By cleansing your body on a regular basis and eliminating as many toxins as possible from your environment, your body can begin to heal itself, prevent disease, and become stronger and more resilient than you ever dreamed possible!
~Dr. Edward Group III
Truthfully, it sucks when you have celiac disease and can’t consume gluten, a combination of proteins, normally found in grains like: barley, wheat, corn, rice, buckwheat, quinoa, and rye. Celiac disease affects the small intestine, causing chronic diarrhea or constipation, vomiting, fatigue, severe abdominal pain and bloating, migraines, seizures, bone and/or joint pain, infertility or recurrent miscarriages, bone loss, anxiety, depression, arthritis, iron-deficiency anemia, tingling and numbness in your hands and/or feet, missed periods, canker sores, and itchy skin.
As a result, many individuals adopt a gluten-free lifestyle to control symptoms and better manage their conditions. It is important to note, that science does not support the notion (at this time) that a gluten-free diet aids in weight loss, although evidence does support the idea that it does improve the quality of life for those, who have a sensitivity to gluten or an autoimmune disorder like celiac disease. If you are thinking about starting a gluten-free diet, you are in luck, because this article gives you the “real deal” when it comes to gluten-free diets. Listed below is the “real deal” about gluten-free diets.
*** Disclaimer: It is important that you consult with your physician or specialist before attempting a gluten-free diet.
Although the primary purpose of a gluten-free diet tends to be to improve celiac disease symptoms, this diet is also beneficial for those that have a gluten sensitivity (not related to celiac disease). A gluten sensitivity occurs when people, who have not been diagnosed with celiac disease, experience unpleasant symptoms after consuming products that contain gluten. The main difference between a gluten sensitivity and celiac disease is the effect gluten has on the small intestine.
More specifically, people, who have celiac disease experience organ damage (damage to the small intestine) and are unable to properly absorb nutrients from the foods they consume, after consuming products that contain gluten. These individuals also experience chronic symptoms like migraines and severe stomachaches, as a result of consuming the protein. While those with gluten sensitivities do not experience intestinal damage, and only experience symptoms temporarily.
The good news is that many foods are already gluten-free, so you don’t have to resort to venturing around your city in search of sparsely supplied gluten-free crackers, breads, and baked goods like cakes and cupcakes. Some of these “natural” gluten-free foods include: fresh fruits and veggies (of course), organic lean meats, chicken, and fish (that have not been fried, marinated, or coated), seeds, beans, nuts, and dairy products (that do not contain artificial colors or flavors, preservatives, and/or other additives). You can also normally find gluten-free products like corn, buckwheat, quinoa, and rice in your local grocery store.
It is important to check the ingredients on products, before purchasing or consuming them, to determine if the products contain barley (i.e. farina, kamut, graham flour, durum flour, spelt, semolina, malt/malt-flavoring, wheat, and rye). In addition, beware of “everyday” foods that contain gluten, such as: flour-based breads, baked goods (i.e. cupcakes, cakes, cookies, muffins, donuts, etc.), French fries, deli meat, salad dressings, cereals, beer, pastas, gravies, soups, and soy sauce.
Furthermore, beware of popular food additives like: vegetable gums/proteins, baking powder, maltodextrin, modified food starch, dextrin, and artificial colors and flavors – just to name a few. These chemicals can wreak havoc on your health and make you feel miserable.
Another thing to watch out for, if you are thinking about adopting a gluten-free diet is cross-contamination (the mixture of gluten-free foods with those that contain gluten). This happens a lot at restaurants and with pre-packaged foods. Cross-contamination happens a lot with oats, which are typically produced at the same facilities that make gluten-based products. Therefore, your best bet is to only consume products that are labeled “gluten-free.”
Moreover, be cautious when purchasing bulk items, grains, and other foods from your local grocery store that do not say “gluten-free,” because there is a chance that they have been contaminated – even if it is not listed on the label. Lastly, while at home, store gluten-based foods separately from gluten-free foods. And, don’t forget to thoroughly wash any countertops and utensils that have been used to prepare gluten-based foods, before you begin preparing gluten-free foods.
Weight Loss Disclaimer
Lastly, it is important to know that research does not support the claim that gluten-free diets, sans exercise and healthy foods, will result in significant weight loss. In fact, according to Cleveland Clinic (2016), healthy, natural non-gluten foods, such as fresh fruits and veggies, and lean proteins can lead to weight loss, but only with a healthy lifestyle, consisting of regular exercise and a balanced diet. The key is to keep your caloric intake under control, while on a gluten-free diet.
To lose weight, you must choose low-calorie, gluten-free foods that are healthy, instead of processed gluten-free products like: donuts, cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Processed gluten-free products may not have gluten, but they are loaded with sugar, salt, and fat, which can lead to weight gain, instead of weight loss. Note: If you do not suffer from a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, you may want to refrain from trying a gluten-free diet – until you speak with your physician.
***A gluten-free diet is not beneficial for everyone; in fact, it can be rather risky for healthy individuals. In addition, an unsupervised gluten-free diet can lead to a calcium, iron, b-vitamins, and zinc deficiencies. So, to sum it up – don’t adopt a gluten-free lifestyle simply to lose weight.
American Diabetes Association. (2016). Gluten-free diets. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/gluten-free-diets/what-foods-have-gluten.html?referrer=http://www.ehow.com/about_5437105_gluten-diet-information.html
Celiac Disease Foundation. (2016). Celiac disease symptoms. Retrieved from https://celiac.org/celiac-disease/symptomssigns/
Celiac Disease Foundation. (2016). Sources of gluten. Retrieved from https://celiac.org/live-gluten-free/glutenfreediet/sources-of-gluten/
Cleveland Clinic. (2016). The surprising truth about gluten-free food and weight loss. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/04/the-surprising-truth-about-gluten-free-food-and-weight-loss/
Group, E. (2011). The 50 best quotes about health & nutrition. Global Healing Center. Retrieved from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/quotes-about-health/
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Mayo Clinic. (2016). Gluten-free diet. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gluten-free-diet/art-20048530
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