Coeliac disease is my blessing in disguise

Coeliac disease is my blessing in disguise. Some of you may think that this is a strange thing to say, but hear me out! 

I’m not sure where I’ve heard it but some say that everyone is allergic to gluten but most people don’t react noticeably whereas a small proportion of people react severely. It is that small proportion that are likely to be coeliacs. I can’t say that I have seen any results of studies that support this but it makes sense to me. Think about it like this, our early ancestors were hunters and gatherers meaning that their basic diet was meat (from killing animals) and fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds (being the items that they gathered). It wasn’t until much later in history that people became more sophisticated with cooking and that is where gluten products were introduced – flour being one of the main such gluten products.

When I was first diagnosed with coeliac disease (back in the mid-eighties), there wasn’t much choice in terms of gluten-free alternative foods. I recall my mother making gluten-free breads and muffins (she was diagnosed with coeliac disease along with my sister), but they were pretty awful tasting (sorry mum!) and rock hard. I remember just picking out the insides of the muffins. So for me, I just got used to not eating the typical products that contain gluten such as bread, pasta, cakes etc at an early age. Although I do recall that going to school friends birthday parties when you are 9 years old and not being able to eat the birthday cake was pretty depressing.

Nowadays, if you look at popular weight loss diet regimes (Akin, South Beach, Dukan, Paleolithic), they usually all have one in common. They are low in carbohydrates (well the bad ones anyway) and that primarily cuts out most gluten products. Therefore, if you follow a gluten-free diet (and not take advantage of the gluten-free alternative foods) then you pretty much are on a similar diet to these weight loss diets. So, for me, I find it easier to go into diet mode (I recently was on the Dukan diet with great success) than some of my friends/colleagues do. Just think about the kitchen at work – there are always krispy kreme donuts, cakes, biscuits around to tempt you with your 11am cup of tea. For me, as I can’t eat them, I don’t suffer from the internal struggle to say ‘no’!

So basically where I’m going with this is that being on a gluten-free diet is a healthier natural diet (compared to a gluten filled diet) without having to try to be on a diet. So, eating healthier naturally and not being on a diet has to be a good thing right? Well, that is what I consider my blessing in disguise.

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