I was excited to see an article included in the Map My Ride April newsletter. This month Chef Biju Thomas wrote a quick article about if gluten-free is a good choice for athletes.
After reading the article and the comments I tend to agree with many of the readers that nothing new was presented nor was it a very well written piece or backed up with scientific studies and research. However, some valid points were made.
As someone living with Celiac I know first hand the challenge of finding something to eat at a restaurant, how you think of everything you can’t eat rather than everything you can, how it can feel like a burden, and can be challenging to explain to other people.
The gluten-free movement is quickly growing and for those of us with Celiac Disease or a gluten or wheat allergy or sensitivity I consider this beneficial to us collectively. It does sadden me to know that many people do not understand the damage consuming gluten is for those of us with Celiac. Often it is assumed that a little bit can’t hurt. The truth is, once the body of a Celiac is healed any amount consumed will be seen as a poison to the digestive system and reactions become more violent.
An increase of people turning to a gluten-free diet as a weight loss method has helped increase the awareness and demand for gluten-free products and food labeling regulations. These people may see a reduction in weight or feel physical benefits such as more energy, clearer skin, and less stomach aches. The cause of these benefits is not the elimination of gluten but rather because as they reduce gluten they are often replacing it with better eating habits (whole and natural foods) and consuming more water. Things we all should focus on in our meal plans regardless of allergies or intolerance.
Just because a product is labeled gluten-free does not mean it is a healthy product. An athlete or a sedentary individual without a true need to eliminate gluten honestly shouldn’t be concerned so much with a label but instead what is the product. The naturally gluten-free foods should be the primary focus of everyone’s diet.
Awesome (naturally gluten-free) foods for all:
- meats and fish
Happy eating everyone!