Gluten can cause issues for some people. How can you do gluten-free right?
Everybody seems to be jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon these days. While the results of eliminating gluten are clear for those people who suffer from Celiac disease, a condition in which the surface of the small intestine is damaged by gluten, the benefits aren’t as obvious for the rest of us.
Gluten, a protein found in wheat and related grains, can cause chronic diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, fatigue, cramps and bloating, and irritability in susceptible individuals. Not very pleasant symptoms, but they’re also symptoms that can be caused by a wide range of other conditions. While the Canadian Celiac Association estimates that 1 in 133 people in Canada suffer from Celiac Disease, many more people may suffer from non-Celiac gluten sensitivity.
How do you know if you have issues with gluten?
Anyone who has problems (bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, belching) with digestion should probably start by suspecting gluten. Consider a gluten-free diet for a few weeks to see if those issues clear up. Just don’t make the mistake of running to gluten-free products like bread, cookies, pizza, cereals, biscuits, and cakes.
Just because it’s gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s good for your body. Most gluten-free products are just processed junk by another name, filled with sugar and unsavory vegetable oils. They’re not going to do your symptoms, or your physique, any good.
So how do you do gluten-free right?
The best way is to avoid grains altogether and stick to a diet of unprocessed meats (ideally organic and grass fed), fish, eggs, organic dairy (if tolerated), vegetables, beans and legumes (in small amounts), starches from sweet potatoes and potatoes, nuts, seeds, and fats from extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and organic butter.
Not surprisingly, this is my preferred diet and is likely to get you lean and keep you healthy. In people without gluten issues, some high quality whole grains can play in part in a healthy diet, but most squishy processed “whole grain” grocery store bread doesn’t qualify. If you’re trying gluten-free, do it right by sticking with unprocessed whole foods.
Your body will thank you.