Free From Food

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, lactose-free, egg-free, sugar-free, and other “free” diets are increasingly fashionable. Many people adopt these diets, even if they do not suffer from any intolerance, either out of concern for animal abuse or for personal health reasons. However, companies have capitalized on this trend by marketing their products as healthy options, which may not always be the case. Today, we will clarify this confusion.

Starting with the reasons why many people choose to become vegans and vegetarians, such as the poor conditions of breeding sites, it’s important to note that there are farms where animals graze outdoors, eat natural and organic grass, and are treated well. An example of this is the concept of “happy chickens.” If your concern is the treatment of animals, you can find products from ecological farms, albeit at a higher price. However, the quality of the product and the ethical treatment of animals justify these higher prices.

Regarding “free” diets like gluten, lactose, and egg-free, if you do not suffer from any intolerance and consume these products in moderation and in a balanced and quality manner, you can still maintain a healthy diet. When it comes to quality, consider consuming organic cereals, as modern cultivation methods, especially with wheat, have undergone many modifications. Spelt is a good alternative, as it has a hard shell that protects it and does not require chemicals. If you’re on a budget, you can replace wheat with spelt without needing it to be organic, for products like bread or flour.

If you suspect you’re lactose intolerant and have trouble digesting cow’s milk, you can try alternatives such as goat or buffalo milk, or kefir.

Be cautious of labels that might lead to confusion, making you believe a product is healthy simply because it lacks certain ingredients. It’s important to check for other potentially harmful ingredients like sugar or additives used to mimic the taste or texture of the excluded ingredient. You don’t need to completely eliminate gluten, dairy, etc., from your diet. Instead, focus on the quality of ingredients and consume them in moderation. Even if a product is of high quality, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet. Consuming gluten or dairy in small quantities is generally fine, but excessive consumption can impact intestinal health, even for non-intolerant individuals. Similarly, dairy products have been associated with certain health conditions, but you don’t need to eliminate them entirely if you’re not intolerant. Just moderate your consumption and opt for organic options or alternatives like goat, buffalo, or kefir.

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