A Plea to Dean McDermott: Stop Eating Gluten

dean mcdermott gluten

Dear Dean,

I want to help you. And if you let me help you, you will end up helping all of us. Let me explain.

Our pathetic paparazzi recently snapped the above photo of you enjoying a belVita Breakfast Biscuits. Why is this a problem? Because belVita Breakfast Biscuits are loaded with gluten and you’ve got celiac disease Dean. And gluten is poison to your body.

I’ve talked about your lack of taking celiac disease seriously in the past. Perhaps my approach was too sarcastic so I am going to try a different approach this time around. Yes…this is a kinder, gentler Gluten Dude.

I know you’ve stated previously that you are on the “low end of the spectrum” of celiac disease. From all that I have read Dean, there is no spectrum. You either have celiac disease or you don’t and if you do, gluten is seriously bad news for you.

Perhaps you are not aware, but left untreated, celiac disease can wreak havoc on your body and your mind. What can happen? Malnutrition, anemia, osteoporosis, depression, seizures, nerve damage and cancer. This is according to both the Mayo Clinic and the NIH.

These go far beyond what the general population thinks of celiac disease when they hear of gas, bloating and fatique.

Celiac disease is some serious sh*t Dean and by taking it lightly, you are hurting a number of people.

You’re hurting yourself. Granted…it’s your life and you are free to do as you please. But my best guess is that you feel pretty crappy most of the time. Your insides must be a mess. Don’t you want to feel good? Energetic? Healthy? You’re only 46 years old Dean. Don’t you want the second half of your journey to be an awesome one?

You’re hurting your fellow celiacs. It’s no secret that I have a big problem with celiacs who cheat on their gluten-free diet. It makes it that much more difficult for the rest of us to be taken seriously. Somehow, I got glutened seven days ago and it’s been a week from hell. As a matter of fact, this post is taking me twice as long to write because I can’t seem to process my thoughts as clearly as I usually do. It’s brutal. Maybe you don’t have these same symptoms Dean, but many celiacs have these symptoms and much, much worse.

You are a public figure who has celiac disease. You could be an amazing advocate for all of us. You even call yourself the Gourmet Dad and go on cooking shows on TV. Yet, I cannot find one instance of you even discussing gluten or celiac on your website or your videos. Are you embarrassed? In denial? You are missing a HUGE opportunity here Dean. Think of all of the people you can be helping. Think of the awareness you could be raising. Let that be a part of your journey.

Take one for the team Dean.

You are hurting your family. Looks like you’ve got a pretty amazing family Dean. A successful wife and 5 kids. Don’t you want to be there for them?

Personally, I’d be wracked with guilt if I was intentionally eating poison. I want to be around my wife and my kids for a long, long time. And I want the time spent with them to be the best as humanly possible. How can that be if I am mistreating my body in such a way that it can lead to depression, anemia or cancer?

I’m not trying to put the fear of god into you Dean. But I think your family deserves that you be the best “you” that you can be. I know mine does.

What message are you sending them when you eat gluten and you have celiac disease? The message to me is clear: “I don’t care.”

But are a lot of people out there who do care about you; that need you. Take your celiac disease seriously and send them a different message.

Just think about it Dean. That’s all I ask.

Many thanks.

Gluten Dude

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49 thoughts on “A Plea to Dean McDermott: Stop Eating Gluten”

  1. Also he should think of his children. I hope they have had them tested. According to a friend that is a researcher of DNA – Celiac IS a dominate gene. If you have celiac it is highly likely that your children and siblings will also have celiac. I also know a family (they own a restaurant, you will say Yea! in a minute) all six children have celiac. Needless to say I do eat there – the get it! Even if he does not get outward symptoms (I’m guessing this is the case as he believes he is low on the spectrum yet there is no spectrum) he is destroying his body!

  2. Wasn’t it that his doctor told him he did not have to be super strict?

    Sadly I guess he wants to have more issues – I love my other auto immune issues that are all tied to the Big G.

    I hate that he has this show – the perfect platform and he does nothing with it.

    Thankfully Emeril speaks out for his daughters here and there and makes gluten free items when he cooks on screen as well as his regulars.

  3. I actually wrote to Tori Spelling when I discovered her husband was Celiac. I’ve seen their show and how upset she was when he endangered himself by riding a bike, so I told her a Celiac eating gluten is SO much more deadly and dangerous then him riding a bike. I know she received the message, but I never heard back. This was about 2 wks ago or so. I hope she did take the email seriously and spoke with him about this. If not, I hope they see this and start doing their own research and find out for themselves that not only should their household be gluten free, but the children should all be tested for the gene too. Well said Gluten Dude, I hope for his sake, his family’s sake and for ours he takes every word you said to heart!

  4. I add my encouragement to remove as much gluten as humanly possible from your diet — for you and for your family.

    I remained an undiagnosed mystery until the age of 43 — by which time I could no longer function, had to sell a thriving Property Management business in my 30’s – couldn’t go anywhere after 3pm for nearly a decade and eventually couldn’t work, play or function at all do to severe muscle and joint pain. I have a phenomenal memory – always have — it slowly disappeared to the point I couldn’t remember conversations with my kids!!! Then my ability to speak became extremely impaired — ok — you get the idea — I could write a novel on my symptoms.

    I may sound alarmist – yet I have lived one of the worst possible results from remaining mis and un-diagnosed. For me – those that get a diagnosis BEFORE it ruins their health, lively-hood, ability to interact with family and friends are VERY fortunate indeed.

    Don’t dismiss the diagnosis — not sure if Dean lives in LA — if so I highly recommend a visit to Dr. Gregory Harmon – Director of the UCLA Celiac Center.

    Good Luck to you 🙂

  5. Kids are probably the link…until they show symptoms, since this is genetic, he will likely ignore it unless combo of stress & bad eating land him (or one of the kids) in the hospital. If you’re going to be a celebrity, might as well kill yourself publically.

  6. I was thinking this should be addressed to his wife. Chances are, at least one of his children will have Celiac. He is a bad example for the kids. And she has proof that he is an unfit father for a Celiac child and should not leave them alone with him ( when one is diagnosed).

    It is truly frustrating when a doctor, who knows little about Celiac Disease, tells a Celiac they can have a little gluten if they want to. I have never seen any of the Celiac medical centers say that. They all have the ” not even a crumb” statements.

    1. My best guess is a “crumb” is what got me this past week. I’ve retraced all my steps and I simply don’t see how I got hit. So how he eats the way he does and survives is beyond me. Hopefully, he’ll see the light.

      1. GD I know a crumb, accidentally dropped into my drink – I saw it happen (a couple weeks ago) -I thought its just a crumb whatever…and I got sick… So I’m not the smartest lol but my diagnosis wasn’t one after the second blood test was negative but the symptoms fit my doc said well it won’t hurt give it a try, so I went 100% GF for a week and when I ate cake at a party that weekend ugggggh so for a while there was this doubt in me or thinking it would just go away after a few months I’d be good to eat pasta again…. Not so much…but is he newly diagnosed? It’s taken me almost 8 months of trial and error and guess work – and just being so used to being sick that it weird not to be. I hope for him and his family sake he reads this, we always want to say I’m not that bad – but I have looked over at my hubby after eating breaded chicken and said “if I ever say those words again (it wont be that bad, i’ll be fine) please remind me that it is THAT bad”. When the fear of change is overpowered by the pain of not changing…then we change 🙂

      2. GD if that cute little lahasa is the new “baby dude” check treats & food bag!! Store brand dog foods, milk bone biscuits & even liver snaps can have gluten.
        I raise & breed endangered fish, until yesterday couldn’t figure out why the skin on my arms burned every time I had my arm in a tank. Had to buy fish food (with an actual label) yesterday & 3 of the first 5 ingredients are wheat, gluten & barley…hummm
        Well looks like my hobby is the reason glands are swollen & I’m tired today 🙁

  7. Well done, GD! However, I believe they are not planning to have a fifth child–Tori Spelling was reported to have suffered life-threatening complications when she was carrying their fourth, and said they were closing shop, or words to that effect, with regard to having more kid (yes, I read “Us” magazine). But otherwise, spot on. I hope Mr. McDermott reads this!

      1. Whoops, you’re right, GD: he does have 5 kids — one with his first wife and four with Tori. My mistake. (And God only knows why I even give a d*mn.) Sorry!

  8. Dean-

    I hope that you get to read this. It is important. We are a family here at glutendude.com. Ups, downs, sick, healthy, ranting, raving, bitter and snarky. You need to take care of yourself. What the hell are you doing? Wake up. You just won a huge competition on national t.v. You have an amazing family. You’re hot (sorry guys, but it’s true…). Ditch the gluten & enjoy your life.

    Jersey Girl

  9. I am just wondering how we all know for certain he DOES have CD. I have read this too, but how do we know without hearing from the horse’s mouth that it’s true. Maybe it’s false information. Did he for certain make the claim he was on the low spectrum?
    The reason I’m questioning is because I just can’t fathom that he would do something like that to himself. I tweeted to him after I read an article not that long ago about celebrities with CD, asking him if it was true. He didn’t respond, which is no surprise. He really seems like a great guy, like a caring and loving husband and father, and an intelligent man, which is why I just can’t understand this. He is a chef, for goodness sake. You mean to tell me that he can’t put forth some effort into being a gluten free chef? In the ‘celebrity’ world he could probably make a fortune being a GF chef, just for other celebrities! Furthermore, what if his kids have it? Does he really want raise his kids, knowing full well that he could be ‘poisoning’ them too? And could have done something about it!
    I will tell you this, I have been sick all my life, and it wasn’t until I was in my mid-20’s that I was diagnosed. It all makes sense now thinking back about it, but I firmly believe that if it would have been caught much earlier that I wouldn’t still have so much trouble with other auto-immune stuff now. When your immune system is in consistent and persistent overdrive, it will never heal and you will always be sick. Why would someone ever want that for themselves or for their children? Scary stuff!!

  10. Tori Spelling is pregnant AGAIN!?!?!? I guess that sign in their front yard, “McDermott Baby Farm” is true! ; )

    He needs a kick in the head because he’s got lots of kids that will need to be tested. Not a good example to set if he keeps cheating.

    1. Funny! Lol! Oh …was that serious?

      I just looked at his recipe website and his recent recipe uses a Twinkie! Not only does he not realize they aren’t gf, he forgot they aren’t making them right now!

      1. I think it is serious. About 1/2 way down that list of articles, you can find “This Celiac Life: Dean McDermott, aka Tori Spelling’s husband, on his plans to be a gluten-free entrepreneur.”

  11. GD, I appreciate the friendly and sincere approach but from what I’ve gathered, it seems the language Dean will understand most clearly is cold hard cash. So maybe we can all write letters to Tori & Dean explaining all of the opportunities they could have to peddle GF goodies. But we’ll have to be very clear that we’re only buying their processed crap if he gives up his current processed crap.

    1. I just read the Grub Street interview. Either he’s lying about having celiac, or he’s got a death wish. Brownies? Cookies? Pizza? Progresso chicken noodle soup? Beer? You’ve got to be kidding me! So what if he gives a token nod to the gluten-free Chex cereal and the bread he made a sandwich with–this guy is otherwise inhaling gluten ALL DAY. I don’t believe he’s “asymptomatic” for a second. I think he’s a fraud.

      1. If he is asymptomatic, or very mildly symptomatic, then you can see how he’d rationalize it similar to the way someone rationalizes smoking—he knows he’s doing permanent damage to his body and increasing his risk of serious illness, but on a day-to-day basis he’s just doing what he wants to do anyway. Obviously he’s done some kind of cost-benefit analysis and decided that for him, belVita beats vitality. It’s his intestines, but it is sending an incredibly obnoxious message.

  12. I bet he’s one of the coealiacs that don’t have any ‘in-your-face’ symptoms, like I used to be. I didn’t have any symptoms except anemia when I was dx about 7 years ago, so was not very strict at first. The longer I’ve been totally gluten free, the worse my symptoms get when I DO get glutened. I bet Dean didn’t have many symptoms and so doesn’t think he really REALLY has to go gluten free.

    Or he’s just an ijit.

    1. He’s an idjit.

      No celiac eats brownies, cookies and bites of “the kids’ pancakes” and then gluten free toast ( for what? to counter balance those gluten filled foods??) and thinks he’s following a gluten free diet.

      He’s an adult. He’s making his choices.
      He’ll have to be sick as a dog or diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma (which happens often enough with unDXed CD or non-compliance) before he stops being so reckless.
      If he has not had his children tested, he is especially foolish–and negligent.

      Sorry, but this kind of stupidity makes me wanna scream. But I was one of those celiacs who nearly died from this thing and I take the treatment very seriously. It saved my life.

      1. I agree, IrishHeart. … but I also know, if the doctor said those magic words that he didn’t NEED to do the strict diet, then he probably thinks what he is doing is fine.

        In other words, we need to get him a new doctor to push him to do the full changeover, in order to reduce the risk of intestinal and colon cancers, and the overall change in his well being (he looks dreadful in that picture above, bloated and tired).

        He’s actually a really good chef, so it would be good to reach him on that end, too. The challenge of cooking gf is really fun for chef-y type people I’ve found.

  13. I’ve heard this from others, “/His, My, Their/ celiac is not as bad as yours.”

    It makes me crazy in the head.

    My villi were not devastatingly damaged and my doc did describe my case as ‘not that bad’. What that meant was that there was hope for healing NOT that I could ever, ever intentionally ingest gluten. (I will one day face the shame of the one fish filet sandwich… but not today.) I can tell by the glazed-eyed response I always get that it’s not something most people want to hear.

    Why? Because it’s freakin’ work! It can be consuming and exhausting. Either you’re feeling good because of your exhaustive measures to protect your health. Or you’re physically worn down and broken because a wayward crumb has made it past your Death Star Defence.

    Sassy said it best, “My celiac is not your celiac.” but we need to be united in the fact that not one of us can have gluten. That’s our common bond. That’s why we need each other’s support.

    Dean, if you’re listening, we can help you. We don’t want to ridicule anyone (well, maybe Kim K…). You need help. We all need help.

    Step away from the gluten. We’re here for you.

    1. My endo pulled that one on me. “Your celiac must not be very bad because you didn’t end up in the hospital.” WTF? I’ve been searching for years for the reason behind my progressively worsening health. This is the same endo who stalled me for a month after my celiac diagnosis in changing my meds from Synthroid (which refuses to test for gluten) to Armour (who brags on being gluten-free) because Synthroid pays him to speak and they get angry with him when he doesn’t prescribe Synthroid (he willingly told me this). I can’t change endos because all of the endos in town are in the same group and they won’t accept a fellow-doc’s patient. I hate our health system. End of rant.

    1. Due to the (un)popular status of brain fog as an actual thing, I don’t know whether amusement or melancholy is the more sober emotional reaction to reading this.

      One can laugh in the face of futility, but perhaps only for so long. So I guess the former…

  14. You know, if he wants to slowly kill himself eating his gluten crap, fine. But if, as the article in Allergic Living states, “he plans to be a gluten-free entrepreneur” then this is ridiculous. It reeks of being a hypocrite and a money-hungry jerk that just cares about cashing in on the craze. I don’t know what products he’s going to sell, but I hope all celiacs will avoid it. I couldn’t stand supporting someone that is using his fame to spread the wrong message and make money.

    1. No, you’re not. At first, I thought the post was on Dillon McDermott which was breaking my heart that he would be this irresponsible. Had to google “Dean McDermott”. Never watched any of those shows nor intend to.

  15. Seems your plea worked! Check his latest post on his website “Get the G.F. outta here!”. I like the more friendly approach you handled, it leaves room for someones personal journey to acceptance. And I agree the gf community needs strong personalities as a spokesperson, we already have you, maybe he’s ready to join in by now?

  16. He had a great opportunity to showcase gluten free living in the show that aired at 11 this morning on the Food Network. But… it shows him eating crostini and pound cake. He states in the show that he used pre-made pound cake, and I’ve not seen many of those on the shelves that are gluten free.

    I continue to be disappointed, both in him and in Food Network.

  17. Ugh, I was just on Dean’s “Gourmet Dad” website and he gives this recipe for “Italian Kale and Farro Soup”, farro of course being one of those so-called ancient varieties of wheat, like spelt and kamut. Now I’m not saying EVERY last recipe on his website HAS to be gluten-free just because he’s celiac — as reasonable an expectation as this might be — but his wishy-washyness over farro had me SMH:

    “… while (farro) is not completely gluten-free, it is so easily digested and so low in gluten, people who are normally gluten-intolerant can often eat farro. (if you are on a strict gluten-free diet, you should talk to your doctor about farro before experimenting with it).”


    Yeah, he adds the ass-covering disclaimer in parentheses, but he ought to be more forthright than that. Maybe more in the spirit of, “Hey, farro is basically wheat, which means yes, it contains gluten — so while my non-celiac friends who are okay with gluten really enjoy this dish, you should absolutely NEVER eat it if you’re gluten-intolerant or a celiac like me. To make it GF when I make it for myself, I always substitute something like quinoa or buckwheat for the farro and also make sure all the other ingredients are also GF, especially the chicken stock.” Would that be so painful to write?

    Farther down the same page, he even gives a recipe where he suggests using farro “in place of rice”.


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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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