the gluten/lactose myth

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It’s the latest and greatest diet trend. Gluten-free. Lactose- free. What does that even mean?

Gluten is a part of cereal grains, like wheat, used in many bread-type products. There are some individuals in this world with something called Celiac Disease, in which they have a very serious allergy to gluten in foods. However, the diet industry has manipulated gluten-free foods into weight loss scam. Gluten is not bad for you if you are not allergic to it. Like anything else, it should be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Lactose is a chemical found in dairy products like milk and cheese. Again, some people have a very intense lactose allergy which should not be taken lightly. However, just like gluten, lactose is not innately harmful to our bodies when eaten within reason.

So why are people on gluten-free, lactose/dairy-free diets seeing results?  Well, most of the ‘junk’ foods that we overeat contain some form of gluten or dairy (pretzels, cheese, breads, ice cream…). By eliminating these foods, people tend to automatically consume less calories by choosing more nutrient dense foods like meat, fruits, and vegetables. You see, it was not necessarily the ‘gluten’ or ‘lactose’ causing most people to gain weight, but rather the types of foods that typically contain these ingredients.

Don’t waste money on specialty diet foods that are marketed as ‘gluten-free’ or ‘lactose-free’ unless you have been diagnosed with an intolerance to these ingredients. Not only are they expensive, but many have been intensely processed with chemical additives which are not good for your body. Stick with the basics, real food always wins! For more about eating real food, check out my post here.

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12 thoughts on “the gluten/lactose myth

  1. I definitely agree with this! I started eating Paleo over a year ago. It totally changed the way I look at food! It was a great way for me to really focus on whole, natural foods. I’ve recently added grains back into my diet, but still focus on vegetables as my main food! I’ve found that gluten doesn’t affect me, but dairy does if I have too much… And boy, do I love ice cream! Just have to watch myself :)

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  2. I love the point about inadvertently eliminating high-calorie, processed foods and then putting all the blame on the gluten/dairy/etc. when you look or feel better. As Crafty Coin mentioned, an elimination diet can be a good way to start with a clean slate, if need be; on the other hand, there’s an excellent Jimmy Kimmel clip showing that a bunch of folks on “gluten-free diets” don’t even know what gluten is or why they’re avoiding it.

    As it’s getting warmer in the Midwest at long last and the time just changed, I’m anticipating a new wave of misinformed Facebook statuses about “clean eating” by eating a fast food chain salad with croutons and dressing, for instance. It’s so frustrating that the most visible discussions of nutrition and health are often between charlatans trying to profit off of the average person’s confusion.

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    • I definitely think the media can blur the truth to push products. Its funny because the core principal of eating clean is to get back to basics- yet its being clouded with so much poor information! Thanks for reading :)

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  3. Sing it, sister! I have a lactose intolerance, but I agree with you that eating most “dairy-free” chemical concoctions that the food scientists come up with is worse than a little discomfort from enjoying a reasonable amount of the real thing…

    There are always, ALWAYS going to be diet trends as long as there are people out there who want all the results with little (or none) of the work. GF/LF is simply the newest one to pop up. I’m waiting for some quack to make a connection (a la vaccinations) between gluten and autism.
    Sheesh.
    Great blog, by the way! :o)

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  4. Pingback: Which milk is best? | peeled.

  5. Oh my…great post! I always get so excited to see what you have brought to the party! Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for being part of our party. I hope to see you on tonight at 7. Lou Lou Girls

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  6. Food trends are bad most of the time, though I’m pretty glad the new ice cream parlour close to where I live has labels for lactose (and/or gluten) free ice cream – no more asking which flavours contain the least amount of milk. (Undiagnosed semi-lactose intolerant speaking – I can’t drink normal milk and one small scoop of vanilla ice-cream is all I can have without taking lactase pills, while moderate amounts of cheese and yoghurt are okay-ish).

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