Should I avoid gluten?
Everyone is talking about it and not just people with Celiac Disease. Gluten Free is a relatively new diet fad that is growing in popularity. Look in any grocery store and you will see an increasing number of gluten free foods.
No, I’m not a doctor or medical professional. As always, talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have. Over the past month or so I’ve noticed (or maybe I should say paid more attention) that for no apparent reason my stomach feels kind of off, bloated and queasy. It’s probably been more than a month or so but, I’m just now putting it all together that it happens most often after I eat in a restaurant and when the meal is a little carb heavier than I typically eat. Maybe it’s the gluten. Maybe it’s just the fact that it was more carbs than my body is used to having.
That got me thinking. Is a gluten free diet healthier for you? Is a gluten free diet only beneficial to your health if you’re gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive?
Before I started researching the latest diet trend I was sure I was going to read article after article saying that gluten is bad and everyone should be gluten free. That wasn’t necessarily the case. Just like any diet recommendation there are opposing view points from what I consider reliable sources with convincing research and arguments to back up there opinions.
What I have learned:
- Gluten is a naturally occurring mixture of proteins, found in wheat, barley and rye, which are not soluble in water and which give wheat dough its elastic texture.
- People who have Celiac Disease have damage to their digestive tract because of the chronic inflammation caused by gluten. When they eat even a tiny amount of gluten, they experience symptoms such as bloating, cramping, or specific types of skin rashes. Diagnosed by a doctor using blood tests.
- Gluten intolerance is people with a non-celiac gluten sensitivity that has not caused damage to the intestinal lining. Symptoms may include headaches, bloating, fatigue, or diarrhea after eating foods containing gluten.
- According to the Raw Food Family, 7 Reasons Why Gluten Is Bad For You and Your Kids.
- According to Grass Fed Girl, 10 Good Reasons To Give Up Gluten.
- A more practical viewpoint, Should You Go Gluten Free? by Katherine Tallmadge, registered dietitian and author.
- Also according to Katherine Tallmadge, R.D., the outcome of a gluten free diet is more likely because the excess calories found in many flour-based snack foods have been cut out, and people mistakenly attribute feeling better to taking out the gluten.
So, no, I don’t think I have Celiac Disease but I would like to know how I can stop experiencing the bloated queasy stomach. No food is worth feeling that way.
What am I going to do with this information? In January, because I’m not crazy enough to attempt this during the holidays, I’m going to try a gluten free diet.
Be on the look out for details of a Gluten Free Challenge!
Have you ever (or know someone who has) tried eliminating or reducing gluten in your diet? What was your experience?
On the Menu:
First and foremost…PUMPKIN PIE! And I must try the PUMPKIN HUMMUS!
Cinnamon Cottage Yogurt
Pumpkin Spice Granola (trying a new recipe from Strength and Sunshine)
Apple with Cinnamon and Almond Butter