Tuesday Tip: To Avoid Gluten or Not? 🍞
Do you really need to avoid gluten? For the majority of us the answer is no! It’s pretty trendy right now to ditch carbs and specifically to ditch gluten but should we really be doing that?
For 1% of population who suffer from Coeliac disease gluten is a major problem. It’s is an autoimmune response which causes the body to attack the protein in gluten, ‘gliadin’. These attacks damage the villi lining the small intestine preventing normal nutrient absorption. It’s a serious condition; sufferers experience severe stomach problems and may be in extreme pain. It’s not a ‘bit of bloating’. It’s diagnosed with a blood test, and you’d know if you had it! In a further 3 – 5% of the population there may be some level of intolerance to gluten resulting in stomach upsets. That leaves 95% of us with no issues whatsoever.
Gluten is a compound with a large surface area so it takes longer to be digested. This means you could be suffering problems from simply eating too fast and not chewing properly, so try chewing 15 times per mouthful to keep the enzymes working in your mouth, so that some of the digestive process can start before food even reaches the stomach.
People often complain that bread, pizza or pasta etc are making them bloated and that as a result they avoid gluten at all costs. But don’t be too quick to blame gluten. It’s not uncommon for these foods to make you bloat. The cause of this bloating is not the gluten, but actually water retention as a result of the short-chain carbs in wheat-based foods. So combat this by going for complex carbs – wholegrains, wholewheat breads etc and ensure you’re drinking lots of water. And if you do think you’re reacting after eating meals like pasta or pizza, then it’s probably far less likely to be the gluten and more likely to be the fatty cheese, roasted onions and rich toppings and sauces causing the problem – not the pizza base or pasta itself.
If you think giving up gluten will give you an energy boost,I’m afraid you’ll be wrong. Recent studies show that going gluten-free, when you don’t need increases tiredness and fatigue. Gluten-containing foods also provide a range of other nutrients we need so cutting it out you can cause more probs. Instead chose foods full of slow release carbs e.g. wholewheat pasta and bread, and lots of fruit and veg.
So before you diagnose yourself with a gluten sensitivity and drop all wheat, spelt, rye, barley etc perhaps stop and have a think. What is actually happening? Sure maybe you’re bloating after certain foods or meals but you’ve probably been eating gluten your whole life right? So why would you suddenly be intolerant of it? You weren’t ten years ago…. If you really feel like you react to gluten then speak to your Dr asap and arrange a proper test, otherwise enjoy a wide variety of foods that you like to eat!
Happy Tuesday 🤗