If you have to go without gluten but want to maintain the texture of popular foods that contain this sticky protein, you are forced to use substitutes containing extra sugar, extra fat, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose and xanthan gum, none of which are all that great from an overall health perspective, so opting for a gluten-free diet makes little sense.
Celiac disease is, of course, a different issue, and quite a serious one. People with it simply can't eat the gluten protein found in some grains. Though only one percent of people have celiac disease, almost 20 percent of Americans now claim to worry about gluten, and for that we can blame books like Grain Brain and Wheat Belly and entertainment programs -- especially those with carefully reconfigured signage, so as not to misrepresent what's actually being presented -- like The Dr. Oz Show.
Substituting for gluten if you don't need to seems like a bad idea for the health conscious, given the artificial and high-calorie additives needed to make food not seem like cardboard. But people do it anyway, and there's been some backlash from the public who regard it as a fad. The gluten issue has even driven couples apart, according to one commenter in the offices of the American Council of Science and Health.
Fortunately those people won't have to find a substitute for love any more.
For less than the price of a gluten-free latte, a new website is making it possible for those who share gluten-free values to mingle without anyone being all judgey about it. MyGlutenFreeDating.com is designed to reduce the social pressure people face if they don't want to be exposed to gluten and don't want to dine alone.
"Now, MyGlutenFreeDating.com is the perfect place where people can socialize and find dating partners or friends," said site founder Abel Macias in their press release, "who understand, share and support the same health views."
Since gluten sensitivity is undefined, and 75 percent of people who claim to be gluten sensitive had no actual physical reaction to gluten in a study (and in a different study 50 of 59 subjects who claimed to be gluten sensitive were as sensitive to a placebo), how will the site know if the suffering is real or just a way to date someone without getting tripped up juggling romance with followers of other diets on Match.com?
It's unclear, but when some people are paying 240 percent more for food, it's our guess that they won't mind paying a tiny fee for love.
This is a good first step. But we won't truly be a diverse, tolerant society until there's a dating site for people who labor with an intolerance for bones in their bananas.