We talk Gluten
Posted on 10th February 2022 at 18:43
I do quite a lot of reading and research (although it never feels like I do enough) and like many people I subscribe to an awful lot of mailing lists and get bombarded daily with emails from those lists. A lot of them don't contain an awful lot of good information, they repeat things or have a great headline and then perhaps the content doesn't necessarily deliver on what you were expecting.
So I was wary when I clicked on this article What Exactly Is Gluten? Here's Everything You Need to Know from a website called healthline.com. It is basically about all things gluten; why it's good for you or why it's not good for you and explaining some of the technicalities around it. To be honest I wasn’t expecting a huge amount when I logged on and read it but was actually pleasantly surprised.
In fact the reason for this blog post is to point people in the direction of this article and the whole subject of gluten intolerance. This subject has been widely discussed and popularised over the last 10 plus years and I very firmly fall on the side of “I think it's questionable that it does people any good”. I'm not saying that everybody should eliminate gluten, I'm not saying that it's something we should all be avoiding at all costs.
I do however, think there's a really strong argument to say that we should seriously consider just how much gluten and gluten containing foods and ask just what impact this particular food group is having on our digestion. I find it difficult to say that gluten is good for you and
I believe the vast majority of human beings would do better with much less gluten in their lives.
This article will give you some of the science around it, the health line articles contain scientific references to back up the points and I still research links for many of the articles
I'm not going to repeat the sections of the article, I'll let you read that for yourself, but I do want to draw your attention to a couple of things. The first is that if you feel that that your digestion is not optimal and that there might be issues with your digestion then I would thoroughly encourage you to do a gluten elimination test and see how your body reacts.
His can be done very easily by simply eliminating gluten from your diet for a period of time. I would suggest a minimum of two weeks and this is probably the area that most people fall foul of. You have to understand it takes 10 days to eliminate gluten from your system so anything less than 10 days is not going to be effective and you'll end up getting only confused results.
Signs and symptoms of gluten intolernace can be wide ranging and also irregular but a 2-3 week elimination will give a pretty clear indication of any potential benefits of a longer term elimination
So a two week minimum ideally 3 if you can get there, and to answer the next question which will be “what do I eat on a gluten free diet” again this is not as difficult as it appears at first glance. Quite simply you eat fruit, vegetables, meat and anything that is fresh. This also helps to counter the argument that says a gluten free diet leaves you deficient in certain nutrients because for the vast majority of people who try this really high quality food and high quality fresh food, eating all the colours of the rainbow and consciously following the other standard guidelines for eating a healthy diet, will actually increase the range or volume of nutrients required.
Once you've done your two to three weeks then it's simply a case of sitting back and noting what is different.
Does your stomach feel less bloated?
Do you look better?
Has your skin quality improved?
Have you lost some weight?
Are your bowel movements better? More regular, easier to pass?
Do you fit do you fit into clothes better?
Are you sleeping better?
The number of things that can be affected are really wide and vast so and I really do encourage people to have a go and try these things for themselves. Far, far too many people don't give things like this a proper go, use themselves as a bit of a Guinea pig and have a go at these things with enough conviction and accuracy to actually be able to assess whether it's having a positive benefit them?
The next thing to bear in mind is that we all exist on a spectrum with regard to food intolerances and you may be sensitive to a food, you may be intolerant to a food, you may be allergic to a food or, you may have no noticeable symptoms to any food.
However, what you notice on the outside might be different to what is going on at a cellular level. As a nutrition coach one of the things I have to teach almost every client is how to understand the way their body tells them what is good and what isn’t. All to often clients are missing the signs that their bodies are giving them because they have been overlooking them for far too long.
One must also realise that there are no reliable tests on the market to reliable determine gluten sensitivity or intolerance. Blood tests only measure things that create a blood bourse antibody reaction, which sensitivities and most intolerance do not and gut tests have far too many variables to be reliant. For instance your body will not generally flag up an intolerance to foods that you eat the most – because it has learnt not to react to them.
Ironically it is almost always the foods that we eat the most that we become intolerant to.
Fortunately, there is one test that is reliable, effective and FREE - stop eating it! However, there are challenges: thinking of a different way to feed yourself is often the biggest obstacle in that people simply cannot think of a way to remove bread or sandwiches or pasta or cereals. The reality is that there are lots of different things you can eat but you just need the impetus and the commitment to work through those obstacles.
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