To Agree or Disagree?
Bad-Mouthing Gluten by Katy Steinmetz
Dr. Laura Lambert’s commentary:
Gluten – a protein comprised from the amino acids gliadin and glutenin, and found in high quantities in our wheat products, is not inherently bad. I agree with the author, it is high protein and full of nutrients. However, due to it’s over use in our typical American diets, many of us have developed a food “sensitivity” to gluten. Our guts are over-exposed to gluten as it is in almost every packaged product on the market along with breads, pastas, crackers, spices, etc.
Since many people eat these products several times a day, our guts start to view it as a foreign invader to our immune systems. This process can trigger our bodies retain more water, bloat, have headaches, joint pains, etc. Food sensitivities can affect our bodies up to five days after eating the offending food! Often times (strictly) removing gluten from someone’s diet for a period of a week or more results in less pain and five or more pounds of weight loss!
That being said, now that the marketing companies have caught on to this, the “gluten-free” products available have increased. I agree with the author, that the problem resides in the fact that most of these ‘gluten-free’ products are very refined and produce little or no nutritional benefits. They are often lower in protein content and higher in sugar/carbohydrates. The average consumer does not take this into account, and could actually gain weight by eating too many products like this.
What I often recommend is for people to take gluten out of their diets for a trial period of at least 10 days, note how they feel and make a decision based on that. I usually recommend making your own gluten-free foods! I understand that process isn’t for everyone, so as a disclaimer: Food labels still need to read and adequate nutritional balance obtained. Additionally, food sensitivity testing can be done to determine more specific offenders in a person’s diet.