Gluten-Free? Ain’t for Me
So some folks at my office are trying to start a Gluten Awareness month where we all pledge to eat gluten less and be healthier and whatnot. It sounded like a good idea to me. Some folks brought in some gluten-free jellybeans that I really like (although they cost like $4 a bag) and there were some gluten-free desserts and things I really liked. I had some gluten-free Cheetos. They tasted kinda like regular Cheetos but were more expensive, but I just assumed that it was because they were healthier. Somewhat like how we assume that those $3 shitty “organic” bananas that go bad after like 2 days are better for us. But after a while I realized that I actually had no idea what gluten was or why the hell white people hate it so much.
What the fuck is gluten? Apparently it’s a protein found in wheat and other grains. It’s what gives bread its texture and certain chewiness. It influences the chewiness of the breads you eat, i.e. pizza dough is chewier and has like Michael Clarke Duncan levels of gluten while pastries and such are softer and have Michael Cera levels of gluten. It is added artificially to a lot of things to receive the desired texture and is even used in fake meats and such. It’s in most beers. As far as foods go it’s pretty ubiquitous.
So why do white people hate it so much? Well apparently there’s a pretty nasty autoimmune disease out there called celiac disease that can really screw some folks up if they even eat a tiny bit of gluten. Gluten can cause stunted growth, fatigue, rashes, arthritis, cramps, weight loss, neurodegenerative symptoms, and most importantly, diarrhea. That’s right. Even drinking the smallest bit of delicious beer can have people with celiac disease hallucinating and playing toilet Tetris on extreme speed. Clearly this is a shitty (no pun intended) disease to have and I don’t mind folks who have it fighting to the ends of the earth to destroy gluten. Hallucinogenic bubble guts just doesn’t sound like a disease people should ever have. The only problem is that less than 1% of Americans have it.
So why do white folks hate gluten so much? Apparently they seem to be convinced that gluten-free diets make them healthier, just like organic diets and hot yoga and running like 12 miles a day in the cold. The only problem is that, just like organic diets and hot yoga and running like 12 miles a day in the cold, academic sources(1) indicate that not eating gluten doesn’t really do much for you. In fact, going out of your way to eat gluten can make you more unhealthy and malnutritioned(2). Plus you have to drink shitty gluten-free hipster beer. Just like all of those things above, eating less of what you eat normally and moderate exercise everyday will keep you just as healthy. People aren’t fat and dying from ball cancer now because they don’t run 20 miles a day or don’t eat free range organic chicken and stuff. People are fat, cancerous blobs because they smoke too much, never exercise at all, and grow up with McDonald’s chicken nugget slurry IVs in their veins from birth. What I’m saying is, you’ll probably do well in the middle with good exercise and diet.
If not, more chicken nuggets and beer for me.