Eating Gluten Free:
Another style of healthy eating that has exponentially grown in popularity is going “gluten free”. The premise behind going gluten free is that the a protein found in grains called gluten is very inflammatory to the human gut. The most severe cases are called Celiac Disease in which an individuals immune system actually attacks itself when gluten is consumed and is categorized as an auto-immune disease. Celiac disease actually affects less than 2% of the population. So why is going “gluten-free” so popular if it is so rare? This is where you have to realize going “gluten-free” for most people is more about reducing or eliminating grains and other inflammatory foods.
Many people are gluten intolerant or sensitive—this means that you get many of the following symptoms: bloating, irritable bowl, gas, skin breakouts, and upset stomach without having the actual disease. If you experience these I would recommend trying an elimination style of assessing foods that cause inflammation responses for specifically for YOU!
- Completely eliminate a specific food (in this case gluten) from your diet for a minimum of 14 days
- Use your phone or a small journal to note what you are eating, when you are eating, and specifically how you feel after a meal (any symptoms)
- At the end of the elimination period asses if eliminating gluten changed your symptoms and look back at your log to determine what else might be causing your discomfort
What has gluten in it?
If you are worried about what has gluten in it there are thousands of sites online to help you determine which foods to stay away from, the hardest thing is to not get fooled by the “gluten free” labeling on everything. Many foods are labeled “gluten free” on the shelves that aren’t healthy at all and never had gluten in the first place—just because it says gluten free does not mean it is healthy! Many gluten free foods are added with preservatives and high sugar contents to make up for the texture and flavor changes.
So what do YOU do?
If you decide to go gluten free look very carefully at the ingredients list and see what might have been added to replace the gluten. One of the big offenders is the addition of wheat germ oil in products when they say they are gluten free. It is your job as a consumer to be cautious.
Anti-inflammatory foods are the way to go!
Your best bet is to increase anti-inflammatory foods in your diet. These include but are not limited to:
- Fruits- blueberries, pomegranate
- Vegetables- kale, spinach, broccoli, avocado
- Wine- ONE glass of red periodically (there is gluten in BEER!)
- Lean meats
- Herbal teas
- Supplementation- a probiotic can be extremely helpful in restoring your gut health (look for one with numerous pro-bacteria in it not just one)
In the conclusion of the “Health Craze” series of blogs on our site it is ultimately up to you on which healthy eating choices you make. Use as many resources including these articles as tools to a healthier lifestyle. Informed choices in your health make for better life-long choices.
Dr. Griffith always recommends consulting with a primary health care provider before dramatically changing your diet. At Movement Chiropractic and Wellness we strive to offer not only excellent chiropractic care, but make it a priority to answer your healthcare and nutrition questions. Call for a FREE consultation (650.429.8132) or schedule an appointment to see how Chiropractic care can help you change your lifestyle for the better.