Posted on August 13, 2013
What is gluten anyway?
Gluten is a "glue-like" protein naturally found in many grains as well as used as an additive in most processed foods such as cakes, ice cream, deli meats, soy sauce and ketchup. It helps breads to rise and ingredients to bind.
I hear this a lot, "But I feel awful without carbs." Gluten is not to be confused with carbs. Going "gluten free" is not the same as going low or no carb.
There's no real health downside to eating gluten--for those who are not sensitive to it. Interesting to note, gluten sensitivity is way more common than is typically acknowledged. Approximately 6% of the US population is gluten sensitive. And for those who have celiac's disease (an estimated 3 million Americans), a mere crumb could send them to the hospital in severe gastrointestinal distress.
Often when people have unexplained gastrointestinal discomfort: bloating, too much "tooting", mild constipation or "messy stool," as a Health Coach, I look at the gluten in the diet. Removing gluten will tend to clear up digestive issues, as well as lift brain fog, clear skin rashes and relieve mild joint pain or discomfort that is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or other auto-immune disorders.
Many, many health issues are linked to issues in the gut. Our guts are where nourishment comes in and processed to go out. When toxins don't make their way out, a whole host of issues can begin to take place and not just in the gut--it's just the origination point.
It's also important to note that having a gluten allergy, is not the same as having a wheat allergy. You can be allergic to wheat products, but not other gluten containing foods.
If you suspect gluten may be a culprit, try a cleanse and/or an elimination diet for 7-10 days. Foods to eliminate: wheat, kamut, spelt, rye and barley. This includes beer, most condiments (except for nut or seed oil), most soy sauce, processed foods like cereal, packaged deli meats and malt vinegar.
Check out my 12-Day Detox to cleanse your body of toxins. Cleansing installs a new filter in your body's natural detox system. It's like changing your oil, Brita or air filter and hit the restart button.