November 04, 2013
Why am I eating Gluten Free?
This topic has been bothering me for quite some time now. Why am I or anyone else for that matter eating Gluten Free when Celiac Disease isn't an issue?
For those who don't know... Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction produces inflammation that damages the small intestine's lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption). (http://www.mayoclinic.com/)
It seems that in the past few years getting on the Gluten Free bandwagon as been the next diet fad making people believe it will lead them to be healthier and lose weight. But why? I lived life for 28 years eating wheat, so why all of a sudden is it bad to eat it?
Competing in the fitness competitions, my trainer had given me a gluten free diet. Not really asking questions, I did it just because he told me to. But that didn't help me still to wonder as to WHY I was going out buying over priced oats other products when I haven't been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
A friend of mine who is extremely healthy...ex military, wild land fire fighter and cross fit enthusiast, told me he was going on an all Gluten Free diet. This sparked my interest once again just asking the question "why?"
Benefits of eating a Gluten Free Diet if you don't have gluten sensitivity:
- Some people have reported feeling better after reducing their gluten intake.
- You will eat less starchy foods that are full of gluten.
- It can improve cholesterol levels
- Eliminating a variety of foods from your diet that are unhealthy - desserts, fried food, pasta, ect.
- Becoming more aware of eating a well balanced diet that contains essential protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
Downfalls for eating a Gluten Free Diet if you don't have gluten sensitivity:
- Many whole grains that contain gluten offer special nutritional benefits with an array of vitamins and minerals.
- Studies show that eating a balanced diet with whole grain foods can actually help lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer.
- Significantly more expensive.
- Some marked Gluten Free products are actually higher in calories, fat and carbohydrates, and people who go gluten-free actually gain weight.
- Manufacturers add extra sugar and fat to simulate the texture and satisfying fluffiness that gluten imparts.
- Gluten Free products have less vitamins B and D than regular bread products.
-Mayo Clinic’s gluten expert, Joseph Murray MD says there is no evidence that a gluten-free diet will affect weight loss.
So should you really go Gluten Free? For those who do suffer from Celiac Disease (according to experts, 1% of America) it makes complete sense. But for the majority of America that don't have a significant sensitivity to gluten, there really isn't a benefit for it. If you plan to go on an all gluten free diet, select fruits, vegetables, and lean meat, and more naturally gluten-free grains like brown rice, quinoa, and buckwheat, rather than just buying prepackaged products labeled "gluten free." If you are only going gluten free part time - still eating processed foods, beer, and other products containing wheat, barley and rye, there really is no point to do it at all.
IN MY OPINION, it is just another fad diet.
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