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The Gluten-Free Juggernaut Rolls On

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The popular choice:

As awareness of celiac disease grew, restaurants and food brands gradually came together and began catering to people with celiac disease. Now the rise of celiac-friendly foods has taken on a life of its own. It has become one of the number one health food trends. Gluten-free recipes and products are now ubiquitous. This is great for people with celiac disease as it has reduced food and ingredient costs. The reason these foods are traditionally more expensive is the extra processing required to ensure they are contamination-free. Although they remain more expensive than conventional groceries, the gap is slowly closing.

All kinds of everything:

At the same time, diversity and choice are expanding disproportionately. What was once a niche market has spectacularly gone mainstream, with celebrities and major food brands jumping on the bandwagon! There are celiac friendly snack bars, bread and pasta etc. It’s amazing how many traditional dishes can be modified to make them safe for celiac diets. Gluten-free recipes are one of the best ways to expand and enhance your personalized diet.

Having celiac disease is becoming less and less isolating. Even alcohol has had a celiac-friendly makeover. For a long time, people with celiac disease limit their alcohol consumption to wine, cider and a few spirits, beer is an absolute no-go. There are now a whole range of alternative beers, many of which are actually quite good.

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The pitfalls of popularity:

The amazingly growing popularity of gluten-free recipes and products has opened the door to all manner of misinformation and irresponsible labeling. Celiac friendly labels are used with passion. They even appear on foods that have traditionally never been associated with gluten.

The reason for this is that people today associate the absence of gluten with health benefits. This is of course a mistake. Foods that do not contain gluten can be healthy or unhealthy. In fact, if you’re not careful, you’ll find that you’re actually losing very basic vitamins and nutrients. Celiac-friendly processed foods are often lacking in vitamin B and iron. Whole foods like fruits and vegetables are better choices. Unfortunately, cheaply processed gluten-free products like pasta offer little nutrition and are often a disadvantage.

The best way to control a celiac diet is to experiment with gluten-free recipes. This allows you to get to know the ingredients in detail and isolate those with health benefits. Remember that with popularity comes choice, but also pitfalls. So choose wisely and eat well.

Thanks to Kristina Sam

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