The Problem with “Gluten-Free”

Alright, let me just clear the air before I get started with this blog post. I have Celiac disease, so I know all about gluten and the gluten-free diet. I’m not writing this post because I have a problem with gluten-free foods or eating gluten-free. I’m writing this post because I have a problem with people who make the choice to go gluten-free because they think it will help them lose weight or be healthier.

I personally believe that one should not go gluten-free unless they have an allergy or intolerance. If you are just doing it for weight loss or to be healthier, you’re making eating gluten-free dangerous for those of us who have allergies and intolerances. Waiters and chefs will not take us seriously and will assume that we are just trying to be trendy or lose weight.

I honestly think it is upsetting when some person decides to try out a gluten-free diet to see if it will help them lose weight. I’m here to tell you that it will NOT help you lose weight and could even make you gain weight. If you choose to cut down on wheat and bread, that’s fine. Please do not say you are “gluten-free” and do not pretend you have an allergy. Just eat healthier foods and avoid bread. That’s all you have to do. Don’t make the gluten-free diet dangerous for those of us who actually need to be on it.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been laughed at or “glutened” because restaurants did not take me seriously. Not only is it frustrating that they think being gluten-free is a choice, but it is also frustrating that they seem to take men more seriously. It is apparent that uneducated individuals believe that women eat gluten-free only to be trendy or thinner while they believe that men would only eat gluten-free because they need to. I encourage everyone to educate themselves on Celiac Disease and gluten allergies, especially if you work in the food industry.

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease which cause small intestine damage when one affected consumes gluten. If those who have Celiac Disease consume gluten regularly, they could develop iron deficiency anemia, osteoporosis, infertility, lactose intolerance, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, central and peripheral nervous system disorders, pancreatic insufficiency, intestinal lymphomas and other GI cancers, gall bladder malfunction, epileptic seizures, dementia, migraines, neuropathy, myopathy, and multifocal leukoencephalopathy, according to the Celiac Disease foundation. As you can see, it is very dangerous for those with Celiac Disease to consume gluten. Therefore, you must be careful not to expose these individuals to gluten.

I honestly wish there was some sort of law against giving those with food intolerances or allergies the foods they are allergic or intolerant to. Since these foods can greatly and negatively impact their health, it should be illegal to give them these foods. However, it is not illegal and servers continue not to take people with allergies and intolerances seriously.

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