Navigating the wheat free, gluten free diet

Posts tagged ‘wedding cake’

ABC News Talks “Going Gluten-free”

On Thursday night, ABC’s Nightline ran a 6-minute segment on the latest dietary fad: going gluten-free.

http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/gluten-free-good-12062161

In the video, the View’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who wrote the first celebrity Celiac book, the G-Free Diet, demonstrates  how “easy” it is to be on a gluten-free diet; that is, if, like her, you live in New York City next to a Whole Foods.  She says people who go on the GF diet will probably like it because there are tons of options for pasta, cookies, pie crusts and the like.   She does not mention that many of these substitute items contain more calories and fewer nutrients than their glutenous counterparts.

Perhaps Nightline feels about Hasselbeck the same way many Americans do, because they immediately headed to Columbia University to talk to a doctor about how there are no benefits in a gluten-free diet for someone who is not gluten-intolerant.  Not only is there no guaranteed weight loss, he said, but it is probably bad for you and can be dangerous.  People who are on the diet because they have to be probably know that it lacks fiber and you don’t get the vitamins and minerals most wheat flours are fortified with.

I know first-hand that if you’re on a GF diet long-term you can become B vitamin deficient, calcium deficient and iron deficient.

So, ABC, am I supposed to feel guilty when my friends or family cook and eat gluten-free for me?  Am I depriving them of necessary nutrients?

Eh, probably not.

But Nightline did highlight one great thing about the gluten-free fad that I’ve mentioned before: For those without a choice, the world is getting a lot tastier.

Chelsea Clinton Goes Gluten-Free for Wedding

When the details started to emerge about former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton’s top secret yet highly publicized nuptials, I, like any girl, picked up the People in the checkout line and browsed its pages, looking for wedding pictures and maybe a cute quote from Proud Papa Bill.  But what may have seemed like an insignificant detail in the article about her wedding was a large and pleasantly surprising detail to me: Chelsea’s gorgeous eight-tiered wedding cake (seen below) was completely gluten-free.

Chelsea's Cake

Photo source: Entertainment Tonight. etonline.com

The Today Show article points toward a “trickle-down effect” Chelsea’s menu choices will have on average weddings, empowering those with special dietary needs to ask caterers and bakers to tend to their needs better and, on the flipside, inspiring caterers to come up with more vegan and gluten-free options.

I know I’m not the only girl who, after being diagnosed with Celiac or a gluten allergy, had the thought of what my now-gluten-free wedding would be like when the time came.  Chelsea’s GF cake is great news for the GF community.  If It’s cool to be GF, those of us who have to be that way get to sit back and reap the benefits of higher demands and lower cost.  How sweet it is.

-Taylor

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