Gluten-free, egg-free, oil-free, sugar-free, dairy-free…food-free?

Gluten-free, egg-free, oil-free or fat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free… Lately almost all recipe titles online contain at least one of these, and it makes me think “Is this still food?” Then when you actually read the recipe, usually it’s full of substitutes, ‘wannabe’ healthy alternatives, trendy ingredients… There is no wheat flour, but there is almond flour, rice flour, hazelnut milk, soya milk, coconut oil…all these things have become mainstream in the last few years. But who knows, if they are really the healthier options?

There is no need demonising the ‘real’ food.

You may say people with allergies have to stick to these alternatives. Yes, that’s true. But what about the rest of us? Maybe wheat flour is not natural and easy digestible for human body, maybe it’s not good to drink litres of cow’s milk and maybe coconut oil is better than sunflower oil, but we can still consume these, just in moderation, not completely replace them with alternatives that are here primarily for people who are limited by food allergies.

The GI of rice flour is 95, wheat flour 71. Cow’s milk may have more fat and calories, but hazelnut and almond milk are lower in calories, because they are mainly water. All rice products are probably high in arsenic, if they’re really made of rice. Some studies claim soya contains hormones and is mostly genetically modified to withstand big doses of herbicides that would normally be lethal…

Too much of everything, whatever-free or -full, is bad for us.

There is always a plus and minus to everything – whether it’s the original ingredient or its “healthier” alternative. The problem is not the food itself, but the amounts we eat and the lack of time we have to prepare ‘real’ food. Too much of everything, whatever-free or -full, is bad for us. There is no need demonising the ‘real’ food, the food that comes from traditional sources and has been eaten for ages.

Why don’t we rather think about eating the ‘real’ food in healthy amounts, prepared from scratch… I believe that throwing a piece of real butter into your home-made potato mash, roast potatoes with goose fat or an honest homemade cake with real buttercream won’t harm you time to time. It’s the quick shortcuts, like frozen pre-roasted potatoes with the lowest quality oils and supermarket cakes with cheap shortening that will actually make you fat and sick.

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2 thoughts on “Gluten-free, egg-free, oil-free, sugar-free, dairy-free…food-free?

  1. I completely agree. And while I understand certain issues, a friend of mine has demonised the use of any oil in cooking, which I think is wrong. While one article tells us to have a spoonful of coconut or olive oil in our everyday diet, another is saying how fattening and unhealthy it is. Moderation is always the key, but the main thing is that people are eating enough to be healthy, but not over indulging in certain food groups. It’s all a mystery to me. I just eat what I feel like most of the time, and I like to think I’m quite healthy.

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  2. I completely agree with the sentiment that it’s the real, whole food that makes a difference towards health. However, sometimes it’s hard to get high-quality, hormone and GMO free versions of wheat and dairy. For example, most bovine dairy contains untold hormones and is pasteurized and homogenized which removes much of the nutritional benefit. I personally cannot eat gluten and dairy because my body does not handle it, even in small doses. Though I think if I heal my gut enough I might be able to handle fresh raw cow cream. That said, I don’t substitute with almond milk beverages loaded in chemicals and stabilizers or various rice and grains substitutes. I try to just remove them from my diet.

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