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.