Recently when I was giving a live talk in the Hamptons, I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman there about gluten and being gluten free. He believed he had to be on a gluten free diet, yet he never suffered from Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. During my healing journey, I did go gluten free for a period of time and found it to be very helpful. However, I was suffering from an auto-immune disease and had challenges with gluten due to my auto-immune disease. I agree that some folks may feel better on a gluten free diet but gluten free is not for everyone. You may ask yourself how I can say this being a professional in the nutrition field—before I go any further, let’s define what Gluten is.
Gluten is a protein compound found in wheat, rye and barley which cause an adverse reaction in people with gluten-related disorders.1 Folks with Celiac disease and Gluten sensitivity cannot have gluten.
If you are not suffering from Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity I do not recommend a gluten free diet. It seems whenever a new diet trend hits everyone jumps on the bandwagon without questioning whether or not it’s good for them. I know people have eaten gluten for thousands of years without a problem. All races have eaten gluten throughout history until recently. So why has gluten all of a sudden end up with such a bad rap?
We have done lots of damage to our digestive system due to processed and chemically laden foods, sugar and other not so healthy foods we eat on daily basis as well as the overuse of antibiotics and other medications that wreak havoc on our digestion system. This has made our digestive system weak and whether its gluten or not, our bodies are having a hard time digesting foods. Nevertheless, it is easier to blame it all on gluten and not our poor diet choices which led to poor digestion in the first place.
I am not saying gluten containing foods are good for everyone or bad for everyone; I am saying find what works for you. Create a lifestyle where you eat healthy, live foods. If you feel you have digestive challenges, before blaming it on gluten, add fermented foods into your diet to help heal your gut.
Most people believe a gluten-free diet can be healthy for everyone, whether you have Celiac disease or not. The fact is that a gluten-free diet could lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies if not properly monitored by a physician or a nutritionist. So before you hop on the latest diet trend, do your homework to make sure it is the best for your bio-individuality and always listen to your body and gut…it will always tell you what it needs.