Healthy Body, Healthy Food

Why People Eat Gluten-Free Food – Enjoy Better Health Now!

Loafs Of Bread

There are two very important reasons why people eat gluten-free food – celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Then there are those who choose to eat gluten-free in the hope that it will help them to lose weight.

What is gluten?

Gluten is the main protein that is found naturally in barley, rye, and also in wheat.

Gluten Free FDA LogoWhat is certified gluten-free?

Food that is certified gluten-free will display the Food and Drug Administration certified gluten-free seal. This food is either naturally gluten-free or does not include any ingredients that contain gluten.

Celiac Disease

The first and main reason why people eat gluten-free food is that they have to. They do not have a choice if they want to live a long and healthy life.

More than 3 million people, about 1 out of every 100 Americans, have what is called celiac disease. The gluten in food causes damage to the lining of their small intestine which prevents their body from absorbing the nutrients in the food they eat.

There is no known cure for celiac disease. The only way to successfully treat someone who has been diagnosed with the disease is to have them live on a completely gluten-free diet for the rest of their lives.

Maintaining a completely gluten-free diet is critical for people who have celiac disease as eating foods that contain gluten greatly increases their risk of developing certain forms of cancer. These include small bowel cancer and intestinal lymphoma.

Someone who has been diagnosed with celiac disease must not eat any of the following gluten containing foods:

 Wheat  Graham Flour  Rye
 Farina  Semolina  Barley
 Spelt  Triticale  Durham
 Malt  Bulgur

When shopping for gluten-free foods, always look for the FDA certified gluten-free seal as this is the only way to guarantee that the food is completely safe to eat for those who have celiac disease.

Gluten Sensitivity

The second reason that many people eat gluten-free food is to feel better overall health wise. A portion of the population is gluten sensitive. This means that they can eat gluten, but their bodies struggle to properly digest it because it produces inflammation in their GI tract.

Eating products containing gluten can cause a multitude of symptoms including:

 Bloating  Abdominal Cramps  Gas
 Fatigue  Headaches  Dizziness
 Diarrhea  Irritability  Sudden Mood Swings

Donut

Many times these symptoms don’t appear until the next day after eating gluten-containing products making it harder to pinpoint the actual cause of the symptoms.

There is really no wonder that this is the case seeing as how the food companies have genetically altered the way wheat is not only grown with all of the pesticides and herbicides but also the way that it is processed in the foods that we eat.

Consider that most food labels that list wheat in their contents list it as enriched wheat flour. This means that the original wheat has been stripped of many of its nutritional benefits. Then additives are combined with the remaining wheat producing a cheap substance that tastes like wheat but has very little nutritional properties remaining.

This wheat substance can actually be harmful to those who are sensitive to its ingredients.

For most people, though, it is the gluten (natural protein) in wheat that is the cause of their discomfort. This natural protein is found in all wheat products. It does not matter whether the wheat is organic or commercially enriched. The gluten remains even after processing the wheat into flour or cereal.

Gluten is not only in wheat, but also in rye, and barley and causes inflammation which can lead to many different diseases. The inflammation is at the root of almost every disease, including obesity.

Inflammatory Foods

Additionally, the following foods all cause inflammation to the body and should be avoided to improve overall good health:

1. Refined Sugar

White sugar or granulated sugar increases inflammation in different parts of the body causing swelling and pain.

2. Artificial Sweeteners

This type of sweetener found in Splenda, sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame has been shown to cause inflammation in the body and to reduce good bacteria.

3. Vegetable Oils

Cottonseed oil, canola oil, soybean oil, and corn oil have all been shown to create inflammation in the body.

Limiting the consumption of food containing these ingredients will go a long way in lowering or preventing the symptoms of gluten sensitivity.

Eating Gluten-Free To Lose Weight

Finally, we find a growing number of people who decide to go gluten-free in the hopes that they will be able to lose weight easily.

While this may seem like a worthy way to easily lose weight, studies have shown that most people don’t significantly lose weight in this manner. Also, completely eliminating wheat, barley, and rye from someone’s diet when health issues are not present is almost always sure to fail.

Gluten is present in many products other than simply bread and rolls. Even such products as ketchup and soy sauce and even beer contain small amounts of gluten.

Tap-Beer

A more reasonable and healthier approach is to reduce the consumption of enriched wheat flour as much as possible.

Thankfully many food companies are now producing gluten-free varieties of their popular products.

Even substituting just a few gluten-free food items for the usual foods that you eat can make a huge difference in your overall health and wellbeing.

The bottom line is this. If you haven’t been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, then the best advice is to try to limit your consumption of products containing enriched wheat flour.

While you may or may not lose a noticeable amount of weight by reducing your consumption of products containing enriched wheat flour, you will no doubt experience significant health benefits in less bloating, gas, headaches, and fatigue.

Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

What is extremely interesting and worth noting is that there is a direct link between the consumption of foods that contain gluten and the onset and the severity of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

One of the root causes of memory loss is the protein gluten because it is so highly inflammatory.

Many times Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can be stopped in their tracks when the persons affected go on a gluten-free diet.

Even the aches and pains of arthritis have been shown to have the root cause of the consumption of gluten.

Start Today

Start today on a healthier food plan for a healthier you.

Even though you might not be showing any signs of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia, for the sake of your long-term health, it is advisable to limit your consumption of gluten and enriched wheat flour as these appear to be the main cause of the inflammation that has led to many of the diseases, including obesity, prevalent today.

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10 thoughts on “Why People Eat Gluten-Free Food – Enjoy Better Health Now!

  1. Hi Linda,
    Is gluten inflammatory to your gut if you don’t suffer from gluten sensitivity or celiac?
    Should we all be limiting our consumption of this protein for better gut health overall?
    Can you eat rice, cous cous or quinoa as a gluten substitute?
    Thanks or a very informative article,
    Kris

    1. Unfortunately couscous is not gluten free. As far as rice goes, most brands are in fact gluten free. Just be very careful of rice that has been “enriched” as this may add a gluten containing ingredient or coating to the rice. Quinoa is naturally gluten free, but again it may be cross contaminated during processing.

      If you do not suffer from any signs of gluten sensitivity and have never been diagnosed as having celiac disease, then there is really no reason to strictly limit your consumption of gluten. It is still advisable though to eat as healthy as possible with organic versions of wheat and corn products. Because gluten is inflammatory, eating too much of it now may cause side affects later in life.

  2. I am a man over 40 and your post was awesome. I honestly had no idea that gluten had such and effect on even memory!

    I have had poor memory since I was a teenager, and it does make me wonder if it could be partly due to my diet! (My mother and I have the same mental issues!) Can you tell me to what degree getting off of gluten might help or do you know of some studies that I might review?

    1. Thank you so much for commenting Margo. I am really glad to know that you found this article helpful. I want to wish you the absolute best of success on your weight loss plan. One thing to always remember is to be careful not to overeat calorie wise. Just because some food is gluten free doesn’t necessarily mean that it is low calorie.

  3. Hi Linda,

    I had no idea that gluten was so damaging to the body. Has it always been around or just due to the advent of GMO’s. I try to buy only organic foods, from my breads to oranges. Do organic foods also have gluten? I love bread and found a great whole wheat organic bread. I was just wondering if gluten would be in that bread?

    Really informative post. Thank you.

    Gina

    1. Hi Gina,

      The good news is that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are prohibited from being used in organic products. Unfortunately though, organic wheat does indeed contain gluten so if you or anyone you know has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity they will need to avoid all wheat products, even organic.

      Linda

  4. This is a very interesting topic. I will have to talk to my mother about the information you have provided. Thank you.

    1. Hi Mai,

      I’m glad that you found this information about why people eat gluten free food interesting. I certainly do hope that your mother will also find it helpful.

      Linda

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