Note from Peter: I received this very interesting article from Dr. Nikola Djordjevic that sheds valuable light on the gluten-free issue. It contains a link to a nicely done infographic that I can’t reproduce here but that you can access by clicking on the link below. As a pizza-themed site we don’t spend much time on the gluten-free segment here, but every restaurant operator, as well as most consumers, knows how crucial this issue is. Frankly, it can be a matter of life and death, and I’ve even co-written an entire book on the subject myself (“The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking”). So, as a public service and to provide a reference point for any future inquiries on the subject that come my way (or yours) feel free to refer them to this post. I want to thank Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, at MedAlertHelp.org for this article and links.
And, while we’re on the subject, for those who are looking for an excellent gluten-free pizza, I want to let you know that I recently worked with Amy’s Kitchen, the wonderful vegetarian frozen food company, to create a new generation organic gluten-free crust and frozen pizza that should be hitting the shelves in the very near future. Be on the look-out — it could be a game changer (and you don’t have to be gluten-free to enjoy it — it’s really tasty!).
Important info for all
The Gluten-Free Diet – Moving Beyond the Hype, by Dr. Nikola Djodjevic
There’s a lot of information online about what going gluten-free means. There’s also a lot of conflicting advice and some advice that is just plain incorrect. As a result, I decided that it was time to create a valuable resource that would clear up all the confusion.
I’ve done extensive research into the topic myself. Why? Because I wanted to find out what all the hype was about. The gluten-free diet has become very fashionable over the last few years but I wanted to know whether or not it was all it was cracked up to be. Furthermore, being a medical doctor, I was concerned about the idea that people were going to give up some dietary staples like wheat and oats. In the medical profession, we’re always a little skeptical about the latest fad diets that come out.
We’re all for our patients cutting back on highly processed, sugary, junk food, but we get concerned when people are talking about getting rid of whole grains that provide valuable fiber. It’s not something that we’d recommend for everyone, and, as it turns out, the gluten-free diet is not ideal for everyone. Of course, when I’d completed my research, I decided that the information should be shared. Considering that I’d pored through pages and pages of research, I knew I could write and publish a lengthy research paper. That would have been great for my fellow doctors and me, but not much good for the layperson in the street. When people go looking for answers on the gluten-free diet, they’re not looking for a thesis on the subject, they want clear, simple answers as fast as possible.
An Infographic Was the Perfect Format
That’s why my colleagues from MedAlertHelp and I decided to create a comprehensive infographic on the topic. There’s still a lot of information there, but it’s broken up into small factoids.
What’s gluten and what gluten-free really means
Who should consider following this form of diet
What foods you can eat
What foods you should avoid
What foods should never cross your lips again (spoiler alert: if you love closing off a bad day at work with a cool beer, you’re probably not going to enjoy this diet)
How popular the diet is
Whether it’s essential for you to cut out gluten entirely, or just something that you can choose to do
The benefits of following this kind of diet
Tips and tricks to make things easier for you
And quite a bit more besides
My Final Diagnosis
To be entirely honest, I was surprised by the amount of confusion about this diet out there. Some people think that wheat-free and gluten-free are the same thing. Others think it means cutting all carbs out. With the infographic, I’m aiming to set the record straight.
Another thing that really shocked me was that there is so much hidden gluten around. It’s a useful binding agent and is even used in cosmetics and shampoos. Crazy as it might seem, there’s a school of thought that banning gluten means avoiding it in all its forms. That could mean changing the shampoo you use, or even the lipstick.
Now, to be fair, I did think that this was a little extreme at first. I really thought that gluten-free beauty products were nothing more than a sales gimmick. As it turns out, there might be some wisdom in cutting them out if you have full-blown celiac disease.
Overall, I enjoyed completing this research project. I learned a lot and I’m sure that you will too. Should you cut out gluten? Check out my research and decide for yourself.
About the author: Nikola Djordjevic, MD, Head of Content at MedAlertHelp.org. Coming from Serbia, Nikola is a doctor of medicine who started this project in 2018 out of his passion for helping others, particularly seniors. Apart from reviewing medical alert systems, he also writes a blog dedicated to health, aging, retirement, and other senior-related topics.
Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.
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