. I wasn't sure what was wrong with me, Celiac disease was the last thing on my list, I thought it was lyme or crohn's. 
  6. You Might Still be Eating Gluten Anyway
    • "Another concern is that some products, particularly chips and energy bars, that carry a no-gluten claim contain malt, malt extract or malt syrup, which are usually made from barley". 
    • This is a no brainer for all you Celiacs out there - no matter what it says on the package, you have to read the labels with a magnifying glass. Especially if they are known to produce gluten filled products. I try to buy from companies that produce naturally gluten free products or ONLY gluten free products. 
    • The FDA's rules are that if your product contains less than 20ppm of gluten, it can be labeled gluten free. In the European Union the food product must contain less than 5ppm. They also reject importing many GMO foods from the United States because of the chemicals used. Why are we so behind on this food stuff?
    • Companies like Omission beer have also claimed that their beer is gluten free, but I've noticed that they had to retract that statement and note that its less than 20ppm. Yup, the brew the beer with gluten, then put some chemical in it to "get rid" of the gluten. Nope I still got really sick, sick with in 30 minutes of drinking the beer. So sick that I had trouble driving home from drinking a 1oz sample.

"The evidence they use is solid but the points they are trying to make aren't supported by the evidence. They just spin it to look that way."  

How about an article about 6 realities behind gluten free food - discussing something like...

  1. How Eating Gluten Free Can Be More Nutritious and Benefit Your Overall Health
  2. You'll probably increase your exposure to natural foods
  3. Ways to Lose Weight Without Dieting
  4. You'll Pay Less in Future Medical Bills
  5. Living Life Like its Not a Serious Health Condition
  6. Hidden Gluten in Everyday Foods