Have you heard promises that going gluten free will help you lose weight, feel less bloated, and have more energy? Are you ditching bread, cereal, and pasta in an effort to slim down and flatten your stomach? While I agree that ridding your pantry of gluten is generally a good idea, I think a lot of people are taking the wrong approach.
A brief history in nutrition…
During the low fat diet craze of the 80s and 90s, Americans were taught that dietary fat is a contributing factor for obesity and heart disease. Instead of just lowering their fat intake, they replaced the fat with imitation fat “franken-foods.” I get it— butter tastes good, so why not engineer a “healthier” alternative? Margarine and non-dairy spreads were touted as healthy replacements, and people swapped their morning eggs with a toasted bagel smeared with fat free cream cheese. Guess what happened? You don’t have to guess… as you know, America just got fatter and sicker.
In 2009 science did some backpedaling and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a Meta-analysis of epidemiological studies that basically boils down to the following: “You know everything we told you about saturated fat causing heart disease? Yeah, that’s wrong. In fact, it’s more likely that all the nutrients we replaced the fat with are probably the cause.” That’s a bold statement, and it’s still confusing a lot of people because “unhealthy saturated fat” and “heart healthy grains” were indoctrinated into our brains for so long. How could science have gotten it so wrong? Not only were they wrong, they actually had it backwards.