What the hell is Gluten?

I get this question a lot, and I mean A LOT. What is gluten? Why is everything labeled gluten free and do I have celiac disease?

Okay, so first off let me start off by saying that gluten is a real thing and we should pay attention.

Second of all, can you benefit from minimizing your gluten intake? Absolutely.

I would direct you Dr. Perlmutter’s book, Grain Brain. Available on amazon.  This book gives everyone an honest look at gluten, what it is, how it affects our bodies and why we might want to avoid it in our food.

Gluten, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Let me repeat, gluten is not a bad thing. It is a naturally occurring protein, that is formed when wheat and yeast get together.  Unfortunately, gluten is pervasive in our processed food supply (i.e. flavored coffee) and has been unknowingly dumped on our bodies in mass quantities.

So, yes we need to aware of what it is and where it is, but we do not need to fear it, unless of course you have Celiac’s Disease and then you need to run, far far far away from it.

For me, I was consuming gluten on a daily basis, multiple times a day and had no idea! I didn’t realize it was in my favorite flavored hazelnut coffee or my coffee creamer, or my salad dressing (when I was being healthy for lunch, during a crazed graduate school day), or my ice cream (*read tough day at work). After reading Dr. Perlmutter’s book, I realized that gluten had invaded my life and I didn’t even know.

My gut on the other hand was under attack from this constant stream of gluey, sticky, stuff. From what I now know, this glue (gluten means glue, literally), can stick to my gut and cause leaky gut syndrome. Meaning my second brain (gut), doesn’t make all of my brain hormones or regular hormones for that matter.

So what do I do?? I try to eat whole foods, that can’t possibly have gluten, and minimize my intake where possible. That’s not to say I don’t indulge when I want to, because I definitely do. Now I’m just a more cognizant person, about what I put in my body.

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