Going gluten-free is a hot topic these days. Is it healthy or hype? The truth is that going gluten-free is not just a trend, but a healthy habit that greatly benefits most people. In the past 50 years, wheat has been hybridized to produce a greater yield, which has also produced a higher starch and gluten content. As this scientifically engineered wheat has increased, celiac disease has increased by 400 percent! To make matters worse, reactions to gluten are often misdiagnosed and undetected.
Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity
Celiac disease: is a rare autoimmune disorder, affecting about 1% of Americans, in which eating gluten damages the small intestine. With an auto-immune reaction the immune system mistakes a part of the body as a pathogen and attacks it’s own cells. Celiac requires strict adherence to a 100% gluten-free diet.
Gluten sensitivity: is a common condition, affecting 1 in 3 Americans, in which the individual experiences symptoms (listed below) similar to those of Celiac, but an autoimmune reaction is not present.
Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include:
- Digestive issues such as leaky gut, diarrhea, constipation
- Joint pain and inflammation
- Weight gain and obesity
- Diabetes and blood sugar problems
- Reproductive problems
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Thyroid problems
- Psychiatric disorders
Why Go Gluten-Free?
Although it seems crazy to eliminate foods that constitute the bulk of an average American’s diet, wheat and most processed products contain gluten. Hidden in everything from bread to beer, condiments to conditioner, and lunch meat to licorice, gluten makes you fat, inflamed and addicted.
Gluten Makes You Fat
Wheat contains amylopectin A, a starch that spikes insulin more than most carbs (including table sugar), which promotes insulin resistance and weight gain.
Gluten Increases Inflammation
Often called the “gate-way grain,” gluten creates a leaky gut that can lead to multiple food allergies/sensitivities and inflammation throughout the body.
Gluten Promotes Overeating
Gluteomorphin, a drug-like component of the gluten protein, increases cravings, stimulates appetite and contributes to binge eating.
Cate Ritter is a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner in the Monterey Bay Area specializing in weight loss, digestive health and hormone balance. In person, Skype, phone and corporate health programs available.