With the rise of people following a gluten free lifestyle, you would think that all those following this new diet would get educated on why they are. But unfortunately, many times this isn’t the case. Going gluten free has become a fad, leaving people clueless on why they aren’t eating certain foods. For example, when I used to waitress, I would have tables opt for gluten free pasta, then they would go ahead and eat the bread I put out on the table. Because that makes sense….
So, let’s try and get a clear, basic understanding of what gluten is and why it’s terrible for your body.
Gluten sensitivity stems from the gut, with the most severe form being Celiac Disease. It’s commonly associated with wheat products, so let’s take a look at this specific breakdown.
What exactly is gluten?
- A protein made up of Gliadin (a type of Prolamin) and Glutelin
What makes proteins that are part of the prolamin group bad?
- Our digestive enzymes can’t break it down into individual amino acids
- The lining of our gut, which has the job of keeping the bad guys out, is made permeable, allowing these bad proteins inside
- The interaction between these proteins (that are now in a place where they shouldn’t be) and our immune cells, create inflammation
So you can eat all the bread, pasta and grains you want, as long as they’re gluten free, right? Wrong.
- Grains, whether refined or whole, contain proteins other than gluten that have a similar makeup and could be just as problematic and cause inflammation
- These days most of your favorite packaged foods are available without gluten, but read your nutrition labels and ingredients! Below is an example of how a product may be gluten free, but still not healthy for you. These brownies are loaded with sugar, fat and artificial ingredients
“Wouldn’t I feel if something in my body was inflamed?”
- You do, you just have no idea it’s tied to inflammation. Allergies, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, fatigue…all can be traced back to inflammation somewhere in the body. Even your brain feels it. Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder…tell tale signs of inflammation.
Am I ordering you to give up grains? Of course not! But if you can get more nutrients from vegetables and fruits and not create havoc in your body, why wouldn’t you? I eat the occasional slice of pizza and give in to my sweet tooth, but my diet is nowhere near based off of those things. Do some self experimentation and see how you feel 🙂