Should I Eat Gluten?

Gluten-free products are the rage, with countless boxes of goods filling the supermarkets.  But what is gluten and should you avoid it?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. People with celiac disease and gluten intolerance  should definitely avoid gluten. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition, which causes your body to attack its own tissues.  Gluten intolerance, also called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, is an extreme inflammatory reaction to gluten, which may damage the lining of the intestine. It is important to note that both of these conditions are different from wheat allergies. Wheat allergy is not an autoimmune disease, but instead is an abnormal response from the immune system in the presence of wheat.

But those with Celiac and intolerances are not the only people that have a negative reaction to gluten. Interestingly, much of the research conducted shows that most people cannot process gluten properly even if they do not experience symptoms.  This is because our bodies produce a protein called zonulin whenever we eat gluten. Zonulin causes leaky gut, which creates wholes in our intestinal lining that allows foreign food particles and bacteria to enter into our bloodstream. This cause san inflammatory response and may lead to chronic inflammation and diseases.

Additionally, wheat today has changed over the last century. Many different hybrids of wheat have been created, which contain more gluten and a starch called, amylopectin, which increases blood sugar levels. Additionally, wheat in the US is usually sprayed with glyphosphate, commonly called Roundup, which has been linked to different cancers.

I am not a big advocated of gluten and personally feel that most people should avoid it, especially since most products with gluten are processed. I advocate a diet filled with vegetables, healthy fats, lean protein and a little fruit. Grains should be once per day and should be focused on ancient grains like quinoa, black rice, buckwheat, millet and amaranth.