Should I be on a gluten free diet?

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A gluten-free diet (GFD) is a diet that strictly excludes gluten, a mixture of proteins found in wheat and related grains, including barley, rye, oat, and all their species and hybrids (such as spelt, kamut, and triticale). Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and a cross between wheat and barley called triticale. About 1% of the population really needs diets that are totally gluten free. They have celiac disease and gluten can cause damage the lining of the small intestines. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together.

According to Mayoclinic.org:

“Celiac disease is an immune reaction to eating gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.

If you have celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response in your small intestine. Over time, this reaction produces inflammation that damages the small intestine’s lining and prevents absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption).”

The following items can be consumed liberally on your Gluten Free Diet (go organic and local with your whole- food choices wherever possible; flash frozen is fine, too):

Healthy fat: extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, grass-fed tallow and organic or pasture-fed butter, ghee, almond milk, avocados, coconuts, olives, nuts and nut butters, cheese and seeds.

Herbs, Seasonings, and Condiments: You can go wild here as long as you watch labels. Kiss ketchup and chutney goodbye but enjoy mustard, horseradish, tapenade, and salsa if they are free of gluten, wheat, soy, and sugar. There are virtually no restrictions on herbs and seasonings; be mindful of packaged products, however, that were made at plants that process wheat and soy.

Vegetables: leafy greens and lettuces, collards, spinach, broccoli, kale, chard, cabbage, onions, mushrooms, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, artichoke, alfalfa sprouts, green beans, celery, bok choy, radishes, watercress, turnip, asparagus, garlic, leek, fennel, shallots, scallions, ginger, jicama, parsley, water chestnuts.

Protein: whole eggs; wild fish (salmon, black cod, mahi mahi, grouper,herring, trout, sardines); shellfish and molluscs (shrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, clams, oysters); grass-fed meat, fowl, poultry, and pork (beef, lamb, liver, bison, chicken, turkey, duck, ostrich, veal); wild game.

Low-sugar Fruit: avocado, bell peppers, cucumber, tomato, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, eggplant, lemons, limes.

Go gluten free for these reasons

  1. You may be gluten intolerant and not even know it: Gluten has been associated with many problems including digestive problems and migraines.

  2. Regain balance: Gluten is everywhere. You can find it in bread, pizza, soy sauce, salad dressings, ketchup – even in spices, beer, your medication and some cosmetics.

  3. Lose weight: Recent studies have shown that gluten is associated with weight gain and obesity. Gluten is considered a “super carbohydrate” and is converted to blood sugar more efficiently than almost any other carb food.

  4. Ward off diseases. The rise of gluten intake coincides with the increase in occurrences of many diseases such as autism and ADHD. Gluten consumption may be linked to these and a large number of other diseases such as diabetes and, heart disease.

  5. Improve your mental health: Several studies link Celiac disease with issues in the nervous system and dementia. There have also been several studies over the last 60.

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