What's All the Fuss About Gluten?

Wheat bread contains gluten. Photo: SXC.HU
The current buzz word in almost every health magazine and health segment on television is gluten. What's the big deal and what is it?

Gluten is a protein found in several grains. The most common include wheat, barley and rye.

Unfortunately some people believe avoiding gluten is a diet fad to lose a few pounds. Well, I'm here to tell you two things:
  • If you stop eating bread and everything else you assume contains gluten, you will lose weight--and be unhealthy. You need carbohydrates to live.
  • Second, for some people, avoiding gluten is a medical necessity. I'm one of those unlucky people. I'm gluten sensitive and on the border of being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, but I refuse to have the intestinal biopsy to seal the deal. Two confirmed blood tests and feeling worlds better after altering my diet is enough proof for me.
So, If you're trying to lose weight, this whole gluten thing isn't for you. Talk to your doctor about healthy dietary changes that can help you trim your waistline.

For people like me that have to avoid gluten or suffer terrible digestive upset, joint pain and migraines, I'm here to sympathize with you! Being gluten-free is no picnic. I do write about my challenges and reasons for going gluten free quite often. Here's a few articles for those who are interested in learning more about gluten sensitivity:
Are you on a gluten-free diet or know someone who is? How do you/they cope with the general public thinking it's a weight loss program, not a medical necessity?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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18 comments:

  1. I am on a gluten free diet and have been for three years. I've found a lot of products that work well for me, but to be honest - I still miss real bread.

    I do feel healthier overall though and that is more important to me than bread.

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    1. I hear you there! I like many of the gluten-free varieties of pasta, cookies, etc. But bread is tough to make well. I just picked up a bread machine mix from Pamela's that I hope to try this week. I keep searching.... Stay healthy! ~Angela

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  2. My wife developed a wheat allergy while in the Army and was gluten free for a very long time. I remember, when I first met her, she would wrap her sandwich fixings up in a leaf of lettuce and eat it like that.

    Strangely enough, though, -all- her allergies (she was also deathly allergic to shellfish) cleared up a couple of years ago for no apparent reason.

    We still try to steer clear of most breads and pastas, but still eat a little bit.

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    1. Wow, that's amazing that her food allergies all went away!! I can only hope!!! Thanks for stopping by! Happy A-to-Z 2013! ~Angela, Whole Foods Living, http://www.wholefoodsliving.blogspot.com/

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  3. I'm so sorry about your gluten intolerance. The good thing is, you seem to really care about your health, good food, and finding ways to eat that are still enjoyable to you. Yay!

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    1. Thanks! You know, I guess I just prefer to make lemonade from my lemons! :) ~Angela

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  4. This post couldn't have been timed any better, as we've been considering cutting gluten down after some digestive issues since we've moved back to the US. Very interesting!

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    1. Good! Thanks for stopping by and commenting! ~Angela

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  5. Great thoughts. I have a friend who suffered the gluten side effects--joint pain, migraines, etc. It's really something to do research on, and like you said, not just a fad diet! Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    Stopping by for A to Z! Here's mine: A Girl and her Diary

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Going GF isn't easy, but it's much better than feeling sick every day! Off to check out your blog! ~Angela

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  6. I tried some gluten free products when i thought flour was the cause of my joint pain. Some of them are pretty good especially the pasta. Bread was the one thing that just never did it for me.

    Lucky for me the cause of my joint pain was soda. Not sure if it was the caffeine disturbing my sleep cycle (lack of sleep was the cause of the pain)

    Or the sugar substitute was the culprit.

    Either way I cut out soda and the pain is gone.

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    1. Hi Jen, Yes, GF bread does leave a little something to be desired! I'm glad to hear you figured out your pain trigger and was able to ditch the soda! Good for you! It's amazing what "junk food" can do to a body, isn't it? ~Angela

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  7. I'm not gluten sensitive but I live with someone who is, therefore I've adapted as I'm the one who cooks. I haven't found it difficult - interesting in fact, and I think healthier. We've developed a tasty, and very healthy muffin recipe for breakfast, good cookies for treats, and after some experimentation we now have a good bread recipe, using some millet, among other things, which gives it a great flavor and texture, even when toasted. The bread was the biggest challenge for sure. We combine our own flour mixes - much healthier than wheat (which has been so modified and messed with it's ridiculous). The food industry has been steadily increasing the amount of gluten in processed foods, as it's a cheap additive and makes the product go further - more profit for them. No wonder more people are becoming sensitive to it!

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    1. Hi Shirlene! Thanks for visiting! Good for you for being so supportive and adventuresome in the kitchen! I'd love to learn your custom flour mix and bread recipe! I miss "good" bread!! ~Angela

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  8. My daughter started going wheat free (after reading Wheat Belly), then entirely gluten free and she has dropped 10 lbs and feels so much better in general (more energy, less bloat, etc.) I have cut bread out of my diet, and eat very little wheat just because it makes me feel better. I try to eat more veggies and good carbs.

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    1. Good for the two of you! I'm just glad to hear you FEEL better. Food has such a huge impact on how we feel!! ~Angela

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  9. Fortunately for me I do not have to avoid gluten. I used to work with a lady that did though and I saw how tough it was for her. I give you and everyone else who needs to avoid it credit because it takes a lot of discipline.

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    1. Discipline is key! Sometimes I do get lazy and try a bite of something I shouldn't. Ugh.... Thanks for stopping by! ~Angela

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