Gluten-free diet: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Shifting to gluten-free diet becomes very popular because people think it is a healthier option. It is not completely true! At least, it’s not true for 98% of all of us!
Most people should not eat gluten-free foods.
Gluten-free diet is rather a commercial trick, not a health concern. Due to the growing popularity of gluten-free products, sales are expected to balloon to as much as $24 billion by 2020. We’ve already seen the “fat-free”, “cholesterol-free” and other “something-free” food products that generated an unbelievable profit to their manufacturers causing great harm to people’s health.
Do NOT self-diagnose yourself!
Do NOT go gluten-free if it’s unnecessary!
Do NOT be afraid - nothing toxic about gluten! Not at all! This common misconception may lead many people to adopt a gluten-free diet when they don't need to.
Do NOT help making the gluten-free food market a multi-billion-dollar industry without a reason!
What is gluten?
So, let’s talk about our daily bread. Literally. What makes the bread shape and taste? Gluten. Wikipedia says: “Gluten (from Latin “gluten,” meaning “glue”) is a mixture of proteins (gliadins and glutenins), found in wheat and related grains, including barley, rye, oat, and all their species and hybrids. Gluten is appreciated for its viscoelastic properties. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keeping its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture.”
Generally, bread flours are high in gluten. More refining (of the gluten) leads to chewier products such as pizza and bagels, while less refining yields tender baked goods such as pastry products.
Gluten-related disorders include celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy, gluten ataxia, and dermatitis. Celiac disease, a major gluten-related disorder caused by the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye, and their derivatives, appears in genetically predisposed people of all ages. It affects approximately 1–2% of the general population. Moreover, up to 30% of people with known coeliac disease often continue having or redeveloping symptoms being on a strict gluten-free diet.
Increasing attention to gluten-related disorders may be explained possibly by the growing westernization of diet, increasing use of wheat-based foods included in the Mediterranean diet, the progressive replacement of rice by wheat in many countries in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, the development in recent years of new types of wheat with a higher amount of cytotoxic gluten peptides, and the higher content of gluten in bread and bakery products, due to the reduction of dough fermentation time.
Nothing toxic about gluten
Gluten itself is not toxic. Not at all! This common misconception may lead many people to adopt a gluten-free diet when they don’t need to.
Gluten-free diet is not a healthy choice!
In his article titled “The Gluten-Free Diet: Recognizing Fact, Fiction, and Fad” that was published in the Journal of Pediatrics, Dr. Norelle R. Reilly of New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center says a gluten-free diet is not a healthy lifestyle choice. There is more risk than benefit to a gluten-free diet for people who haven’t been diagnosed with celiac disease or wheat allergy, according to.
Gluten-free diet for some of us
For people having gluten-related disorders is very easy to be on a gluten-free diet without specially processed gluten-free foods. Simply because the list of naturally gluten-free foods is endless and includes meat, fish, seafood, nuts, legumes, fruit, vegetables, potatoes, amaranth, buckwheat, chia seed, corn, rice, sorghum and many others.
But then again: celiac disease affects approximately 1–2% of the general population. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is described as a condition of multiple symptoms that improves when switching to a gluten-free diet, but its pathogenesis is not yet well understood. Gluten intolerance is estimated to be 6–10 times higher than that of celiac disease (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten). Besides gluten, more components present in wheat, rye, barley, and their derivatives, including other proteins, may cause the same symptoms.
Gluten-free food labeling
The term “gluten-free” is generally used to indicate a supposed harmless level of gluten rather than a complete absence, however, the exact level at which gluten is harmless is uncertain and controversial.
There is no general agreement on the analytical method used to measure gluten in ingredients and food products. The use of highly sensitive assays is mandatory to certify gluten-free food products. The European Union, World Health Organization, and Codex Alimentarius require reliable measurement of the wheat prolamins, gliadins rather than all-wheat proteins.
Most countries derive key provisions of their gluten-free labeling regulations from the Codex Alimentarius international standards. It only applies to foods that would normally contain gluten. Gluten-free is defined as 20ppm (= 20mg/kg) or less.
For example, labels for all food products sold in Canada must clearly identify the presence of gluten if it is present at a level greater than 10ppm. Any intentionally added gluten, even at low levels must be declared on the packaging and a gluten-free claim would be considered false and misleading.
Gluten-free diet isn’t a healthy choice. In fact, it may be nutritionally deficient, high in fat and sugar, as well as costly.