Going gluten free is one of the most talked about diet trends out there today, so much so that it’s become a bit of a cliché – but is it all it’s cracked up to be? I certainly feel that afternoon slump (and often tummy aches) after a delicious pizza, yummy bowl of pasta or even just a piece of toast, so is experimenting with cutting out gluten the answer and should you go gluten free?
Despite the buzz, going gluten free is a very personal choice. Each person is different; each body is different and we all react differently to various things. Scientifically, going gluten free has been proven to promote digestive health, increase energy levels and reduce bloating. It can help increase general awareness around the foods you’re eating, making you more in tune with your body and its needs. But what about my love for toast, do I have to cut it out completely to feel healthier?
It would seem not (thank goodness) and it has actually been shown that going entirely gluten free can have some negative effects too. This is of course not the case for coeliacs or for people who’ve tested intolerant to gluten but if you’re following it to try it out, there are always going to be some cons as there are with any diet. Removing a specific food group will inevitably remove important nutrients needed for a healthy diet. The majority of ‘gluten-free’ products are very low in fibre, and cheat you out of the benefits of whole grains. A lot of them also have a lot of sugar in so if you’re going g-free to lose weight, think again. Yes reducing the amount of gluten you eat can help with bloating and digestive issues but should we be free from gluten completely? Not unless you need to. Carbs should make up 55-60% of a balanced diet, and we need fibre and vitamins from whole grains. For weight loss, there are far healthier, cheaper and easier ways.
The social stigma surrounding gluten has really turned it into a fad diet. A lot of people who strictly follow the diet have been poorly informed by celebrities and the media that is it is a far superior healthy choice! So, instead, it’s important to really know what you’re doing (and why you’re doing it) before you do. People who eat foods that are naturally free from gluten like fruit, veg, lean protein and healthy fats can have a healthy low gluten diet, but completely replacing gluten products with highly processed “gluten-free” alternatives is often unhealthier than the original gluten product and can cause significant weight gain.
So should you go gluten free forever? I don’t think so. Perhaps a reduced gluten rather than a zero gluten diet might be the way forward! I can’t live without my Sunday morning croissants so I’m not going to! Being aware of your gluten intake and attempting to minimise it will give you all the healthy benefits, whilst still enjoying the occasional treat!
Below are some of my top gluten-free faves that AREN’T full of processed sugar
- Waitrose Free From sourdough bread (made with rice flour and perfect as toast)
- M&S Made Without Wheat pizza bases
- 3 Ingredient Brownies – (banana, cocoa powder and almond butter/peanut butter) Great recipe here
- Chickpea pasta
- Gluten-free Almond Cake (great amount of fibre and protein because of the almond meal base, which is often lacking from gluten free products) A great recipe here
Let me know your thoughts about gluten. I’d be interested to hear your views!
What I’m Wearing: Jumper by Cefinn (similar here), Skirt by Forever New (similar here), Hair slides by Oliver Bonas
I reduced my gluten intake a lot during this past year. Last winter I started getting quite bad stomach aches and an uncomfartable feeling just below my ribs (which is where the colon is) after a pretty rapid diet change – I started eating only vegetarian. The change was way to quick and put my tummy in imbalance. I got a tip from a doctor to stop eating gluten, lactose, sugar etc. (which are all things that easily can irritate the colon) for a while and see if I noticed a difference. After a few weeks I felt so much better. And the best of all – my issues regarding period cramps and such also dissapeared. Now I eat some gluten, like a delish croissant, every once in a while, but mostly gluten free. I try to skip the ”gluten free” substitutes and go for foods that are naturally gluten free. That’s what works for me at least. Anyways, you’re amazing Louise. Thanks for always inspiring me!❤️
As a person with a sweet tooth, I have decided to cut down my sugar intake.
It was hard at first, but I had an end goal to take care of myself. I didn’t completely cut it down from my diet
but I did balance it. As the result, I’m happy that I’m far from that sweet-tooth I was before.
I don’t crave sweet foods anymore such as chocolates, candies, and some other…
too much glucose is bad, too less is also bad. it’s all about moderation
Thank you for this article, I had the time to remember my journey to less glucose 🙂
Thanks for writing this! I have terrible eczema and everyone I know has told me to go gluten free that it will help. While I know it can effect my eczema I am doubtful this will solve everything.
So I’ll continue to debate with myself until I get results from some blood work I’m waiting on.
I love bread too!! Thanks again.