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To Be Gluten-Free or Not to Be? Chef Kelvin Cheung Answers the Riddle

Cutting out gluten from your diet does not have to end like a Shakespearean tragedy, here’s why.  

‘To eat the world,’ might be celebrity chef Kelvin Cheung’s foodie motto but gluten is a notable exception.

One of the biggest proponents of the gluten-free diets during his stint at Mumbai’s Bastian restaurant, Chef Cheung found many takers for this diet. So, what sets it apart from the others?

Well, gluten is essentially proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, oats and their variant grains. It is usually prescribed to help people heal their gut rather than lose weight. 
“My wife and my mother-in-law are extremely gluten intolerant so that’s why I started cooking gluten-free but I do notice the benefits personally too. When my wife eats gluten food the very next day her joints swell up and the wedding ring does not even fit her finger! As for me, I have noticed that this diet gives me less inflammation,” he says. 

How to gluten-free?

Going gluten-free is much more than heading to the local store and picking up products marked sans gluten. And, according to Chef Cheung, that’s where the trouble starts.     
He says, “Going gluten-free is not always healthier only because most gluten-free products that you see in the market are not healthy. In the absence of the right ingredients and to cover up the flavours and textures, most brands add a lot of fat and unnecessary flavours.”

But this diet is not as restrictive as it sounds and essentially involves tailoring your meal plan around gluten-free edibles such as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, rice, potatoes, lentils etc. And, if you do end up on the gluten-free aisle of the supermarket, just follow Chef Cheung’s handy guide.

“You need to watch out for what types of alternative flours are used in the product as well as what types of added oils and fats are there. For instance, a lot of gluten-free bread in order to make it palatable to the main masses has a lot of added sugar, vegetable oils and whatnot. The grains used in such products may also have a higher amount of carbs than you are actually looking to consume. So, always read the labels and make sure what you are eating,” he says.

Of fad diets 

While interacting with Bollywood’s finest, it can be said that Chef Kelvin Cheung has tried out every diet under the sun. As he says, “I have done a lot of meal plans for my VIP guests but I always had a rule that I would try whatever I feed them first. So, I have already tried most of these fad diets.”

Currently, on a well-deserved break from his CrossFit regime, ask him about the worst fad diet he has ever tried…and pat comes the reply – “The GM diet!” 

He says, “One of my close friends in the Indian film industry really wanted to try out the GM diet. So, I did it with him and it was THE WORST diet I have ever done. It required you to only eat fruits one day, only vegetables the other day, only bananas and milk for the whole of the next day and so on. It was the stupidest and most dumb thing I have ever done.”

Well, that does not sound like a good time at all. But, as Chef Cheung told us, they managed to stick to this infamous diet for a week but never again!