Before I talk to you about the media rage that is gluten, I’d like to say one thing.
Whether you are or are not technically gluten intolerant, know that diet matters. Changes to your diet in positive ways benefits your entire body, every organ, every cell in ways that help you live stronger and live longer. That’s a fact.
Whether your food problem is gluten, lactose, peanuts, or nothing at all and you have the digestive system of a tank, making smart eating choices is just…smart.
It’s why I started Daily Superfood Love in the first place. I recognized in myself and people I know in the real world that a single change can have a mighty impact. It made a huge difference in my life and I wanted to share that with you.
I know a lot of young people that eat garbage. They feel as if they have all the time in the world to think about health and aging. Didn’t we all feel that way as young adults? I recently read that there have been so many negative changes to our food supply that over time, anyone born after 1990 will have to eat 20% fewer calories to maintain a healthy body weight.
There is no doubt that in our modern world, especially here in the United States where I live, it is far too tempting to eat to excess and choose all the worst possible foods. The toxins in the general food supply are terrifying. Many of the nutrients have been farmed out of foods that used to be the pinnacle of healthy eating.
That means you have to take an active role in your eating plan. If you want to live a healthy life into oldest age, you need to start right now. To me, there is no point in living until I’m a hundred years old if I’m so sick that my quality of life is poor.
What is Gluten Intolerance and Gluten Sensitivity?
The worldwide discussion about gluten intolerance is almost fascinating to watch. On one hand, there is Celiac disease that affects 1% of the U.S. population. These patients cannot eat foods that contain gluten (a protein in wheat and other grains) because their immune system attacks their intestinal tract. This causes pain, gas, bloating, and irregular bowel movements that can disrupt life to the point of triggering other illness.
Then there are people who label themselves gluten sensitive. They choose to follow a diet that drastically limits or removes gluten from their body. This second group has been mocked repeatedly as if they are hypochondriacs, being melodramatic, and portrayed as ridiculous. Truly though, why does it matter?
If you cut sugar or cow milk or gluten out of your diet (and there is plenty of data about the bad effects of grains on your body) and feel better, who are you hurting?
The 1% of people who have Celiac disease can tell you what their life was like before they cut out the gluten. With your small intestine under attack, your body is unable to absorb nutrients from your food. The severe vitamin deficiency that results is where the real trouble starts.
10 Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
- Decrease in brain cognition, inability to focus, or migraines
- Chronic fatigue
- Thyroid dysfunction, delayed growth, or unexplained weight loss
- Psoriasis or other skin conditions
- Poor balance, feeling dizzy, or numbness/tingling of extremities
- Infertility or irregular menstruation
- Chronic inflammation
- Pain in joints, muscles, or bones (including frequent fractures or breaks)
- Mood swings, depression, or anxiety
These symptoms are similar in people who eat a diet heavy in junk food devoid of nutrition. They are similar in people who consume too much fructose. They are similar in people who have cut all fat (healthy and unhealthy) from their diet based on harmful data from the 1970s.
In other words, even if you aren’t gluten intolerant, these systemic symptoms are common across many diseases and conditions. All of them have one place where they intersect: your diet.
The medical community is finally starting to recognize that the explosion of autoimmune disease, cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and so much more just might (insert sarcasm here) be due to the way we eat.
The good news is that your diet is the one place where you can actively prevent and fight disease. Eating foods that are bad for us and eating too much food is making us the sickest civilization in mankind’s history.
It’s time to make positive change where it truly matters and that means what you eat, what you drink, and how much.
The Bottom Line
I’m a person who listens to my body. If I feel “off” in some way, I remove one thing from my diet and see if it helps me feel better. Over the years, I’ve steadily done this until I’ve identified the foods my body thrives on, those I have to limit, and those I have to avoid entirely.
That’s my personal eating plan, defined by me, best for me. I’m not gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive but I find that I do feel better when I limit the amount of grain foods or simple carbohydrates that I consume.
Those with Celiac have no choice but to remove all gluten from their diet. They feel better rather quickly and can get back to living their lives. Those who are gluten sensitive talk about vast improvements as well. As far as I’m concerned, feeling better is the first step to keeping your body strong for decades to come. Who cares what works for anyone else?