I talk a lot about gluten-free in diets such as paleo; low carb, Atkins or in the most extreme conditions where gluten is excluded; IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or coeliac disease, where your immune system reacts to gluten and attacks the lining of the gut.
Other things to note are IBS, which is a lot more common than people think (I have it!) It’s just not something people talk about.
I’ll be doing a post for IBS to go with #secretsuffers it’ll be #secretsuffers of IBS, where I talk about why It’s such a taboo subject and why people don’t take it too seriously when they should. I talk a lot about gluten free so I thought I’d explain what is is, how it works on the body and why we don’t need it..you’ll be shocked, there are some crazy misconceptions of it!
What is gluten?
Gluten is found naturally in grains such as wheat, barley, rye, and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale. It can also be manufactured and is often added into common foods, It’s what gives so many foods their structure, It makes foods stretchy and gummy, like in pizza dough, it’s chewy! Gluten makes that elasticity happen.
What is a gluten-free diet?
Foods to avoid:
In addition to pure wheat, all of its forms are also off-limits. This includes:
“wheat starch, wheat bran, wheat germ, couscous, cracked wheat, graham flour Kamut matzo semolina spelt. barley bulgur oats (oats themselves don’t contain gluten, but are often processed in plants that produce gluten-containing grains and may be contaminated) rye.” Excerpt from yahoo/food.
It’s hidden in a lot of items you wouldn’t expect too; such as soy and fish sauces, miso, vinegar, imitation crab, seitan, oats, natural flavouring, and salad dressings. Broths and soups, cookies, flavored snack foods, candy and chocolate, ice cream, and rice mixes.
Why do people go Gluten-Free?
There are many reasons people go gluten free, allergies, fad diets, weight loss and medical advice to change their diets. Gluten can be a big culprit to many digestive problems, from bloating to sickness and diahorrea, so it’s normally the first to go on a healthy diet plan. Gluten free foods are now available in ready meals, I’ve recently reviewed a selection of goodies that are GF.
A gluten allergy is the body’s inability to digest or break down the gluten protein found in wheat and certain other grains. Gluten intolerance (also known as a gluten sensitivity) can range from a mild sensitivity to gluten to full-blown celiac disease.If you suffer from bloating, whether mild or severe, after eating bread and glutenous foods then you may possibly have an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten.
Signs to look out for are; fatigue, constipation, mood swings, prone to headaches and symptoms of cold and flu, on the other side suffers can also have sleeplessness, diarrhoea, depression, insatiable appetite or a craving for sugary foods.
Lisa Bollins I’m gluten free. Mine’s due to intolerance, although I find I can sometimes get away with a little bit without making me too ill. I changed to being gluten free in July after doing an elimination diet to discover what was making me ill and found since cutting it out I feel so much better.
If it comes up in conversation I usually just say why I am, and how it makes me feel etc. I hear a lot of people go on a gluten free diet to help them to lose weight, which I don’t think really helps! Personally, I lost weight when changing to being gluten free, but really that’s because I was so ill!
Elyse Silver Yep I’m a diagnosed celiac so have to eat a gluten-free diet to stay alive I tend to get quite annoyed with people who say ”Oh I’m going to go on the gluten free diet” or ”it’s just a fad” well no, it’s not a fad. It started off as a way for people with celiacs disease, to stay alive.
It also annoys me when people believe they’re celiacs because they ‘get a little bit bloated after eating bread’ that’s so not what celiacs is, it’s not an allergy it’s an incurable autoimmune condition.
I’ve even written a blog post on it, don’t get me wrong not eating gluten has so many benefits, especially if you’re low in a specific type of bacteria (firmicutes and bacteriocides) in the gut, you’ll have difficulty digesting complex carbs, but it’s the disrespect and naivety that comes from some people that irks me.
How it makes us swell:
This snippet is an explanation of how vegetable smoothies pass through our system and why adding fibre into your food can help your digestive system better.
“Imagine a bucket (that’s your stomach).
Next imagine the bucket full of hay. (the bulky fiber in the veg)
Pour your vegetable juice through the hay.. Goes in pretty quickly, right?
Now, If you crushed and squashed it into a paste it take a pretty long time to move to the bottom of the bucket!”
Similar to my explanation of fiber, but swap out the word fibre for gluten and add in a ‘rising’ chemical that transfers into gas. Your ‘quick’ filling stomach, fills up with gas from the natural digestion process but with gluten intollerances you get an additional burst of gas as your stomach needs extra help to break down the gluten. That’s why we get swelling – From the additional gas.
Do you need to go gluten free?
I have recently written up a going gluten free guide, if you feel you’re bloating, tired or just not yourself you could do with eliminating whole groups of food. By removing whole groups you can workout what is causing or solving your problems. An elimination diet is recommended by the NHS and by most GPS when dietary issues first flare up.
Don’t sweep it under the rug, get yourself sorted.
Having read the back of ‘many o packets’ I can confidently say, ready-made gluten free food packs are calorific! As you know gluten almost acts as a bulking agent, swelling foods up and making them chewy, stretchy and thick, so when removed other things must be added, sugars, fibrous powders and fats. These things create emulsions given back the chewy texture we’ve come to love but they’re adding in a heap load of calories.