All of a sudden we are all raging celiac’s with gluten intolerance. That – or we’ve decided it is an uber cool allergy to adopt.
Ok – now, don’t get me wrong, I actually don’t really eat gluten BUT I don’t demonise the stuff nor do I want to contest how serious Celiac disease and other auto immune diseases are.
However- for the average laywoman who thinks she is fit and fabulous should she go gluten free and avoid wheat products?
Gluten, at the end of the day is a natural protein molecule found in many grains. It’s the stuff that makes bread gorgeously doughy (ever tried gluten free cardboard bread?)
The problem with gluten arises when all those grains are PROCESSED.
Refined grains have had the bran and germ removed – leaving a nutritionally suspect, overly starchy and predominantly glutinous product. The grain as we know it is now a gluten bomb. The issue then arises that we consume too much gluten when we eat our 7-8 ‘healthy wholegrain’ servings.
Going gluten free is not the magic pill to cure all ills- rather in the process of extracting gluten from the diet, one generally starts to exclude many forms of processed food and in doing so reaps the rewards of a cleaner less synthetic diet.
I liken the gluten phobia today with the cholesterol phobia of the 60’s (which is still very much present today)
Gluten has been hastily blamed for the rapid rise of diseases much like cholesterol was/still is sidelined for heart attacks.
I believe further study into the arena of gluten will reveal that it isn’t gluten that is causing these horrible side affects for a growing amount of people, rather it is the changes we have made to gluten through processing wheat. As Cate Shanahan, author of ‘Deep Nutrition’ and board certified medical practitioner states,
The underlying problem is that people who have gluten intolerance and Celiac disease have white blood cells that are running amok. The particular problem with distorted gluten is that it bears a likeness to certain molecules in the tissues of your body, so mush so that these tissues wind up getting tagged with antibodies. When the white blood cells see those tags, they do what they’re supposed to: attack.
On a typical Australian diet filled with sugars and vegetable oils – our immune system is already compromised and inflamed. And an inflamed immune system impairs your immunities ability to self-regulate its ‘attack’ mode.
SO..after all this….is gluten the enemy?
Not really – it’s the way grains are processed that makes gluten in its contemporary state a problem. The processing of grains renders gluten harmful and has lead to extensive immune system conditions. But, just like cholesterol and heart disease, pinpointing gluten as the sole cause of celiac disease is misguided.
That being said, if you genuinely suffer from allergies or are constantly sick, try removing foods from your system that are inflammatory and see how you go.
by inflammatory foods think common vegetable/canola oils, refined grains and bad quality meat fed a processed grain diet.
….And no- you won’t appear like a new age hipster when you order your bacon and eggs with no toast.