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Wheat Belly Part 3Today I wanted to talk about Gluten. What the...

Posted Aug 08 2012 9:55am

Wheat Belly Part 3

Today I wanted to talk about Gluten. What the hell is it? And why is Gluten free diets becoming such a trend?

Gluten is actually a protein. Within wheat it’s about 80% of its total protein content. So yes, unless it’s been removed any wheat product will contain Gluten. It’s primary function is to form a bond within wheat which allows the chef to toss a pizza in the air or roll and twist dough for pastries. Rice flour which contains no gluten will fall apart if you add water and try to roll it into a ball.

So is Gluten a problem or Wheat?

Wheat is always a problem due to the impact it has on your blood sugar and fat regualtion. Gluten can be, but not always if consumed in small amounts.

Gluten is a problem to celiacs in all cases. Right now they estimate that there are about 1 in 100 for Caucasian people. Most people don’t even know its a problem till later in life.

When you have celiac disease Gluten you will essentially damage the absorptive surfaces of the small intestines and create auto immune responses where the body actually attacks itself. Over time this gets worst and will lead to mal-nutrition, diseases, cancer and loss of muscle and bone.

Signs that you may be celiac include:
Indigestion and nausea
Abdominal bloating, pain, cramping or gas
Lactose intolerance
Anemia – iron, folate or B12 deficiency
Extreme weakness and fatigue
Bone/joint pain
Swelling of ankles and hands
Recurring/persistent diarrhea
Weight loss

Can Gluten affect the normal population?

They estimate that 15% of Americans have Gluten intolerances, and this is predicted to be the trend world wide. With a Gluten intolerance symptoms are less intense than celiac, where there is not as much of an auto immune response, however there is still a lot of mal-absorption and inflammation within the intestines. You may feel like you’ve digested bread products well your whole life, however at some point you might notice a sudden change in digestion and how you feel. There’s a good chance this could be a possibility.

There’s no concrete evidence out there that Gluten has negative side effects on everyone. As with anything when it comes to nutrition. I suggest cutting it out for a week or 2 and adding it back in to see how your body reacts to it.

If you are trying to avoid it. Davis makes a good point in his book if you are gluten free, don’t eat gluten free foods. Often times because of the removal of wheat, these foods contain things like rice and corn starch. Which are among the few that can increase glucose insulin more than wheat. This will have the same effect on your blood sugar and cause many of the similar problems such as weight gain which is associated with Wheat.

Tomorrow I’m going to talk about other problems associated with wheat consumption, such as acne, effects on the brain and the high acid load it has on the body.

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