Is a gluten free diet right for you? I recently shared my thoughts with The Wall Street Journal.
Gluten free diets have been shown to be promising to those who have been tested for gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease (a condition where the body cannot digest or tolerate gluten at all), but even those who are not clinically diagnosed may benefit from eliminating gluten from their diets. Our bodies are becoming more ill and intolerant of foods we used to be able to eat regularly like wheat products containing gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts, and corn to name a few. More and more Americans are suffering with auto-immune disorders, adrenal issues, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, thyroid conditions such as Hashimoto’s disease. All of the above diseases have been shown to benefit from eliminating gluten from the diet, reducing inflammation and minimizing symptoms. Theories suggest that genetically modified ingredients, typically found in wheat products that contain gluten, in addition to the additional chemicals we ingest both through the environment and our diet are making us less tolerant of gluten specific foods like wheat bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, etc.
Why gluten-free diets don’t make sense –
These diets don’t make sense when a person has been advised by a health professional to eliminate gluten and instead of eating more whole unprocessed foods like fruit, vegetables, lean meats, nuts and seeds which are all naturally gluten free, they opt for gluten free cookies, chips, crackers, etc. Processed gluten free foods can still lead to inflammation, and other food intolerances over time. Making gluten free eating a lifestyle should be centered on foods that are naturally gluten free like plant based and lean proteins. For those who show no signs of gluten intolerance they would not need to eliminate it. I would suggest trying to eat a variety of different foods, from the most unprocessed grains possible, like sprouted grain bread, steel cut oats, long cooking brown or wild rice, quinoa, etc.
Why the gluten-free trend has caught on to such an extent (And even if the diets do make sense, for what kind of people, facing what kind of conditions?)
For those suffering from Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, eliminating gluten can yield results very quickly and relieve painful symptoms fast. Those suffering from other common auto-immune disorders like the thyroid condition Hashimoto’s Disease, Adrenal Insufficiency and Irritable Bowel Syndrome will feel better physically by eliminating gluten. Doctors have seen objective improvements in lab profiles, nutrient absorption and overall physical health and appearance. For those who are curious to see if they would thrive on a gluten free diet, the simplest and most cost effective way to find out is by eliminating it for 14 days and reintroducing it to see if there are any symptoms that occur.
This is a preview to an article that will be featured in the Wall Street Journal. Please check back for the full article.
Dr. Kantor’s greatly anticipated new children’s book, The Green Box League of Nutritious Justice, is now available. Be sure to order this highly reviewed book, filled with healthy living tips for the whole family. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Children’s Miracle Network.