All You Need to Know: Gluten
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year or so, I’m sure you’ll have noticed the huge uprise in gluten free. Enter any cafe or supermarket and you’ll be able to find at least one gluten free option quite easily, something which a couple of years ago would’ve proved near impossible. And with all of our products free from gluten, we’re obviously advocates of the gluten free life, but does anyone actually understand the benefits? And why has everyone suddenly gone crazy for it?
Research has shown that the amount of people who suffer from celiac disease is 4 times what it was in 1990. Although this is probably slightly down to improvements in diagnosis, it can’t be ignored that the hugely significant increase could also be an affect of other attributes. Wheat has undergone extensive hybridisation as a crop and undergoes dramatic changes during processing which involves many chemical processes, and the effects that this could be having on our immune systems is still unknown, however given the increase in celiac, I can’t imagine it being positive.
So obviously with the rise of celiac disease, as well as an increase in gluten sensitivity and intolerances, the demand for gluten free options is at it’s highest, and cafe’s and brands not offering these options are missing out on catering for a significant percentage of the population. But besides the demand due to this, a lot of people also choose gluten free for the health options.
Gluten free leaves you feeling much lighter, less bloated and positively radiating compared to if you just wolfed down a pizza or bowl of pasta and is generally much better for your overall health. Gluten free grains tend to not be as processed either and more more natural compared to the highly processed gluten options.
There’s also such a huge amount of different grains to experiment with. There tends to be a taboo that gluten free = boring/flavourless but this is definitely far from the case! With so many grains to play with including quinoa, amaranth, teff, millet and buckwheat, you’re never at a loss for different textures and flavours. Along with gluten free versions of pasta and bread, as well as rice, gluten free oats, polenta and various squash and sweet potato, the possibilities are endless, and gluten free should be seen as anything but restrictive.
WHAT TO TAKE FROM THIS
Going gluten free is definitely going to make you feel much better, irregardless of whether you are intolerant or not. But mostly, this is in correlation to the fact that you are not consuming as many processed foods, with gluten free grains tending to be bought in their natural form. Obviously with the increased demand for gluten free, the amount of processed foods with added bulking and rising agents, sugar and MGO processed products is also on the rise too, and the assumption that just because it is gluten free, it is healthy, is definitely not the case. Stick to your whole foods, fresh vegetables and gluten free grains however, and you’re definitely on to a winner!