Nowadays, there is so much out there regarding gluten intolerances, gluten allergies, gluten sensitivities, and gluten-free foods. But is gluten-free the way to be? I am often asked if an individual can lose weight eliminating gluten. So many interesting questions! I will move into answering them from my own health choices and wellness journey.
Gluten is a protein found in such grains as wheat, barley, and rye. Wheat in a healthy unprocessed form is ok to eat in moderation but only if you are not gluten sensitive. Wheat needs to be heated to a safe level to destroy any toxic substances that can be found within it. Wheat in its raw form or processed into flours could be dangerous. As a society, we are not consuming the same amount of gluten today that we did before the Industrial Revolution; we are ingesting much more. Gluten is now engineered to be better, and many of our bodies cannot tolerate these ever evolving changes to our foods. The wheat we have today is incredibly more processed than what our great grandparents farmed and baked with years ago.
Gluten is delicious. That is why companies are hard at work to improve it each passing day. It makes your bagels, cakes, and breads delectable. However, even if you are not diagnosed with disease, you may still suffer from an autoimmune reaction due to the high levels of gluten in the American diet. Symptoms could include: bloating, pain, fatigue and headaches just to name a few. Diagnoses that stem from gluten and food allergy sensitivities could include: skin disease, neurological disorders, autoimmune reactions, digestive disorders, diabetes and thyroid problems, fibromyaliga, chronic fatigue, mind fog, and possibly chronic infections. The best way to discover if you are having sensitivities to gluten is to try an elimination diet and journal your symptoms throughout the trial.
Many people unknowingly assume that going gluten-free is a “diet” and weight lose is inevitable. Buyer beware! Many of the foods in the grocery store that are labeled as gluten-free are still highly processed and full of sugars. Yes, there are some acceptable GF products on the shelves, but the best way to eat a GF diet and reap the benefits of losing weight is to include in your eating plan most vegetables, fermented foods, meats, and low glycemic fruits. You will want to get your fats from olive oils and healthy fat options such as nuts and avocados. Notice there are not a lot of high glycemic carbohydrates listed. If you stick to a true GF diet by avoiding such foods, you are eating mindfully, healthfully, and thus may see some weight lose benefits!
Elisabeth Hasselbeck recently spoke with Dr. Oz regarding tips to uncover hidden food allergies. Check out some clips from that show!
Additional resources to learn more about gluten in our American diet include: Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis
and The Gluten Connection: How Gluten Sensitivity May be Sabotaging Your Health By Shari Lieberman
There is a vast amount of material out there on gluten and gluten-free living. I have skimmed the surface on this interesting topic and hope that it sheds some light and provides some insight for your personal wellness journeys!
Gluten-free is not for everyone…but it may be for you!