Happy Canada Day tomorrow for all of my Canadian readers!! Hopefully everyone is enjoying this extended long weekend and the beautiful weather that has gone along with it:)
I was intrigued to write todays blog on the “gluten” epidemic that we are currently faced with. As I did my grocery shopping this morning, I was astonished to see the number of new “gluten-free” products that are being stocked on the shelves, when 5 years ago there was no such thing. With the number of people suffering from gluten intolerance (celiac disease), I wanted to address some of the question marks that so many of us have.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is found in a number of cereal grains such as, wheat, rye, barley, spelt and kamut. Made up of tiny protein fragments called, polypeptides, the most troublesome side effect caused by gluten is chronic inflammation in the bodies tissues. With inflammation, there is often associated pain and discomfort and has been linked to the cause of intestinal damage that has been associated with celiac disease (1).
Why is there so much gluten intolerance these days?
After doing my research, the conclusion is that there is no definitive answer to this question. Some argue that the increase in hybridization of wheat is to blame but others disagree. Another theory, I often hear about is the increasing use of GMO’s, but again this can be argued. With all these possible causes in question, the one thing that is certain is that there has been an increasing rise in consumption, of gluten based products. Commonly found in most processed and refined foods, gluten serves as a preservative, increasing the shelf life of products. When we reflect back in the days of hunters and gatherers, gluten intolerance was unheard of. As agriculture evolves, taking us further and further away from whole foods, gluten consumption becomes almost impossible to avoid. With gluten-free in the air, many companies have catered their products to this market, creating alternatives for those people who opt out of gluten.
The moral of the story?
As I discovered today, gluten-free products are at every turn these days, making becoming gluten-free a more realistic option. Consuming a diet, rich in whole foods, grains, nuts and seeds will not only help you kick gluten but it will help you to avoid digestive discomfort and all the symptoms associated with a gluten-based diet.
If you feel lost and need some help in this area, or are suffering from digestion discomfort contact me in the “nutritional counselling” section of my blog on the far left. I can guide your diet and your health in the right direction:)
For more information see these links: