Is ‘Gluten-Free’ Going The Way of ‘Low-Fat’?
I've posted about this topic before, but it's a hot topic….No, gluten free does NOT = Paleo, first and foremost.
I am thrilled at the fact that gluten-free is becoming more and more easy to come by, which illustrates the fact that at least manufacturers are recognizing that consuming gluten, for ANYONE who happens to be human, regardless of whether they have Celiac or not, is BAD NEWS.
Here's the "BUT":
While I shop at Whole Foods and see an entire aisle dedicate to 'all things gluten-free', I shudder a little. Gluten free does NOT mean 'eat as much as you want', just as, back in the early 90's, fat-free did NOT mean 'eat as much as you want', yet many people seemed to think it did. Remember those Entenmann's "Fat Free Cakes" and the Snackwell's "Low Fat Cookies"?
I, too was one who, back then, was completely on board with the low fat idea. Just finishing up my senior year in high school and uber focused on my Stairmaster 2000 PT workouts before an awesome Nautilus circuit, I absolutely believed in the good old urban legends including, "Don't eat any food with more than 2g of fat per serving" and "fat-free everything is a great part of a healthy diet".
Funny how there's a direct correlation between this eating trend and how quickly obesity began to sky rocket.
So when I see gluten-free cookies, gluten-free crackers, gluten-free pasta and blah, blah, blah, I do worry a bit.
If you're using these packaged products as a stepping stone while transitioning from flour-based products of the above as you make your way to Paleo, I suppose that's at least a more appropriate use of them, as they'll be only a temporary part of your diet in that case.
Please, though, don't make them a long term staple in your, or your kids eating plan. They still have grain, many still have lots of sugar, and even if they're organic, fair trade and sold at Whole Foods- that does NOT make them a free for all!