Our Tips For Being Healthy
In today’s media Gluten gets a fair amount of publicity with many of the worlds leading nutritional experts advocating the removal of gluten from the diet. Then on the other side of the fence you have the worlds top medical doctors saying you only need to remove gluten if you are diagnosed with celiacs disease because you will be missing out on nutrients. No wonder that the subject can be quite confusing
Celiacs (coeliacs) disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the intestines inhibiting the absorption of nutrients. Celiacs is said to be hereditary and only pre-disposed people carrying certain genes can develop it. It has also been shown that as many as 50% of humans carry theses genes.
When a celiac sufferer eats gluten their immune system attacks the intestines and damages the villi which are responsible for the absorption of nutrients. Over time this lack of nutrient absorption can cause a whole host of diseases like MS, type 1 diabetes, anemia, osteoporosis, infertility, miscarriage, intestinal cancers, neurological conditions like migraines, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. If left untreated celiacs disease can become a life threatening condition.
The medical treatment for celiacs disease is a strict diet removing all gluten containing foods.
As you can see when medically diagnosed with celiacs disease gluten is not your friend. Does this mean if you have not been diagnosed with celiacs disease then gluten is healthy for you? Will it help you with your weight loss programme and living healthy?
Gluten can cause devastating detrimental effects on the body even without being diagnosed as celiacs disease.
A gluten intolerance can affect nearly every tissue in the body, including the brain, thyroid, adrenals, stomach, liver, blood vessels, nerve endings, smooth muscles and even the nuclei of the cells. It is associated with an astonishing array of diseases and ailments including brain fog, migraines, epilepsy, type 1 diabetes, dermatitis, psorasis, osteoporosis, hypothyroidism to peripheral neuropathy. It is also known to aggravate symptoms of already diagnosed diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinsons and MS. If you are struggling to lose those pounds as part of a weight loss programme eating gluten with a gluten intolerance will certainly hinder your progress. Because the range of symptoms associated with gluten intolerance is so vast and nonspecific many patients and doctors don’t suspect gluten as the cause or limiting factor.
What is Gluten
Gluten is a mixture of two proteins, Gliadin and Glutenin, found in many types of grain like wheat, spelt, cous cous, barley, rye, semolina and malt. When flour is added to water, gluten forms a sticky cross-linked network of proteins, which improves the dough’s ability to rise and increases the breads structural stability.
Gluten is in many well known foods such as:
Bread, pastry, doughnuts, cookies, croissants, pancakes, muffins, bagels, crackers.
Pasta, cous cous.
Gluten is easily extracted from flour and is added to many other foods as a stabilising agent. This process is not so widely known and is in foods like:
Ketchup & sauces, beer, ice cream, gravy and soy sauce.
Tips for being healthy
When eating out it is especially difficult to avoid gluten and you should ask for the gluten free options to make sure.
Oats do not contain gluten by nature but from cross contamination during transport and storage it is always better to buy gluten free oats.
When grocery shopping always read the labels, the gluten free section can be a mind field on its own and is not always best. Yes in the gluten free breads and cakes they remove the gluten but a lot of them (not all) are filled with other sugars and chemicals that are not so healthy for you. You can replace normal wheat flour with coconut flour and use chia seeds. Flax seeds and psyllium husks are a great form of fibre.
Even if you don’t have a gluten intolerance that you know of you are certainly better off removing it from your diet. Wheat is not grown and processed the same as it was 50 years ago and the nutrients they say you get from wheat are lost in the processing, transportation and storage.
Go on give it a go, remove gluten from your diet for 4 weeks and see how you feel, might even help you with your weight loss programme. Watch the pounds fall off and the fog lift!!
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