Because it has to be bad for you right?? Everyone says so… Think again! I’m sure most of you have seen this great clip done by Jimmy Kimmel where he goes out and asks self-proclaimed “gluten-free” individuals what gluten is – Spoiler alert – They don’t know. I’ve heard it countless times from friends, people on the street, and of course in the media. Gluten has gotten a bad name over the years now that Celiac Disease has turned into a more recognizable disease. Store shelves can now be found stocked with gluten free everything – Bread, protein bars, pasta, chicken tenders, sauces, etc. Pushing the shelf stock of such foods are consumers who have been led to believe gluten is the enemy – Those who believe that eating gluten will cause weight gain, bloat, or discomfort. While Celiac Disease is a very serious concern for people with a true diagnosis (who are thrilled to have such a wide variety of products available now, I’m sure), those with gluten “intolerance” or “sensitivity” might want to give it a go again. Why?
Well, because new research suggests it might just be in their heads — Or at least in relation to something other than wheat. In fact, the researcher who suggested gluten intolerance existed in the first place was the one to refute his own findings. What he found (in a small — but suggestive — sample) was people originally diagnosed with gluten intolerance reacted negatively even to a blinded meal without gluten. Read the details here.
Just some gluten for thought.
If daring enough (or able), how about trying gluten outside of bread or pasta? Like as seitan!
Se—What?? Sei-TAN, or wheat gluten, is a high protein meat alternative loved for its meaty texture and mild nutty taste. Thinking gross? Never want to eat that! Well take a look, and next time you see it at the store, or on your favorite Thai or Chinese menu, give it a go! Ever had “mock duck” at your favorite Chinese spot? Yeah, that’s gluten. Gluten (Seitan) Nutrition Facts (average, plain) per 85g serving: Calories: 90 Fat: 1g Protein: 18g Carbs: 3g Iron: 1.2mg. Check out this great comparison between tofu and gluten here. As you can see, seitan is low carbs, high protein and a pretty good source of iron to boot.
Seitan comes in many different varieties, and is pretty simple to whip up on your own – Not to mention a super inexpensive source of protein! Our great city of Chicago actually is home to Upton’s Natural’s, makers of seitan with products that are sure to be an easy introduction to wheat meat for even the most apprehensive of the bunch.
Get creative with your protein –Don’t fear the gluten! Embrace its versatility.