Russell Crowe is a Gluten-Free Lemming

The gluten free diet of Russell Crowe

Gluten free diet

Gluten is found in wheat, and other grains.

One of the things that really, really annoys me are all of the gluten free signs that I see in the grocery store. Oddly enough on items that there wouldn’t be gluten anyway. Ridiculous.

A gluten free diet is all the rage, not only with celebs, but with soccer moms (is that a relevant term any more?) as well.

According to Men’s Health, Russell Crowe is now on a gluten free diet in order to lose weight. You read that right, Russell Crowe is following this diet to lose weight.

The silly part is that there is no data that points to avoiding gluten causing weight loss.

There are some who have to go on a gluten free diet. That doesn’t mean that everybody should.

Should gluten be in your diet? Those that should avoid gluten have either a wheat alergy, or are afflicted with Celiac Disease, which is an autoimmune disease.

According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, only 1 in 133 people in the U.S. are affected.

Where the rubber meets the road

Check it out, you don’t “need” gluten. It’s a good source of protein, but it’s not a necessity. Then again, barring those with the health issues, gluten isn’t going to hurt either.

Imagine this happening with any other food intolerance—”the lactose intolerant diet,” anyone? Bari Lieberman

Can it lead to weight loss? The jury is out — but even if it did, why cut it out if you don’t have to? Those “gluten free” items may cost more. And for what? Nothing.

Leave the gluten free diets to the celebs, like Russell Crowe, and just eat smart.

What do you think about a gluten free diet?

Photo by Patrick Hajzler.

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12 Responses to “Russell Crowe is a Gluten-Free Lemming”

  1. Riley says:

    “One of the things that really, really annoys me are all of the gluten free signs that I see in the grocery store” I have celiac disease and I have to have a gluten free diet, and believe it or not, these signs help. Rather than going through lists of 10 or 20 ingredients and trying to remember if “hydrolyzed soy protein”, for example, is gluten free or not is really, really annoying, as you put it. Your comment pisses me off. Big time. Are you really, really annoyed with all the wheel chair ramps and handicap parking signs as well?

  2. Todd says:

    @ Riley, Fair enough that my opinion “pisses” you off. This post is not aimed at people like yourself with a legit medical reason to follow a gluten free diet.

    I have diabetics in my family. I sympathize where you’re coming from.

    The signs in the grocery store are helpful for you, but they’re not put there for your benefit. The segment of the population that accounts for Celiac and gluten allergy is less than 1%. The signs are there for one reason, and one reason only–marketing buzz phrase. So many people jumped on a trendy gluten free diet bandwagon, like Russell Crowe, that companies have caught on, and are exploiting it. This is where my annoyance stems.

    As for your comment on wheelchair ramps, and handicap parking, are you really equating a digestive disease (yes, it could lead to death in a round-about way) to accessibility issues of people in wheel chairs, etc.? This is not to diminish your ailment, but it is not the same.

  3. Green-Ed says:

    I was under the impression, because of the hype, that it was good to avoid gluten. When I started researching, it became clear it just wasn’t true. Of course for somebody with special needs, it may not so, but for the general man off the street, it doesn’t matter.

  4. The gluten free diet is just a clever marketing term for a low carb diet. Since everyone has already heard of, and probably tried, a low-carb diet, it only makes sense to give it a new name, hype the shit out of it in the media, and profit.

  5. Greg says:

    You’re right on target with this Todd. Unless you have a disease, its just fluff.

  6. Hi Guys, sorry to be Debbie Downer here, but I actually don’t agree with you that it isn’t effective for weight loss. I do think that the “gluten free” diet is another way of saying low carb and thus another way to market it. But the fact is that gluten can effect all of us, even those without celiac disease. We can still have sensitivities. We do not need grains or whole wheat in our diet. We can get everything we need from meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, oils.

    Why do you think commercial farmers force feed their livestock to eat corn and grain? Cause it fattens them up quickly! And makes them sick and gives them ecoli, but whatever, that’s another story.

    I read about an anecdote where a group of farmers way back were looking for a way to fatten up their livestock. SO they picked the fattiest food they could think of – coconut oil, and fed it to them. To their surprise the animals actually lose weight. Once they fed them grain the animals started gaining weight like crazy.

    Read any book by Gary Tabus, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain, Art DeVaney, or Michael Pollen for more research and history on this.

  7. Todd says:

    Susan, you make some good points, and I’ll have to think about them. I haven’t seen any studies that validated that a gluten-free diet will aid in weight loss. What I did find were many comments on forums, and quotes from blog posts that said that a GFD (I’m copyrighting that acronym hehe) can actually lead to weight gain.

    Kristin Kirkpatrick, R.D., YouBeauty Nutrition Advisor said, “People are confusing gluten-free with healthy, but you can have a perfectly gluten-free risotto and it can be a heart attack on a plate. Gluten-free isn’t always healthy.”

    I always bring it back to moderation. Yes, if you eat like livestock, and consume nothing but grains, you’ll get fat. But, if you balance the grains with fruits, veggies and meats, that is a perfectly happy diet.

  8. I have to agree with the men. I have no doubt that some people truly need gluten free diets, my wife for instance. However, it has become SO trendy now that it’s really difficult to separate fact from fiction.

    “Chelsea Clinton’s wedding cake was gluten free” Whoopee!

    Found the below excerpt in Women’s Health:

    “Mark DeMeo, M.D., director of gastroenterology and nutrition at the Adult Celiac Disease Program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, “there’s nothing magical about a gluten-free diet that’s going to help you lose weight.”

    What’s really at work: Gluten-free dining can seriously limit the number of foods you can eat. With fewer choices, you’re a lot less likely to overeat, says Shelley Case, R.D., author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide and a medical advisory board member for the Celiac Disease Foundation.

    Just my 2 cents! Great discussion point Todd. :)

    -Matt

  9. Todd says:

    Matt, thanks. :) I’m waiting for Primal Toad to chime in. When I wrote this, I was expecting him to jump in on Susan’s side. “Come on, Toad, where are ya man?”

  10. Anne says:

    I do agree that “gluten free” has become a big source of money for the makers of this type of food, who exploit this label to line their pockets: A small gluten free loaf of bread is $5.99 at Whole Foods, what a ripoff! In fact all the foods with that label are super expensive. I have not come across any study or any expert-written article that states a gluten free diet is good for losing weight.

    On the other hand, I have come across many articles written by experts like Dr Andrew Weil and others that recommend a gluten free diet to people with autoimmune disorders such as hypothyroidism and many others.

    Great discussion topic.

  11. Celiacmama says:

    I appriciate your ideas on this.
    I a very frustrated by people who think this is some sort of fad and make fun of people who live this way as if it is a fad for everyone. Have you done any research on what happens when people who have Celiac eat gluten ? Ignored , it can lead to Hodgkins lymphoma … not funny and very serious. My son has celiac , and the new labels make it easier for me to feed my child “normal” foods with out spending outrageous amounts of money to do so. Its just a label to you … but for my son , its the difference between being sick for days …or not being sick at all .
    Utimately , my Mother who also has Celiac , has gained weight because of all the yummy things that are gluten free … its not a diet anyone should “choose” unless they have Celiac or intolerance to gluten.

  12. Todd says:

    @Celiacmama, thank you for coming by. I really do appreciate your points, and sympathize with your situation. I’ve done a little research on the subject. As I stated in the post, this was not aimed at those people with a medical reason for needing to be on a gluten-free diet, but instead is pointed right at those that are using it as a fad for weight loss.

    If manufacturers and retailer are marketing product as ‘gluten free’ for people like your son and mother, then more power to them. Regardless of the motives behind these products, your family obviously benefits.

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