I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of hearing about gluten.
- Should I avoid it?
- What nutritional benefits do I get from eating gluten?
- Am I risking other deficiencies by not eating it?
Rather than debate these common questions, I’d like to set the record straight.
First of all, not everyone needs to eliminate gluten. There are plenty of people who do not actually have an allergy to it or even a sensitivity for that matter. Some people feel better when they eliminate it. Some ‘experts’ say it’s a placebo effect and people just think they feel better while not eating it, but who cares. The point is that they feel better. It is reported that non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) may affect up to 1/3 of the population. So when we talk about gluten sensitivity being a fad, it most certainly ruffles some feathers in the nutrition world.
As far as nutrition goes, there is not one nutrient you are missing out on by avoiding gluten. Yes, grains are fortified with iron and B vitamins but there are much better sources of those nutrients besides grains.
As a certified gluten practitioner, it’s my job to decipher the literature and give you the most recent information about NCGS and Celiac disease. As a nutritionist, I want to make sure that you are getting the nutrients your body needs and eating the foods that help you achieve optimal health.
One of my favorite resources about the world of gluten is Dr. Tom O’Bryan. He recently commented on the debate over whether gluten sensitivity is a fad or not. He referenced a blogger from England who created a whirlwind of media response that claimed gluten sensitivity is fake. If you can believe it, this blogger based his article on the title of the study, published last year, not the facts. (Without getting too technical, the article talked about the effects of carbohydrates in certain foods (FODMAPS) versus the effects of proteins in foods that contain gluten, and how the body reacted to eliminating the FODMAPS. They looked at these markers solely to assess if gut function improved).
(This study can be read here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23648697)
Basing their information on this one inaccurate blog post, several major news/media outlets, including Forbes, Business Insider, Global News, NY Times, and even the Huffington Post, jumped on the band wagon and published stories about gluten s