If it’s not gluten-free then I shan’t be touching it. The gluten-free movement is alive and kicking but what is all the fuss about, as word around town is that those who choose to ghost gluten on a regular basis can form an intolerance? Let’s rewind and take it from the top. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and oat. Translation – bread, pasta, and cereal.
Touted for its moreish allure, gluten provides elasticity to dough, allowing for that puffy and chewy texture. Unfortunately, not all get to enjoy the breadbasket.
The jury is out. One who possesses the celiac gene must adopt a gluten-free diet in order to live a life without the toilet by their side. Celiac disease is an inherited autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the cells of the intestinal lining, post gluten feast. All of those mouth-watering glutenous foods that we all know and love cue the Italian diet are swiftly told to exit stage left. Symptoms include gastrointestinal upset i.e. abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, vomiting, as well as the potential for an iron deficiency, reduced bone density or osteoporosis, weight loss, headaches, and skin rashes. I’m exhausted already.
Gluten sensitivity is also famed amongst those that saddle up with a gluten- free diet. Their symptoms will mimic a celiac, despite the negative that shows up on their test results. Just as debilitating, although a short-term illness in comparison to celiac disease which is long-term.
What about those that turn their noses up at gluten, just for the hell of it?
The gluten-free mantra became a media darling thanks to our celebs, undeniably where we gain the majority of our health inspo from, let’s not kid ourselves, due to a barrage of weight loss antics. This in turn deters us and our perception of gluten is placed in a harmful category and, thus, restriction represents a healthy lifestyle. Enough said? We love playing devil’s advocate so let us hit you with the facts before you throwaway that breadstick. Firstly, you and the celebs are correct, it can aid weight loss, however, studies show that the nutritional composition of processed gluten-free foods have less fibre and higher levels of fat (saturated and trans), sugar, and salt which could be doing more harm than good for the waistline and that heart of yours. Food for thought.
There is a strong relationship between gluten and carbohydrates, which are always cast as the devil. This is where we start hating on gluten but we need not. There is a difference between complex and simple carbohydrates, complex carbs are made up of whole grains, and vegetables i.e. quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potato, and beans – these are the faves and should be embraced wholeheartedly. They provide you with long-lasting energy and what helps you get from one meal to the next. Simple carbs are the pure sugar kind, think white bread, pasta, and processed foods. Keep this in mind if you have excluded gluten from the food group. She’s not as sassy as you may think.
So, this begs the initial question, can you form an intolerance if gluten is eliminated from said diet? Gluten triggers inflammation but only in those that have the celiac gene or a sensitivity, which is why it is imperative that it is eliminated in its entirety. Excluding gluten from your plate would be a crying shame if you don’t experience the above. If you have excluded gluten, there is a high chance your body won’t know what hit her when gluten re-enters the dinner party. A touch of gastrointestinal upset could rear its ugly head if it is in large quantities so take it slow. It is important to observe and act accordingly; as human beings, we are unfathomably unique and so it is up to you to listen to your body’s cues as a date with the toilet is not what we swiped right for.