The infamous Gluten free diet. By now you’ve probably heard of it and have seen it labelled on many food products in the grocery store. Although the term is thrown around everywhere, you may not know what exactly gluten free food means so let’s get into it!
Firstly, it would be very helpful to know what exactly gluten is. Gluten is the protein portion of grains such as wheat, rye and barley. It’s responsible for the glue-like texture in foods like bread and packaged foods and it basically holds things together and/or gives food products desirable consistencies.
Here are the most common food products containing gluten:
Bread, Cakes, Cookies and Pastries
Cereal and Granola
Pasta and Udon (wheat noodles)
Processed meats (hot dogs, salami, etc.)
There are a few reasons why people eat gluten free foods. Simply put, North American wheat is heavily processed in order to increase its yield for our ever-growing food system. Since wheat and other grains have been processed it’s believed to contribute to the sudden rise in autoimmune diseases, since our bodies cannot properly break down and digest the gluten. Undigested gluten fragments attach to the gut lining, creating loose junctions in our gut, which allows food to leak into our body and ultimately alert our immune system.
Another reason to eat gluten free foods is to avoid the constant roller coaster in blood sugar levels. Gluten is usually found in processed products, which means they are high in carbohydrates and usually lack fiber.
This can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar, which then results in a rapid and excessive release in insulin, leaving you feeling tired, weak, and ravenous for more food. This is a natural bodily reaction, however the consecutive spikes from eating unnatural food products can create problems in the future such as hypoglycemia, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, mood problems, inflammation, obesity, and atherosclerosis - just to name a few.
As you can see, the gluten free diet is so much more than a fad diet. By eating gluten free foods, you are essentially giving your body a break from heavily processed foods. This alone can cause wonderful effects including improved digestion, balanced blood sugar levels, lowering of inflammation and weight loss.
Choosing gluten free foods can have such a powerful effect on your health as it allows your gut to heal from years of unknowing damage. If you feel like you could benefit from removing gluten from your diet, starting with a 2-week gluten free challenge could be a great first step. You never really know how it’s affecting you until you remove it, plus you can do anything for 2 weeks.
Changing up your diet can be intimidating and nerve wracking, but places like Festal Cafe are here to help you. Although there are a lot of gluten free products available these days, Festal relies more on naturally occurring gluten free foods - AKA whole foods.
These are foods that contain the highest amounts of nutrients like vitamins and minerals, which can help your body heal faster. Festal Cafe has a ton of classic comfort foods such as pizza, sandwiches, pasta, burgers, desserts, and more that are ALL gluten free. This means that if you’d like to try going gluten free and find yourself craving something, we’ve got you covered!
Come try us out at 531 Granville St. We’re open for dine-in, takeout and delivery!
You have a lot of choices in gluten free food in Festal Café, the best gluten free restaurant in Vancouver.