One of the curses of a clean and healthy diet is that when you have a cheat item, sometimes your body reacts much more than it used to. For example, recently I've been eating mostly veggies and my grains have been mostly quinoa and rice, not really much bread in there and the other day I had a scone from a local coffee shop and my stomach got all rumbly and unhappy with me for the next couple of hours.
This got me thinking... am I sensitive to gluten? If flour related items are giving me a belly ache, maybe I have some intolerance to them. So, I started doing some research, and here's what I've come up with (please note: I am not an expert and if you have serious concerns about gluten, you should consult your doctor)...
1. Celiac's disease and Gluten Intolerance (GI) is far more prevalent across the globe than I ever realized. Many countries are more in-tune with these diseases and easily diagnose people and get them on a gluten free diet immediately. The US has been a bit slower to diagnose the 1,000s of people who suffer from these.
2. Gluten-free food items, like many, does not make any guarantee that they are healthy for you. A lot of packaged gluten free products contain extremely processed ingredients, chemicals, and a lot of added fat. Just like "fat free" food does not actually mean it's good for you, one has to be careful about the idea that adopting a gluten free diet will help you lose weight.
3. There is a big difference between foods that contain gluten and items made with white, highly refined flour. I believe that it is most likely the latter that is causing me problems, and not the gluten, per se.
4. That being said, I do have a philosophy on food that says if a large number of humans are sensitive or allergic to it, it might not be a bad idea to try and stay away from it. Just like dairy, which a lot of people can be sensitive to, even if you're not completely lactose intolerant, I've read a lot of arguments that wheat is not really a totally natural part of the human diet and we might want to stay away from it.
5. In light of my research and personal experience, I plan to continue to stay away from refined carbohydrates of any kind (as best I can, sometimes my sweet tooth does get the best of me) and stick to as many natural whole grains as possible, such as quinoa, rice, barley, and millet. But I won't consider myself "gluten free" and I will not be stocking up on processed, packaged gluten free food items.
*Health Note*- If you are concerned that you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity or Celiac's, please do not self-diagnose and stop eating gluten! You should make an appointment with your doctor to get tested and continue to eat gluten normally up until the test. When tested for sensitivities, doctors look at your body's reaction to gluten to determine if any damage is being caused, so if you haven't eaten any gluten, you cannot be effectively tested!
I'm Amanda K; lover of fitness, sweets, veggies, adventure, travel, and happiness.