The Big Gluten-Free Lie

www.mypicshares.com

Everyone loves bread, right? You would be hard-pressed to find someone who says they don’t like it. But for many people in the 21st century, living without wheat has become a reality.

In their desperate quest to keep eating bread and bread products, they have found their savior – gluten-free foods.

But did you know that many gluten-free philosophies, which espouse that the sufferer merely switch from wheat to some other grain or carbohydrate food can be equally as harmful and damaging to health?

Let’s take a look at wheat and then we’ll discuss why alternatives may be causing identical problems in people who consume it.

 

The history of wheat

Wheat is a crop that has been used pervasively for food by humans for thousands of years. Its origin dates back approximately 11,000 years ago in the Middle East. When people discovered they could grow this crop and harvest it to feed many people and transport it to far away places, its use became more common and widespread. People discovered that they could grind the grain into flour for bread, and foods made of flour were born.

As time went on, farmers selected the best kernels from their harvest to use for continuance of planting each successive year. By the time of the Industrial Revolution, we were already starting to see processed and packaged wheat products.

The appealing qualities of wheat were gradually bred more and more into the plant – namely, its gliadin content (where the protein gluten resides). Gluten is the elastic, water-insoluable component in wheat, spelt, kamut, oats, rye, and barley that allows flour to rise during baking. Many other products contain gluten as well such soups, sauces, artificial cheeses, soy sauce, candy, pharmaceutical drugs and over-the counter medications. It can even be found in the glue used on envelopes and stamps.

Gluten makes bread wonderfully soft and pliable, but it also is difficult to digest and causes issues in the digestive tract. When problems occur in the digestive tract, it affects the rest of the body. During digestion of grains, and in particular, wheat, the gluten irritates the lining of the intestines and eventually penetrates, getting absorbed into the bloodstream. This causes over-response by the immune system, leading to allergies and many other health problems.

Do flour products really deliver the nutrition shown on the label?

Another consideration many people don’t make about grains being ground into flour is that during this process, nutritional content is compromised. The longer flour sits after being ground, the more it becomes rancid. Many flours are enriched with synthetic nutrients to give the appearance that you are eating something healthy – gluten-free items are not exempt. As an example, flour made from wheat undergoes the following changes during its processing:

  • The calorie content of refined white flour actually increases about 10% because of everything else that has been taken out.
  • An average of 66% of the B vitamins have been removed.
  • An average of 70% of all minerals have been removed.
  • 79% of the fiber has been removed.
  • An average of 19% of the protein has been removed*

*source, Walton Feed

With the consumption of wheat so high among consumers, it is no wonder wheat causes allergic reactions, health issues, and of course, celiac disease. An estimated 1 in 133 people have celiac disorder.

Does it seem strange that the proliferation of celiac disease and wheat allergies have become so common? It shouldn’t, given the fact that wheat is in so many products we eat. In celiac disease, the individual has a genetic tendency toward a violent reaction toward gluten (exacerbated by the ever-increasing consumption of wheat as the generations have come down, which affects human physiology), and therefore must avoid all contact with gluten to avoid becoming sick. Celiac sufferers experience symptoms such as bloating, abdominal cramping, gas, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss (or gain), and constipation.

Donna Gates from Body Ecology agrees with this philosophy and elaborates:

“Individuals who have an imbalanced inner ecosystem and who eat improperly prepared grains for years (not soaking, sprouting, or fermenting grains before eating them) can end up with gas, bloating, and other digestive problems. These individuals lack healthy “grain-loving” bacteria that can help digest grains. I believe this may be the REAL reason behind gluten sensitivity.

All grains have enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid (like soy) that make them difficult to digest and inhibits the absorption of minerals in your body. Eating large quantities of grains and flours that have not been soaked, sprouted, or fermented can lead to mineral deficiencies, bone loss, digestive illness, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and mental illness”.

Indeed, you will see incredible health claims on the packaging, including “high fiber”, “all-natural”, “low-fat”, “no cholesterol”, and even “organic”. Products show nutrient information on the label as containing certain vitamins and minerals, but most of these are greatly diminished by the affect of processing and/or added back in as synthetic counterparts to their real-whole food ones found in natural foods.

Other problems with grains (wheat and gluten-free) include the fact that the majority of products on the market are genetically-modified and treated with chemicals such as pesticides. That’s why if you are going to eat grains, you should always make sure you are getting whole and organic!

Wheat, wheat, wheat

Everywhere you look, you will find products with wheat in them. They are so pervasive in our food stores you practically cannot go down an aisle where there is not some type of wheat product sold. And if you do find a gluten-free section in the store, notice how each item that would ordinarily be sold as wheat is traded for one made of some alternative grain – buckwheat, amaranth, soy, corn, millet, quinoa, teff, potato, coconut, and the list goes on. Most of these products are some kind of flour product as well.

The human body is not designed to digest the volumnous amounts of grains and carbohydrates we constantly feed ourselves – crackers, bagels, pasta, chips, breads, pitas, tortillas, pastries, muffins, croissants, scones, desserts, and cereals. These foods are naturally high in carbohydrates, and after grinding, flour can contain anywhere from 85 grams (buckwheat flour) up to a whopping 135 grams (durum wheat flour) per cup! Whole grains contain much less as they are more dense and have not been processed and had the nutrients effectively removed.

There are a variety of reasons why we eat these foods – because they are readily available most everywhere, they are convenient, and they taste good. However, the ultimate cost of consuming these foods – these processed foods – is a decline in our health. The result is heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer.

The way most of us consume grains is the processed way – not the old, traditional way of sprouting, soaking, and fermenting grains the way our ancestors once did. If we are to consume grains at all, they should be prepared properly in order to afford the body its best chance of digestion and absorption of nutrients. Grains consumed any other way will lead to mal-absorption of nutrients and failing health – plain and simple.

As one example, the gluten-free diet commonly prescribed for children with autism often does not lead to improvements, according to Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, because the gluten-free foods on the market are really just another form of nutrient-deficient junk food that fosters the growth of candida and contributes to poor digestion.

Gluten-free, the new craze

Just like everything that has come before it, gluten-free has been eye-balled by food companies as a way to make money – low-fat and non-fat, vegetarian, vegan, low-carb, and now too, gluten-free has ascended the ranks as one of the most sought-after “health food” products as a way to escape the foods that are making people sick – only to be the culprit of many of the same health issues the others were guilty of causing.

There isn’t a place you can look where you won’t find gluten-free – restaurants, cookbooks, magazines, grocery stores, online, or offered as a topic in classes and in seminars. And it is being touted as a miracle-fix for those who are allergic to wheat or stricken with celiac disease.

Marketers and food companies know they have consumers attention – and that the false health claims they put on packaging is bought hook, line, and sinker. If you don’t believe me, just watch your fellow shopper the next time you go to the store for food – the average grocery cart is chock full of processed, packaged foods – a large percentage of them being wheat products and labeled gluten-free foods.

So basically, the gluten-free containing foods don’t deliver anything better nutritionally to your body than wheat since most of them are processed. Very little emphasis from people in the wheat camp or the gluten-free camp is placed on eating these grains in their whole form, and making certain they are sprouted or soaked before consumption.

It makes no difference if something is gluten-free; if it is ground into flour or processed it is not a whole food and will go rancid the longer it sits around. Although you may not suffer the ill-effects of consuming gluten since you are eating alternative grains, you will experience many of the same digestive problems, mal-absorption of nutrients, immune system deficiencies, allergies, weight gain, and other issues like insulin-resistance, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

What is the general consensus on grains?

For yearsThe Food Pyramid, as recommended by the USDA, told us we should be eating 6 – 11 servings of grains a day. Are you kidding me? No wonder so many people are obese and have diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other degenerative disorders.

The Food Pyramid has since morphed into My Plate, which still includes grains and 4 other food categories. The explanation given about the changes to the My Plate plan is that it is supposed to simplify the principles of The Food Pyramid. In reality the recommendations have become even more complicated and murky than ever before. My Plate recommendations for grains state to “make at least half of your grains whole”.

As an unpopular dissenter, I completely disagree with the Food Pyramid and a lot of the general rhetoric about nutrition given out by dietitians, doctors, and government agencies. Why? Because much of their information is incorrect and they are actually advising us to eat in such a way that is harmful to our health – the Food Pyramid being one of the worst offenders of all.

We are taught from a very young age – usually starting in school – that this is a good way to eat and to stay healthy throughout our lives. I believe the grain component of the pyramid is one of the most misrepresented segments of  this chart and does a huge disservice to both the people who teach and and those who are forced to learn and believe it as a truth.

What are the solutions?

To keep ourselves healthy, gluten-free (for those with a genuine wheat intolerance, allergy, or celiac disease), and to truly replace our wheat and alternative wheat products with something nutrient-dense, life-giving, and satisfying, consider the following:

  • Detoxify and heal yourself with nutritious, whole, traditional foods and heal your digestive system properly.
  • Use grains, even sprouted/soaked and fermented varieties sparingly.
  • If you do eat them, buy real, whole grains and prepare them yourself as our ancestors did – soaked and sprouted,  and/or fermented.

And remember, if you are eating a truly traditional, whole-foods based diet, you should not encounter health issues like those you’d associate with eating wheat (or other processed products such as many gluten-free items on the market). If you are going to do something for your health and throw away the wheat, do yourself a favor and remove all processed foods from your diet – gluten-free or not – and go from unhealthy to truly healthy.

Read The Truth About Wheat and Grains for an explanation about why grains may not be so healthy for us to consume

Interested in reducing even more of your food-related allergies? Read Time and Money Saving Tips – The Real Health and Financial Implications of Food Allergies.

27 Comments

  • Jenny
    May 7, 2009 - 4:54 PM | Permalink

    This is an EXCELLENT post! I was DXed celiac in 2004, shortly before I became pregnant with my son and it made a world of difference for me. It takes a constant reminder that just because something’s gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s good for me. I see a lot of people who are not intolerant of gluten switch to gluten-free products because they simply think they’re healthier whic, as you so eloquently explained is NOT true. I’m tweeting & stumbling your post – too. It’s a good one.

  • May 7, 2009 - 6:09 PM | Permalink

    Thanks much Jenny! I have been waiting and waiting for someone to notice this post, because the points I have made are not made by many people often in the health communities, and I believe this is critical information that everyone needs to know – whether you are celiac positive or not. Our wheat consumption is so incredibly high, and then when people find they cannot tolerate wheat (no wonder, with how much we eat it), they immediately go to gluten-free foods, many of which are just as processed. Just think how much improvement in health we could achieve if people understood this and started eating truly healthy foods! What a glorious day it would be! :)

  • Stephanie
    June 10, 2009 - 11:47 PM | Permalink

    Wow, I’m so glad someone out there is recognizing this! I am gluten free and every GF person I know has completely gone overboard with replacing wheat products with GF products because those are now “good for you”. Eventually we are all going to be rice intolerant! I have to admit that was me for a short time but then I have started having all of the same reactions to most alternative grains. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon has opened my eyes to the world of soaking grains and flours but still uses wheat. It would be great to learn to cook/bake with GF soaked grains and flours if you know any resources. Learning and taking the time can be a little overwhelming but it is where our society needs to go. This in itself can teach us a lot about life and the importance of slow food and where it all comes from outside the processing and packaging.
    Thank you so much for being “aware” and I look forward to reading more from your post and starting my own here very soon!

  • Dana
    July 12, 2009 - 8:31 PM | Permalink

    Great article. Hey, I saw your post at Food Renegade about how you lost your appendix in pregnancy and your gallbladder after that. I wanted to say, if your doctor didn’t tell you this already, that it’s possible the gallbladder loss was related to the appendectomy. I know someone who went through what you went through (only he’s a guy, so can’t get pregnant), and he said what happened was they nicked a major nerve that runs between the appendix and the gallbladder, roughly, so when that happened the gallbladder started malfunctioning.

    I’ve since heard something like this from one or two other people who’ve had GBs removed post-appendectomy and really wonder how common it is. Maybe docs need to start watching what they’re doing a bit more closely. Or maybe the nerve-nicking can’t be avoided so we have one more reason to encourage gut health as much as possible so that we hopefully don’t ever *get* appendicitis. Dunno.

  • July 13, 2009 - 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Hi Dana, thanks for your comments. I do know that my gallbladder was already full of stones when I was admitted to the hospital to find out about my appendix (which they didn’t know was my appendix at the time). An ultrasound I had done when I was still pregnant revealed the presence of stones, but I had never had any problems with gallstones or gallbladder issues before that. I’m sure that nicking the nerve during surgery is quite possible, and I don’t doubt that happens frequently. I think the organs are definitely connected and if your lifestyle is unhealthy, it’s likely that all digestive organs will be affected, especially the appendix and gallbladder since we hear about them happening to people so frequently. It’s true that many doctors aren’t careful and fail to find out what is really going on, nor recommend to patients real lifestyle changing items to help with the health issues at hand. It’s unfortunate that our whole system is so centered around drugs and surgery rather than nutrition, prevention, and holistic lifestyle changes.

  • October 22, 2009 - 9:58 PM | Permalink

    Their is a new food out their that may help in a gluten free diet,well I should say new old food it is mesquite flour used by native tribes for thousands of years it is high in protien 18=20% and naturaly sweet it can be used in bakeing ,cooking as a meat rub and in the raw food world it rates as a new superfood.

  • October 23, 2009 - 2:49 AM | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of mesquite flour, that sounds interesting. Although anything ground into flour should be suspect because the minute a whole substance is ground up, it can go rancid quickly. Now, I know there are really nutritious grains that are ground into flour and they are eaten by people with success – such as Teff, a hearty, Ethiopian grain that people who have trouble with Gluten can consume. I have also heard of flour made from grapes such as Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Curious to hear if anyone else has heard of these substances and what types of experiences had with them…???

  • February 28, 2010 - 10:12 AM | Permalink

    I have a history of gluten intolerance and some Celiac disease escalation in my family history. Because of this history, my parents and other family members have an education behind grain moderation and eating whole foods. That said, I lead a very busy lifestyle and have struggled with eating moderate but always whole, nutritious grains.

    What are your thoughts on the following foods with respect to their nutrition and any cautions:
    Steel-cut oats
    Bulghur wheat
    Organic granolas

    There is a misunderstanding as I see it with whole grain foods versus processed foods. As you put it in your last response, “anything ground into flour should be suspect.” Should we eliminate flour foods altogether? Are there exceptions?

  • March 4, 2010 - 11:37 AM | Permalink

    Hi Ryan -

    Sorry for the delay in my response! Here are my thoughts about your questions:

    Flour products – unless you have freshly ground flour at home, most flour you will buy in the store is rancid. There are exceptions – sprouted flour from reputable companies like To Your Health Sprouted Flours may be tolerable to you, or possibly something you can eat on occasion. Here is the url to To Your Health: http://www.organicsproutedflour.net.

    You will have to attempt this on a trial basis and find out if you can tolerate it. If you have had violent reactions to gluten in the past, you may not want to do this. Many people find that when they detoxify and heal their digestive tract they can consume gluten in the form of properly prepared grains such as sprouted, soaked, and fermented on an occasional to moderate basis.

    Steel cut oats, bulghur wheat, and probably many organic granolas should not be eaten, as a rule. This because these grains and/or products generally contain gluten – the exceptions would be if you have detoxified yourself (healed your gut) and started to prepare these foods properly at home by soaking, sprouting, or fermenting.

    So my advice to you is, #1 – detoxify and heal yourself first by eliminating any allergens that could cause you yeast overgrowth or further damage to your digestion such as all grains, soy, processed dairy, nuts, and all refined sugars and carbohydrates. This process, if perfectly adhered to, can take from months to a couple of years, depending on your body. The exceptions would be the following:

    quinoa, properly prepared – soaked, sprouted, and/or fermented

    butter from organic or sustainable sources (grass-fed is best)

    real maple syrup for occasional sweetener use

    Sprouted or soaked nuts later on in your regimen – not at first though. Nuts tend to be difficult to digest when your digestion is damaged.

    Some fruits are acceptable such as occasionally berries and citrus fruits. They are lower in carbohydrate and provide needed detoxification and nutrients to your gut.

    Concentrate your diet on high quality meats and meat products – seafood from safe sources such as wild Alaskan salmon, oysters, clams, wild-caught cod, ti
    lapia, mussels, and sardines or anchovies, poultry, bone broths, tallow, lard (all from clean, sustainable sources, of course).

    Most vegetables are okay to consume. Best thing to do when you are starting out on your diet is to avoid raw foods, as the digestive system has a hard time with these foods when it is damaged. Cook your vegetables or steam them and eat them with plenty of butter. Also, coconut oil (use extra virgin, unrefined, and organic or sustainable if you can get it) is really nutritious and healing to the digestive tract. You can use it for cooking vegetables as well, or meats. If you prefer some of your meals to not have the coconut flavor, try the following brands which have no flavor

    Tropical Traditions (their web site): http://www.tropicaltraditions.com

    or Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VY7HWO?ie=UTF8&tag=kelthekitkop-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B000VY7HWO

    #2: To make certain you are going in the right direction, it is advisable to have a knowledgeable health care professional well-versed in the ways of detox and healing to monitor your healing process and provide guidance about the right supplements to keep you on track. You might need a candida cleanse, for instance (many people with candida issues also have grain intolerances and/or celiac), which involves not just the diet but digestive enzymes to help keep yeast under control and various products to eliminate candida effectively. A good practitioner will keep you switching on candida removal supplements because like bacteria, candida can “catch on” to the removal process and mutate themselves. When I did my candida cleansing, it took most of a year to remove the majority of it.

    Candida is a nasty, persistent yeast that can easily return if you’ve had it already, and most people in developed countries have it. Symptoms of candida can include any of the following: eczema, dry skin, headaches, persistent yeast or thrush infections, chronic illness or colds and flus/sore throats/infections/sinus infections/conjunctivitis/ear infections.

    There may be other issues present too, such as leaky gut (from repeated consumption of processed foods, and grain products are especially able to cause this), where foreign substances penetrate the intestinal lining and invade the bloodstream. This causes the storage of toxic substances in tissues and cells throughout the body – which also, incidentally, can cause candida. That’s why your practitioner may tell you that you have candida in other parts of your body, for example, like your brain, endocrine, nervous, circulatory, or reproductive systems (because once these invaders enter the bloodstream, they can pretty much go anywhere).

    So, this may be a bit overwhelming, but just take one thing at a time. I hope this was helpful to you! The elimination diet is of critical importance, also the healing/detox stage (of which diet is an integral component) coupled with a commitment to your health.

  • Bridget
    April 8, 2010 - 5:30 AM | Permalink

    I do not think that oats naturally have gliadin. The concern is with crop rotation and cross contamination. Do you have any detox diet recommendations?

  • April 8, 2010 - 9:27 AM | Permalink

    Bridget – yes, there is a lot of cross contamination through crop rotation. Because it’s something that’s hard to avoid, I generally don’t eat a lot of oats because they are known for containing a certain amount of gluten.

    Here are my detox recommendations:

    The Liver/Gallbladder Miracle Cleanse by Andreas Moritz and The Fast Track Detox Diet by Ann Louise Gittleman.

    Here is a link to my post about The Fast Track Detox Diet:

    http://www.agriculturesociety.com/?p=1113

    Here is my cleansing/detox post:

    http://www.agriculturesociety.com/?p=2136

  • August 27, 2010 - 5:31 PM | Permalink

    What a fascinating article. Thank you very much for this information…I’m trying to cut out some of these nasty things from my own diet! I’ll have to look into this further. I do believe you are right about the 6-11 grains a day recommendation…What insanity. No wonder Americans are getting fatter (though I am waiting for them to add soy servings to the pyramid, lol). It just makes no sense!

  • September 27, 2010 - 3:15 PM | Permalink

    Thank you for this well written article. Even though I advoid all grains, even soaked, because I feel so much better without! To health!!!

  • September 27, 2010 - 3:39 PM | Permalink

    Jen – I am glad this article is useful for you! It really is the case that consuming that many servings of grains a day is the culprit of inflammation and disease, and sooner or later the health communities at large are going to have to acknowledge this as more and more people are coming to find out they have problems eating them. It definitely falls under the category of common sense, to me. :)

    ILovePrimal – thanks for visiting and leaving your comments! I hear testimonies DAILY from people who are finding they are more healthy without grains in their diet. Bravo for your discovery! :)

  • Alicia
    September 28, 2010 - 8:21 AM | Permalink

    Great article! I put our family on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet for 3 years due to some issues my daughter was having. We were getting nowhere listening to our pediatrician and pediatric gastro. I have had digestive issues and mysterious rashes and other symptoms for most of my life. All of it went away with SCD… no grains, no sugar, no starch. After 3 years I ate wheat again (My grandmothers Christmas cookies) and the rashes immediately returned. I tried to include some GF grains into my diet… rice, corn, millet… but just feel lousy when I eat them. I’m officially grain-free now and feel better than ever!

  • September 28, 2010 - 9:11 AM | Permalink

    Alicia – good for you! Many thanks for sharing your testimony! I think it’s an incredible shame that doctors and many other health professionals don’t convey this information to patients – that grains are wholly unhealthy to consume – especially the refined varieties that are so prevalent in our food system. You are yet one more person I can add to the enormous pile of individuals I have talked to or read about who went off grains and saw huge improvements in their health. Keep the testimonials coming everyone!

  • September 28, 2010 - 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Very informative article, Raine! I feel like I can breath better already. Wonder if anyone gets the shortness of breath after eating a grain that doesn’t agree with them. I had read that many commercial bread makers, after sprouting the grain, add gluten back in (perhaps to enhance the texture); however, that, apparently, defeats the purpose of sprouting in the first place. Hard finding bread that is perfect, though. It either has yeast, or gluten or both. I have a local bakery that takes their time fermenting their breads. Sounds like visits to them are in store, if and when I choose to eat bread. Thanks, again for keeping us all thinking, Raine!

  • September 28, 2010 - 12:08 PM | Permalink

    Hi Nancy – after I responded to your email from the other day, I started remembering one of the symptoms I’d had frequently for years when I was consuming a lot of wheat and gluten – shortness of breath! And, I had mine at night when I’d get the “panic attacks” I had for so long. It would also accompany racing heart (off and on for HOURS). Needless to say, I was exhausted by morning and felt like I had been hit by a truck. I also got the panic episodes during the daytime hours too, that was when it was at its worst. But I don’t get any of those things anymore at all. I do eat wheat occasionally – even unsoaked or unsprouted. But I don’t eat it more than 3 – 4 times a month at the most, and the majority of wheat I do consume is sprouted, soaked, or fermented.

    I hadn’t heard about adding gluten to already made, sprouted bread, but I wouldn’t be surprised. You just can’t be too careful about products you buy and its always a good idea to ask if you are buying something from someone else and not making it yourself.

    We have a local breadmaker that is over in Sun Valley (about 2 1/2 hours away from Boise) called Big Wood Bread and Cafe who long ferments their sourdough bread, and their products are organic. They sell their bread in various places in Boise, and I buy mine at the Boise Co-op, our local health food store. It’s delicious and a treat for me when I have it every now and then. :) I hope the local bakery in your area has the bread you are looking for. And I hope more people will be going back to this traditional way of breadmaking.

  • January 7, 2011 - 2:43 PM | Permalink

    Good stuff! We actually have gone gluten free, corn free, soy free, casein free and are now excluding allot of foods that are naturally high in free glutamates (like the nightshades for example) as well since we are trying to get rid of hubby’s epileptic seizures naturally
    .
    He started having them when he was only 33 and of course has been on pills ever since and wants desperately to get off of them with all the long term side effects…and the fact that they don’t even get rid of ALL of the seizures (still has some at night); through much research and exclusions of heaps of so called “healthy” foods we are finally getting the occasional seizure to be much less intense, way shorter and almost imperceptible.

    The point I was originally going to make is that we don’t buy any of the “gluten free” products as they are usually loaded with heaps of other “crap” for lack of a better word. Sugar, sulphites, gmo corn, soy etc.
    I even make my own blend of flours in the bread maker (quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat etc.).
    Good article!
    Cheers!

    • kathy
      March 6, 2013 - 3:38 PM | Permalink

      Great feedback, it sounds as though you are successfully feeding your husband, as for me, I’m floundering trying to feed my son. He has multiple allergies and is lactose intolerant suspecting gluten and nightshade intolerance also. Any meal ideas especially breakfast and how do you mix flours?

      • March 6, 2013 - 5:02 PM | Permalink

        Kathy – my family has rebelled against my grain-free ways. My husband has been going away from grains somewhat, but he thinks it’s too difficult, limiting, and boring to keep our son away from grains, so he feeds him grains much more often than I’d like (when they go out, at home, etc.). The only kind of grains I keep in the house regularly is long-fermented sourdough bread from a local, organic bakery, but I do find that my husband will buy things from the store that I wouldn’t – crackers, chips and other foods I really try to keep both of them away from…but have limited luck doing so after they are in the house.

        If you have a gluten intolerance, it’s really best to cut everything out that contains gluten altogether. It can be difficult, but if you implement a strategy such as the GAPS protocol by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, this will alter the gut flora in the body and can actually affect a change in the taste of the person doing it by helping to modify the gut flora in the digestive tract, which has everything to do with what foods your body craves/responds to. A gut over-run with pathogenic bacteria will cause cravings for starches, sugar, and grains, and the more you eat the worse the problem becomes. By eliminating grains, starches, sugar, and focusing on easy-to-digest foods like broths, fermented foods, healthy fats from sustainable animal sources, and therapeutic grade probiotics actually help to heal the gut and replenish lost nutrients, and eventually cravings for wheat and grains start to disappear, especially the more you balance gut flora and feed the body what it needs – important nutrients from the foods I mentioned.

        http://www.gapsdiet.com/

        I feed my family these foods regularly, even if they are not on a strict GAPS protocol – which is mean to be temporary and last for 1 – 3 years while gut healing is going on. The traditional foods – fermented foods, broths, and healthy fats are essential in regaining health – no matter the health situation.

  • June 27, 2011 - 4:05 PM | Permalink

    Love this post Raine! I was just having this very discussion today and was considering a video post on it – you did a slam dunk job covering this full well! I will be reposting as well!! It’s so frustrating to see people go gluten free and simply switch to all the packaged gluten free products out there, which are just as bad for you!

  • June 27, 2011 - 4:10 PM | Permalink

    One more thing – for those who are celiac I don’t know if it’s really safe to suggest adding any gluten back in ever even if it’s sprouted/soaked or properly prepared as this does not ensure removing the gluten entirely, even if you do ‘heal and seal’ your gut. There are folks in the real food community and specialize in the study of gluten/celiac’s etc. that say once you have celiac you should never eat gluten again. Just throwing that out there, cause I think it’s worth looking further into. I’ll try to find a link or two if anyone is interested!

  • June 27, 2011 - 4:21 PM | Permalink

    Lydia – thanks for your comments! You are absolutely right, if you are celiac, it’s important to be extremely careful. I have talked to a a few celiacs who were able to eat properly prepared grains from time-to-time. I think the key is to make sure your gut is healed before you attempt this. I’ve read both sides – that you should never eat anything with gluten and that if you heal yourself you can eat it if it’s prepared correctly. I know I’m not celiac, but so far anything with grain in it has been bad news for me, gluten or not (although I think I react more severely to gluten-containing foods). It will be a test to see if I can consume grains or gluten once I heal my gut through GAPS, which I’m currently doing.

  • June 28, 2011 - 5:07 AM | Permalink

    We’ve done GAPS and grain-free (with beans) and low-grain for the last year and a half. Most of the family feels better off grains, most of the time, though I do start to crave good sourdough after awhile, with lots of butter. :) And this morning I’ve got some soaked cinnamon rolls rising, which is a really, really uncommon breakfast…but I think I will enjoy every bite! lol. We’ll be grain-free again in a couple months, after I have a baby, so I might as well enjoy (in moderation) now.

    But yes, this issue has bugged me for awhile…. “If they sell it at the health food store, or if it’s gluten-free, it must be healthy!” Do you know how much starch is still in those foods, and how much processed non-food junk? (guar gum, xanthan gum, etc.) That said, I do buy organic gluten-free pastas from time to time but they are usually just grains + water and maybe sea salt. Not awful on occasion.

  • Veronica
    August 31, 2012 - 4:21 AM | Permalink

    I found this article really helpful. I don’t know if I’m Celiac or just have gluten intolerance, but for the last few years I have had: no energy, nausea, headaches, dizziness, lack of coordination, shortness of breath, weight loss, joint aches, numbness and tingling, skin infections, etc.
    Only recently did I found out about Celiac and gluten intolerance (which I know now are two entirely different things), and read some of the symptoms of both. I discovered I had a lot of them (Ataxia, Dermatitis, fatigue, heaches and nausea) and then I decided to go gluten free.
    It’s now been 2 weeks since I did that and I am pleased to say all my symptoms have gone away and I am feeling so much better.

    I know all too well the gluten free foods (processed) you find in the store are bad for you so I avoid them at all cost. It only takes one look at the ingredient list to know. I am therefore of an opinion that if I am going to do this right, this gluten free life, I have to make things myself, from scratch, or otherwise eat as natural as possible.

    I don’t know if I will be introducing gluten into my diet again, because I have no way of knowing if I am Celiac or if I am gluten intolerant, the reasons for this being I have no desire to undergo a gluten challenge and harm my body beyond repair. But for my partner I will be looking into soaking and sprouting grains because I think it could really be of benefit to him. And also my family should know about this.

    Glad I came over your post, I learned a lot from it.

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