Why Consume Gluten Free Foods, If You Don’t Have Celiac Or Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance?
Three Bad Gluten Amigos-Barley, Wheat & Rye
Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye and wheat (durum, semolina, graham and enriched flour). Also found in other less popular grains like spelt, kamut and triticale (hybrid of wheat and rye).
Wheat gluten, in sensitive individuals, triggers a destructive immune reaction. It occurs in about 1 in 100 Americans. The malady can strike up to 2 million people in the U.S. The body assumes the proteins from these grains are foreign invaders. Thus, it launches an attack on the intestinal lining-gluten complex that is trying to absorb these gluten proteins.
Diagram Shows Disease (Celiac) Progression
Finger-Like Projections, Called Villi, Are Eaten Up By The Immune System
This lining gets destroyed and no longer absorbs any nutrients. The victim of this disease starts losing weight, lacks energy and becomes anemic. The diarrhea is intense with a severe loss of both fluid and calories. This affliction is called celiac disease. It occurs more so in women. It can lead to increased risk of cancer in the small intestine. With elimination of all dietary gluten, normalcy returns, but the non-gluten diet must be maintained forever.
The problem is not with the people who have celiac disease. The diet disconnect is with people who are consuming gluten-free diets because they think it’s healthier. In one study, 46% went non-gluten because they felt that wheat was contaminating their diet. 22% of those polled said that gluten-free foods were of a higher quality and 30% said they did it to lose weight.
The food companies have capitalized on these feeling and hundreds of gluten-free junk foods have littered the market. Americans are spending billions of dollars a year on these foods. Everything from donuts, cakes, muffins, brownies and the list goes on and on. These corporations are cloaking their sugar and fats with the supposed benefits of non-gluten flours to make products that taste delicious. Guess what? They are the same garbage as the gluten foods but they just use different flours. If you are using it to manage your weight than think again. Are they healthier? Are they of higher quality? For individuals with normal intestinal tracts the answer is a double no.
There are fortunately healthy foods that are non-gluten sold by the food industry. You need to read the labels in the store to be sure you are not just purchasing disguised junk food.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in 2007 laid out a definition of a “gluten-free” food that was never set in stone. Gluten-free is supposed to contain no more than 20 parts per million of gluten. Since the FDA is not enforcing it, we have to depend on the manufacturers to be honest with the labeling. That’s like putting a pack of wolves in charge guarding the sheep. Then you dress the wolf up to look like a consumer.
Became Obese On Non-Gluten Products