Gluten Free Does Not Equal Healthy (for everyone)

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to what food we should and shouldn’t be eating. And it’s hard not to be confused with the constantly changing messages of “what’s healthy” coming from so many different directions (even the government often changes their minds on what’s good and bad!). But one of the latest food trends – Gluten Free – which is not just a trend but a serious health issue for many, is starting to be viewed as “healthy for everyone.” And that couldn’t be further from the truth!

It’s amazing how often I hear someone say, “Oh that’s a healthy place to eat because they have gluten-free options now.” In fact, this newspaper article below is a perfect example of how people think this is true! Let’s get real, I highly doubt anything Lance crackers is making is truly “healthy” for us. Because, in my world healthy = not highly processed.

Gluten Free is not healthy for everyone on 100 Days of #RealFood

Just for fun though I looked up what they’re now offering …and here is one of those so-called “healthy” gluten-free snacks for you. I don’t think so! Rice flour is just as refined as white flour (which you would find labeled as “wheat flour” without the word “whole”), and just check out how many other unwanted additives this product contains including refined vegetable oil, maltodextrin, sugar, corn syrup, cellulose gum, and more!

#Glutenfree food example on 100 Days of #RealFood

What Gluten-Free Really Means

Gluten is the general name for the proteins in wheat (and some other grains) that helps hold the food together like glue. While some companies may profit from telling you their gluten-free product is “better for you,” what it probably means is they simply started using a grain other than wheat. It doesn’t automatically mean the gluten-free version is BETTER …it’s just DIFFERENT! And that’s because it doesn’t necessarily mean their gluten-free grain is whole grain (i.e. not any more nutritious for you than the refined wheat they were previously using).

Now as I mentioned this could mean a world of difference when it comes to the health of someone with celiac disease or an allergy (or sensitivity) to gluten, but for the rest of us? It doesn’t make much of a difference at all.

How to Choose GOOD Gluten-Free Products

Now all of this doesn’t mean gluten-free is “bad” either. Again, it’s just different! So whether you choose to buy gluten-free products or not my advice is always the same – LOOK FOR WHOLE GRAINS. Maybe you feel better when you avoid gluten or you’re just in the mood for more variety? No matter the reason, when you’re shopping for products made with any type of grains (containing gluten or not) the optimal choice is 100% whole grain.

Depending on your needs, here’s what to look for on the ingredient label…

Common Whole Grains WITHOUT Gluten = Brown Rice, Oats*, Corn, Quinoa
*if labeled gluten-free due to possible cross-contamination

Common Whole Grains WITH Gluten = Wheat (including Durum, Semolina, and Spelt), Rye, Barley

How do you feel about gluten?

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66 thoughts on “Gluten Free Does Not Equal Healthy (for everyone)”

  1. Hey Lisa, Thank you for speaking upon this topic. Gluten-free doesn’t mean guilt-free!
    Simply cutting gluten, doesn’t lead to automatic weight loss. Many of the products that are gluten-free have more calories in them. For example potato chips are gluten-free but are still a terrible snack. I sometimes feel this marketing gimmick have gone too far.

  2. Hello!

    My son is allergic to wheat, eggs and nuts. Do you have any recommendations for gluten free flour blends that fit the 100 days of real food standards? Thanks!

      1. No, I haven’t tried millet. I have used sorghum and oat flour. Thank you for the website recommendation!! I am trying to clean up our diet and just realized that the gluten free flour that I have been using is almost all starches and not healthy for us.

  3. After reading the book “The Wheat Belly” it is difficult to look at our modern way of raising wheat and consuming SO much of it in a positive way. There are better grain options. I believe eating less wheat is healthier, overall.

  4. I have RA. I decided to give up gluten because during an illness during which I could only tolerate rice and chicken. I did not have any products with gluten for two weeks and I felt amazing after recovering. I belong to a support group for sufferers of auto immune diseases. They have notices big changes of their symptoms when they gave up gluten, soy, dairy and red meat.

    I have been to Gastroenterologist, who thinks I have a sensitivity. I started with commercial products but they are not as healthy as you would think.

    I now make my own bread (with whole flours such as Brown Rice, Buckwheat (which is not wheat, etc) and meals. I don’t eat out unless I can dictate how my food is cooked. I am in the process or weaning myself off of white rice. And am incorporating more vegetarian meals. It’s not for everyone. But for me, it’s the only choice.

    Ps. I have had no flares from the RA since adjusting my diet and my pain in now minimal.

  5. I am food sensitive to have the gluten free and also wheat, oats , eggs, milk, I find it extremely hard to find pleasure in any food. all I am left with is Rice, red potatoes, most fruit and vegetables and meat ( except duck .. ) and they have to be 100 percent grass fed. I have no idea how to bake like this? as nuts are no option except pine oh.. and Chia seeds. I need extreme help I go from 80 pounds when I follow my diet and when I give up and I am in pain I am up too 107 because I am so malnourished…. with vitamin b and iron deficiency, calcium and vitamin d

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Missy. So sorry you are struggling. Are you working with a doctor, a nutritionist, or a naturopath? You need to make sure you are getting support for your nutrition needs.

  6. Some other great gluten-free grains for baking are sorghum and millet. We use these to bake since my son is allergic to wheat.

  7. Love the concept of your site, but when you have a wheat allergy/sensitivity and gluten cause inflammation in your body seeing all your wheat filled foods is…. frustrating. A lot of people don’t respect gf and look down upon it bur honestly the way food (wheat & crops are ) is processed alot of people would benefit greatly from cutting wheat from their diet and notice a pain, inflammation, “arthritis “, Fibromyalgia dissappear. Food allergies are huge and most don’t realize they have them. So love yiur site but honestly get frustrated by it and feel left out.

    1. I am sorry you are frustrated with the blog. We understand people have allergies and respect that. We actually have most of our team that has a family member with gluten allergies (mine being one of them). My whole house is a gluten free zone (dairy also) and I still use a lot of Lisa’s recipes. I may not use her baked goods, but most of her dinners I make or adapt where I can. Lisa bases her recipes on real, good, healthy food and thankfully her family doesn’t have any allergies to worry about.

      1. This is the same in my household, but I am the one with the sensitivity, so I just try to modify what I eat and make most stuff normal for the rest of my clan (7 total). It would be super helpful to have a section on substitutes to help those of us that are just learning know what are health options for sensitivities. I.e. Whipping cream, breadcrumbs, healthy bread and cracker options, etc.

    2. You are very right. Wheat is highly processed and yet is completely ignored as a processed food. The truth is nothing you eat is process free unless you grow it yourself. But that truth doesn’t sell cookbooks.

  8. Ask your specialists!! Each person is different…. You will get different answers from each specialists too!! However, know your own body and feel better gluten free chances are you should be!! Anyone out there with Thyroid issues or auto immune disease should talk with an endocrinologists for sure!! I am Not completely gluten free but when I really cut down and what what I eat….. Wow!! What a difference…. But I was told by A gastrointestinal specialist that you didn’t Need to be and Shouldn’t unless you were allergic or had celiacs disease…. So each specialist needs to be consulted before you chalk it up to, oh, I must if just Thought I felt better off gluten….. Because maybe you are Not crazy after all!!

  9. Thanks so much for this post! I agree with everything you said. It bothers me that some people think whole wheat is bad for you. For some people it is, like you said, but for most people whole wheat is good for us!

  10. I avoid gluten for a different reason. I have auto immune issues with my thyroid. Apparently gluten structure is very similar to thyroid structure. Once the body switches to having an autoimmune condition, when gluten is consumed, my body attacks my thyroid because it is confused. Since going paleo (which avoids ALL grains), my thyroid has healed very well AND most importantly, my symptoms are 95% gone!! I love this site and paleo also uses the whole food, avoiding processed food motto. Thanks for all of the great information you share with us. I wish everyone could learn the whole food equals health lesson :)

  11. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for the post and for all that you do. I think you are so refreshing, and I’ve been following you and practicing your ways for almost a year now. All of the gluten talk can make my head spin. I was actually going to request that you do a post on it, so I was so happy to see this. I have read and seen so much lately on gluten causing leaky gut and that gluten is so damaging over time. I’ve also read that most grains should be sprouted to be nutritious. Aye aye aye….it’s so overwhelming. I wanted to know your thoughts on these topics. I currently happily eat gluten in whole food products even though my dad has true celiacs disease. I do not have it and do believe it’s such an individual thing. Thank you for any more information/opinions you can provide on leaky gut/sprouted grains.

  12. I totally agree with everything that Heidi said and I usually do not post comments on articles but I feel very strongly about this issue. Yes you’re right that gluten-free processed products do not equate to healthy food but I feel like your article is doing a huge disservice to people and you are obviously not educated enough on this topic. Yes there is no perfect diet that will work for everyone bc we are all unique and everyone has a different threshold and weak link when it comes to gluten. Do you understand that the wheat today in the US is vastly different than the wheat that say our Grandparents grew up with because of companies like Monsanto. I strongly encourage you to listen to all the reasons that health professionals recommend avoiding gluten especially if you have an autoimmune disorder. Another commentor recommended that you educate yourself on the health of the gut and terms like intestinal permeability and leaky gut and I totally agree. Here are some great podcasts/ health professional recommendations for those who want to educate yourself more-Amy Myers, Chris Kresser, Josh Axe, Alan Christianson, Tom O’Bryan, Izabella Wentz (of course their are many more doing what they can to truly educate people but this is a good start.) I truly believe that you are trying to help people and yes eating real food is so important, but I just think you don’t have all that information when it comes to gluten and this article could harm more than help. I personally do not think that the majority of the gluten that you find in the US is “healthy” for anyone. Lifestyle factors and genetics will play a role in determining when and how it becomes a health issue for each person. Again check out talks by Tom O’Bryan as he does such a great job explaining this. We need to educate ourselves and be our own health advocates!

    1. Also just because someone does not have gastrointestinal issues does not mean that the gluten is not affecting other parts of their body like their thyroid, brain etc.

      1. Exactly Heather! Often one doesn’t know how gluten affects them until its too late and many suffer different ailments through-out life never realizing that it could actually be attributed to gluten consumption.

    2. I’m having trouble following your statement that this “article is doing a huge disservice to people” when the point of the article is that “Gluten-Free” labels don’t immediately equal “healthy food”. She is encouraging all to check the rest of the ingredients before tossing a box of something-or-other into your shopping basket or ordering from a menu rather than trusting this association. The article is inspired by the popular bandwagon coming through town toting that “Gluten is universally evil”, which is not the case. The overuse of gluten separated from wheat is definitely a problem (more processed) which is addressed in her definition of processed foods (elsewhere on the site).

  13. I’m gluten intolerant, so while eating gluten in small quantities from time to time doesn’t generally affect me, I have to avoid it all together to keep from getting comfortable with consuming gluten. I certainly wouldn’t be eating gluten free if it weren’t for health reasons, but it is unfortunate that not only do I have to pay more for GF items in general, the price is further increased when looking for things that are actually healthy. Thus, I’ve become obsessed with labels!

  14. I am have arthritis and have been told to avoid wheat, so sometimes it is easier to state Gluten free to ensure, this is avoided as much as possible, wheat avoidance is meant to help manage the arthritis, unlike the Celiacs patients who have to avoid otherwise serious reactions.

  15. I want to thank you for this article. I am a diagnosed Celiac and trying to be “normal” in a gluten filled world with another diet trend going on is hard to say the least. It is as you say though, if the GF label gets slapped on something it’s one product closer to the holy grail of healthy eating no matter what garbage it’s made of. Unfortunately many people (like myself) get diagnosed much later in life and actually go through a sort of a grief period. We mourn our breads, cereals, cookies and what not and attempt desperately to fill that void without regard to food value. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Amen. I too was diagnosed with celiac at age 44. The mourning period was prolonged by a desire to be ‘normal’. This meant trying many GF products that were neither healthy or appealing. In addition many of the chemicals and excess sugar put into these products made my body’s healing process that much more difficult. It is also very frustrating to see many GF products put to market to make a quick buck without consideration for those that these products should truly be made for. I am angered every time I see a product that states GF but but was processed in a facility that has wheat and other allergens. Needless to say whole foods are the way to go. Thank you for your insight and bringing us back to basics.

  16. My husband and I just finished a two week gluten free diet to see if we could determine any benefits. We basically ate proteins, veggies and fruits. We both felt hungry all the time and I didn’t lose any weight. For us, a GF diet was not beneficial. I looked at my pizza after two weeks and began singing, “Hello, gluten my old friend”, sung to Simon and Garfunkel’s, “Sound of Silence”.

    1. Hello! I just wanted to note that when I stopped eating grains (did so because I suspected a wheat intolerance and I was correct) I felt ravenously hungry eating large amounts of nutritious other whole foods. It took about three and a half weeks before I finally broke the addiction and then I felt terrific and hardly ever felt pangs of hunger even after many hours without food. And I felt fantastic – no more joint pain even though I am 100 pounds over weight, no more trouble breathing when exerting myself, no more dizzy spells when I went a few hours without eating, blood pressure normal, bowels normal, skin better, focus and attention span better, sleep better… Even sensitivity to light is better. And I lost thirty pounds right away and continue to lose at a steady, healthy rate. I also no longer have painful, heavy periods that I had experienced since adolescence and the swollen neck that I had due to thyroid imbalance went away. Not all people need to forego grains (or at least all wheat) but if you suspect you may have an issue with them then try again for up to a month or six weeks before deciding it won’t work. It can take a long time to get the inflammation and addiction out of your system from a food that you don’t tolerate. Hope that helps!

    2. You likely needed to up your fats! Fats are very satiating and when you remove the carbage you need to replace those calories with something – fat is the best option! Also, like Cassandra mentioned you may not have actually done it long enough! It takes your body time to adjust from being a sugar-burner to being a fat-burner.

  17. How do you feel about nut thins? I am an active runner and try and eat paleo for the post part. However, I do eat nut thins (made in part with almonds) for quick carbs and salt after my long runs when marathon training. Thoughts? If not a good choice, do you have other suggestions? Thanks!!

    1. I’m gf too and my nutritionist suggested nut flour as one of the healthiest options for alternative flours. She also suggested nut thins.

    2. I love them too. I know they aren’t the best for me, but they are a nice treat sometimes. Fred Meyer has a Simply Organic version of them that is good too.

  18. We are real food eaters and have been for many years (long before I found your website- which I think is great for those wishing to switch to a healthier diet.) I think the point off your article is spot on, just because the label says GF, processed food is still processed food! I unfortunately am GF and what I have been amazed at is how similar some GF products are to low-fat- by that I mean they increase the sugar content!! I have also found you can unknowingly really increase your intake of nuts if you are not careful.

  19. My son and I are gluten intolerant, and I appreciate this post. There have been several times when I have had to tell someone that I am “gluten free”, and they say , ” Oh, have you lost any weight yet? I’ve been thinking of trying that diet!” Ha, ha, ha!

  20. I was aware that many gluten-free foods were also highly processed. I have a question about gluten that is sort of the opposite, though. When baking with whole wheat flour, recipes will often call for vital wheat gluten to improve texture. My assumption is that wheat gluten would not be considered to be a whole food, since it is a protein that has been removed from the whole wheat grain. Do you still consider it to be healthy, however?

  21. Can you comment on Wheat and Rye Berries? Do they contain gluten? Or because they are not processed into flour they are OK to eat if I have gluten sensitivity?
    Thanks.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. Both wheat and Rye berries contain gluten. I don’t believe it matters if they are ground into flour or not.

  22. Hi Lisa, It is very common for people who do not live with an autoimmune disorder to not completely understand where gluten is found. Just thought I would share with you that gluten is actually found in ALL grains. All grains have prolamines. And in those are different concentrations of glutens. All grains have an endosperm and that is where the prolamines are found which have different types of gluten. So all gluten free processed products are sadly all full of gluten. My son has celiac and one thing we found out immediately is to NOT buy any of the gluten free products out there. We follow your book (and many grain free cookbooks) and eat only whole foods. Everything is made from scratch. I’m so grateful for the training I had through your website and book before my son was diagnosed. We were already well on our way with eating real food. Just had to replace the grains with alternatives. Thanks Lisa!

  23. I agree with most of what’s been said here, but I also prefer not to be dismissed as a food faddist for choosing a gluten-free diet. I do not have celiac disease, but I have struggled with IBS for 30 years, and I have found out through thoughtful experimentation and failure that the best diet for me is minimally-processed, low sugar, fresh, and gluten free. NATURALLY I know that whole grains are a healthful choice; I ate them for 28 of those 30 years. Now I have people who judge my choice based on the gluten-free backlash.

    1. I’m sorry you’ve dealt with backlash. My only issue with this trend is comments like the poster above who claim that gluten isn’t good for ANYONE, which is inaccurate and frustrating.

      We’re all different. I’m glad you’re healthy and have found something that works for you. My mom also has IBS and tried going gluten free but her issues persisted. After trying to eliminate various things, she finaly discovered her issue was related to garlic and onion. Now that she’s eliminated those (which is REALLY hard to do at a restaurant), she’s doing much better. Gluten free, unfortunately, isn’t the cure for everyone with gut issues.

  24. I do appreciate your comments that GF products are not typically a healthy choice. Just as products labeled sugar free and fat free can be misleading as healthy choices. I do think that a big assumption was made in the post that those eating GF by either choice or medical necessity are replacing those food sources with GF products. For example many people who maintain a sugar free diet do not drink diet soda or replace sugar with artificial or alternative sugar replacements. They simply refrain from all products with sugar. The point should be that when eliminating gluten, sugar, dairy, caffeine, alcohol or whatever it is you chose to eliminate from your diet for what ever reason, it should not be replaced with more processed food. Stick to a diet plentiful in vegetables with compliments of fruit and proteins and you will be on your way to a healthy gut. A healthy gut is the gateway to a healthy mind and body.

    1. I totally agree with everything that Heidi said and I usually do not post comments on articles but I feel very strongly about this issue. Yes you’re right that gluten-free processed products do not equate to healthy food but I feel like your article is doing a huge disservice to people and you are obviously not educated enough on this topic. Yes there is no perfect diet that will work for everyone bc we are all unique and everyone has a different threshold and weak link when it comes to gluten. Do you understand that the wheat today in the US is vastly different than the wheat that say our Grandparents grew up with because of companies like Monsanto. I strongly encourage you to listen to all the reasons that health professionals recommend avoiding gluten especially if you have an autoimmune disorder. Another commentor recommended that you educate yourself on the health of the gut and terms like intestinal permeability and leaky gut and I totally agree. Here are some great podcasts/ health professional recommendations for those who want to educate yourself more-Amy Myers, Chris Kresser, Josh Axe, Alan Christianson, Tom O’Bryan, Izabella Wentz (of course their are many more doing what they can to truly educate people but this is a good start.) I truly believe that you are trying to help people and yes eating real food is so important, but I just think you don’t have all that information when it comes to gluten and this article could harm more than help.

  25. How is it that Coca Cola is an advertiser on your website? There are two ads flashing for employment opportunities at Coke, so it appears as though they are your sponsor? O actually have no problem with the company but I wouldn’t think they represent your ideals.

    1. I don’t see the same ads…just so you know you’re probably looking at the retargeting ad space on her site, so it’s actually a reflection of your internet search history. Retargeting (or remarketing) is a way for paid ads to follow a single user, popping up ads for websites you’ve personally visited. Essentially the advertising follows you and Lisa just “hosts” a space for those ads to come through. It does not mean she gets dollars directly from Coke. :)

  26. I love your posts, but this one is misinforming many whom are not familiar with gluten and its essence. Yes, rice flour is not “healthy” per se. Lance generally does not manufacture healthy foods. But to say flat out that eating gluten free is not healthier for the population that doesn’t suffer from celiac, allergies and/or sensitivities is erroneous. I’m not sure how much information you have on gluten, but research gluten and a healthy gut. Long story short….gluten is not good for anyone’s gut which is the window to autoimmune disorders.

    1. “gluten is not good for anyone’s gut”

      Wow, blanket statement much? My guts are just fine eating a variety of gluten-containing foods. And yes, I’ve read books such as “Wheat Belly.” Much of the research on gluten being “bad” for people (obviously other than people who do have a serious adverse allergic reaction) is very cherry-picked and inaccurate.

      We are all individuals. If you feel gluten isn’t right for your body, fine, don’t eat it, but all this pseudo-science stuff touting gluten as the root of all evil is wearying.

      1. Not speaking of books such as “Wheat Belly.” It definitely is a trend for some individuals and I can agree that companies are jumping on this train. But what I’m referring to is the years and years of actual research and studies. Just a quick question? Have you actually had your gut checked?

      2. Why would I? I’m healthy and happy. I literally have zero health complaints. I’m at a normal weight for my height, I’m athletic and eat healthy (real food) with occasional sweets. I don’t see the need to check something that isn’t broken.

      3. Additionally, I’m not aware of “years and years” of the studies and research you mention. I’m aware of a lot of pseudoscience in the field, but again there’s nothing substantial to show that gluten isn’t good for “anyone.” There just isn’t. If it’s working for you, that’s totally awesome. I’m glad you’re healthy and happy. :) (Truly, I’m not being snarky here.) I just think that saying gluten isn’t good for “anyone” is patently false.

        Humans have cultivated wheat for thousands of years and as such, our bodies, through adaptation (i.e. natural selection or evolution) are able to process and digest wheat. Some individuals (just like some who cannot process lactose) are not able to tolerate gluten. This is a small portion of the population. Again, not everyone.

      4. You may want to check out Dr. Tom O’Bryans work on gluten. Yes, Wheat Belly discusses this to a point but Dr. O’Bryan goes much further into it. Gluten can be causing serious damage to the body without you even knowing it until its too late! While I agree with the general idea behind this article that “gluten free” does not = healthy. Gluten really isn’t healthy for any of us to be consuming.

  27. This is no different than the fat-free fad from the 90’s. (Which I regretfully fell for and looked like I was anorexic)
    I have been told by so many people that I should go gluten-free because I have an autoimmune condition. When the doctor I was seeing did a saliva test to see if I was indeed sensitive to gluten, with 15 and above being positive, I was at a 4. The doctor still insisted I needed to go off gluten!! He claimed it was “evil” and men were not meant to eat it anyway. Give me a break.
    Soon after that I learned about milling my own organic grains, as well as eating more whole foods and minimally processed foods. After eating this way for about a year, my antibodies for my condition I have dropped down to zero.
    I am firmly convinced that the processed junk I grew up on played a big role in my condition.
    The only one benefiting from this gluten-free fad (other than those with celiacs) is the food industry. They are making a mint.

  28. I couldn’t agree more with this post! All too often, friends and colleagues are touting the benefits of a gluten-free diet. Now, if you have a serious health condition which prevents you from eating gluten, I think that is obviously very smart to limit or remove your intake of the protein. However, as is stated in this post, people now connect gluten-free diets with healthy diets, which is really comparing apples to oranges, with little to no correlation.

    I myself am someone who eats everything in moderation, while sticking to an all-organic, minimally processed diet. That, in my mind, is much more healthy!

  29. It is rare to read a post about a food topic and feel comfortable about everything said. I am constantly frustrated by marketing of gluten-free as a new healthy food. I certainly buy some processed foods, but do my best to mainly provide whole foods. I agree with your article and the comments with a stress on one type of food or restriction isn’t right for everyone. I am lucky to have 4 healthy family members who have preferences but no allergies. My celiac friends enjoy having a larger number of food items to choose from, but are frustrated that the trend makes it look like a choice and not a serious danger to them. Many people do not understand cross-contamination and that just one swipe of a wheat cracker in a shared dip or cooking on a shared grill can make someone sick for weeks.

  30. Couldn’t agree more! With primal and paleo and vegan and pegan all having different takes on what is the best diet, I finally found that so long as I don’t over-indulge, I don’t have any bad reactions to food. So I eat all kinds, including gluten. A friend started paleo and it worked really well for her. She started telling me I shouldn’t eat pasta. Well, I’m half Italian and that’s like trying to me not to breathe!! What I finally settled on is to ensure I am eating whole, real foods, rather than processed, no additives, non-GMO, organic, grass-fed or free-range, local or fair trade, and balanced. So I eat meat, vegetables, fruit, breads and pastas (but not too much), lots of soup, whole milk, butter, coconut oil, and ghee. This is working well for me, and paleo is working well for my friend. As someone else has commented, we are all different people with different metabolisms and genes, so the trick is to take the time to discover to what your body responds, and then enjoy!

  31. THANK YOU!! I have to be gluten-free (wish it wasn’t a choice). I never advocate it as a diet or healthy eating. In fact, when someone commends me on eating healthier, I tell them that it’s not necessarily healthier, just different. As others have said, a box of cookies is just as processed, GF or not.

  32. Man does this drive me crazy too! As if getting more guar gum, malodextrin and corn syrup in your diet is better for you than homemade bread–thanks for this!

  33. I have celiac as does my mom. I wouldn’t eat gluten free if it wasn’t medically necessary. The rest of my family still eats gluten. I will say that my cholesterol has gone down but probably mostly because I eat less processed foods now. For many with celiac their cholesterol actually goes up after going GF. My doc says that’s typically if they eat a lot if GF processed foods. There are good and bad things about the diet but is it inherently healthier? I don’t think so–you have to work at it to make it so.

  34. Katie, that’s tough when you have more than one kid and each has special needs. I get frustrated cooking gluten-free vegetarian where the vegetarian doesn’t like most vegetables. The vegetarian isn’t celiac, and the celiacs aren’t vegetarians, but when we’re all together it’s a challenge.
    I’m with you that it’s nice that gluten-free is a fad that a lot of people who don’t need to are following. So, even though many of them don’t really need gluten-free, it makes it far more available and acceptable for my celiac daughters, who really need to follow a gluten-free diet.

  35. It makes me crazy when people try to say that there’s one best diet that all of humanity should follow. My ancestors came from a part of the world where wheat didn’t grow well, and dairy was a cornerstone of the diet. Two of my kids are celiac. Not too surprising. Other parts of the world had wheat, but little access to dairy animals. Many people in those parts of the world are lactose-intolerant. Again, not surprising. Where you get into trouble is when you say gluten is bad for all people, or dairy is bad for all people. You’re probably best served trying to eat what your grandparents ate. I’m comfortable saying that a lot of processed food is bad for all people, which is why I find this blog so helpful, but blanket rules for types of food all people should eat are not so helpful.

  36. I agree that processed GF foods are not healthy and a problem, but when your children each have multiple foods allergies (close to 40 different foods between my kids) you start to wonder if they will starve or become malnourished because of the lack of variety. You can only cook so many things and you become desperate. And then you happen to find 1 or 2 processed things that miraculously don’t have any of their allergens in them and you jump for joy and buy them! It is not my favorite, but when you are dealing with serious problems like this…..you just need something to get along. So, anytime I see a new GF product like this, I am thrilled (even though chances are we still can’t eat it because of the other ingredients). I appreciate how food for people like us is slowly become more widespread and mainstream.

    1. (different Katie here!)
      I agree. When you’re dealing with multiple allergies/restrictions you are occasionally going to make sub-optimal choices. I think this is something most people don’t get. I love the recipes on this site but 90% of them won’t work for my family’s dietary restrictions. So yeah, sometimes we eat refined sugar and flour ( because no one’s allergic to those!) and I get why someone who’s GF might pick up a box of crackers they can actually eat!

  37. We recently switched to a dairy and gluten free diet because of my three year old son’s food allergy and it has been hard! I miss foods, it’s more expensive, it’s limiting, and I don’t feel I can feed him as well but the health benefits for him are worth it. I feel frazzled when people tell me it’s a diet or trend to loose weight when I struggle to feed my son to keep him out of the hospital and feeling well. I have a love hate relationship with gluten and above all people need to approach food for health not for trend.

  38. Processed GF food is just as bad as processed food with gluten. Our family has to be gluten free – we don’t have a choice. I am ALWAYS reading labels – trying to find good, whole GF grains and little to no sugar. It is a healthier life style for many…but GF doesn’t automatically mean healthy.

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