I’m entering into a whole new world of going Gluten FREE!
I personally don’t have an issue with gluten but my wife has a sensitivity to gluten and it would be nice to be supportive to her.
This means that the next series of newsletters will be in the Gluten FREE arena of information.
And as I’ve begun to dip my toe into it, it’s a bit overwhelming with the amount of information and options that are out there.
So here’s the game plan:
Today we’re going to set the stage and help you understand the general health concerns of gluten in your diet.
Next issue I’m going to provide you with a list of Excellent Resources in this area.
Then we’ll see if we need to spend any more time on this.
So, let’s start with the question: What is gluten?
Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, rye and related wheat grains such as spelt and kamut. It’s used in bake goods because it provides a chewy texture and form. Plus it’s added to other food items for taste and consistency.
Why is it bad for you?
Well it’s not bad but it is extremely hard to digest. A protein is a chain of amino acids linked together. Amino acids are the building blocks that your body needs to form muscle and other tissues so they’re extremely important to your health. The problem with gluten is that the structure of this protein is extremely hard to break down into its individual amino acids. This can cause stomach and intestinal distress.
What foods contain gluten?
Any foods that use flour in their product. This flour can come from wheat, barley, or rye. Plus the food industry uses these 3 main sources to create food additives that then introduce the gluten protein into other foods that you wouldn’t directly associate with this issue like sausages, luncheon meats, baked beans, and breath mints just to name a few.
Whose effected by this?
Two main categories of people. Those with Celiac Disease and those with Gluten Sensitivity. Currently 1 out of every 133 Americans have Celiac Disease, which means that gluten triggers their immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine. This leads to a whole host of health problems.
Those with a gluten sensitivity do not experience damage to the lining of the small intestine but they can experience other issues like:
- Abdominal discomfort or pain
- Headaches and Migraines
- Lethargy and Tiredness
- Muscle and Joint Pain
- Skin Problems and Depression
Why is this occurring?
That is a good question. Some believe that it centers on the food industry and the way they have genetically engineered grains over the last 40 years. Some believe it’s stems from the high dependency Americans have on pharmaceutical drugs interfering with metabolic processes need for the breakdown of foods. This would especially apply to the large number of people using anti acids like Tums which effects the stomachs ability to break down food. So there are a variety of reasons. My personal opinion is that it is most likely a combination of all of the above.
Should everyone go gluten free?
I’m not here to promote that. I’m only going to provide you with excellent information and resources so that if you decide to go gluten free then you can experience on your own the health benefits you might find by removing this type of protein from your diet.
If I stop eating gluten wouldn’t I remove protein from my diet?
Because gluten is so difficult to break down most people don’t derive 100% nutritional benefit from gluten. And there are so many other excellent sources for protein that it is not really going to cause you a lack of protein in your diet.
Well that’s enough information for this newseltter.
If you’re interested here is a good video to watch on the explanation of why gluten is so difficult to break down. This comes from Dr. Peter Glidden.