Monday, November 28, 2011

Should We All Go Gluten-free Article Rant

There was a recent article in the New York Times Magazine entitled: Should We All Go Gluten-Free? It discusses a Gluten-free Expo in Utah, the prevalence of Celiac disease & gluten intolerance, and how the market has responded with gluten-free products.

If you haven't read the article pop on over to the link and  give it a read. I think it is great that there are gluten-free products on the market for people suffering from serious celiac disease. I am a bit concerned about how people without celiac have gone gung-ho about gluten-free prepackaged food. 

I have done so many diets in my lifetime: low fat in the 80's, Atkins at the millennium, pescatarian more recently, and now gluten-free. I should be on board with this trend and all the products then - right? Ugh. The thing that I have learned from the different diets that I've done is that the key to healthy eating is about eating the right amount of calories (and because for a 5' 2" person those calories are few) - to have those calories count by using them for healthy REAL food. Whether its been low fat or high fat that I've eaten - if I start 

eating the so-called healthy prepackaged products (like low fat or gluten-free crackers etc.) I start gaining weight. Why? Probably because there are plenty of calories, salt, sugar, and preservatives or even addictive chemical flavors added in to them and when they are marked as being a healthy alternative people tend to eat them without worrying about how much they have eaten. Its all about mindful eating. I remember when low fat Teddy Grahams came on the market and my coworker and I would down a whole box (of 12 servings) thinking they were lowfat so it was okay. That doesn't mean I only eat good for you foods, its just I know that  a half a cup of icecream is about 250 calories. 

Plus prepackaged snack foods have been manufactured to be tasty and addictive.  If you haven't seen the 60 minutes piece on  how the food industry tweaks flavors to make them more addictive watch it now! 

So if you are going to be gluten-free - do it by eating Real Whole  foods like veggies, meats, rice, potatoes, etc. and not by eating a manufactured product saying its healthy for you! Eat your good foods and bad foods mindfully as well. Or if you buy gluten-free products don't over do it! 

-- Nicole


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