With my recently released book, Living Wheat-Free for Dummies, in mind, I spent this last Sunday afternoon perusing the internet for what people are saying about wheat and gluten. I can honestly say that I was disappointed, but not surprised. The prevailing thought seems to revolve around the evils of gluten. Although I agree that all of us suffer to some degree or another from gluten, it doesn’t end there. Many people think gluten is the “only” impurity in their diet and therefore, stop making changes once they have chosen foods that have had the gluten removed. This approach creates a different set of issues. Interestingly, some gluten-free people have tested positive for gluten antibodies; indicating cross reactivity is at play here. Cross reactivity is when the body mistakenly treats a non-gluten protein as though it is gluten and an auto-immune response occurs. One quick note, I use the word diet to mean whatever you eat; not a prescribed food intake for a limited period of time designed for weight loss.
In general, there are two ways to go when removing gluten from your diet. First, consuming “gluten-free” foods includes the willingness to eat anything that has had gluten removed from it, such as, “gluten-free” brownies, cookies and crackers. This does nothing to counter the ill-effects of sugar and actually, can make it worse. Tapioca, rice or potato starch is added as a substitute for the once present gluten to provide the needed texture, consistency or protein. Unfortunately, this addition of starch increases blood sugar, insulin and fat storage. From there, the sky’s the limit on the various diseases and conditions that can result.
Second, and certainly the healthier of the two approaches, is eating a grain-free, low-carb, vegetable/seed oil-free diet. I call this the “grain-free” diet. Making sure that this whole foods approach to eating includes ample healthy fats and excludes ALL added sugars is the perfect start to looking better and feeling great. Many times, when you change one area of your diet, it affects other areas as well; the “gluten-free” approach is no exception. The only sure way to eliminate gluten and its potentially destructive effects is to remove all grains from your diet.