Top 10 Reasons to go Gluten-Free

Posted on September 28, 2009

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If you are considering going gluten-free, congratulations! This is a big step towards being optimally fit & healthy! Even people who are not intolerant to gluten would be helped to a better quality of life by living as gluten-free as possible. Gluten has gone from being the occasionally-used & in-small-quantities add-in for homemade bread to the pervasive behemoth that forms the base for almost every food today. Don’t think you eat too much gluten since you don’t eat too much pasta, bread, crackers or beer? Well, read your ingredients list, if you’re eating foods that have “wheat gluten” in the ingredients, “malted barley,” “couscous,” “matzah,” “teriyaki sauce,” & a multitude of other ingredients, which can be found here: http://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsafe-Gluten-Free-Food-List-Unsafe-Ingredients/Page1.html , then you’re eating gluten. They also have a “safe” ingredients list outlining the ingredients that are free of gluten.

The average individual consumes 10-40 grams of gluten per day. The amount of gluten that can cause adverse reactions in the gut is 0.1 grams! A tiny amount!

Here, the statement holds true – too much of a good thing, is not a good thing. 

Ideally, you should consult with your naturopath or integrative medicine doctor before going gluten-free. It is doubtful that a regular western medical dr. will be able to educate, guide or assist you on this matter, although rumor has it there are some out there who do look beyond pills to treat root of symptoms (but I have yet to find one). Also, if you want to get tested to determine if your symptoms are being caused by an intolerance to gluten, then you should NOT remove gluten from your diet before getting tested since there will be no reaction in the body to test for if there is no gluten in the diet during the test.

Ok, that’s out of the way…now, the

Top 10 Reasons to go Gluten – Free!

10. fewer trips to the dr b/c there are less of other symptom issues: for some, eliminating gluten takes away congestion, brain fog, digestive disorders, feeling “flu-ish,” emotional highs & lows, and some neurological issues

9. less risk of developing serious food intolerances or allergies: the more the body gets bombarded with the same foods over & over -& particularly foods that create inflammation in the body- the more likely it is to start attacking the food as if it is a foreign invader & set off an immune reaction; when this happens, congrats, you are on the road to food allergies & your body will not absorb or tolerate the food any longer

8. have more energy: gluten alters the neurotransmitters to the gut & brain which can lead to altered behaviors, altered neurological responses, and changes the body’s energy level. Removing gluten is like running on E85 – clean burning, very little negative run-off

7. much easier to control “splurge” eating: when you know that you are choosing gluten-free because you want to be in control of the quality of your life, it is simple to keep on driving rather than pick up the treat from the Starbucks pastry counter, or the “just 1 cookie” at the office snack bar

6. possible increase in weight loss/body fat loss: less inflammation from gluten (and other offending foods/additives) means the body is free to function more optimally, meaning it is easier to go through the process of unloading excess weight & body fat that is keeping the body from being optimal.

5. better digestion/absorption of food & its nutrients: when the gut is damaged by gluten (which can happen with as little as 0.1 grams of gluten), the absorption of all food & supplements is altered making it less likely that you are truly getting the full benefit of that daily vitamin or that chicken breast.

4. stronger immune system:greater homeostasis in the body; gluten-free living means your body is not perpetually fighting the large protein, gliadin, which means the immune system can focus on fighting other fronts & keeping you healthy

3. save money!!: it is actually cheaper to eat gluten-free, as long as you are not buying the packaged junk foods labeled “gluten free” – eating gluten free means you are only buying produce (one of the BEST deals in the supermarket!), fresh meat (may be more expensive, but it will taste better allowing you to use minimal add-ons to make it taste great, no need to buy bottles of marinade and packets of seasonings) dairy & alternative grains & since you make more of it yourself, you’re paying for bulk ingredients that you can tweak however you want vs. prepared items where you’re paying for packaging

 2. greater amounts of vitamins & minerals from natural sources rather than supplements or vitamins: no gluten means you’re left to choose more from-the-ground foods e.g. produce, natural meats & dairy which gives you more earth-made nutrients that your body is ready & willing to digest!

1. automatically takes many processed foods out of the diet meaning less garbage in the diet i.e. high fructose corn syrup, chemical food additives, veggie oils in the overall diet – gluten-free foods do not contain these additives – and if you’re trying to be optimally anything, it will be more easily accomplished without any of this junk in the diet. Choosing gluten-free makes it relatively easy to eliminate the processed garbage that is doing you no good!

Feel free to send me any questions or comments you have! Community dialogue helps everyone understand better & this is a huge category of questions that can be challenging and frustrating for the person just embarking on this journey, but rest assured, that just by getting more educated about the choices you’re making, you’re going to start moving toward more optimal health & fitness!!

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