Gluten Free

Gluten Free or Faux

 

Lately, the gluten-free fad has been skyrocketing. You’ve been seeing food labels that say gluten-free even though it never had gluten in the first place! Everyone has been getting onboard.

 

What is Gluten Intolerance? 

Gluten is a natural protein found in rye, barley, and wheat foods that keeps it held together.  Gluten intolerance means the body cannot digest gluten.  Having a gluten intolerance can cause a range of side effects like fatigue, mood swings, nausea, GI problems, migraines, body aches, and dizziness. There are several theories of why Gluten-Free and Gluten-Intolerances are increasing. 

Theory 1

Losing Touch With “Old Friends” 

The “Old Friends” is our loss of tolerance with certain bacteria.  As babies, we build immunity to microbes that we are exposed to so we can fight them off throughout our life.  Losing Touch With Old Friends means we have lost touch with certain microbes that we evolved with.  In a 2015 issue of Australasian Science, there was a study on worm therapy.  Patients with celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder that reacts to gluten) were infected with the hookworm. The study goes to find the patients infected were able to ingest gluten without the effects to the immune system. This backs up the possible need to be exposed to certain microbes to increase our immunity.  

Theory 2

Too Much Wheat in the American Diet

The American Diet is highly processed and highly convenient.  Most of these foods are filled of wheat, which makes it filled of gluten.  The United States has tripled the amount of wheat gluten consumption in the past 40 years.  This hypothesis means we are eating too much gluten, and our body is getting sick.  There are no studies on this theory yet, but maybe try minimizing wheat gluten on your own to see if you notice a difference in your own self. 

Theory 3

Antibiotics Overload

Antibiotic Crazy. Doctor’s have been prescribing these more often then they use to.  Antibiotics can be a great tool to fight illnesses, but they have been prescribed when they are not needed.  Antibiotics don’t target specific microbes and attack all of them.  This is why doctor’s say to eat yogurt when you’re on antibiotics.  Microbes in our gut are essential for the break down of food.  Food allergies and illness can occur when we don’t have microbes in our gut.  

Theory 4

There isn’t an Increase

There has not been an increase in diagnoses of gluten-intolerances.  I don’t believe it either, but with the openness of celebrities discussing their diets, it seems like everyone is doing it.  Celebrities from Gwen Paltrow to Bill Clinton are openly gluten-free. Since we look up to these people and we hear their stories of success, some people join the band wagon. Gluten-Free is only increased as a fad diet, and not necessary at all for their health. 

So whether you are trying it as a fad-diet or you are wondering if you are gluten-intolerant, your doctor can always be helpful.  Never feel pressured to start being gluten-free, cause who really wants to cut bread out of their diet?