I hope that title got your attention. These days, we're bombarded by gluten-free labels on almost everything. I even see bags of chips labeled gluten-free, as if to imply that rotten potatoes deep fried in rancid, toxic canola oil are suddenly healthy because they don't have gluten. And, yes! Canola oil really isn't healthy!
I actually was eating gluten-free pasta and bread for a while, and for one reason only: it didn't make me bloated. However, you should know that this latest genius marketing propaganda that paints gluten as the Devil is just that - genius marketing propaganda. In reality, only people that suffer from Celiac need to be eating gluten-free. For the rest of us, we're just contributing to our declining health - and our declining bank accounts. Gluten-free is crazy expensive!
This article gives a great history of how the GF (gluten-free) explosion began. It turns out that the same guy who did the original study to see if gluten really did cause GI upset actually did a follow-up study that disproved his first study! He ended up saying that there was no causal relationship between gluten and GI upset in non-Celiac sufferers. Furthermore, other studies have shown that eating GF products leads to all kinds of nutrient deficiencies, and Celiac sufferers are included in that.
Who, all of a sudden, decided to turn gluten into a big bad fluffy monster? I'll tell you who - the genius that got rich off of it.
But, wait! How can this be? Aren't all doctors and scientists running around like Chicken Little for the past several years, screaming that the sky is going to fall if we keep eating gluten? Take, for example, Dr. Oz. I gotta be honest - I don't like the guy. But here he is, right on camera, saying that gluten-free products are a scam. A scam, I tell you!
When I was on my GF kick, I thought that new horizons were open to me. I thought I could eat all the GF muffins, cookies, and pasta I wanted and I wouldn't gain weight. WRONG! Newsflash, folks - GF products are loaded with fat, sugar, additives, preservatives, and, the ultimate Devil, carbohydrates!
Okay, so carbs aren't the ultimate Devil. You need healthy carbs, like vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. You most certainly don't need processed white flour garbage.
Let's take a look at the nutritional label of a popular GF pasta. Did you see the calorie count? 200 calories! PER 2 OUNCES! The carbs? 44 grams PER 2 OUNCE SERVING! Fiber? ZERO! I don't know about you, but even my 3-year-old can eat at least double that! Two ounces is a complete joke! Let's estimate that a normal adult serving is 8 ounces. That means that you're eating 800 calories and 176 carbs in one sitting! I can't even believe those numbers! Did I do my math right?
What about GF cookies? Let's find out, shall we? Are you sitting down? Hold on to something, because you're about to faint.
In a box of prepared GF Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookies, 2 cookies = one serving. In one serving, you have 150 calories, 63 calories from fat, 7 grams of fat, 25 mg of cholesterol, 160 mg of sodium, 23 g of carbs, and 13 g of sugar!! And remember, that's only for 2 cookies! Who in the world eats only 2 cookies? Someone like me could easily finish off 8 cookies in three minutes or less. Let's call a "real" serving 6 cookies. That means you're eating 450 calories, 189 calories from fat, 21 grams of fat, 75 mg of cholesterol, 480 mg of sodium, 69 g of carbs, and 39 g of sugar!
Is it any wonder we collectively suffer from such poor health?
If you want to eat healthy and lose weight, stay away from processed foods! As I wrote in Bye, Bye, Diabetes, when you eat unhealthy foods, especially ones that are high in sugar, you trigger your body to release insulin in direct proportion to the amount of sugar you're ingesting. Insulin, if you recall, is a fat-storing hormone. It tells your body to store the calories you've just eaten as fat. The higher your insulin goes, the more fat you will store. The more fat you store, the more unhealthy you become.
So where is the logic in eating gluten-free if you don't have Celiac?
Although Celiac disease is severely under-diagnosed, it is estimated that at most, about 1% of the American population suffers from it. But what about the millions of people that truly suffer from non-Celiac gluten sensitivity?
Well, who said it's really gluten sensitivity at all? This is a fairly new label, and it's quite trendy these days. There is so much conflicting information about it, that it's really hard to say for sure what's causing increasing numbers of people to be more sensitive to grain-based products. Could it be GMO's? Could it be the infamous herbicide glyphosate? Could it just be the fact that these products are so processed, that our bodies don't even recognize them as food?
I don't know. But what I do know is this: if you want to be healthy and lose weight, you've got to cut back on the processed garbage. All of these white breads, pastas, and cookies are completely unhealthy, whether they're GF or not. If you don't have Celiac, switch to whole, organic, and sprouted grains. A good general rule would be: if it's processed and loaded with preservatives, don't buy it - even if it says whole wheat whatever.
So there you have it. I hope this post saves you a ton of money. Even more importantly, I hope it motivates you to start eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
I'd love to hear your comments!