Gluten Free: Does it have anything to do with being vegan?

When I tell people I am gluten free, if they are at all knowledgeable they ask: Do you have Celiac Disease? I answer no. Do you then have gluten sensitivity? No, again. Then why would you be gluten free?

Because I feel better when I don’t eat gluten. Admitted, this is purely subjective. But I have experimented with myself a number of times, and I think I can fairly say that when I don’t eat gluten I feel less tired. Eating gluten, especially bread, makes me immediately want to take a nap.

My wife Leila is a pediatrician who works with children on the autism spectrum (Asperger, ADHD, etc.), and in her practice she invariably takes the children off gluten and dairy, and has good results. She has good scientific reasons for doing this. But I don’t have any of these conditions. Yet I prefer to be gluten free AND vegan (not just no dairy, but no animal products of any kind).

Is there a connection? Well, it is primarily anecdotal: more and more vegans I meet are ALSO gluten free. There is no ethical component here (which is the main reason I am a vegan – because I don’t want animals to suffer), and there may or may not be a health aspect. But there is definitely something, the name for which is lacking: If one thinks about the way food is processed, those that contain gluten, primarily pasta and bread, are no longer made in a natural manner. It is almost as if our taste buds are being tricked into liking something that is not good for us, and not good for society in general (I know it sounds a little daft to claim that gluten is bad for the world, but I believe the same about alcohol and that too sounds a bit nutty – oh well, being vegan, I am used to being considered eccentric). I think everyone would be happier if gluten were removed from his or her diet.

I am not alone. I notice how much gluten free products are becoming more and more visible everywhere: I saw it in the USA, and in Europe, and even here in New Zealand and Australia. Nor is it unusual to find a restaurant that says vegan AND gluten free. Are we on to something that will become mainstream in ten years time?

For those who read my blog, I realize this is not very complete about gluten. If you could give me some more good reasons why gluten seems to be so bad for us, I would appreciate it. I think it has gotten worse over the years, probably simply because bread contains more and more gluten.

About jeffreymasson

My new book BEASTS is out this March from Bloomsbury http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/beasts-9781608196159/ or the eBook http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/beasts-9781608199914/
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4 Responses to Gluten Free: Does it have anything to do with being vegan?

  1. Barbara Luccon says:

    I, too, have a preference for gluten-free products for the exact same reasons. I think getting rid of
    all together would be the best option for world health. I also feel that way about alcohol. There is nothing good about it for your body, being one of the most toxic substances that you can place in your body. Just giving your liver the job of cleansing your system after imbibing alcohol is detrimental to your body’s achievement of optimal health. Yoga, hiking, high cardio workoouts, all of these things precipitate your body’s endorphin production to elicit the same feeling you would get by taking an outside substance. There never is a need to take a substance, since with a little bbit of effort you can achieve this rarified state through natural means.

  2. I think that a lot of people are suffering from many health issues and finding that by cutting out certain ingredients it alleviates them. I have several food allergies, but I have not cut out gluten. I am, however, more aware of how much of it I eat now and try to avoid it.

  3. Rakhee says:

    I agree. I stopped consuming gluten because I was intolerant to it. But it seems everyone benefits from a gluten-free diet. Someone in my family once went gluten-free for ten days, and the results were remarkable. I know many who have removed gluten from their diet and not because of some allergy or intolerance.

  4. I eat plant based. I don’t consume alcohol. I previously found the consumption of alcohol makes me feel lethargic and dehydrated, even just one glass of beer. I also minimize my consumption of caffeine as I’ve found it interferes with my sleep. The only caffeine in my diet is an occasional tea. However, I do consume gluten-containing foods usually in combination with plant foods. I subjectively don’t feel like gluten any negative effects from its consumption. For me eating some bread with say spaghetti squash helps to provide a full feeling. Having said all this about myself, I wonder why you answer “No” to the question about gluten sensitivity. Maybe you are slightly sensitive based on your experiences.

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