Did you ever even hear of anything called “gluten intolerance” growing up?
Oh, the good old “ignorance is bliss” days when we could just enjoy our bread without a thought of gluten! But here we are in a “gluten free” world, trying to understand if or why we would be personally gluten free.
What exactly is gluten? Defined, it is “A protein found in wheat or related grains-barley, rye, and to a lesser extent, oats, spelt, and kamut.” Gluten can also be found in a soups, salad dressings, processed foods and natural flavorings. Unidentified starch, binders and fillers in medications or vitamins can be unsuspected sources of gluten.
So what’s the trouble with it? In layman’s terms, the GLUE of gluten can literally“stick to your ribs” at the very least, making weight loss tough, and at its worst it can cause those with a gluten sensitivity, intolerance, allergy will feel sick when they eat it.
How does it affect weight loss? Refined white flour products stimulate the highest production of insulin. When we consume these kinds of products, our blood sugar levels spike upward dramatically at first within the hour, then plummet downward an hour or so after…creating mood swings, hunger cravings, ultimately pushing us closer to diabetes and obesity. Refined white flour actually converts into glucose in the body FASTER than white sugar. Omitting BOTH white flour and white sugar from your diet is a near guarantee of weight loss!
A simple way to test your own body to see how gluten may be affecting it is to completely omit all products with gluten in them, including all processed salad dressings, and all condiments, for 3 weeks- keep a simple journal to note how you feel. If you lose weight, have more energy, and generally feel better, you may just want to stay off gluten.
Gluten, however, is not an issue for everyone, so whole grain products should not be ruled out completely unless a true allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance is noted.
If your body has a sensitivity or intolerance to any foods, which are more common than true allergies, you will have a reaction to what you ate, ranging from nausea, stomach pain, gas, cramps, bloating , vomiting, heartburn, diarrhea, headaches, irritability or nervousness.
It’s important to note that there are other foods that may be inhibiting weight loss and making you feel sluggish- the most common besides wheat/gluten are cow dairy products, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and eggs. You can get allergy tested but the test will not catch sensitivities and strong intolerances. Going off one food type at a time is a great way note whether or not your body feels better without that particular food group.
Want to lose weight but you know that you don’t have a problem with gluten? I still suggest avoiding white flour and white sugar products and cutting way back on your carbohydrate intake overall. Don’t underestimate the negative “flour power!”