Daily Archives: September 11, 2012
I’ve heard this now and then… “I cut back on my gluten.” or “I just cut some out of the gluten, and I still eat it some times.”
For those of you who do this… I want to explain something.
Going gluten free truly isn’t something you can do half-way and notice a difference – if you’re that’s what you’re trying to do.
Obviously for a celiac it’s a lifetime commitment, but if you have other gluten intolerances that are affecting multiple systems if your body… it’s similar for you, in that – you can’t eat “some” – or it’s defeating the purpose.
It would be like having a huge glass of cystal clear water… with “just two little drops of poison.” Would you drink it? Of course not.
While researching for an endocrinologist this week – I can across this statement from the KU Med center which better relates what many of the information I believe is trying to say:
Why Gluten (Wheat) May be Bad for You
Today’s modern dwarf wheat has been genetically engineered and is no longer the same wheat that ancient civilizations used to eat, and is implicated as a major contributor to obesity.
Wheat, even whole wheat products, contains starches that spike blood sugar rapidly, and can thus promote diabetes as well as causing people to age faster.
Our modern strains of wheat have more proteins that cause celiac-associated problems for people, even for those who do not have celiac disease. Up to 40 percent of the population has genes that pre-dispose them to gluten sensitivity. These people are not celiac, but can still improve their health (and lose weight) by avoiding wheat. (This means that 40% of the population is better off being gluten free).
In addition, wheat breaks down into polypeptides that can cross the blood brain barrier and act like opiates in the brain, causing some people to have a wheat addiction. And even in normal people, wheat promotes an increase in gut permeability. (This is bad).
There is also possible cross reactivity between gluten and proteins in milk. This means that many gluten sensitive people are also better off avoiding milk as well.
If you are overweight, have bowel problems or joint pain, or any other health problem, including skin rash, fatigue, depression, endometriosis, reflux, it may be worth it going gluten free for 3 months and seeing if it makes a difference for you. Because we often also see dairy intolerance, it may not hurt to also go dairy-free.
This is not to be undertaken lightly.
Going Gluten Free:
Going gluten free is a serious commitment. There is no ‘having a little’. You either are gluten free or you are not.
To go gluten free, you will need to avoid wheat and anything made from wheat, including hidden sources of wheat. No pasta, no pizza, no bread, no pastries, no barley, no rye, no spelt, no oats (unless gluten free), no hydrolyzed vegetable protein, no MSG, no maltodextrin, no beer (wine and sake are generally ok). Be careful of wrapped chewing gum and other products that may have been dusted with wheat flour to keep them from sticking. Be careful of prescription drugs and supplements that may have wheat as a filler.
What Not to Do:
Do not make the mistake of substituting with these ‘gluten free’ breads or pastas if you are looking to lose weight, as these gluten substitute products are often made with corn, tapioca, rice, and potato, and so also spike blood sugars and contribute to obesity and faster aging.
To go gluten free, aim to eat a low carbohydrate diet, and use sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, quinoa, beans and brown rice (sparingly) as carbohydrate sources. You can also have millet, amaranth, teff, buckwheat, and sorghum. Make your plate a rainbow of vegetables, and only eat organic or grassland fed meats. If you must eat seafood, only eat low mercury fish that is wild caught, not farmed.
Not everyone can make full dietary changes all at once. There is a process called ‘transitioning’ where you slowly make changes. This is ok, and full transitioning can sometimes take a year or two. However, if your health condition is serious, you may not have the luxury of doing things that slowly. Remember also that once your gut has been damaged by gluten, it can take 6 months (to two years) to heal.
(For me, I think doing a 3 month test – full out would be essential (that means, NO cheating or your back to square ONE), and knowing how cross contamination works – this is a big commitment, I do realize – but one that is worth it for your future health!) Remember, life isn’t all about food!
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God,
the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love Him
and keep his commandments,
to a thousand generations,”