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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
|Diarrhea||Irritability||Sudden Mood Swings|
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.
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.
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 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.