We continue our discussion on foods you should avoid by addressing Gluten. This is the second post in a series of three. If you haven’t yet, please read Why You Should Avoid Sugar to learn more about the health risks associated with sugar.
When most people refer to gluten, they are referring to wheat gluten. Gluten is actually a protein molecule. Many people say they are allergic to it, but I want to clarify the difference between being allergic to something versus being sensitive to it. If you are allergic to something, and you consume it, it will cause you to have a reaction that causes swelling, among other symptoms, and can lead to anaphylactic shock. On the other hand, if you are sensitive to something, it means you are having some kind of reaction to it, but isn’t a complete allergy.
This distinction is important because there are a lot of people who might not be allergic to gluten, but are sensitive to it. And obviously, there are varying degrees of sensitivity.
But why, almost overnight it seems, are more and more people becoming allergic or sensitive to gluten? The problem is that modern farming techniques have created a hybridization of gluten over the last 10-20 years that our body doesn’t recognize anymore. It’s highly processed and cheap. Because of this, our bodies can create antibodies to attack it, causing inflammation. Initially, it might be just a small amount of inflammation, but over time this can cause more serious issues like leaky gut.
Gluten sensitivity most commonly affects the GI tract, causing an upset stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, fatigue and low energy. 70% of your immune system is in your gut, so if you are having these symptoms at all, it’s important to figure them out.
While I don’t think that everyone needs to stop eating gluten, there are a lot of people that are sensitive to it. Because of this, I recommend that people try cutting it out for 3-4 weeks to see if it changes how they feel, especially if you are having GI issues. Many people discover that they feel much better and a lot of the issues they have been having are dramatically reduced.
The great thing about avoiding gluten is that it’s pretty easy to do. There are a lot of gluten-free options available, especially since so many people are realizing they aren’t able to eat gluten. Just know that ‘gluten-free’ packaging doesn’t always mean that it’s healthy! It only means that it is gluten-free.
If you are interested in knowing about how proper nutrition can make you healthier and perform at a higher level, I would love to meet with you. I offer a free consultation to new clients. Give us a call at 949-916-9742.