Monday, July 29, 2013

Pro Gluten

I am pro gluten. I just wanted to come out and set the record straight once and for all. I am not ashamed of my love for gluten, although, I must be honest, I don’t really know what it tastes like, or even what it is. Even though I don’t know what gluten is, I know for a fact that I love it. When I was a kid (actually, up until about two years ago) no one had even heard of gluten. That means everything that I ate was probably chock-full of gluten, and I loved everything I ate. Also, I think gluten may come from wheat, and I am definitely pro wheat, since wheat is a very important ingredient in beer. There is probably tons of gluten in beer, so gluten is obviously delicious!

There has been a lot of conflicting “data” over the years on what we should and should not eat. Take eggs for example. (I almost wrote eggs-ample, but I didn’t know if you would find it as humorous as I do. Probably not. Anyway…) Eggs have been alternately bad and good for us at least twenty times over my lifetime. Since I love eggs, I always bet on the come line and kept eating them, hoping they would end up being good for me. We are currently in an “eggs are good for you” cycle, so I’m feeling pretty good about my decision. In fact, I think eggs are now being listed as “superfoods” that you should eat every day.

“Superfood” is a new term, like gluten, designed, I guess, to really hammer home the idea that you are eating all the wrong things. It seems like there is a new superfood or a new thing you should never eat again coming out about once a week now.

Carbohydrates, which I think is another word for gluten, used to be an integral part of the food pyramid that they showed me in grade school. The pyramid has now been replaced by a pie chart, and carbs may or may not be good for you. They were bad for a while, but I think they are moderately back in favor, as long as your pie chart remains gluten-free. I’ll bet gluten-free pie sucks.

Fats are a mystery as well. Trans fats, which are unsaturated fats, are bad. However, saturated fats are even worse. But somehow, omega-3 fish oil fats are the messiah of proper nutrition. If omega-3 is a fat, it has to be either saturated or unsaturated, since those seem to be the two choices, so how can it be good? And how does omega-3, which apparently does everything from curing arthritis to making you smarter, affect my bad LDL cholesterol and my good HDL cholesterol? And if cholesterol in any form is bad in food, how do I have “good” cholesterol in my body. I’m made up of food!

I’m not sure where bacon fat fits in there, but since I am now supposed to be eating eggs every day, I must conclude that bacon fat is super-healthy, since it is impossible to eat eggs without bacon.

Speaking of breakfast, I also want to come out as being pro lactose. Lactose is another one of those things that no one had ever heard of until it was about to kill us all, and again, I don’t really have any idea what it is, but I know it’s found in dairy products, which are delicious. I know I am pro lactose, because I am also pro fresh milk, which makes me anti homogenization. I had milk fresh out of the cow once and it was the best thing I’ve ever tasted, besides beer. (We were having dinner at a friend’s family dairy farm, and he got the milk out of the giant stainless steel holding tank. We did not drink it directly from the cow. That would be weird.)

Breakfast is now supposed to include dark berries and Greek yogurt. I originally thought Greek yogurt was just regular yogurt that couldn’t pay its bills, but it turns out it’s really just yogurt that has been strained three times instead of two. That extra straining apparently really ramps up the probiotics, which are the very best thing you can put in your body. That confuses me, since antibiotics cure diseases, so they must be great for you. How can probiotics and antibiotics both be good for you?

The dark berries provide you with antioxidants, which are also the very best thing you can put in your body, besides probiotics and omega-3 fat. Antioxidants eliminate free radicals, which are obviously bad, even though being free and being radical are widely regarded as good qualities.

Today’s smart breakfast is a healthy balance of the following: Whole-grain bran, acai berries, blueberries, sardines, kale, walnuts, pomegranate juice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, lentils, kefir, Greek yogurt, steel-cut oatmeal, and stone ground whole wheat bread. And, obviously, bacon and eggs. That should take care of de-oxidizing any free radical biotics (pro or anti), and minimize the LDL levels in your non-lactose, de-gluten-ized fiber, both soluble and dietary.

Simple enough, although I do see one problem that is certainly looming in our future. Since gluten comes from wheat, and chickens eat a lot of wheat, our precious superfood eggs may not be entirely gluten-free. Just like the pregnant mother is not supposed to smoke or drink, the chicken surely must be passing some amount of gluten to the egg.

Our chickens may be free-range, but until they are fed a gluten-free diet, eggs may need to get back on the “bad for you” list for a while.

I guess we can all just substitute a few more slices of bacon to make up the difference.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2013 Marc Schmatjen

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