9 Downsides To Going Gluten Free

Deciding whether you should go gluten free is not an easy choice. For some people, like those with a gluten intolerance, the choice is a no-brainer. For others (like us), deciding to cut out things like doughnuts and baguettes seems near impossible. We’ve heard from Dr. Perlmutter why everyone should cut out gluten and, like the true equal opportunists we are, we figured it was a good idea to hear the other side. Enter Dr. Mark Hyman. He does advocate for a gluten free lifestyle and has told us how to do it in the past here, but knows that it isn’t always smooth sailing. He told us the downsides to going to gluten free; read below for his findings….

  1. The biggest problem with demonizing a food substance is caused by the food industry. In a nutshell, this industry manipulates basic foods items and turns them into “Frankenfoods.” It does this by removing naturally derived ingredients and adding in other bad stuff  to make up for loss of taste, consistency, etc. Witness the past popularities of, say, low-carb or fat-free diets and the so-called healthy fake foodstuffs that manufacturers invented to replace the foods containing the maligned ingredients.
  2. A low-carb fake food might be higher in trans-fat, artificial sweeteners and excessive amounts of sugar alcohols. And a fat-free food is surefire code for higher-sugar or artificial sweeteners. Likewise, as gluten-free gains popularity, food companies – that are well-aware of a potential marketing opportunity – turn out processed, sugary junk foods as “healthy” gluten-free alternatives.
  3. If a food label boasts a health claim, chances are that food (or food product, more likely) is not good for you. So while those cookies say “gluten-free” in big bold letters, turn the box around and read the ingredients: you will find high sugar content, flour (which converts to sugar) and weird food-like additives that add up to big profits for these companies, while adding pounds around your midsection and sabotaging your health. Sometimes patients switch from cupcakes and cookies to gluten-free cupcakes and cookies. And then they wonder “Why do I feel like crap and struggle to lose weight?
  4. Gluten-free cupcakes and cookies are still cupcakes and cookies. Besides usually being higher in sugar and other junk ingredients, the “gluten-free” claim creates a health halo so you’re often reaching for seconds and thirds.
  5. These gluten-free, sugar-loaded, flour-filled foods raise blood sugar levels which contributes to inflammation, both of which play a role in nearly every disease on the planet.
  6. Sugar and flour are THE main reason we get sick and fat. They form the root cause of our obesity epidemic and most chronic diseases, sucking the life out of our people and our economy. Whatever the problem – heart disease, cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, depression and even acne – sugar probably plays a key role.
  7. They can also lead to serious health challenges like leaky gut syndrome. Even products like brown rice flour or quinoa flour sound healthy; however, they are also highly refined and behave like sugar once ingested. Whole-kernel grains are fine, but not flours made from them.
  8. Gluten-free products are also often filled with a deadly fat, such as processed vegetable oils or hydrogenated oils and trans-fats. These clear, tasteless, highly refined and processed oils include corn, soybean, canola, safflower and sunflower oils. Like sugar, these inflammatory omega-6 fats crank up inflammation while blocking anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.

When I tell patients to eat a gluten-free diet, I don’t give them license to eat gluten-free cookies or gluten-free bread. Remember: Nature created its own gluten-free diet – an avocado is gluten-free, as are almonds!

Want more from Dr. Mark Hyman? Read this guide to going gluten-free the healthy way and find out what he told us about healthy fats. Then see which vitamins you should be taking every day!