Myth: Anyone can benefit from a gluten-free diet. No wait, that’s not a myth, that’s an outright lie designed to part fools from their money.
Right now we’re in the midst of a swelling fad for the “gluten free diet.” But despite aggressive claims, there are ZERO medical or health benefits to a gluten free diet for the general population, though there certainly are plausible health debits.
Now anyone who suffers an overt and obvious IgE antibody-mediated wheat allergy, or who honestly does have celiac disease, then in these cases you’re NOT a complete ass if you fall for the fad.
For people who really do need a gluten free diet to not get seriously ill, they will be happy for the fad, because gluten free products of the past tasted like cardboard and discount kibble. Now there’s lots of tasty good stuff, because when the easily duped masses will pay double or quintuple to get half as much stuff, expect new products galore!
Although even for celiac sufferers, “gluten free” is as much an advertising slogan as a fact. Celiac sufferers should not be exposed to more than 20 parts per million of gluten, so the FDA regulations permit 20 parts per million, right on the cusp of tolerance, which ain’t good enough considering how many cross-contaminants are going to be in everything else one eats. In the UK there can be so much gluten in a product labeled “gluten free” you’re pretty much guaranteed that if you REALLY needed a gluten free diet, these products completely miss the boat. Australian products labeled gluten free are much more likely to be so, but for the US and UK, can’t count on it.
Self-diagnosed faddists are popping up at every corner of our lives on this one. Everyone knows SOMEone, probably several someones, convinced they’re feeling MUCH better now that they live gluten free lives. Given that hypochondriacs are convinced, then it must be true, there’s a benefit to be gained even if personally for you there’s no medical reason at all.
A rare condition now looks to be common as the rocks in their heads. Fortunately faddists are also cheats, so likely do themselves less harm than they could’ve. They’re not really on gluten free diets at all, they’re just pretending to themselves and others. But what of the exceptions? What if some of these dumbasses are seriously devoted to this fad without medical necessity? Can they die from their folly?
Well right off, you’re needlessly damaging your pocketbook. That’s the minimum. This phony-ass fad is expensive. Second, gut problems are extremely common and can indicate something serious. The vast majority have nothing on earth to do with gluten, but it’s now everyone’s first choice for self-diagnosis and self-treatment, meaning any treatable cause is not being properly treated at all.
And you could be doing death-dealing harm to yourself! People have actually died of stomach cancer never having considered talking to a doctor in a timely manner, convincing themselves they felt better because they began chowing down on gluten free cookies and toast. Given the nature of the placebo effect maybe they do feel better, even on a worthless diet that helps them in no way at all.
Oh but surely there is SOME reward accrued to otherwise healthy people for avoiding gluten? Nope. Not a single authentic benefit. Not one. Not even the celebrity-driven claims of weight loss value? Total bullshit! And don’t call me Shirley.
ACTUAL celiac disease is a lifelong condition with health ramifications that accumulate over time, even with a gluten-free diet. To rely on the gluten-free products for self-treatment is dangerous even for the teensy-tiny percentage of people who can benefit from it, if that’s all they rely on. It’d be like a diabetic figuring all they have to do is shop for sugar free shit but never otherwise treat their condition. So if you’re spending way too much money for these specialty products, and have never checked in with a physician to find out if you’re celiac or not, then how much of an ignorant ass does that make you? Pretty big one.
For the vast majority of us, it’s in the main merely stupid to believe fads come from some place of valid health benefit. Maybe you’re not going to die from gluten deprivation but you’re still stupid. Gluten is a protein complex, vastly easier to digest than animal proteins, so it’s very simply a great food. It’s mostly what you’ll get in a Shaolin restaurant. For those of us who are vegetarian, it can be an unnecessary stresser for adequate nutrition to further reduce protein intake by skipping gluten.
There’s an additional wackiness that many people who believe in these highly processed non-gluten alternatives also believe processed foods aren’t good for you. It’s called “vertically divided ego,” the ability to believe two contradictory falsehoods that by clear reasoning would cancel each other out.
People with celiac disease have to be monitored for Iron Deficiency Anemia, thiamine deficiency, and other serious side-effects. Gluten-free makes a less nutritious meal, so requires very conscious dietary additions to counterbalance missing essentials. People without the health need but who have sheepled their way into the gluten-free fad may well not even know the two or three tricks celiac patients will be given to insure adequate grain nutrients. So misguided devotion to the fad introduces nutrition deficiencies without the faddist ever having been warned.
Further health harm is possible because gluten deficiency commonly leads to calcium deficiency and poor bone health. Plus, “gluten free” often means you’re eating, instead, an overabundance of corn byproducts, which have their own array of presently-ignored potential health problems. Avoiding corn might be the next big fad, it’s all GMO by now so up for complaint, and before you know it only termites will be left with a good enough safety record, so let’s eat those.
Anyone who defines their diets by what’s got the most advertising, gets promoted by tabloids or by tv quacks like Dr Oz, or whatever a quick google says about your belly-ache, maybe it’s fine if they get too sick to last long in this world, cleans up the gene pool.
Gastroenterologists are pretty much all reporting the phenomenon that even when informing their patients they have no reason to be eating gluten free diets and really shouldn’t be doing so, their patients just won’t improve their habits. If they’re sold on a lie, they’re totally sold. Mere doctors cannot effectively counter advertising and social networking by diet freaking promulgators of popular delusion.
Some physicians now won’t even bother to volunteer the truth. If their dumbass patient claims they feel a benefit to paying two to five times more for everything they eat, the doctor says fine, if it makes you feel good, keep doing that. That’s easier than risking a break of doctor/patient trust by informing the patient they’re a dumbass, especially if it won’t change their behaviors no matter how many facts get ladled on.