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3 Gluten-Free Diets to Avoid This Xmas

I've started to get a little bit annoyed with magazines.

Reading a gluten-free magazine
Be careful what you learn from magazines

The vast majority seem to leave a gaping hole in health and wellness, even if (and this is the bit that irks me the most) they're focusing on nutrition!

I'll give you examples of crimes committed (in ascending order).

At number 3: puddings only!

The magazine that doesn't really know anything about gluten-free diets but feels it ought to throw something in for the sake of it - after all, it's quite fashionable to be gluten-free these days. (Coeliacs: take a deep breath. You can get through this.)

So you'll see oodles of yummy Xmas dinners everyone else can have but nothing for yourself...until you get to the desserts page. Then there'll be one thing, which you probably knew how to make anyway (like a chocolate sponge you can shape into a yuletide log).

You'll therefore spend ages substituting flour, stock cubes, breadcrumbs and suet so you can consume something normal they're showing off. And quite frankly, you wonder why you bothered.

At number 2: don't eat food - eat weird supplements!

The magazines that advertises lots of gluten-free products that aren't really food like gummy bears, a post-workout recovery drink or a 10 calorie jelly. I mean, come on! At 10 calories there's absolutely no nutritional benefit for one's body, is there?

At number 1: copy a dodgy influencer!

The magazine that features a week in the diet of [celebrity influencer] who eats gluten-free because she "feels better for it" but has no medical diagnosis to support this. The daily total of calories will be at least 500 under NHS guidelines as the influencer has opted for 2 cocktail sausages and a tiny portion of salted nuts instead of a reasonable meal. There'll also be a heavy inclusion of spirits and diet mixers, including plenty of sweetener substitutes (so she can consume more in the festive season).

If you're lucky, there'll be an expert's opinion of the diet. This will be in a small box of text below, which will probably be a bit vague and therefore open to interpretation: "Georgina should include more slow-release carbs" or "if she feels low on energy, she should up her calories". The reader won't know what slow-release carbs are and will decide that if Georgina doesn't feel low on energy, neither will she (despite a rumbling tummy).

So what can we do about it? Best of all, stop buying the magazine. After all, they don't exist without their lovely customers. But this arguably falls short of what's really needed as they won't realise the crimes they're committing. Therefore, my preferred option is to lobby the magazine. Tell them via social media how frustrated you are. Give them examples of how they could tweak things to be better. Offer solutions. Champion those that get it right.

But don't, whatever you do, copy that influencer who only consumes 1,000 calories a day, most of which are alcohol.

Ali Walsh with Gluten-Free Heaven magazine
In better times: when I could read Gluten-Free Heaven

Sigh of relief: at least some places are getting the message. Click here to see the latest Xmas goodies from Aldi, including a stuffed turkey crown, stuffed duck, vegan & g-f nut roast and (wait for it) a TWO METRE pig in a blanket!

For more solutions to gluten-free problems, click here.


Hi! Great to have you here...

My name's Ali and I help people on gluten-free diets have a better, easier and healthier lifestyle. 

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