8 Reasons to Go Gluten-Free
By Dr. Sacha Elliott • November 21st, 2012 • 17143 Views
Gluten. Is it really that bad? I’ve had some very strange looks at times when I’ve recommended to my patients to go gluten-free. The looks range in severity from mild (“Oh no … I am not sure I can do that”) to full-fledged panic (“What?! Are you crazy, lady?”).
I am not one to talk the talk, without walking the walk. My diet is virtually gluten-free, except for the odd slip-up (and enjoyment) of an occasional hamburger when I am dining out. It has taken me a long time to become 95% gluten-free, but slowly and steadily I have learned to enjoy the taste of healthier food choices and not miss the comfort foods of my youth (pizza, pasta, sandwiches).
The reason I made the switch is simple: I learned what gluten does to my body. I want to share some of this knowledge with you in the hopes that you too may find yourself a tad more motivated to ditch the gluten grains and reach for nourishing foods.
There wasn’t always an upheaval against wheat and gluten. It was historically eaten in a simpler form before being hybridized by the agricultural industry in the latter part of the 20th century. Essentially, genetic engineers were paid a lot of money to come up with a modified form of this grain that would increase crop yield and decrease production costs. Despite drastic changes in the genetic makeup of wheat, no long term safety studies were ever conducted on animals or humans. As with many of the genetically modified organisms on our grocery shelves today, we are the guinea pigs! These are my top reasons for avoiding gluten and wheat-products:
These are my top reasons for avoiding gluten and wheat products:
1. A loaf of whole wheat bread will increase your blood sugar higher than sucrose (table sugar) due to the type of starch it contains. This causes a spike in insulin, a hormone that is extremely efficient at converting carbohydrates into fat storage on the body (especially abdominal fat).
2. Wheat is also an appetite stimulant due to its chemical makeup; those who eat gluten consume an average of 400 excess calories per day compared to those who avoid gluten.
3. Gluten breaks down into polypeptides that cross the blood brain barrier and bind to opiate receptors in the brain - this causes a reaction similar to an endorphin rush that happens during...