Happy New Year, friends! After being closed for the holidays for a couple of weeks, The Smallflower has reopened and is rocking it at all things gluten-free. Most of our customers actively have celiac or gluten sensitivities, but sometimes we meet people who eat gluten-free because let’s face it: it’s become a little trendy.
Because of this trend towards gluten-free diets, we’ve noticed some topics arise that need addressing. So, we’ve decided to try and dispel some of the rumours, ideologies, or stereotypes surrounding gluten-free living.
Without further adieu, here are 5 gluten-free myths, debunked:
Gluten-Free Baking Involves a Simple Substitution
Ummm…no. If you’ve ever tried to simply substitute processed wheat, barley, or rye flour for a single flour that is free from gluten, you know what we’re talking about. The process of creating the perfect blend of flour substitutions is one that has been trial and error, and cultivated with love and persistence.
And now you get to benefit from all that work!
For more information on what we do to substitute conventional wheat flour in our products, refer to our blog on Gluten-Free Flour Power.
Abstaining from Gluten is Healthier for You
This is a true statement if you suffer from celiac disease, or have a gluten sensitivity or allergy. If you fall into this category of people, then yes, abstaining from gluten would be the best thing for your body and overall health.
However, there is a misconception in the general population that gluten is unhealthy and everyone should jump on the gluten-free bandwagon. Gluten is only a problem for those who suffer from an autoimmune disease such as celiacs, or whose bodies are sensitive or allergic to the protein. If you don’t have this type of sensitivity, then gluten is perfectly safe to consume.
(Here’s the disclaimer, though: many people live with an undiagnosed sensitivity to gluten, and since testing for these sensitivities isn’t possible, we recommend paying close attention to your body and noticing how you feel after you eat foods containing gluten.)
This being said, eating delicious gluten free baked goods from The Smallflower when you are not sensitive is by no means bad for you. It just means you get to explore the best of both worlds!
“A gluten-free diet can still be a healthy way to eat depending on your food choices. Good gluten-free choices include naturally gluten-free foods, such as lean meats, low-fat dairy, vegetables, fruit, whole gluten-free grains and healthy fats.” –The Mayo Clinic
Gluten-Free Products Taste Weird
Gluten-free baking has come a long way, boys and girls. Like, a looooooong way. 20 years ago, a loaf of gluten-free bread weighed about the same as a newborn baby, and tasted like cardboard.
Today, we’ve become much more creative in using fresh and wholesome ingredients that taste amazing. If you don’t believe us, come try our stuff! It’s to die for, and there’s no way you’d ever know it was gluten-free.
It’s Difficult to Find Great-Tasting Gluten-Free Eats
Again, this statement was true about 20 years ago. But in 2017? Many mainstream restaurants (even Earls and Cactus Club!) offer gluten-free items on their regular menus—and there are more shops like ours popping up all the time, that cater largely to a gluten-free population.
Also, Vancouver has a lot of restaurants. Bottom line? Finding gluten-free meals is now easier than ever before. (And remember, The Smallflower is 100% gluten-free! You can eat anything here, and not ever have to check a menu icon.)
Gluten-Free Food is More Expensive
This might be true for specialty items, but honestly? Gluten-free eating has become so mainstream, that prices are about the same. The price for a sandwich at The Smallflower is totally comparable to the cost anywhere else—except we make everything fresh, gluten-free, and super yummy.
If you have any questions or comments about what we’ve written above, please feel free to address them and leave your thoughts below. (Or ask us in person!) We’re located at 47 West Hastings, and we look forward to meeting all of you in 2017.