- In the last 50 years incidence of celiac disease has increased 400%
- Up to 55 diseases are linked to consuming gluten - including osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and many other autoimmune diseases. (sources -Huffington Post, New England Journal of Medicine)
- About 30% of people of European descent carry the gene that makes them susceptible to celiac disease(source - Kitchen Stewardship).
When I say almost gluten free, I mean that I don't always worry about incidental wheat used in small amounts as a thickener or added ingredient. I don't have celiac disease, so occasional contact doesn't seem to bother my system too badly. I avoid wheat pastas, breads, or anything with wheat as a primary ingredient.
I've found rice based noodles or vegetable substitutes to be a wonderful alternative to wheat based noodles. I don't eat much bread, but there are some decent gluten free alternatives for those rare occasions when nothing else will do.
Is gluten (wheat) really that bad? Currently it is estimated that about 30 percent of the population is gluten sensitive. Personally, I believe it is higher. Celiac disease affects almost 1% if the population. Gluten directly sabotages your digestive system (reference will all be listed at the end of the article). Grasses and grains have evolved to contain toxic compounds specifically designed to disrupt digestion in mammals. Cattle and other grazing animals have evolved with digestive processes to overcome these toxins, man has not as of yet. We have only been eating grains for a small fraction of our evolutionary history.
But I'm not allergic to gluten! ( or am I?)
The challenge - go Gluten-free for a minimum of 14 days. See if your health and well being improve.You won't know until you try. I was a professional baker and used to laugh when I heard people say that they were gluten-intolerant. I was just sure it was all in their mind until I went gluten free as a part of The Perfect Health Diet . In addition to the weight loss I experienced - I noticed improved digestion, less inflamation and swelling, and improved sleep patterns.
Wheat seems to affect our health worse than other grains. Gluten causes an immune response resulting in inflammation and can actually change the structure of your intestine. Leaky gut syndrome (sounds gross huh) is often a result of chronic wheat consumption.
Wheat is not the only grain hazardous to the body. There is mounting evidence that corn, the GMO varieties that we find in the grocery, is nearly as bad as wheat. I do eat corn based products, but sparingly. Organic, non-GMO varieties are best.
So what is a person to eat if not grains? Well it seems that rice is the healthiest of all grains for the human body. I eat a fair amount of rice, rice noodles, and very limited rice and potato starch bread products.
I often hear the question, "Where are you going to get your fiber from if you don't eat whole grains?" Vegetables and low sugar fruits! Vegetables contain plenty of fiber, much more on average than grains. I eat berries and green salads daily. Broccoli, sweet potatoes, and cabbage are also excellent sources of dietary fiber.
For introductory sake, I mention only wheat and corn. Many believe that almost all grains are disruptive to your health. I'll let you investigate further in the links below.
Please get back with us and comment if you participate in the challenge or have any questions.
A Gluten for Punishment on GreenMedInfo
Do You Have a Wheat Belly? on WellnessMamma.com
Why Grains are Unhealthy on Mark's Daily Apple
Healthy Food Matters