“Oh no, it’s Gluten! I hear that is BAD for you.
No, I think it’s better I don’t eat anything with gluten in it.
Yes, that should fix my problems.”
(Don’t worry, I’m not making fun of you, I’m making fun of myself.)
In the age of information, fact checking is important, but I can’t say I always do it. Actually, what I do a lot more of is simply absorb the massive loads of information coming at me from all these different angles(…ouch) and I find the only time I will investigate a topic deeply, is when it actually concerns me. No surprise there, huh?
So, when I recently ate at a Vegan restaurant and discovered my Philly Cheese Steak’s meat was made from seitan (PURE GLUTEN). I was feeling conflicted and distressed by all the information I had learned over the past few years. I was under the impression that veganism was the healthiest option (of course, aside from the fact that I was eating a Philly), while also in belief that gluten was just terrible for me! Hold up, wait a minute. Why would vegans eat sandwiches made primarily of gluten if one of their main objectives is to make healthier food choices?
Turns out, gluten is not bad for me, not even a little bit.
However, in some folks gluten does trigger an autoimmune response that harms the intestines blocking the proper absorption nutrients. This is known as Celiac’s disease, which has become 4 times more common in the last 50 years. There are many theories scientist are considering, including the way that gluten is now processed, our cleaner environment may be triggering an under-stimulated immune system that attacks itself, C-sections, the overuse of antibiotics, and most importantly the theory that our eating habits are evolving more quickly that our gut bacteria.
That is a definite stump for the scientists, but for me it’s just something to marvel at. I don’t have Celiac’s and neither do I find myself sensitive to gluten (non-celiac gluten sensitivity, NCGS). Many scientists are skeptical that gluten sensitivity is as widespread as the public thinks. They claim a very tiny fraction of the population does have NCGS, but that it’s more likely the onset of Celiac’s, the placebo effect, or that they have an intolerance to the carb in wheat.
All this time, eating bread was making me slightly anxious, not to mention a whole sandwich stuffed with pure gluten… Glad I checked my facts. Even if I’m not sensitive to gluten, I still won’t be eating a sandwich whose primary ingredient is pure gluten. Moderation, friends.
Gluten Eaters and Vegans can still be friends.