Is Gluten Worth Giving Up?

In America 1.5 million people suffer from sensitivity to gluten a group of researchers out of the University of Maryland said in 2003. That is after they consume gluten they have some type of allergic reaction and another one in seven has a gluten intolerance which means they will have some type of adverse side effects from eating gluten. Those people who are unable to tolerate at all have a condition called Celiac disease.

Gluten intolerance is 30 times more prevalent than celiac disease. 1 in 7 people are sensitive to gluten but test negative for celiac disease. They suffer many of the same symptoms and are known as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive (NCGS).

Today there’s a lot of talk about gluten. We walk down the grocery store aisles to see numerous food products labeled as ‘gluten free.’ We also see on restaurant menus foods that are also noted as gluten free. It seems that gluten free is the new rage. But just what is all this gluten free about and is it something you too should consider?

Typical Symptoms of a Gluten Allergy
While a gluten allergy can present several of these symptoms are none at all it’s important to know what you’re looking for if you suspect a problem with consuming gluten.

• Diarrhea
• Bloating
• Abdominal pain
• Irritability
• Depression
• Anemia
• Stomach upset
• Joint pain
• Muscle cramps
• Skin rash
• Mouth sores
• Tingling in legs and feet
• Fatty or oily stools
• Weakness and fatigue
Depending on the individual these symptoms all may be present, some may be present or none at all.  But despite the obvious reasons you may want to steer clear of gluten there are some other reasons for even those without a gluten allergy or sensitivity to eliminate gluten from their diets.
Tennis Great Novak Dokovich Ditches Gluten

Novak Djokovic attributes his success to going gluten free
World renowned tennis great, Novak Dokovich, and his recent claims that going gluten free has contributed to his spectacular success on the court, have added to the public interest in going gluten free. Dokovich credits much of his tennis success to his decision to eliminate gluten from his diet. He spoke out recently about this decision to go gluten free and how he believes it enables him to be in top physical shape and possess the coveted number two spot in the world in tennis. And Dokovich isn’t the only athlete going gluten free. A recent article in Bicycle Magazine discussed world famous bicycler Christian Vande Velde and his gluten free diet. In the article Velde discusses his decision to go gluten free. His rationale was this: gluten produces inflammation which in turn leads to delayed recovery times and impacts stamina and performance. To Velde, a gluten free diet is the same as an inflammation free diet.

This switch to gluten free diets has been working for both of these world class athletes. Will it work for you?
If you suspect you have a problem – big or small – with gluten then you may just want to consider going gluten free. If you’re hesitant to do so then simply decide to try it for a period of time and see how you feel.
Best Gluten Free Foods
Gluten is actually a protein that is found in wheat as well as barley and rye. You can consume foods that normally contain gluten by looking for the gluten free labels. In addition you can alter your diet so that you are eating foods that are naturally gluten free.

The following is a small list of naturally gluten free alternatives:
• Brown Rice
• Sweet Potato
• Quinoa
• Almond Flour
• Coconut Flour
• Chick Pea Flour
Although many of these foods are not considered mainstream you can easily find them at your local health food store or at a reputable online health food store.
In addition eating a diet rich in raw, organic fruits and vegetables is a great way to give your body the nutrients it needs and avoid the detrimental effects of eating a highly refined and processed diet.
If you want to up the ante with your workout, give gluten free a try.

Dr Wagner’s Action Steps
1. Eliminate gluten from your diet for one month and record daily how you feel.
2. Choose two of the gluten free alternatives listed here and add them to your diet and menu.

Comments are closed.