Did you know gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean healthier for you. I know you’re probably thinking; “but isn’t this the latest ‘diet’ trend?”, then “how can it not be healthy“?
Gluten itself does not contain any nutritional value however, the whole grains that contain gluten often do. So when we are saying “no” to gluten, we are in fact depriving ourselves of those other nutrients. Research has in fact shown that a well-balanced, “real food“, whole grain, low sodium, minimal sugar, high fiber diet as part of a total wellness plan may help in lowering heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and aid in prevention of some forms of cancer.
Many gluten-free products are made with refined starches; such as a potato or corn starch containing a lot of empty calories. These foods were originally made for those individuals with Celiac Disease; the consumer who is unable to digest any gluten what so ever but still looking to maintain a somewhat “normal” lifestyle. It is also likely that after years of destruction and malnourishment from the effects of gluten on their small intestine they can afford a few extra calories. When our little crafty-bee was diagnosed as gluten intolerant she had already lost 3-4lbs. That might not sound like a lot but for a child who is only 2 that is a whole lot-the girl could never tip the scale much over 19lbs. However, if your average consumer were to choose a package of gluten-free cookies over a “normal” package they might be surprised to see that the amount of sugar in the gluten-free package is actually quite a bit higher- hence leading to unnecessary weight gain if not consumed in moderation.
Here’s the thing, processed whether gluten-free or not, is still processed. Sort of like brown sugar is the same as white sugar; it is still sugar. Although, processed foods often times have pretty packaging, marketed as “low fat”, “low sugar”, “fat free”, and “containing omega-3’s” to give you the illusion they are healthy; they in fact are not. Have you ever noticed the side of a Hawaiian Punch juice box? It is covered in beautiful fruit pictures, but how much fruit is really in it?
What theories do you have on the drastic increase in autoimmune diseases, increased cancer rates even among children, increased neuropathy issues, stroke, diabetes, and coronary heart disease? I can tell you what it’s not from; it’s not from us eating a well-balanced nutritious diet. It likely is many factors some of which our out of our control, but knowledge is power. The more we learn and advocate for change the more likely we begin to see a change – if not for our own generation at least for our children.
I know what you’re going to say; “but it is expensive” to eat healthy. Yes, I know. I have four kids that are still quite young with ever growing appetites. Our grocery budget makes my stomach hurt most days. However, the cost of healthy living today will undoubtedly cut down on your long term healthcare costs. I pride myself as a mother knowing that in nearly 9 years, we have only had 3 antibiotics ever in our home and 2 of those times was due to a recurring ear infection that required an adnoidectomy. My savings in doctor office and prescription co-pays offsets the cost of our healthy living diet.
I also know you’re thinking; “but it takes so much time” to prepare meals. O.K., I cannot deny that making a batch of homemade muffins is not as convenient as walking into your closest bakery or running through the nearest drive thru at the local coffee shop. It does take time and a bit of planning.
My Simple Savvy Meal Planner is coming soon – so stay tune for more details.
If you’re still not sure your family’s diet can use a face lift stop by – “13FactsAbout Processed Food“ to learn more about the foods you are eating and how a few simple changes might just make you feel better.