So Gluten Free is a rather growing popular dietary approach. Obviously, those suffering from celiac disease absolutely need to avoid gluten, and some believe many people have some degree of intolerance to gluten…others claim our bodies are simply not designed to process it.
I am currently working on a literature review on functional foods (including GF) and am reflecting on my own recent purchase of GF bread.
In fact, I do not eat bread (a diet food practice I brought with me from Ukraine), and yet I got GF bread for the house…
Why do we think GF is healthier? Is it simply because the “free” part is associated with other “free from” foods that are supposedly healthier? (fat free! sugar free!) Usually “FREE” would mean something bad has been removed from the product.
Is it because we see many celebrities adopt the lifestyle, lose weight, look chic, and twit about it? They must know what they’re doing…(?)
Is it our beliefs about the nature of health and the way our body evolved? I’ve heard many people quote the “10,000 year” point- that agriculture is rather recent and our bodies have not adopted to processing grains and gluten (this is inspired by the paleo information).
Does it matter? The truth is many people feel better when they go GF- more energy, better digestion, and more. I personally doubt it is the gluten primarily (unless someone truly is sensitive!?)- many going GF simultaneously improve their diet and lifestyle. Indeed, many poeple going GF are health-conscious individuals in general (health consciousness is the degree to which one plays an active role in maintaining their health). It is obvious that in the modern civilized world the pursuit of health, responsibility for one’s well-being and self-improvement are central themes.
I personally avoid gluten on a typical day- I already am not a fan of grain and breads (my Ukrainian family&friends always emphasized getting rid of baked items to maintain weight)…besides, due to gluten’s fantastic binding ability, it is added to most foods and it could be its unprecedented overconsumption in the last several decades that makes us sensitive.