The western world as a whole is currently in the grip of a food intolerance epidemic. More and more people nowadays seem to be diagnosed with food intolerances, particularly gluten. Many experts believe that 60% of white skinned people and 40% of people with dark skin are gluten intolerant. If you suffer from any of the following symptoms then there is a strong possibility that you maybe one of these people :-
- Abdominal pain
- Weight Gain or weight loss
- Alternating Constipation and Diarrhea
- Skin Disorders
- Chronic Fatigue
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein molecule that is found in foods such as wheat, rye and barley. It is the name given to a protein fraction found in grains called prolamins. It is these prolamins which are often harmful.
History Of Grain Consumption
If you look back at what our ancestors ate, grains have only been part of humans diets for around for somewhere between 5,000 – 10,000 years ago. Since this time there has been a progressive increase in the consumption of grains and grain based products. Yet this time period is just the blink of an eye in evolutionary terms, during which our digestive system was formed. It takes 100,000 years for a gene to change 1% which means since we started consuming grains we genetically we have only changed 0.01%!!! When diets that are highly processed and usually grain based the result is an increase in degenerative disease in the majority of cases!
Should We Eat Grain?
Based on the development of our human digestive system we are not supposed to eat grains at all. Especially not the quantity or poor quality highly processed grains that many people eat far too much. You may not feel that you can eliminate grains completely for one reason or another. If you are not ready to do this that’s ok, many people find that they feel much better when they decrease wheat and other grains from their diet and avoid highly processed grains, eating only whole grains. Start there and see how you feel, I’m sure it won’t be too long until you consider cutting the amount of grain in your diet more or even eliminating them from your diet completely.
But It Doesn’t Affect Me Why Should I Stop Eating It?
Many people think that gluten doesn’t affect them because they eat foods containing gluten all of the time and feel fine. You can find out if you are sensitive to gluten through a blood test, however, the easiest way to do it is to eliminate all grains from your diet apart from corn, rice, buckwheat and millet from your diet for 2 weeks. If you feel better when you are not eating it, the chances are that you have a gluten intolerance.
Effects Of Gluten
By far the most serious reaction for people sensitive to gluten is that experienced by people suffering from Celiac disease. When these people consume gluten the lining of their small intestine becomes inflamed causing the villi to flatten. This reduces the surface area of the intestines and the ability to absorb nutrients properly.
Should you discover that you are intolerant to gluten I highly recommend that you also eliminate diary from your diet for 3 months. The reason for this is because the damage that can be caused to your intestines through a gluten intolerance can make it very difficult for your body to absorb diary. This is definitely the case for people suffering from Celiac disease but it is unclear whether this happens to people who are sensitive to gluten but do not have Celiac Disease. Going without diary will do you no harm whatsoever so the worst thing that can happen is you don’t eat diary, and the best thing that can happen is that your intestines are given a chance to heal, improving your overall health.
Regardless as to whether you experience any of the symptoms mentioned in this article or not I highly recommend that you eliminate gluten from your diet. It may seem hard at first as gluten is in alot of foods, but the majority of foods you will be giving up are processed, sweetened foods that you should be avoiding anyway.
Genetically we are basically still cavemen anyway, so why not eat the way we are supposed to, improve your health, your figure and your fitness whilst eating whole, complete foods. It isn’t difficult to cook with real foods and if the processed foods that are supposedly convenience foods for us are making us sick and ill are they really that convenient in the bigger picture with all of the disruption illness causes to everyday life.
May 19th, 2010 by Andy Perkins