Does Gluten-Free Mean Healthy?

Yesterday, I was asked to feed dinner to the sister missionaries in our area this coming Sunday.  Yes, on Mother's Day.  These young ladies are a pleasure to have in our home so I'm excited to share my day with them!  Immediately my mind started thinking of all the delicious (healthy, of course) recipes I could wow them with when 'gluten intolerence' was mentioned.  Uh...wait...um...I have not one gluten-free recipe that I have ever attempted.  (I know, I'm sooo behind the times).  My next thought...challenge accepted!

 

It was time to learn a bit more about gluten.  You know, the basics such as, what it is, how to avoid it and hopefully how to make something totally yummy without it!   Here's some of what I learned.

 

What is gluten?

source:  www.google.com/search

 

What's allowed and not allowed in a gluten-free diet?

I checked out the Mayo Clinic website for help on this one.  The article offers a comprehensive list of foods to enjoy, foods to avoid and foods to avoid unless specifically labeled 'gluten-free'.  These are just a few of what was listed.

 

Allowed

Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural unprocessed form

Fresh eggs

Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)

Fruits and vegetables

Most dairy products

This was great news!  We have already begun eliminating most processed foods in our home so we're on the right track here.

 

Always Avoid

Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)

Rye

Triticale (cross between wheat and rye)

Wheat

Full article:  www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gluten-free-diet/art-20048530

Sigh...I love wheat bread, but I'm certain I can discover something just as satifying for this weekend.

 

Why do some people need to avoid gluten?

The short answer is that in some people gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines.  Bloating, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, constipation, migraines, severe acne, fatigue and bone or joint pain are common symptoms. source:  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten_sensitivity

Well, that sounds like some pretty excellent reasons for those with a sensitivity to avoid gluten!!  

Now that I've brushed up on gluten a bit, I've started thinking about all the labels we see on our food packaging these days.  It seems as though every package has some catchy "health" claim in bright colors to catch our eye and convince us to buy their product.  As more and more packaging is labeled 'gluten-free' I wonder how many people unfamiliar with gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease might be misled into believing that 'gluten-free' is actually synonymous with 'healthy'.

 

The reality?

Gluten-free crackers, chips, cookies, cakes, donuts, candy bars, granola bars, snack cakes and so on are stil...crackers, chips, cookies, cakes and on and on whether they are made with gluten or not.  These products though packaged to seem healthy are just as likely to be full of sugar, preservatives, additives and unnecessary calories while lacking in essential nutrients.

These labels are a great resources for those who really need to be careful to avoid gluten, but remember if you're not one of those people, gluten-free can still lead to gluttony, so be wise!

Now that I've learned more about gluten it's time for me to get cracking (not wheat cracking) on a menu for Sunday!  This is where I need YOUR help!  Please send me your favorite recipes and yours just might be featured in next week's Tuesday's Try It!  Leave your recipe in a comment below or submit via button below. (ps.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE photos!)

 

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Celeste P is shrinking her muffin top!
Alicia is down 20 pounds and couldn't be happier

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October 18 2016

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