Food & Nutrition Science

Gluten Free is Getting Out Of Hand

Have you jumped on the gluten free bandwagon?  Does your cupboard and fridge contain numerous “gluten free” items?  Did you know that those “apparently healthy” gluten free items could still be causing your weight gain, low energy, brain fog, anxiety, depression, digestive issues and contributing to other health issues? 

Everybody is talking gluten free these days, but that doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about.  According to SPINS the gluten free industry racked up a total of $12.4 billion by August of 2012, and since 2007 has grew 13.4 times! 

Leave it to the food industry to take a good thing and make it bad.   Now stores like Target and Walmart are lining their shelves with gluten-free cereal, bars, pasta, cookies, chips, bread and more, and the gluten free industry is making a TON of money. 

Last time I checked, Dominos pizza wasn’t a healthy option but now that they have GLUTEN FREE pizza everyone is raving about it and somehow it’s acceptable to eat. Or how about Dunkin’ Donuts’ new gluten free donut?  Yep, that has to be a super healthy and a nutrient dense food that is gluten free, right!? 

Gluten free doesn’t mean you can eat anything you want as long as it’s gluten free. 

The problem is that most gluten free food is still junk food, but it’s being seen as “healthy”. We’ve lost the true meaning of what being gluten free is all about. 

It’s NOT about eating highly toxic, processed crap without gluten.  It’s about eating whole, nutritious, clean foods that naturally don’t contain gluten. 

A lot of clients come to me swearing up and down that they are gluten free and it “didn’t work” for them, but when we dig into their eating habits, they are stocking up with these gluten free processed foods.  Gluten free foods in boxes, cans, or bags are usually just wearing a disguise. 


When you dig into these “healthy” gluten free foods, you’ll find other offenders like…  

  • Soy Lecithin 
  • Hydrogenated oils 
  • Added sugars  
  • Dairy by-products 
  • Added fake fibers 
  • And canola oil (just to name a few) 

And all of these are just as dangerous and destructive as gluten!  These ingredients can cause just as much inflammation and end up making you even sicker than gluten.  How many “gluten free” processed products are sitting in your household waiting to make you sick right now? 

It’s time to get back to the basics, and when you do, being gluten free will come naturally. 

Here are my 4 basic and easy guidelines for living and eating gluten free… 

  • Focus on fresh veggies and fruits- what’s faster or easier than eating an apple or carrot stick? 
  • Include clean, organic proteins with every meal 
  • Add naturally gluten free starches and grains like quinoa, rice, and potatoes of all kinds 
  • Use fresh or dried herbs, pepper and salts, coconut and olive oil for flavor 

Of course there are special occasions when a gluten free treat in a box, bag or can is appropriate- like gluten free cupcakes for a party or shower, but if you’re trying to lose weight or improve your health they shouldn’t be a staple in your pantry.  Leave these for the 10% of the time when special life events call for it, such as when you’re in San Francisco and you’ve never had San Fran Sourdough before- you gotta try it!  

Being gluten free or eating healthy is NOT about what you DON’T get to eat, it’s about focusing on what you DO get to eat and exploring new ways (recipes, cooking methods, seasonings) to make them even more delicious.  There are hundreds of different kinds of delicious fruits, vegetables, proteins and good grains that probably aren’t making it on your plate. 

I challenge you to try ONE new vegetable, fruit, protein and/or natural gluten free grain this coming week to expand your healthy eating horizons and unleash your food freedom. 

Additional Blog posts by Jennifer can be found at



Share this article
Article Categories: