The Worst Video EVER on Going Gluten-Free


It’s no big secret that I hate our media. I think they have way too much control in our society and if they are not trying to sway people in one direction, they are scraping the bottom of the barrel for a buck.

Even by those low standards, yesterday was a weird day in the media. It seems that every news outlet and their mother had an article about whether the gluten-free diet was a necessity or a fad.

Really?? I thought we were moving past this.

Note to self: More work to be done raising celiac awareness.

It’s almost like one person got the idea and because it would be too much work to come up with something original, everybody simply copied the same idea.

But nobody did more of a hatchet job than ABC News. The video above, titled “Is a Gluten-Free Diet Bad for You?” is garbage journalism at best.

Here are the video low-lights:

  • First comes an ad. Yeah…I know they need to make money. I’m ok with that. But max out at 10 seconds or you lose me.
  • :30 –  Ok…we’re off to a good start. The focus is on Dana Vollmer, who has severe gluten-sensitivity and had to give up gluten for HEALTH reasons.
  • :45 – They had to bring in Elizabeth Hasselbeck? And she doesn’t mention WHY Dana was gluten-free? Missed opportunity.
  • 1:15 – “Novak Djokovic, the tennis player, has celiac disease.” 100% incorrect. Not even close. Seriously, how does that make it to the final cut of the video? Pathetic.
  • 1:25 – “Dana Vollmer just feels better going gluten-free.” Unreal. No mention that she suffers from gluten-intolerance. She is not doing this simply to feel better, but to keep her healthy; a huge difference.
  • 1:40 – They bring in a practitioner of “functional medicine”, because, you know, it must have been too difficult to find a real doctor to talk about a real disease. He says people lose weight when they stop eating gluten. He’s an idiot.
  • 2:00 – Now they bring in somebody from a Reality TV show. It’s officially getting comical.
  • 2:20 –  Crap, they’re bringing back Miss Hasselbeck. I’m sorry…she just annoys me.
  • 3:00 –  Miss H. says that “those who are adopting gluten-free for fashion or trend are probably going to like it.” She says everyone is better off reducing gluten from their diet. Perhaps she got a medical degree while on Survivor that I am not aware of. She is the worst celiac advocate ever. I’m not saying people are better off “on” gluten or “off” gluten. I’m just saying there is no evidence that gluten is inherently bad for most people.
  • 3:40 –  They bring back the practitioner, who says that nobody should eat wheat, even though there is no scientific or medical evidence to back up his claim.
  • 3:55 –  They bring in Dr. Peter Green. Finally. So it only took ABC News four minutes to bring in somebody who knows what they’re talking about. Well done ABC.
  • 4:07 – Reporter: “Are there benefits of somebody who does not have celiac disease to go on a gluten-free diet?” Dr. Green: “Not that I’m aware of.”
  • Hmmm…who should I listen to? Reality TV stars or a medical professional who has dedicated his profession to those with celiac disease. That’s a tough one.
  • 4:20 –  Many doctors say going gluten-free if you do not need to be can actually be dangerous. Our practitioner denies it.
  • 5:00 – They go back to Dana Vollmer, making it seem like she went gluten-free just for an edge.
  • 5:12 – They finish with “Gluten-Free is Gold”, obviously stolen from my blog post yesterday (just kidding…I think).

So after several NBC Today Show fails, ABC has joined the ranks.

Stand proud folks…a job well done!

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38 thoughts on “The Worst Video EVER on Going Gluten-Free”

  1. I get what you mean about Elisabeth Hasselbeck. The only time she ever puts herself in the spotlight regarding Celiac Disease is to hock those stupid noggi bars she endorses. NEVER have I heard her go in to detail about Celiac Awareness or how to be properly tested.

    The most frustrating part about this whole media never getting it right thing, is that they portray us as whiny and demanding for correcting them and asking for proper factual coverage.

    1. Not to mention that those bars are awful, and the first thing that people bring up when they say they’ve “tried” gluten free and couldn’t stand the taste of anything.

      I despise Hasselbeck for imposing her personal views on this everyone, but I really can’t stand that she’s a spokesperson. Can we get Dana Vollmer or someone else who is famous and doing GF for their health as a spokesperson? I’d be willing to give them coverage.

  2. I love it how they say that Vollmer feels better when she’s gluten free and then show a giant stack of sugary cookies. Of course she feels better if she’s not eating crap like that!!

  3. Gosh I keep starting this comment but a whole bunch of things are running through my head at the same time ha ha ~

    ~ one I like how EH brings viewers to the frozen section and then points out all the breads and carbs ~ acting like she eats tonnes of all that stuff ~ which would not be a “healthy way of going gluten free” – just to substitute all that and think you are going to feel better.
    ~ I don’t often hear the benefits of going gluten-free in a healthy way ~ I don’t ever hear about adding more natural fibers into the diet – through fruits and veggies ~ all we see on these “going gluten free” things is tonnes of cakes, cookies, breads, ect.
    ~ I understand the not wanting people to go on this way of eating just as a fad or “diet” thinking they will just lose weight and feel better ~ without research but I am almost insulted as a Celiac that they make is sound so “dangerous” to go gluten free.
    ~ I agree with you on what a smash up this is because it held so much misinformation and so much conflicting advice that it ends up being one big negative.

    Sigh ~ it makes it all the harder for us with Celiac Disease … 🙁

    1. The Gluten Dude

      The focus on the “replacement” food drives me nuts too. “Look…you can still have brownies and cupcakes and cookies.”

      1. The focus on the replacement foods is particularly funny considering so many people are jumping on the gluten free bandwagen to lose weight! A gluten free chocolate brownie is still going to make you fat! In fact, assuming you don’t actually have a gluten intolerance, the gluten filled brownie is probably better for you if the choice is between wheat flour and rice flour – the wheat flour has more iron and fibre!

        The Djokovic example is also bad because he makes a big deal about eating gluten after his matches as a celebration!

  4. ARGH!! Is it any wonder we can’t get family members and others to understand just how serious this disease is and how damaging it is when we injest “just a little bit” of gluten. As for the weight loss……would someone please explain the 50 pounds I have gained since diagnosis?????

    1. Ann,
      I rebounded and gained weight (30 lbs.) after DX too– once I started absorbing again. My doc told me this is normal and that I will level off and not to worry about it.

      I know several others who did the same thing.

      I have since dropped a few, now that I can exercise a bit. My muscles were severely impacted from CD and I am rehabbing 2X a week with PT & MT. I suspect I’ll lose a few more in the months to come.

      What happens is, we probably take in more carbs than necessary because we were malnourished for so long and of course, we are seeking the most filling/satisfying foods. The body craves what it is missing.

      Try cutting back on carbs and adding in more fruits and veggies? fish? that sort of thing.
      Just a thought. 🙂
      Cheers, IH

    2. No kidding Ann ~ I have gained the same in the last couple years … I hear you – it’s frustrating … and reports like this do not make it any easier with my family or friends that don’t understand Gluten.

      1. no sooner did I say what I said, when I read this article!

        Guys, read this: 🙂

        “But, gluten-free diets may not lead to weight loss. In fact, for celiac patients weight gain for those on the gluten-free diets is the goal because it suggests they’re absorbing the necessary foods and nutrients they had been lacking.”

        found here:

        1. This is a good article. I wish they had said a little more about Dr. Fasano’s rsearch that found a definite immune response to gluten in those who are gluten sensitive, but do not have Celiac Disease.. I think there is a need to emphasize that it’s not a placebo effect for many people who go gluten-free and find relief from their symptoms..

          Question: In the article G-Dude posted yesterday I can see where Dana Vollmet could have an egg allergy, but a gluten allergy? Did they mean gluten sensitivity or does she have actual wheat/barley/rye allergies?

        2. I lost over 20lbs and finally gained back 7 eating gluten free and was happy with this. I was beginning to waste away prior to figuring it all out.

    3. Unfortunately, my father is one of those people…I am one of the undiagnosed out there, going in for a genetic test later this month after going gluten free and finding relief to all of my horrible digestive symptoms. I know it’s likely that family can have issues too, especially if it’s celiac disease, but now my dad has gone “gluten free” by swearing off cookies and pizza. At first I asked him how he felt and he said he had gluten again and felt bad…until I learned that the gluten was a lot of pizza and cookies, and that despite being “gluten free” he didn’t bother to read labels or look for the hidden ingredients.
      When did gluten free and low carb start to become the same?

      1. The Gluten Dude

        “When did gluten free and low carb start to become the same?”

        When the food industry saw the dollar signs!

  5. The Dude said about all I would have said about this “news” report.
    and I hate that EH is a “spokesperson” for us. She is so obnoxious, people will dismiss anything she has to say.

    I hate to dispute Dr. Green, but the idea that a gluten free diet is “dangerous” because people need fiber and “fortified” wheat products is preposterous

    Take a vitamin, if you are worried about “fortification”.
    I have plenty of fiber in my diet!

    Yes, eating ONLY the white-rice based pre-packaged GF junk IS dangerous, because they are full of sugar and calories and void of anything substantial.

    Eating healthfully and using alternative grains in your cooking and baking is about as healthy as it gets–for anyone— celiac or not.

    Look at this from a nutrition stand point!
    Fiber, vitamin and minerals come from eating a variety of fibrous veggies, fruits, and alternative grains like brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, etc. and legumes, nuts and flaxseed, etc.

    Many cultures around the world do not rely on the “almighty” wheat for their sustenance.

    A few examples of people who are GF and are as healthy as it gets:

    My Mother works out at a gym doing cardio -kickboxing and step aerobics 3X a week. She can run circles around people half her age. She is sharp as a tack.
    She is age 85 and on NO prescription meds (except a small dose of thyroid supp which may not be necessary soon), and went off her high BP meds, Nexium, and antacids when those conditions reversed off gluten.

    My husband (who is 10 years older than I am )works out at the gym 3X a week, walks 3 miles without breathing heavily, takes no medications and is the healthiest adult over 50 that I know. And he has great legs! 🙂

    My childhood friend who has kept her MS at bay for 25 years, even running the Boston Marathon! –did all this by adopting a grain free, sugar free diet long before anyone heard of “gluten free” diets.

    These are are all unDXed celiacs who adopted a GF diet and they are healthy, happy and do not feel deprived in any way.

    And finally, I may be one of the few here who will say that I honestly believe that gluten IS probably unhealthy for most people. It is a difficult grain/protein to digest and may cause more harm than anyone knows. Dr. Fasano et. al. are researching this as we speak.

    The SAD (standard American diet) is loaded with wheat and sugar.
    If people gave those up, of COURSE they would lose weight and feel better. It’s a given.

    Frankly, I am tired of people bashing the gluten free diet before they even learn a single thing about it.

    I eat so well (perhaps better than I have in my entire life) and I just do not understand what people are talking about.

    1. Well said Irish
      “Frankly, I am tired of people bashing the gluten free diet before they even learn a single thing about it.

      I eat so well (perhaps better than I have in my entire life) and I just do not understand what people are talking about.”

      It so irks me when I hear that adopting a gluten free diet is dangerous ~ seriously?! Going on ANY diet can be dangerous if you don’t research what your body will be lacking if you do so … and what you may need to supplement with or be aware of how it affects your system … lordy.

      So frustrating …

    2. I am one of the undiagnosed and I know many others gfree without a diagnosis. I agree – I too feel it is not healthy period and dont feel bad that my family has cut back on it significantly. We are eating more whole foods as a family and that is healthy. The only thing unhealthy about gluten free is eating processed. Otherwise I do believe we are eating much healthier than most.

  6. Oh man…. this has just REALLY wound me up!! Like we don’t have enough problems with people thinking it is just a “faddy” diet without this bunch of doorknobs adding to them!!

  7. Besides eating gluten free I also try to follow a Paleo diet, which advocates no grains for anyone. They want people to eat more fresh foods such as meats, vegetables and fruits. I would say gluten free is healthy for anyone because you will give up a lot of very unhealthy pre-packaged foods. You will learn to cook fresh foods. As far as saying that the high carb gluten free foods are not healthy, well hello neither is the high carb gluten foods. The biggest error is weight loss. I know I gained 25 pounds after my dx. However saying that these athletes are wrong about enhanced performance on a gluten free diet, who knows, maybe some are Celiac or have gluten sensitivity and have never been diagnosed. We’ve all been in that boat. What makes me crazy is that the media screws up every report. For the 30 seconds of correct information, they give you 5 minutes of rubbish. That’s what makes you, Dude a great source of correct information and unlimited entertainment!

    1. The Gluten Dude

      Thanks Diana. And yes, it’s all about the foods you eat instead of the gluten-filled stuff. If you replace with crap, you’ll be unhealthy. Replace with the good goods, and you’ll be healthy. This isn’t rocket science folks.

  8. EH’s book was one of the first ones I bought. While I found it interesting and helpful, I now find her less knowledgeable than I really need to be. She recommended that she buys Boar’s Head meats at the deli at the store at the beginning of the day when the cutting equipment is clean. I won’t even do that now. IMO shared equipment is just not good for me.

    And at that point I started hearing her make more comments that were not so intelligent. Just because one is a star with celiac disease does not make them an expert…. Hu hmmm… Dean McDermott. Cough cough.

    Thanks for always calling the media out on their stupidity. I rarely watch the news any more due to the way they handle all stories and now especially their ignorance surrounding celiac disease and non-celiac gluten intolerance … Which can be just as serious as CD.

  9. Gluten Dude, today is depressing. Not only are people spouting off about gluten free eating with stupidity here, I was listening to the local news this morning and a random, 10 second story was inserted that people eating gluten free are all self-diagnosed fad dieters and they should go back to eating wheat.

    If I have ever heard a planted story by a wheat lobbying body, its that one. No research. No facts. Just calling everyone eating gluten free, no matter what the reason, a self-diagnosed fad dieter. I was not happy and spouted off on their Facebook wall. Several folks agreed with me, but I doubt its enough to cause them to think – maybe we shouldn’t indict all people eating gluten free with the same statement?

    That and I had to explain, yet again, that diabetes type I can NOT be cured by a raw food diet OR by losing weight. That’s plausibly type II, not type I.

    Sorry for spouting off. Its just a bad day overall. Health stupidity and self-proclaimed experts are everywhere, and its hard to escape the folks who do fifteen minutes of internet reading (if that) and call them selves ready to right a proper news story.

    1. The Gluten Dude

      Never a need to apologize about spouting on my blog. That’s what it’s here for.

      And yes…I’m as frustrated as you. Many of us are.

  10. This is why I limit my television watching to sitcoms and other similar rubbish. At least I know in advance that what I am about to watch is uninformative, for entertainment only and a complete waste of time. And it never completely pisses me off!

  11. I guess I’m just naive, but I don’t get why someone would go GF if they didn’t have to!! Ms H is an idiot, but I thought that long before I heard she was GF. Whoever mentioned that they are annoyed by EH as a spokesman/woman/child/robot, I agree. How about someone who doesn’t live in the stratosphere and has to put food in the table every day. No take-out!

  12. One time (one!) I heard a mention of having to be aware of the possibility of cross contamination during an interview with Ms H. Except it wasn’t she who brought it up – it was the host. She just went along, using the utensils that the show had available, not mentioning that you really should have your own cooking/serving set, your own toaster, or your own bakeware.

    I’d be more likely to take advice on being gluten free from the woman hosting the show than from Ms. H… at least she brought up the subject of being careful when you cook!

  13. Seriously? Did they say a gluten-free diet lacks fiber? I am getting more fiber in my diet this way. Someone, needs to do more research before they share their expertise.

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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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