Health

This Tumblr Artist Is Hilariously Pointing out How Far Gluten-Free Trends Have Gone

May 31st 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

As more and more Americans break up with gluten, one Tumblr artist is hilariously pointing out how far the fad of eliminating wheat has gone.

The Gluten Free Museum is a gallery of iconic works of art, advertisements, photographs, and scenes from film and TV — minus the gluten.

The site's anonymous creator plucked images from the annals of art history, as well as present-day pop culture sensations like "Pulp Fiction," "The Simpsons," and "Lady and the Tramp," and edited out all signs of the dreaded 'G-word.'

Cartoon dogs muse over an empty table, while the farmers of "American Gothic" are left looking a tad lost without their emblematic hay fork.

 

 

Cutting out gluten has effectively gone viral.

As ATTN: has previously reported, the gluten-free life has spread like wildfire in recent years. For those with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivities — one and six percent of the population, respectively, according to U.S. News — eating gluten can have physically unpleasant and dangerous side effects.

But trendy gluten-free diets have spread far beyond those who suffer from these conditions, in part by suggesting that gluten-free foods are inherently healthier than their wheaty counterparts, which isn't always the case.

Are gluten-free foods healthier?

"Many people think that a gluten-free diet is healthier than the usual diet, which is not always true," Dr. Eyad Almallouhi, a pediatric gastroenterologist who recently co-authored a study on the pros and cons of going gluten-free, said at Digestive Disease Week, according to Live Science.

The study specifically addressed how gluten-free and gluten-rich foods benefited children's diets. Almallouhi emphasized that gluten-free foods aren't necessarily healthier for kids — they can lack important vitamins and minerals present in their gluten rich alternatives, and even contain more calories.

"Many gluten-free products are higher in calories, fat, sodium and sugar because they need to enhance the flavor and texture to make up for the lack of gluten," registered dietitian Marina Chaparro, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told U.S. News.

Studies have also linked gluten-free diets have to folate, thiamine, and iron deficiencies.

Still, science-be-damned, the gluten free gospel lives on.

"In a global survey of 30,000 people last year, fully 21 percent said that 'gluten free' was a 'very important' characteristic in their food choices," the Atlantic observed in March 2016. "Among Millennials, the number is closer to one in three."

People are opting-out of gluten all across the socioeconomic spectrum — "in households earning more than $75,000 just the same as those earning less than $30,000, and almost evenly among educational attainment," the Atlantic reported. "The most common justification for doing so: 'no reason.'"

“You have the gluten-free industry speaking with a megaphone,” gastroenterologist Norelle Rizkalla Reilly, who published a chart on the popularity of search terms related to celiac disease and gluten-free foods in the Journal of Pediatrics, told the Atlantic. “And we're trying to do our part to put accurate information into circulation.”

[H/T Dazed]