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15 Myths About Gluten to Stop Believing from 15 Myths About Gluten to Stop Believing Gallery

15 Myths About Gluten to Stop Believing Gallery

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If gluten were a teenager, he’d be listening to angry music in his room alone — because he is seriously misunderstood
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15 Myths About Gluten to Stop Believing

15 Myths About Gluten to Stop Believing

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Lately, the bread aisle has been a little deserted — all the gluten myths have been steering consumers away from wheat and towards stale substitutes. Whole30, paleo, and other trendy diets advocate for eliminating gluten and eating carbs primarily from gluten-free sources.

It’s a naturally-occurring substance that some people develop severe immune responses to. One particularly serious immune response to gluten is called celiac disease.

Celiac disease has been around for ages, but only recently has it become the center of public attention. Now, it seems everyone is keen for a diagnosis of some intolerance, hoping that the cure to their fatigue, bloating, or other unexplained symptom lies buried in a box of gluten-free crackers.

However, the answer is likely to be found somewhere else. Studies conducted on people with celiac disease were generalized to the rest of the population without any science to back it up. Now, people who aren’t allergic to gluten at all are suspicious that the side effects of eating gluten for a person with celiac disease apply to them, as well.

But think about that same notion in another context — one that doesn’t involve carbs or cupcakes. A person allergic to shellfish would certainly experience indigestion after eating shrimp. But you wouldn’t think everyone should avoid shrimp then, would you?

The idea that gluten is bad for us is a big misconception — as are these other 15 gluten myths.

Eliminating Gluten Will Heal Your Gut

Eliminating Gluten Will Heal Your Gut

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There’s so much buzz about gut health these days, it’s hard to separate myth from reality. Due to connections made between sugar (which feeds the “bad” bacteria in your gut) and glutinous carbohydrates, many have started to assume that gluten is bad for your digestion. There are lots of sugary foods that don’t have gluten, though. So that doesn’t make a lot of sense!

Plus, there is no decisive evidence that suggests people without celiac disease or gluten intolerance improve their digestion or overall gut health when they cut gluten from their diets — so if you don’t have an allergy, don’t bother.

Eliminating gluten will probably mean you ingest a lot less fiber in your diet, which could actually cause more problems with your digestion in the long run. Hello, constipation!

Eliminating Gluten Will Make You More Energized

Eliminating Gluten Will Make You More Energized

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Anti-gluten campaigners will tell you that once they eliminated gluten, they felt exponentially more energized. This claim is derived from an assumption that gluten takes more energy for your body to digest, causing you to feel sluggish. But this is a myth — according to the University of Wisconsin’s School of Public Health, there are zero studies in existence that support this claim. In fact, many foods with gluten, such as whole wheat bread, are quicker for your body to digest than most animal proteins and healthy fats.

Everyone Can Benefit From Going Gluten-Free

Everyone Can Benefit From Going Gluten-Free

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Assuming that everyone can benefit from going gluten-free is like assuming everyone can benefit from avoiding peanut butter. Just because some people have an allergy doesn’t mean that everyone needs to stop eating the food. No harmful side effects of gluten have been discovered for the average person — the only negative effects occur for people with an allergy.

Foods with Gluten Are Bad for You

Foods with Gluten Are Bad for You

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People often think that eliminating gluten from their diets will help them to reduce the amount of unhealthy foods they eat. However, foods with gluten have important nutrients for your overall health. Bread, for example, has folate, fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, and more. By eliminating the foods, you’re also eliminating the nutrients they provide. People with celiac disease need to be careful to make sure they are getting properly nourished without these popular foods.

Gluten Causes Cancer

Gluten Causes Cancer

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What doesn’t cause cancer these days, am I right? Well, actually, there’s no evidence that gluten does. While a myriad of other foods have been linked to cancer in one or more studies, gluten has not. The only exception is for people with celiac disease — which makes a lot of sense. If you continually eat something you’re allergic to, it’s logical that your body won’t react well.

The American Institute for Cancer Research actually warns people against cutting out gluten to try to avoid cancer. This is because foods with gluten, such as whole grains, contain vitamins and minerals that can bolster your protection against cancer as you age.

Gluten Intolerance Is Really Common

Gluten Intolerance Is Really Common

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It might seem like everyone and their mother is allergic to gluten these days, but many of these “diagnoses” are not medically tested or accurate. In reality, only 1 percent of people have celiac disease in the United States, many of whom were diagnosed at a young age. If a person has been eating gluten for their entire lives and mysteriously discovers a gluten allergy after going on a diet, it’s likely they’re not allergic.

Gluten-Free Diets Are Low-Carb

Gluten-Free Diets Are Low-Carb

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Yes, foods with gluten often have carbs. But that doesn’t mean all gluten-free foods are low carb! Lots of carbohydrate-rich foods are included in a gluten-free diet. Rice, for example, is gluten-free. Sugar. Fruit. Potatoes. Need we go on?

Gluten-Free Foods Taste Just as Good

Gluten-Free Foods Taste Just as Good

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Lies, all of them, lies. Ask anyone who does eat gluten to do a side-by-side between a gluten-free cookie and a regular one and they’ll tell you. The texture is way off. The anti-gluten crusade, however, might try to convince you otherwise. Don’t believe the hype.

Gluten-Free Foods Are Always Expensive

Gluten-Free Foods Are Always Expensive

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The gluten-free imposter versions of normally glutinous foods are usually pretty expensive. A gluten-free loaf of bread is going to rack up a much larger grocery store total than just buying the wheat-filled kind. However, not all gluten-free foods are marked as gluten-free. Potatoes, rice, fruit, meat, and vegetables are all gluten-free foods that don’t require a special label. Additionally, anything made normally with gluten-free ingredients such as cheese, milk, nuts, rice-based cereals, and corn tortillas are not always that pricey.

Gluten-Free Foods Are Always Healthier

Gluten-Free Foods Are Always Healthier

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Just because a food is marked gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s healthier than the real thing. In fact, one study recently showed that gluten-free versions of foods are often less healthy and more expensive. You could eat a diet of 99 percent potatoes and still be gluten free. Although, it did work for this guy... He lost weight eating only potatoes for an entire year! 

Going Gluten-Free Will Help You Lose Weight

Going Gluten-Free Will Help You Lose Weight

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In a recent study, nearly a third of women believed that doctors prescribe gluten-free diets for weight loss. This is (hopefully) not true! If doctors were prescribing them, they’d be horrendously misguided. That’s not how weight loss works at all — in fact, your weight is largely predetermined by your set point. Learning about health without considering weight loss at all is scientifically proven to result in better health outcomes. So long as you’re eating regularly and consuming a variety of foods, your weight is going to even out wherever it’s healthiest, gluten or not.

Human Weren’t Meant to Digest Gluten

Human Weren’t Meant to Digest Gluten

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Okay, so cavemen weren’t eating fettucine Alfredo — but that doesn’t mean our bodies can’t handle the protein. There is no evidence that our digestion struggles with digesting the gluten compound (again, unless you are allergic to it). Cavemen weren’t eating gluten-free chickpea noodles, either.

Wheat Has More Gluten Today Than It Did in the Past

Wheat Has More Gluten Today Than It Did in the Past

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Anti-processed food devotees are understandably attracted to this idea — that modern agriculture and big business have maniacally manufactured wheat to beget more gluten and destroy our stomachs. This seemed to be supported by the upswing in celiac diagnoses. The idea spread like wildfire, especially to the sector of the population suspicious of GMOs and terrified of corn syrup.

However, it all amounted to nothing — a study analyzed wheat samples and revealed that the gluten content is no greater than before. Perhaps the increase in diagnoses is attributable to modern medicine? We may never know.

You Can Diagnose Yourself With Gluten Intolerance

You Can Diagnose Yourself With Gluten Intolerance

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Celiac disease is an extreme form of the gluten allergy, but some people experience a less severe reaction. This condition, often referred to as an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten, is diagnosable by a medical doctor. Taking an at-home intolerance test or deciding on your own that you’re allergic is not the best idea. Those tests are pretty scammy and their accuracy is questionable. As for diagnosing yourself arbitrarily, you might want to consider other factors that could be making you feel ill. Stress about food, nutrient deficiencies, or other dietary abnormalities could easily cause indigestion. Are you gluten intolerant or just freaked out that you ate a doughnut? It’s worth consulting your doctor.

‘Wheat-Free’ and ‘Gluten-Free’ Labels Mean the Same Thing

‘Wheat-Free’ and ‘Gluten-Free’ Labels Mean the Same Thing

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If a product is marked “wheat-free,” it likely contains gluten. Barley and rye are two wheat-free foods that do contain gluten. The product is likely hiding one of them — otherwise, they’d adorn their packaging with the much more appealing “gluten-free” label. “Wheat-free” is ambiguous, as are these other misleading food labels.

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15 Myths About Gluten to Stop Believing