Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Gluten-free experiment

Avoiding gluten for a week is kind of cheating in the world of dieting. My aim was to lose half a stone (which I'm still trying to do, btw), and avoiding gluten for a week probably won't help with this, although it might make me feel a little less bloated, which is a good thing.

It has made me think about food allergies, though. When I was young, I don't really remember anyone who was allergic to anything much. I also don't remember anyone wearing glasses, and the naughty kids were just 'naughty', not ADHD. These days, every school picnic has to be "nut-free", and kids parties have become a minefield of nut-free, wheat-free, dairy-free (fun-free) trouble.

This week, I bought a packet of crisps in Marks and Spencer, and they're marked as unsuitable for egg, milk, wheat, barley, gluten, soya and shellfish allergy sufferers! That's a lot of boxes ticked for a packet of ready salted potato squares.

It does seem like we've gone warning mad. Have you ever noticed that kids clothing labels all say "Keep away from fire". Of course you should, it's got a child in it!! And despite rising gas and electricity prices, when was the last time anyone reading this sat themselves (or their children) in front of a fire in their pj's??

An interesting study recently on British and Israeli children seems to prove that early exposure to nuts can actually reduce, rather than increase the risk of allergy. Israeli's wean their children on a snack called Bamba - peanut flavoured wotsits, whereas us risk-averse Brits avoid them like the plague.

Anyhow, none of that ranting has much to do with dieting. But an experiment of my own: Tonight, I'm making Simon (the 'other half'), a gluten free pasta bake. Do you think he'll notice the difference?

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