Going Gluten-Free Series: Part 1

The phrase “Gluten-Free” seems to be popping up everywhere.

The ubiquitous label, which has surpassed even the “low-carb” craze in marketing popularity, is actually worthy of contemplation.

What  does Gluten-Free mean?

          What is a Gluten-Free diet?

First, let’s establish what Gluten itself is:

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten also exists in many whole grain foods related to wheat, including bulgur, farro, kamut, spelt, and triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye).



The term Gluten-Free pertains to a food or ingredient completely free of the wheat protein.

Gluten-Free Diet:

The term Gluten-Free Diet concerns a modified plan of eating which is completely free of the wheat protein.

According to recent reports, here’s what a gluten-free diet can do for specific members of the population:


Some parents, doctors and researchers say that children on the Autism spectrum have shown improvements in speech and/or behavior after gluten and casein (dairy protein) were removed from their diet.


Individuals with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and gluten intolerance have shown significant symptom improvement with a strict gluten-free diet.  These individuals have undergone specific blood tests to determine their diagnosis.


Some mainstreamers have reported improved digestion and an overall sense of well-being after adopting a gluten-free way of eating.  However, this could simply be the by-product of consuming less processed foods which typically contain gluten.  For example, a consumer, who may have been previously inclined to select a processed bread product for the “starchy” component of their meal now selects whole potatoes.


Red Potatoes & Baby Carrots in Coconut Oil

For those that don’t struggle with wheat sensitivity, going completely gluten-free may not be the optimal choice.

Any diet which eschews almost an entire food group is going to have it’s drawbacks, namely in the form of potential nutrient loss. A Gluten-free diet can lack vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Also, just because an item is labeled Gluten-free, that does not give dieters the green-light to consume with abandon.


 The general public has embraced the gluten-free diet as a trend; their impression being that a Gluten-free diet is “healthier”.


Gluten-free does not necessarily equal healthy.  Gluten-free can be healthy if executed properly.

Certainly, I would urge you to consult your doctor or health-care professional before making any significant modifications to your diet.

After that is out of the way, you’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of your potential dietary adjustment.

Many foods are naturally gluten-free and easily accessible.  In upcoming installments of  the “Going Gluten-Free Series“, I will explain the easiest ways to switch over and share some recipes.

Question: Do you readily embrace modified diets when they become popular or receive positive attention in the medical community?




5 Unintended Consequences of Going Gluten-Free



11 thoughts on “Going Gluten-Free Series: Part 1

  1. I eat gluten free, and have for over a decade , long before it became trendy. I am actually allergic to gluten and feel a LOT better when I don’t eat it.
    That said, I agree with you that going GF is not necessary for most people and, like so many other diets it will likely become a passing phase for many.

    I feel the same about dairy. Some people’s health improves off it some does not. I went off it for a while and didn’t have any positive effects. I have to say I was so glad I wasn’t allergic to dairy because cheese is so awesome. πŸ™‚

    • Hey MG,
      I love cheese. I was vegan for 6 years and I never got over missing cheese, I must say! My friend Miranda has Celiac Disease and, like you, she says she feels a million times better living Gluten-Free. I am glad it has helped you…at least now that it is “trendy” more G.F. products are available to you! πŸ™‚

  2. Do I readily embrace modified diets? Hell no. I eat MY diet. I always have, actually, even during the “bad” years. Most notably: the bikini body diet plan. Second most notably: the bikini body diet plan, take ii. Nine most notably: the bikini body diet plan, take iv. Somewhere around take 100, I switched to Project Lollipop. And you know what happened from there. I got all effed up even post bulimia, but now I’m healthy. Do I avoid gluten? No. But do I select items containing gluten for my meals? No. Do I care? No. My only questionable item is my modified wonton crisp from the cheesecake factory. And frankly, I don’t care one way or the other if it contains gluten. Gluten sounds so processed to me, so I think it’s unnecessary for a healthy body… but my bread loving friends are passionate about it, so I think it makes people happy:) … I’m rambling. Do your siblings eat gluten free? xo

    • Gluten isn’t something that’s processed, its a naturally occurring component in wheat. Many processed foods do contain gluten but gluten itself is natural.
      A lot of times food from other cultures confuse people. People often assume that things from Asian cultures are all rice based. Wontons are made from flour, so are Panko bread crumbs and even soy sauce has gluten!
      People also often wrongly assume that most Mexican foods are corn based. Not so. While chips and hard shell tacos are burrito are almost always made from flour wraps.
      Again, not important for most people but important if you’re gluten intolerant.

      • Hey MG,

        Ahh yes, good points! The tortilla chips that I frequently buy happen to be gluten-free, but it is just a coincidence, I think! πŸ™‚

        • Sorry-I was a little unclear it was meant to say chips (corn chips) and hard taco shells are almost always GF (though I read the labels on everything just to be sure, not worth getting sick from). You can get corn wraps too, however most soft tacos/burritos are wrapped in flour wraps. I’ve even found some “corn” wraps that also have wheat flour in them!
          I’ve learned not to be afraid to ask lots of questions when I go out to eat and if a server isn’t sure I don’t feel bad asking them (politely of course) to please go double check with the chef.
          The good news is that now people are so much more aware of what gluten is that it makes it a lot easier to get answers!

    • Hey Nicole,

      Mark and Aaron were on Gluten-Free, Casein-Free for a while. Now they are probably 75% G.F. and 25% mainstream. I am probably the inverse. I love bread too nuch. Have you posted the Cheesecake Factory salad breakdown yet? I am obsessed with all things concerning delicious (and pretty!) salads. πŸ™‚

  3. Gluten, schmuten… can we talk about that Ryan Gosling pic for a minute? Yum!


    Seriously, though, I have lots of friends that are all about embracing the latest diets/food restrictions. I tend to be more cautious. As you pointed out, gluten-free does not = healthy. Nor does fat free, low-carb, sugar-free, etc. I remember being appalled at the amount of fat some of my friends were consuming during the Atkins diet craze. I think we should use common sense, while becoming aware of our own individual sensitivities (to echo MG’s sentiments).

  4. Hey Kat!
    Hahaha, I spent an inordinate amount of time browsing through Ryan Gosling memes when writing this post! I agree with you on the common sense theory. The Atkins Diet was insane!! πŸ˜›

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