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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Men Are Biggest Gluten-free Diet Cheats

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 06/19/2015 - And the biggest gluten-free diet cheats are? Men.

    Photo: CC--Jason SaulAccording to a recent survey commissioned by U.K.-based gluten-free bread company Newburn Bakehouse, gluten-intolerant men feel stigmatized by their dietary restrictions, which leads them to cheat on their diets far more commonly than women. 

    The survey showed that 36 percent of U.K. men sensitive to gluten in food regularly cheat, even though cheating can have adverse health consequences.

    Moreover, one in five of those surveyed said they believe a gluten-free diet is “not for real men.”

    This makes for some fairly large numbers of male gluten-free diet cheats.

    Studies by the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research show that about 6 percent of the U.S. population suffers from some degree of gluten intolerance, while about 1 percent has celiac disease.

    How about it? Do you or any males you know have celiac disease or gluten intolerance? Do you or they cheat of a regular basis? Share your thoughts below.


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    I often feel like I'm the only celiac who doesn't cheat. Nobody seems to match my standards of strict gluten free eating. When you cheat you ruin your own health as well as the entire gluten free community and beyond. When mainstream USA serves contaminated gluten free food on their menu everyday we have problems and that still happens in every small town and city. It's a mess out there for some reason people can't say, "no".

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    That's not true at all my husband follows a diet which is recommended by Lisa Plog which is gluten-free and he has been sticking to it. I also, follow the same diet recommended by Lisa Plog and I have lost 11 pounds. In my opinion, it is not a gender specific issue but individual specific issue. The diet of lisa plog has been working great for us.

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    I guess it depends on what you consider cheating. I certainly do not knowingly eat any gluten-containing baked goods, pastas, pizzas, etc.

     

    However, I love good beer. Therefore, I absolutely detest any beer made with sorghum. Those are truly the most awful beers I have ever tasted. You may as well mix some molasses with alcohol and just call it Redbridge.

     

    If the ELISA tests for Omission beers and Stone Delicious IPA are accurate, and if <20ppm is not harmful for Celiacs, then I am not cheating. If these tests are not accurate, or if even <20ppm is harmful, then I am cheating.

     

    I do not exhibit any symptoms from drinking these gluten-reduced beers. I have none of the "foggy" head issues. I have no problem maintaining weight. And I recently had possibly the best annual physical I've ever had - at 43 years old.

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    Do I cheat? Some would say so. I eat a fairly strict gluten-free diet, but at a restaurant where there may be a tiny amount of gluten in a sauce and no equivalent gluten-free dish available, I'll eat it. I feel often a restaurant or manufacturer fail to label an item made only with ingredients that are naturally gluten-free as gluten free is because of lawyers or because they don't want to pay for testing. I will eat dishes made with fermented soy sauce because fermentation destroys most of the gluten and because soy sauce is such a small part of most dishes. But I confess I dream of eating real pizza again.

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    I often feel like I'm the only celiac who doesn't cheat. Nobody seems to match my standards of strict gluten free eating. When you cheat you ruin your own health as well as the entire gluten free community and beyond. When mainstream USA serves contaminated gluten free food on their menu everyday we have problems and that still happens in every small town and city. It's a mess out there for some reason people can't say, "no".

    You aren't the only one. I have never cheated. Not since the first day of my diagnosis, three days after my 50th birthday. I've gotten glutened dining out...but never in my own kitchen. I don't understand people who *do* cheat. The immediate consequences are...unpleasant.

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    I was diagnosed 5 years ago and other than a medical study I did for 8 weeks I have only cheated twice and that was the early days. Real men don't do gluten-free diets is BS. I have RA symptoms so bad with in an hour that I can not function because of the pain. Even though it is extremely frustrating to be on gluten-free diet I do not knowingly cheat ever any more.

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    I don't see how man or woman would want to cheat. At the time I was diagnosed I was in so much pain I thought I was dying. Besides being buckled over and spewing your guts on the throne isn't exactly manly! In the long run the consequences aren't just digestive, the malnutrition messes with many different facets of a celiac's health.

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    I've been diagnosed with celiac disease for about 2.5 years. I've been incredibly strict and will not willfully cheat. I have mistakenly been "glutened" a few times by accident. But will not cheat... the pain associated with it isn't worth it and my manliness has never been affected.

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    I guess it depends on what you consider cheating. I certainly do not knowingly eat any gluten-containing baked goods, pastas, pizzas, etc.

     

    However, I love good beer. Therefore, I absolutely detest any beer made with sorghum. Those are truly the most awful beers I have ever tasted. You may as well mix some molasses with alcohol and just call it Redbridge.

     

    If the ELISA tests for Omission beers and Stone Delicious IPA are accurate, and if <20ppm is not harmful for Celiacs, then I am not cheating. If these tests are not accurate, or if even <20ppm is harmful, then I am cheating.

     

    I do not exhibit any symptoms from drinking these gluten-reduced beers. I have none of the "foggy" head issues. I have no problem maintaining weight. And I recently had possibly the best annual physical I've ever had - at 43 years old.

    You're lucky... I SO miss beer. I guess I'm too sensitive because I have a reaction to all "gluten removed" beers like Omission. I can't STAND Redbridge, though there are some better sorghum beers that are far more palatable than Redbridge.

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    I gamble at restaurants. I don't have celiac, but have a gluten intolerance (and yes I should have gotten the celiac test but I'm 3 years into being gluten-free and the medical problems that I underwent 8 months of expensive testing for disappeared in 3 weeks.) I'm assuming I encounter a small amount of gluten through that but sometimes (particularly at Mexican restaurants) it's really hard to communicate and I do trial/error.

     

    The only time I knowingly cheated I had canker sores almost immediately and I only ate half a small Girl Scout cookie.

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    Cheat? You mean intentionally? Why would I? It's not food to me, it's poison. I have nieces and nephews who are also celiacs, and they cheat (and/or refuse to eat gluten-free.) Maybe it's not a gender issue so much as an age issue. I've reached the point that it's not worth it to cheat--not even as a convenience on a social night out.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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