A frequently heard comment: “…I guess a little cheating on my gluten free diet can’t hurt …”
The Gluten Free Guy’s Response: Sorry about that! Cheating can and does hurt. The damage depends in part on your personal approach to the gluten free diet:
The traditional view of the gluten free diet is that it is a prescription for controlling celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Gluten free foods are both nutritional items and medical necessities. From this point-of-view, gluten-toxic food is damaging and gluten free food is beneficial. It’s a bit like smoking cigarettes — smoking is harmful, even when the smoker is not exhibiting signs of lung cancer. I understand that this analogy is not scientifically correct, but I think that it helps celiacs understand the situation.
In the past few years, many people have adopted the gluten free diet for reasons that have nothing to do with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. When these folks “cheat”, they are breaking rules that they have set for themselves. The damage here is less obvious. There may be problems for the individual who instinctively realizes that gluten toxic food is inappropriate for him but have not intellectually acknowledged their gluten sensitivity.