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  7. Let’s Talk “Gluten Free”

Let’s Talk “Gluten Free”

Gluten free is everywhere. Gluten free definitely does not mean healthy, and it doesn’t necessarily even mean healthier. Spinach is gluten free and healthy. Gluten free brownies can be full of all kinds of garbage, just not gluten. At the very least, “gluten free” needs to be clarified.


Most of the time if something has to be labeled gluten free, it probably isn’t the best. Veggies don’t have gluten free labels. Neither does fruit. Most unprocessed food is both free of gluten and “gluten free”.

Here is an example from a local grocery store:

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Now, if you are Celiac and you want a brownie that won’t destroy you, then a gluten free brownie will do the trick. If you are looking to make healthy choices, which I think is a main motivator for many people to go gluten free, many gluten free products are far from good choices.

Table sugar is gluten free. Gummi bears are gluten free. Neither have health benefit.

Gluten is a protein compound found in things like wheat and is added to many processed foods. It allows bread to hold together when it rises to get nice and fluffy. It is vilified for many reasons and gluten free is touted as the cure for many of these ills. This is not intended to be a review or critique of all things gluten. The point is that gluten free simply means it has no gluten. This label doesn’t mean it is full of good things or free of other detrimental ingredients. It’s important to read food labels and know what you are consuming.

It is infuriating to me when people try to make healthy choices and are fed marketing that makes it so difficult to do so.

My family and I choose to eat gluten free, but we rarely eat “gluten free” things. A diet full of whole food, fruits, vegetables and nuts is in my opinion a good choice. I find it very difficult to argue against eating more vegetables and fruit. A gluten free diet full of “gluten free” processed foods is probably a more expensive way to eat garbage. It might be an improvement over the same food with gluten, but an improvement can still be a poor nutritional choice given the variety of whole foods that are available.